ATV Motocross

Site Lap: The New Wednesday Edition

Site Lap: The New Wednesday Edition

Wednesday, February 3, 2016 | 12:55 PM
Wednesday, February 3, 2016 | 12:55 PM

Welcome to our new Wednesday edition of Site Lap. It is a change that we hope will be a benefit for the racing season as well as somewhat entertaining. This timing may be a better opportunity to pass along information about the upcoming weekend and such. Kind of like a “virtual site (sight) lap,” which was the intentions from the beginning. A look around the ATVMX racing community to see what was going on. We hope you enjoy and we hope to continue to grow with the anticipated growth on the horizon in our sport.

ATVMX Site Lap will be coming at you on Wednesdays! Be sure to catch up with all the information you want two days earlier!
ATVMX Site Lap will be coming at you on Wednesdays! Be sure to catch up with all the information you want two days earlier! Photo: Ken Hill

This week I am taking a look at the amateur side of our sport. As exciting as it is to speculate and talk about the pros it is the amateur that is the backbone of our racing society. The ATV Racin’ Nation is driven by the Youth and Amateur divisions. Let’s face it. If it were not for amateurs honing their skills and buying the products, there would be no industry for pro racing and there would be no pro class. So the bottom line is that they pay the bills by buying and using products from manufacturers and sponsors. They also pay the bills for the promoters because right now the state of our sport is not capable of existing any other way. So it makes sense to meet some of the up and coming talent as they make their marks in the racing world.

I caught with several folks over the last few weeks and some include a couple of racing brothers. Likely if you know anything about the AMA ATVMX national scene then you have likely heard of the Cody and Bryce of Ford Brothers Racing. They are top local talent out of Texas and they are becoming stars of the Youth and Amateur divisions as they progress through the ranks.

As the 2016 race season begins to approach Ford Brothers Racing is dusting off their quads and squeezing into new gear.  The Ford Brothers are two young up and coming ATV stars that are about as professional as youth stars as any rider can be. They are fast, strong and fast learners. Even the best of the best find themselves against a wall but it’s how hard you fight back that really proves who you are deep down inside. Each have met their challenges and each have overcome most if not all those challenges. And now with a new year approaching so do new challenges.

It's always nice to see our riders training and getting ready for the upcoming season.
It's always nice to see our riders training and getting ready for the upcoming season. Photo: Ken Hill

Cody Ford was a regular dominating rider through many of his youth years. Then something happened. Not sure if it was his size, a mental block, lack of heart or just bad luck but whatever it was he was able to persevere. No he never reached dominating status but he did rise to the top of a highly competitive division. As he moves forward once again we may not see the struggle with transitions we have seen in the past. Cody has been riding a 450cc machine and personally having seen him ride I feel he may be one of the key players next season. Cody is humbler though and we all will know for sure very soon.

Cody recently joined many other riders at the Root River Riding School in Splendora, Texas and got a feel for what it’s like to be back on his quad.  Cody said, “The school helped me get back into the groove of riding again.” As mentioned, Cody is moving out of the youth classes in 2016 and will give the B classes a shot in the amateur division. He knows it won’t be easy with the enormous amount of talent in these fast classes, but he’s not discouraged or intimidated by the thought of going toe-to-toe with some of the nation’s best quad racers. “Daytona is approaching us quickly and I will set my goal to be ready by then.” stated Cody.  The Ford brothers live in the heart of TQRA (Texhoma Quad Racing Association) will race their first round before Daytona. Cody says, “It is going to be a good opportunity to test my quad and measure my skills before Daytona.” Seeming very inspired and determined Cody also said, “I’m willing to do what it takes to win.”

Cody’s younger brother Bryce Ford wrapped up a phenomenal season last year and will take the leap from 90s to 250’s and compete with competition that is much stronger and bigger. He is hoping though that they are not too much faster.  He will be one of the younger children in the class at only 13 but his early goal will be to see if he can hang with the veteran riders in of Youth All-Star. Bryce has focused much of this racing offseason on his basketball season but has begun to training on the quad since the end of January. 

It's always nice to see our riders training and getting ready for the upcoming season.
It's always nice to see our riders training and getting ready for the upcoming season. Photo: Ken Hill

Bryce and Cody say they are very lucky to live where the weather is good enough to sneak a few laps in during the winter.  They say having a track in their backyard is also a great advantage. Bryce said “The biggest benefit though is being surrounded with great mentors like John Natalie and Nick Gennusa. Their positive insight and encouragement is worth more than money can buy. They are both proven winners and have a lot of knowledge of the sport. I feel like if I stay focused this year I can get where I need to be.” Bryce is also looking forward to representing a new sponsor this year in Maxxis Tires.  He is “proud to be a part of their team.” 

As Cody Ford moves into the B class he will be joined by another class newcomer. However, the road to the 450 B class traveled by this rider is a little different. If you know Justin Fravell then you may say it is a “much different” road traveled. Justin hales from East Peoria, Illinois and although “there is no noise Illinois” you can’t prove it by this young man. Justin is a fun loving hard working young man that took his hobby and turned it into a passion. Many may argue that the pressure is too much for him sometimes because that’s when you meet the other side of him. It’s like Jekyll and Hyde but this guy is becoming renowned as Fravell and Carcycle. You never know when the transformation is going to take place but when it does, look out. I’m not saying be scared, I’m saying be warned that the party has just begun!

Nick Gennusa has been preparing with John Natalie down in Texas.
Nick Gennusa has been preparing with John Natalie down in Texas. Photo: Ken Hill

In all seriousness, the goofy side of Justin Fravell with Richie Carcyle brings some much needed character to a sport that can sometimes seem a little stiff at times. Characters like Richie bring our sport to life and show that quad racers can have a lighter side too. Doing it for the fun and love of the sport and asking nothing more out of it like Justin does is the backbone of our sport. Cutting lose and having fun like Carcyle does makes us well rounded. Plus, we get to laugh at the goofball.

I recently chatted with Justin about the upcoming race season and what he has planned. He said “As of right now just trying to get everything torn down, motors sent off and try to stay warm in Illinois while doing so.” He said that right now everything is going smooth. He said that he has had a lot of help from his sponsors like Hetrick Racing, SSI Decals, Factory 43, Blackhawk Racing and Moto Trim that is helping make the job of preparing for next season easier. He said “My plans are once the weather clears to train with Drake Koelling at the Koelling Compound where we can push each other to get to that next level.” After an exciting first year in the ATV MX national series getting a top 10 in C class Justin says “I will be moving up to B. My future plans are just simply to have a blast doing what I love. Hang out with all the ATVMX friends and families and attempt to keep Richie Carcycle in line.”

That’s it for me. Let’s check out Gloop’s Loop and with Ken “I still have 2 feet of snow” Hill. Till next time, God Bless Your Heart and All Your Vital Organs.

In the Loop with Gloop:

Nick Gennusa has been preparing with John Natalie down in Texas.
Nick Gennusa has been preparing with John Natalie down in Texas. Photo: Ken Hill

David Haagsmas WORCS quad is looking good. I can’t wait to see him mix it up with everyone at Daytona.

Nick Gennusa has been preparing with John Natalie down in Texas.
Nick Gennusa has been preparing with John Natalie down in Texas. Photo: Ken Hill

Chad Wienen has been putting in the work down in sunny Florida.

Keeping up with Ken Hill:

New day of the week for Site Lap! We sure are hoping a change in release date makes connections out there in the inter-web so that our series racers, teams and fans can better follow what is going on! So what is indeed going on? No, I am asking you all because I am in full get ready to roll out mode and if you aren’t a piece of gear or clothes getting packed I am not paying attention to it! Can you believe we are mere weeks away from kicking of the 2016 season and the majority of riders who have the ability to head south to train are there or on their way. There are a bunch of us that work the series that will be on the way or are already down south getting things ready for the start of the 2016 seasons and this is the start of silly season for sure. 

We got to hear from Ronnie Higgerson about his new venture and I decided to nail down his partner in all this, Calen McGinty. Most of you know Calen and many of you have had the pleasure of banging bars with him through the years so getting his take on the new season right after the news dropped seemed fitting. 

Calen McGinty will be joining Savage Racing for 2016.
Calen McGinty will be joining Savage Racing for 2016. Photo: Ken Hill

So you have joined forces with Ronnie Higgerson to kick off Savage Racing?

Correct, we had this idea / dream to start our own team after last season and we actually joked about it for a while. Then things started coming together and taking shape and we realized this is actually going to happen. I know Ronnie and I have both wanted to share stuff on social media, but we decided to wait until everything is finalized. I really believe this is going to be an awesome thing for both of us, because we work really well together and push each other all the time. I think we can really surprise some people this year. We already have some great people and companies behind us and we can't wait to get a press release out and launch our social media pages! 

You had a pretty solid season in 2015, what are your goals for the upcoming season?

2015 was one of my best seasons. I won some motos and overalls, but most importantly, learned what it takes to put a whole season together. I'm going to be running Pro Am and Pro Sport next year, so the goals are for consistent top 5s. Although I'm not going to lie, getting on the podium in Pro Am is at the top of the list, but I'm really focusing on just being consistent and being up there every weekend. 

What are a few of the toughest things you face as a racer? 

I would say the toughest things are some of the obvious, the constant training on and off the quad and the expense of it all. I think staying mentally tough after a bad moto or a bad weekend can be really tough too. Something new for me was being involved with the team and handling a lot of the behind the scenes stuff, is all the extra time putting that together. Doing paperwork and making financial decisions instead of say training or working on bikes. 

There are so many people that seem to get behind a rider and I know you have a few backing you every weekend, who are they and how do they get you to the races and keep you going? 

First and foremost are my parents, they have been 100 percent with me every race and we really work as a team. My dad helps with wrenching on the bikes and mom makes sure I never go hungry. We are an ATV Motocross family at this point. I have to give a shoutout to Jorge and Chase with Media All-stars for helping me progress over the last four years; they're great people and such a great team. We have already signed a ton of amazing sponsors for 2016 including:  Maxxis, Walsh Racecraft, SSI Decals, Hinson, BCS Performance, Rath, Goldspeed Wheels, Lonestar Racing, Scott Goggles, Galfer, Sunstar, Yoshimura, Fourwerx Carbon, Precision Stabilizers, Ogio, Bell Helmets, Atlas Brace, Matrix Concepts, Wicked Liquid Powdercoating, Works Connection, Gaerne Boot Co, CP / Carillo, Faast Co., MotoOption, Tagger Designs and Powermadd. I would like to add if anyone has any questions or inquiries, feel free to contact Ronnie or myself. Look out for Savage Motorsports in 2016! 

McGinty will also be joining forces with Ronnie Higgerson. 
McGinty will also be joining forces with Ronnie Higgerson.  Photo: Ken Hill

Taking over the weight of a new team and the responsibility of it can be huge but I have a feeling these two can make it all work out. Good luck and we wish you both the best! 

That is all from me this week; I hope everyone has safe travels as the racing nation begins its pilgrimage down south. I was on Quad Radio last night and the consensus is that a very positive time is overtaking the series and I would have to fully agree. Big things are indeed underway!