Tuesday Toolbox: Kylie Ahart

TimeTuesday, January 29, 2013 | 11:00 AM
FolderTuesday Toolbox

The Morning ATV race has not only been dominated by the 4x4 and Senior classes but the Womens class has also proved themselves to be a threat for overall wins. Kylie Ahart is part of a new crop of Womens riders who are gunning for the wins. We caught up with Kylie to hear about her 2012 season, plans for 2013 and more.

GNCCRacing.com: How's it going today?
Kylie Ahart: Pretty good. Got another snow day today, so I'm off school. I’m just hanging out with Chad Walters at Get It Performance.

So how has your winter been?
My winter has been good. I've been training off the bike everyday as well as riding when I can. I've raced at Wildwood Lake, Cyco Motosports, and a few of the Mid-South races.

Sounds fun! What are your plans for the rest of the winter?
I'm going to train hard and continue to race more of the Mid-South races. I'm looking forward to getting as much seat time as possible.

So, for those who don't know you, tell everyone a little about yourself.
I'm an 18 year old high school senior from Marietta, Ohio. I plan on going to college next year and studying Graphic Design. I have a little brother named Kenzie and a little sister named Kaylie. My whole family loves riding and it's something we enjoy doing together. I am currently an intern at Get It Performance and I'm learning the ins and outs of engines and bike maintenance. I've always been athletic but here lately racing has been my main focus. 

How did you get started racing?
My dad bought me my first motorcycle when I was 3 years old. He raced back in the 90's and we were always at the track as I was growing up. I raced dirt bikes when I was younger at some local races. I got my first quad when I was 14 and have been hooked ever since! In 2010 I raced the WEXCR, formerly known as the Extreme Dirt Series, in the Women's class. I loved racing so much that I convinced my parents to let me try a GNCC which happened to be Powerline Park. I ended up getting the holeshot and finishing 3rd in the Women's Novice Class. That was when the decision was made that we would race the whole GNCC season the following year. My first win was at Steele Creek and after that I knew I had a chance at a championship. Thanks to Hendershot Performance, Team Woodhead, and many long hours spent by my dad wrenching I was able to win the Women's Novice Class in 2011. That meant I had to move up to the Women's class for the 2012 season.

You had a pretty good season in 2012. Tell us how it went.
Before the season started I was asked by Santo DeRisi to join his team. I was pumped and scared to death at the same time to be lining up with Traci, Angel, Lexie, and Kara. The goal for the beginning of the season was to ride smart and stay on pace. That was a huge challenge. Once I got the hang of the speed these girls had, the next challenge was keeping the bike together. I had some amazing teammates Brycen Neal, Braden Henthorn, Eric Hoyland, James Reeves, David Reeves, and Carter Kerens who kept my spirits up and pushed me to do my best. It wasn't until Powerline Park that I really felt fast enough to fight for a win. Although I haven't gotten a win yet, 2012 was a great learning experience.

Looking back on it, what are some things you would have done differently?
Looking back, the biggest thing I would've changed is to train more. 

What was your biggest highlight of 2012?
My biggest highlight of 2012 was my 2nd place finish at Georgia. I was proud of myself because I came from last into the woods and fought my way to second on the last lap.

How was the competition in the Women's class in 2012?
The competition was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be! Those women don't just look fast, they are fast. They’re all in great shape. Learning to ride that pace was tough. 

What do you think it will be like in 2013 now that Traci Cecco has retired?
I think it will definitely be different. She’s done such great things for this sport and she is such a great role model. I felt like she took me under her wing this year. She always gave me pointers and encouragement. I think Traci will always be involved in this sport one way or another. I feel like the next generation of Women racers, myself included, will have some pretty big boots to fill.

What are your plans for 2013?
I was lucky enough to be asked to ride for Dave Bayless Motorsports/DC Cycles with my teammate Brycen Neal and I’ll still be on a Honda. I’m looking forward to the new program and I love my new bikes. My plan is to race both the GNCC and MAXC Series. I also plan to race some local races at the WEXCR and OXCR Series. In addition to racing I’ll be on a strict training program. 

What do you hope to accomplish in 2013?
My 2013 goal is to be the Women's Class Champion. I would also like to try to grab an overall podium finish. I would be lying if I didn't say that I want the #201 plate. I know that's a lot to ask for but a girl can dream can't she?  (laughs)

Yeah, you never know what’s going to happen! What advice would you give to an aspiring Women's racer?
My advice would be to dream big. Always appreciate the ones who've helped you along the way. Be a good role model, and most of all ride a lot and train hard. Remember that goals take time to reach.

Alright, before we wrap this up, who would you like to thank? 
First of all I'd like to give a huge thanks to my dad. He has put a lot of time, money, and effort into getting me to where I am today. Dave and Angie Bayless for believing in me and helping me out so much this year. DC Cycles, David Crane for building great engines and all of his support. Chad Walters at Get It Performance for being a great mentor, teacher, and cheerleader. Josh at Dirtworks for a taking me in and setting me up with an awesome suspension program. Chris Neal for always having faith in me and helping me out. Austin Parks at Spider Graphix for by far the sickest graphics out there. Rob Gilliand at All Pro Nutrition for keeping me healthy and on top of my game. Big and Little Pat McGuire at Tireballs for no flats all year and a lot of hard work. All my upcoming 2013 sponsors: Maxxis, Fly Racing, Arai, Rekluse, Leatt, and everyone on board for this season. A special thanks to Rick Henthorn for hauling my bike to every race and giving us a place to work on our bike. Brent Church for the awesome fabrication work. I'd also like to thank my previous years sponsors: Santo DeRisi, Hendershot Performance, Team Woodhead, Moose, GBC, HMF, Spider Grips, Rath, Fasst Co, HiPer, G4 Graphics, Quadtech, RPM, GPR, Twin Air, Wiesco, IMS, and Powermadd. 

GNCC Racing is a family sport and I'd like to thank some special families and individuals that have helped me along the way. My Family, The Henthorn Family, The Neal Family, The McGill Family, The Bobb Family, The Wussick Family, The Nicewarner Family, The Walters Family, The Hesson Family, The Moore Family, The Johnson Family, The Gorrell Family, The Wilkin Family, The Church Family,The Gilliand Family, The Wood Family, The Get It Crew, Adam McGill, Johnny Gallagher, Traci and Jeff Pickens, Dave Simmons,  Amy McConnell, Ken Hill, Digital Dave, and all of the people out there cheering me on. I appreciate you all.