GNCC Racing

KR4 Tackles The Tennessee Knockout Enduro

Friday, August 29, 2014 | 11:35 AM

Over the weekend, KR4 Performance sent out a small detachment to contest the 4th Annual Tennessee Knockout Extreme Enduro in Sequatchie, Tennessee. Nick Davis, along with his father Bill and Team Manager Fred Andrews carried the KR4 banner at this increasingly popular event held at the legendary Trials Training Center. The TKO had record turn out this year, with both racers and spectators flocking to the rugged, wet terrain to get a chance to see the racing action up close and personal.

What makes the TKO so alluring is its incredibly difficult terrain. The racecourse is strewn with rocks, tree roots, steep climbs, and slick creek beds. This landscape is difficult enough on trials motorcycles, but when dirt bikes are added to the mix, TKO delivers the perfect recipe for carnage for the riders and excitement for the spectators.

Nick Davis made his way through the Tennessee Knockout Enduro ending up finishing in the 13th position.
Nick Davis made his way through the Tennessee Knockout Enduro ending up finishing in the 13th position. Photo: Courtesy of KR4

KR4’s Nick Davis made his second visit to the Knockout with the goal of making Sunday’s 15-rider Pro main event. The field is always stacked, and missing out on last year’s main and having to watch was not fun for Nick - he was ready for some redemption!

The Tennessee Knockout is made up of a three-race “knockout” format to narrow down the large turnout into the 15-rider field. Some rounds are raced against the clock, while others are designed for direct head-to-head elimination.

Round One is a short course, single-lap race against the clock to determine starting position for the second round. All the competitors make it out of Round One, but with bottle-necks eminent, a good gate pick for Round Two is essential. Nick finished 20th on the hot lap, which was an OK time after a small tip-over.

Round Two is a 10 mile race with the first few miles being more open and fast like a GNCC. The course then takes a turn for the worse and heads into the boulder-covered Tennessee mountains. Nick had a cleaner run in this race and finished 13th, advancing to the next race.

Round 3 is the final elimination round before the Main Event. This race featured the remaining 25 contestants with 5 riders per-row, per-minute racing each other. The top 3 riders from each row make it to the Main, while the other 2 are forced to join the spectators.

In order to get the most possible traction, the decision was made for Nick to run the softest tire set up available, as TKO is less about speed and more about picking good lines through the treacherous rock gardens.

Davis was running in 7th place until the water fall section. 
Davis was running in 7th place until the water fall section.  Photo: Courtesy of KR4

Heavy rain started just after the rows took off. Nick moved his way into the lead of his row and looked to be on his way to a race win when his mousse insert came apart, allowing his tire to come off the rim at the water fall section. Thinking quickly, Fred told Nick to go back to the KR4 pits for a wheel change. Fred and Bill Davis ran back to the pits with Nick in tow. Nick took off his wheel and Bill had the spare wheel of a KR4 backup bike ready to go. With only a little time lost, Nick went back to the water falls and went right up it!

Luck was on Nick’s side, as the rest of his row was stuck on a tough climb strewn with riders. With the fresh Maxxis SI on his bike, Nick shot right up the hill past all the other riders that were stuck and into the main event!

The rain continued to come down in buckets, forcing the promoters to cut out most of the big hill climbs and shorten the Main Event to 5 laps. But on the last lap, all competitors had to tackle the now-soggy water fall climb.

Nick got off to a decent start and moved into 7th. He was riding a good race, and it looked like he would stay in 7th until the end. But when he got to the water fall section on the final lap, every passible line was full of stuck bikes and struggling riders; Cody Webb was the only rider to make it through! Nick was Mr. Nice Guy and dropped his bike to assist Grant Baylor to the top, helping Grant finish 3rd. Unfortunately, no one would return the favor for Nick, and he had to wait for the rest of the bikes to clear. He ended up 13th for the day.

At the end of the day, all of us at KR4 were proud of Nick’s performance. Fred Andrews commented, “We are happy that Nick made the Main Event, as that was our #1 goal for the weekend. We finished better and better as the qualifying races progressed, and we were looking forward to a solid result. In the end, the Water Falls cost us 7th, but I guess Nick gets the Good Samaritan award for helping out Grant [Baylor].”