GNCC Racing

Tuesday Toolbox: Tom Koontz

Tuesday Toolbox: Tom Koontz

Tuesday, September 9, 2014 | 2:05 PM
Tuesday, September 9, 2014 | 2:05 PM

Tom Koontz started out the 2014 season with a 3rd place in the XC2 Pro-Am class. With solid rides throughout the season, Koontz has his eyes set on the podium again in the final 3 rounds. We caught up with Tom to find out more. How's it going today?

Tom Koontz: Oh it's going great!

So are you all recovered from Unadilla?

Yes, I actually am. I have everything cleaned up and put away and the bike is ready to be gone over to prep for Somerset.

Tom Koontz started his 2014 GNCC season off with a podium finish at Mud Mucker.
Tom Koontz started his 2014 GNCC season off with a podium finish at Mud Mucker. Photo: Ken Hill

How did the race go for you?

Unadilla went pretty well. I got off to a bad start, as some one got turned around in front of me, so I started from the back and worked my way up from there. I made it up to 7th and then fell back for a couple of laps. On the last lap I made a run at it and came up a couple seconds behind 7th in 8th position.

Is there anything you would like to have done different?

I rode a decent race but I made a couple of mistakes which cost me some time, and that ended up costing me a couple of positions. 

What did you do over the summer break?

I worked a lot over the summer. I did some riding and worked out but mostly I worked. I had to go to China on a work trip for a week and a half in the beginning of August. That was a different experience. I don't really think they do much ATV racing over there though (laughs)

Koontz had his best races were the first two in Florida and Georgia.
Koontz had his best races were the first two in Florida and Georgia. Photo: Ken Hill

What has been the biggest highlight of your season so far?

I would say that I have had two major highlights this season. First, in the off season, actually the week between Florida and Georgia, I signed a deal that we had been working on all winter for myself and the Big Nutz Racing Team with the Loctite company. This has turned out to be a great partnership for both side Big Nutz Racing has been very excited to promote the great Loctite products like their popular thread locker line, along with some products that you may not have know like their aerosol cleaners and their extensive line of adhesives. 

The second highlight was going to Florida on a completely different bike than I have rode in the past (a Yamaha) with basically no time on it and put in a great 11th place overall finish and a third place podium finish in the Pro-Am class. This was a great start to the season and a huge confidence booster.

What do you hope to accomplish in the final 3 rounds?

I hope to get back on the podium at least once out of the last three races. I really like the rocks at Somerset and how could anyone not like Ironman and the huge crowds there.

What's it going to take to make that happen?

I'm going to have to put my head down and train really hard. I didn't have the time to train over the summer like I usually do so I think I went to Unadilla a step slow but I have been on the mountain running every day since and I'll be ready for Somerset.

Koontz is hoping to step up on the podium again before the end of the 2014 season.
Koontz is hoping to step up on the podium again before the end of the 2014 season. Photo: Ken Hill

What is the competition in the XC2 class like?

The competition is pretty tough this year. Cole is on a whole other level and Marshal is not far behind, but the 3rd and 4th positions are usually a hard fought battle between Randy, Marty, Fred, and myself. The four of us have been battling it out on the track this year and makes it that much more fun knowing there are always going to be at least three other guys out there to race with week in and week out.

Do you have any plans for 2015 yet?

I've been working hard to set some new things up this summer for next season with my current sponsors and some new outside sponsors. Nothing is firmed up yet but when it is I will be sure to let everyone know.

What do you hope to accomplish in 2015?

I hope that in 2015 I can be in the top three in the class, win a pro am race, and finish with a top twenty overall number. I will have been on the Yamaha for a year by then and will have the bugs worked out of my program so that end should be solid and I have shown this year that I have the speed, so I just need to put it all together and with a little luck I should have a solid season.

What about beyond 2015?

I'm not looking past 2015 yet. I want to focus on next season, have a solid season and then we'll go on from there.

Alright, before we wrap this up, who would you like to thank?

There are many people that help make my racing happen. First, I would to thank my dad, without all the help that he has given me over the years I definitely would not be where I am. Next, I want to thank my fiancée, I spend a lot of time in the shop, working on the bike, and she is always very supportive. I want to thank Loctite and Lobar Construction for all the help and support that they have given me this year. I would like to thank BNR Motorsports for their great suspension and awesome service and the Big Nutz race team for all the help and the fun that we have at every race. I also want to thank GBC Tires, HMF, IQ, Brechbill Automotive and Denny Brechbill for all the help he has given me, Fastenal Company, Moto Pro Training, Houser, Kelsey Springs, Power Madd, T&M Masonry, Cheaster Vet Clinic, Caledonia Powersports and X Country Photos.