GNCC Racing

Tuesday Toolbox: Jesse Ansley

Tuesday Toolbox: Jesse Ansley

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 | 12:25 PM
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 | 12:25 PM

Jesse Ansley had a stellar 2014 season in the 85 (12-13) ranks winning 11 races in a row before an injury sidelined him from the final two races. However, it was still good enough to come away with the class championship. We caught up with Jesse to talk about his 2014 season, plans for 2015 and more. How's everything going today?
Jesse Ansley: My day is going good. Trying to stay motivated and have a positive attitude while my leg is healing. 

How’s your off-season so far?
My off-season hasn’t been as productive as I’d like to see it. Not being able to row or spin has held me back so I’ve been able to do some alternative upper body training. We’re concentrating on building our Supermini bike for the 2015 GNCC series. 

Ansley has been dealing with a leg injury, but will be back in 2015 to race the Supermini bike class
Ansley has been dealing with a leg injury, but will be back in 2015 to race the Supermini bike class Photo: Ken Hill

What about the leg? How's that healing up?
The leg is coming along slowly. Really wish it would’ve healed faster. In the last 2 months I’ve had 2 casts and a couple weeks ago I got put into an air boot that I take off and on throughout the day. The doctor gave me the okay to start rowing and spinning on the stationary bike again, thank God! I have 2 more weeks in the air boot until I go in for my check-up. 

So tell us how your 2014 season went. 
The 2014 season, wow, were do I even start? It was probably the best season I’ve had in my racing career. Winning my first Youth Overall at round 1 was absolutely amazing, I couldn’t have asked for a better way to kick off the 2014 season. Round 2 in Georgia was the closest race I had all year running 2nd until the last lap. From there on I won every race leading up to the summer break. I was able to wrap up the 85 (12-13) Championship by Snowshoe. During summer break I trained and rode in preparation to achieve my goal of placing top 10 overall at the last 4 rounds. At Unadilla I won my class and got 5th overall. I felt like I rode 10 times harder than at Snowshoe. 2 weeks later at the Pennsylvania race, I won my class and got 2nd overall. There I felt like I rode 10 times better than at Unadilla. I proved to myself that I was improving every race, getting better and better. Unfortunately my 2014 season had to come to a halt after Pennsylvania. I broke my tibia and fibula between round 11 and 12 racing a local series race which was also an AMA National Hare Scrambles race in Bartow, Florida. Winning 11 national races in a row was outstanding and was a really cool accomplishment.  

And how did it feel to come away with the class championship?
It felt really amazing to come away with my 2nd GNCC championship. A lot of blood, sweat, and tears go into my racing and it feels so good when it all pays off. I also placed 9th overall in the Youth rankings which was another cool accomplishment. I can’t wait to run a single digit number for next year’s season!

Ansley is excited to get start up on the front row with some older competition
Ansley is excited to get start up on the front row with some older competition Photo: Ken Hill

When the season started, did you expect to win?
When we start any series regardless how big or small, our drive, our intention is for the win. But we have to be reasonable and understand that at any given moment the littlest thing could go wrong. So we focus on being prepared.  

So coming from Florida, most of the races probably require a good bit of travel time for you?
Are you kidding me?! Just to get out of FL it is 4 ½ hours. (laughs) But yeah, a lot of travel time for us. To go to a race our average drive time is about 18 hours plus. Traveling in our Haulmark motorcoach is a lot easier than normal but it’s still traveling. The Dunlap family was gracious enough to let us keep our motorcoach at their house so we could save time and money flying back and forth around the last 2 before summer break. Then after summer break George and DJ at Pro-Action allowed us to leave our motorcoach at the Pro-Action world headquarters in Beaver Falls, PA. I’m always amazed how helpful our racing family is and how much they support me.

Everyone drives a lot but how do you stay entertained on such long drives?
I usually sit in the passenger seat sometimes and give directions. But if someone else is I just do my school work and when I’m caught up I play video games on my phone. I just try to make it as fun as I can. Going to a race is probably more boring since I’m hydrating and trying to rest up for the race. On the way home it isn’t so bad. I’m usually busy editing my videos or sleeping.   

So what are your plans for 2015?
My plan for 2015 is to race Supermini (14-15). I’m really excited to race the front row with all the older kids. My biggest plan though is to stay safe because you can’t win races if you’re not healthy.    

Winning the Supermini class is Ansley's goal for the 2015 season
Winning the Supermini class is Ansley's goal for the 2015 season Photo: Ken Hill

What do you hope to accomplish in 2015?
Actually I have a couple things going on. First, we have our local. But the local series now has conflicting dates with GNCC’s. Now that I’ve missed so many FTR races I really have to focus on doing well at the GNCC’s. Winning the Supermini (14-15) class will be the goal for 2015. The Youth overall would be awesome but for now I’m just going to focus on being consistent next year.    

And what about beyond? What do you hope to accomplish in the next few years
I’m going to continue my education, graduating in the next 3-4 years. Being smart and clever is another key to going fast. I really enjoy videoing at the races so I plan to keep doing that in the future. I’m not sure what I’m going to do after Supermini in GNCC’s. Currently I’m racing a KTM 125 locally in the Junior A class. 

What's it going to take to make that happen?
Staying healthy. Just like I said before, you can’t win races if you’re not healthy. Keeping the sport fun! I know so many kids that were super-fast and got burned out because all they did is work. Granted, you have to put the work in to become successful but at the same time you have to add some fun into the mix. We also need deeper sponsors on board. The faster we get the more expensive the racing becomes.  

Keep an eye out for a healthy Jesse Ansley in 2015!
Keep an eye out for a healthy Jesse Ansley in 2015! Photo: Ken Hill

Alright, before we wrap this up, who would you like to thank?
I’d like to thank TF Racing Suspension, they’re my biggest supporter.  They help me on and off the track to be a better person and help me with all my bikes. Jack O’neill at Action Kawasaki/KTM, he’s been really supportive with OEM parts and bikes. Steve Thomson Homes, Shane Watts with DirtWise Riding Schools. Lendon, Robert and the whole Seat Concepts group, Chris at IMS, FMF, Ronnie and DJ at HBD Graphx, Nick and Jenn at MSR gear, Fastway/Promoto Billet, George Pollard, Randy Faul, Pete Smith, The Dunlap family, Kurt at Florida Dirt bike for posting my videos, Cristyrae Fit, Dekdef Photos, G2 Photos, FTC, My Mom and Dad, My grandparents Tom and Ellen Fleming for letting me live at their house and taking me to all the races. Jen Kenyon for great interviews all year and the whole GNCC racing crew for putting on awesome events, and last but not least Jared Bolton for giving me the opportunity to do this interview.