GNCC Racing

Tuesday Toolbox: Nick Eichelberger

Tuesday Toolbox: Nick Eichelberger

Tuesday, March 3, 2015 | 1:10 PM
Tuesday, March 3, 2015 | 1:10 PM

Nick Eichelberger put together an impressive 2014 season to come away with the 4x4-C class title. With the championship under his belt, Nick has his eyes set on the 4x4-A/B class in 2015. We caught up with Nick to talk about his 2014 season, plans for 2015 and more. How's it going today?
Nick Eichelberger: It’s going pretty good. Going to finalize some things for the trip to Georgia after class. Between working, farming, and school it is sometimes hard to find the time to work on the bike.

Tell everyone a little about yourself.
I’m 26 years old and a full-time student at Shippensburg University where I’m studying Geography/Land-Use and I’ll be graduating this summer. I also work part time at a local farm equipment dealer and run my family farm. My dad passed away in 2008, so I took over the farming duties and raise some beef cows and some crops.

Good Luck to Nick in this 2015 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series presented by Maxxis.
Good Luck to Nick in this 2015 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series presented by Maxxis. Photo: Ken Hill

How did you get started racing?
I got my first quad when I was 13 or 14 and my friends and I rode every single weekend. I went to a few races to watch and eventually decided to try it when I was 16. Ever since then I’ve been hooked!

What attracted you to the 4x4 side of things?
I hurt my back racing in 2009 and gave it up for a few years. In 2012 I bought a Can-Am 4x4 and decided to give 4x4 racing a shot. After my first race on the 4x4, I fell in love with racing all over again!

What makes racing a 4x4 so much different in your eyes?
To me, it is a completely different ball game than the sport bikes. Everything is different. From bike prep to actually racing them. I like the 4x4 a lot better because it is still somewhat new to me. The 4x4 scene is much smaller than the sport bike scene. Last year I knew almost everyone in my class on a personal level along with many guys in the other 4x4 classes. It’s a pretty tight knit group of guys and they all help each other, it is pretty awesome!

Nick won the 4x4 C championship in 2014, and will move onto the 4x4 A/B class for this coming GNCC season
Nick won the 4x4 C championship in 2014, and will move onto the 4x4 A/B class for this coming GNCC season Photo: Facebook

You had a pretty stellar 2014 season. How'd it go?
It went great! I went into it planning to only do a handful of races. Well the stars aligned and between numerous weddings and farming I was able to make it to 9 races to be eligible for a title. I ended the season winning 8 of the 9 races I entered. I had an incident in the first turn at Ironman and it knocked me out of contention for the win.

How did it feel to come away with the 4x4 C title?
It felt great and it really boosted my confidence on the 4x4 and got me even more pumped for the upcoming season. The jacket is pretty sweet too (laughs)

At the beginning of the season, did you expect to come away with the championship?
No, not at all. Going in to the 2014 season I only planned on doing a few races. Things fell together over time and I was able to run 9 races and secure the championship.

Have you been doing much training for the 2015 season?
I actually haven’t ridden since Ironman. I’ve been doing a lot of running, mountain biking, and gym workouts. It definitely isn’t ideal but given my hectic schedule, it’s what I have to work with.

Nick will be running a Can-Am Renegade in the 4x4 A/B class
Nick will be running a Can-Am Renegade in the 4x4 A/B class Photo: Ken Hill

So what are your plans for 2015?
For 2015 I’ll be running my Can-Am Renegade in the 4x4 A/B class. I know the class will be stacked this year and I’ll have my work cut out for me. Hopefully we can run up front and be a contender for the top spot.

What do you hope to accomplish in 2015?
For 2015 I want to focus on strong finishes and being consistent. Being in good physical shape is only part of the equation. The mental part is also important, like picking good lines, riding smart, and being conservative during the 2 hour race. I also want to work on promoting my sponsors. I’ve honestly never done much with sponsors before, so this is all new to me but I want to promote them and endorse them as much as possible.

What about beyond 2015? What do you hope to accomplish in the future?
I would like to eventually go to 4x4 Pro. Depending on how things go this season will determine where I go from here. The 4x4 Pro guys are crazy fast, I’d love the opportunity to line up against them in 2016! I graduate college this summer so hopefully my new job will allow me to keep racing a full schedule.

Alright before we wrap this up, who would you like to thank?
I have to thank my friends and family first. They’re all really supportive of me and what I do. My mom is always there for me to support me and help me follow my dreams. She also looks after the farm while I travel on race weekends. My friends Steve, Dane, and Rob are also a big help. From helping in the pits to traveling with me to the races, they are always there. I’d also like to thank my girlfriend Jess, she is very understanding when it comes to my schedule. From racing to farming, she helps me keep my schedule straight and is always there to support me. Finally I’d like to thank all my sponsors for this year: Fly Racing, FCR Suspension, Spider Graphix, GBC tires, Maxima Oils, ROX Speed FX, Rath Racing, Vanilla Gorilla Racing, and a big shout out to John at Evans Waterless Coolant.