GNCC Racing

Tuesday Toolbox: Treavis Poynter

Tuesday Toolbox: Treavis Poynter

Tuesday, May 19, 2015 | 11:00 AM
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 | 11:00 AM

Treavis Poynter seems to be a newcomer to the GNCC UTV series, yet he holds the points lead over the likes of current champion Kyle Chaney and former multi-time champ, William Yokely. catches up with Treavis to find out who he is and where he came from! Hey Treavis! What are you doing this very moment?
Treavis Poynter: I just pulled in to my home in Marietta, OH about an hour ago and I am unloading and starting to clean up my UTVs. Been driving all night and seems like there is a lot of work ahead of me so I can go do it all over again!

No kidding?! 
Yeah. I went out to Moab, Utah for the Rally on the Rocks UTV Rally. It took almost 2 days to get out there, 2 days back, and a day and a half of riding in between! We were going to do more riding, but there was rain. Not that we minded, but the guides kept apologizing. We didn’t care in the least! It was so beautiful out there. It was amazing! And the trails were insane. We had a variety of cliff climbs, fast trails, slow trails. Everything. It was so worth the drive! I’d go tomorrow if it weren’t for work! 

That’s pretty cool! Getting some practice in for this weekend’s race in Masontown, I suppose?
Definitely! We’re coming into it with the points lead and I’d like to keep it that way!

Treavis just returned from a trip out to Moah, Utah!
Treavis just returned from a trip out to Moah, Utah! Photo: Heather Avery

Well, here’s the truth Treavis. It took Rodney and I until late last season to even pronounce your name correctly as we announced the UTV races! Sorry about that, but you were new to us! We hadn't seen you, didn't know where you came from, and then you were a front-runner battling with the best of the best. Take me through it. Where did you come from?
No worries! I’m pretty thrilled that you've needed to learn my name. I come from a motocross background. I started racing when I was 4, did District 11 races, went to Loretta’s and was pretty competitive. But I ended up breaking 13 bones in a 9 month span. It wasn't worth it to me anymore. Then, my buddy Kyle Chaney invited me to ride along with him in a UTV race. Once I did that, I realized I needed a cage! I bought a ragged out Polaris 800 for $3,500 bucks and went to the Ironman GNCC in 2011. Been coming back ever since.

How did you do in that first race ever?
I was doing great. I was running top 3 in the Limited class, which back then, was 800cc and below. I remember just going all out on that last lap and tagging a tree half a mile from the finish. I broke a tie rod with that hit and had to be towed out of the woods. So officially, it was a DNF.

That’s a pretty common mistake for UTV drivers. It seems those trees jump out and find the weak spots on a machine, which for the UTVs, is the steering system.
Oh yeah! And that was what I had to learn. I had to retrain myself from the motocross mentality. In moto, we go flat out for 30 minutes. Well, in UTV racing, your equipment isn't going to take that kind of driving. You have to be smart. That’s been the biggest learning curve for me. I've had to learn how to drive within the limits of the machine and make the most of an hour on the track.

After riding along with Kyle Chaney, Treavis quickly realized that he wanted to give UTV racing a shot and started racing in 2011.
After riding along with Kyle Chaney, Treavis quickly realized that he wanted to give UTV racing a shot and started racing in 2011. Photo: Ken Hill

So what happened after 2011?
I got some support from Marietta Polaris and jumped up to the XC1 class. In Georgia, we didn't fare so well and came home with an 8th place. But in South Carolina, we made the podium with a 3rd place. That was the right direction and I knew I could do it. But then I DNFed the next race. Again, I had to learn to drive within the limits of the machine and think long term instead of having the “Ricky Bobby – if you ain’t first you’re last” mentality. I think I finished 6th or 7th for the season. The next couple years were learning years, let’s say that!

Right! But if I recall, you did end up on the podium last year?
Yeah, it was John Penton. I got 2nd, but still struggled with putting a whole race together through the end of the season.

Well this is a whole new year, a whole new Treavis Poynter! What happened over the off season?
Pat McGuire reached out to me the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and asked if I would drive the Off Road Motorsports #591, which is in honor of his son, “Little Pat McGuire.” I was pretty stoked. I immediately called all my sponsors and asked if they would go into this with me and they did. This is the best team ever. I finally have the support that I need. Pat takes care of everything. I just drive! I’ve always thought that if I had the support, then I could make the center of the podium. I did just that at the opening round.

Congratulations on the Georgia win! You almost did it again in South Carolina, but Kyle Chaney snuck in there at the last instant!
And there’s my biggest challenge; Kyle Chaney! I’ve known him for a long time and he can drive. He has the support, the mechanic, he has the right program and he can win on any given weekend. I’d like to keep him in my rear view mirror and not watching his taillights. I think this weekend we will be starting on the same row and that’s going to help. I won’t have to worry about time adjustment. We can just race!

Treavis started the season with a win at The General, and a second place at Big Buck. 
Treavis started the season with a win at The General, and a second place at Big Buck.  Photo: Ken Hill

Treavis, you’re off to a great start. We wish you well. I promise Rodney and I will pronounce your name correctly! Who would you like to thank?
[Laughs] Thanks! I’d like to thank the team and everyone behind me. Wicked Bilt, Off-Road Motorsports, Crash Addict Industries, Can Am, GBC Motorsports, Driven Steering, Alba Racing, OMF Performance, Custom Axis, Factory UTV, VP Racing Fuels, Tire Balls, DH1, Ripped Vinyl, Capital Powdercoating and Yor Health.

Great job, Treavis. We’ll see you in Masontown.
Looking forward to it!