GNCC Racing

Tuesday Toolbox: Kacy Martinez

Tuesday Toolbox: Kacy Martinez

Tuesday, August 25, 2015 | 2:35 PM
Tuesday, August 25, 2015 | 2:35 PM

Kacy Martinez clinched her second WXC class Championship at Snowshoe, having won 8 out of 9 races! checks in on the two-time Champion to see how the summer training program is coming along and to see how she did at the Jack Pine Enduro this past weekend! Hi Kacy! Congratulations on your second GNCC Championship!
Kacy Martinez: Thank you! This has been a fun year. I’ve enjoyed coming back and defending my previous championship. It’s been awesome to be on top throughout the year. There were some great battles earlier in the season. My competitors have really stepped it up, so it felt good to wrap things up early!

This is your third year racing the series, right?
Yeah, in 2013, I was on a support ride with RPM KTM. Antti Kallonen (KTM Team Manager) thought it would be a good idea for me to come east and race the GNCCs. That was Maria Forsberg-Hahn’s last season. She’s a few years older than me and I’d always looked up to her as I was coming through the ranks. It was a cool experience to race in this series with her and to actually beat her at one race!

You live on the west coast, right?
Yes, I live in northern California.

Kacy wrapped up her second consecutive WXC class title at Snowshoe.
Kacy wrapped up her second consecutive WXC class title at Snowshoe. Photo: Ken Hill

So let’s back up for a minute. It’s a huge commitment to go back and forth in order to race this series. What actually got you into racing?
My dad! He was invited once to go riding with some friends. They went to an area that he used to hunt, so he said he would go along and do some exploring. They set him up on a Yamaha Fat Cat, if you know what those are. But he came back and said we are all getting into it!

That’s an awesome way to start! How old were you then?
I was 8 and my dad got me a PW80. We used to load up as a family and go to the local riding parks for the weekend. We always had a lot of fun, even as we got into racing.

So how did the racing come about?
We just started doing some local hare scrambles and then some District 36 races. I was getting pretty good about the time the East/West Shootout in 2008, I think? It was after that we started racing WORCS series.

While making the trip from California for each GNCC event seems like a tall order, Kacy takes it like the champ that she is and uses Saturday morning to rest before racing on Sunday.
While making the trip from California for each GNCC event seems like a tall order, Kacy takes it like the champ that she is and uses Saturday morning to rest before racing on Sunday. Photo: Ken Hill

You already mentioned 4 time GNCC Women’s Champ, Maria Forsberg, and said you looked up to her. She is also west coast, so I assume you two rode together at some WORCS races?
We did, but she was Women’s Pro and I was racing Women’s A Class at the time. Still, she was really fast and I got to know her a little bit. I kept working and gaining speed. I ended up racing Women’s Pro before coming to the GNCCs.

What’s it like living in California and racing the East Coast GNCCs?
There’s a lot of travel! I usually fly out on Friday morning and the flights are really long. I land Friday evening just before dark, go to the hotel, get some dinner and then some sleep. I’m not usually too affected by the time change because I’m tired from all the travel. I’ll get some good rest Friday night, sleep in a little bit Saturday morning and then off to the track. I enjoy Saturday at the track, catching up with people. It’s usually pretty relaxed. I’ll walk the start and the first couple miles and then we have a team dinner Saturday night. It’s so nice to hang out with my teammates at the track and not have to go to a restaurant! This is new for the KTM program and I really enjoy it.

Kacy's mechanic, Allen Gravitt, brings years of valuable racing experience to the table.
Kacy's mechanic, Allen Gravitt, brings years of valuable racing experience to the table. Photo: Ken Hill

We understand you just made an east coast trip during the summer break?
Yes! I just got back from the Jack Pine Enduro. I flew out to Michigan this past weekend to compete. It was my second enduro ever, but my first National Enduro. I had raced an ISDE Qualifier in Idaho and that was even a little bit different from a National Enduro. This was a cool event to go to. It was the 90th running of the Jack Pine, so a lot of history!

How did it go?
It was a great experience! My mechanic, Allen Gravitt, was there along with the FMF KTM team, truck and bikes. I had all the support needed and it was good to see everybody. It’s a very different form of racing. It’s strange lining up on rows with people that aren’t in your class. Aside from the top guys, no one really knew how they were doing overall until the very end. I was on row 25 and some of my competitors were back on row 75 or 85. It was hard to judge. I did win the Women’s Class, so I accomplished what I set out to do!

What did you think of the breaks between tests?
That was awkward. I’m so used to a 2-hour format and going all out. It was different to sprint and then take it easy through the transfers and then wait it out for the start for the next section. I would fix goggles, talk with my teammates, eat a power bar, drink water. It was good! It was a learning experience. I was glad my mechanic, Allen, was there. He used to race the enduros and had valuable advice for me. He said the Jack Pine used to be 200 miles back when he did it. I couldn’t imagine! I don’t think I could have done that. (laughs)

Congratulations on your win! We, the GNCC Racin’ Nation, are very proud of you! What’s next on your summer agenda?
Well, thank you! I’m looking forward to getting back to the GNCCs, which will be here before you know it! So I’m training and riding as much as I can. I want to finish the season strong. I’m excited to get back at it!

So are we! And you are right, it will be here before we know it. What advice do you have for young riders looking to make this a career, as you have?
Have fun! Remember why you started riding. It was about having fun with your friends and family. Don’t make it too hard on yourself either on or off the bike. For me, this has always been a family affair and it has brought us closer together. My parents still fly with me to many of the GNCCs and are a big part of my program. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for them! 

Great advice! Thank you for taking time with us today. We will see you at Unadilla. Who would you like to thank?
I’d like to thank the whole FMF/KTM factory Racing team and my mechanic, Allen Gravitt. Also, I have some personal sponsors who stand behind me and support what I do: MotoSport, LipZipz Lip Balm, Bell Helmets, Leatt, Thor, Oakley and Sidi. Thanks to my boyfriend Travis Coy for supporting and riding with me every day! And especially my parents, I can’t thank them enough!