David Quillen, commonly known as DQ, is a racer and mechanic from Indiana. He has never raced the full GNCC series himself, but has attended them as a mechanic for various pro riders, most recently for Thad Duvall last season. At the X-Factor GNCC, he snagged a podium in his first-ever time racing the FMF XC3 125 Pro-Am class.
GNCCRacing.com: Nice job on the XC3 class podium! Did you enjoy the race at all, as rough and muddy as it was out there?
DQ: Those are my kind of races! I actually hadn’t raced a GNCC since the one at Mammoth in 2013 [which was a mudder very similar to the X-Factor]. As soon as I saw the forecast, I was like, “Yeah, it’s time to come out of retirement! As soon as I finished, I was already saying it’s time to go back into retirement!”
You mentioned the really muddy race at Mammoth – do you think the X-Factor was better or worse than that one was?
It was a different style. The mud at Mammoth was runny and soupy whereas the mud at the X-Factor was like a bottomless pit. You just went wherever you could and tried not to get stuck.
Since the FMF XC3 125 Pro-Am class is a new class this year, obviously you’ve never tried for the championship. But have you ever ran a full GNCC series in a different class?
I never have. I mean, I’ve been to the GNCCs for the past four or five years with different riders, but as far as myself chasing points, no. I’ll do one or two events a year, and that’s about it.
The most recent rider you’ve wrenched for was Thad Duvall – what was it like working with him?
It was fun. We got to do a lot of cool stuff. It’s good to see him back on a factory ride, I know how hard it is to try and do this as a privateer at his level. We always put in a lot of work and were excited to see him succeed against the factory boys, but I’m happy that he’s moving forward in his career.
One of the cool things you got to do with Thad was go to the International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) and help him out there. Tell me about it.
It was an absolute blast – probably the highlight of everything that we got to do! I always wanted to go do that race when I was younger. I realized that I’d probably never be able to pull it off as a rider, but to go as a mechanic for the three years I did, it was a lot of fun. It was tense and really stressful at times, especially this last year, but it’s cool that it all worked out and we finally won one. That’s awesome!
So right now you’re working at Spyke’s KTM, a motorcycle dealership and repair shop in Lafayette, Indiana. Did you always want to be a mechanic growing up or did it just kind of happen?
Well, as you would expect, I wanted to be a professional racer growing up. But I learned pretty early on that I was never going to make money riding dirt bikes, so making money working on them is the next best thing. It’s been pretty awesome, and it’s pretty incredible to see where I’ve actually taken this. It’s pretty wild to get to go and do all the things that I get to do, even being a mechanic at a shop. It’s not exactly a normal situation, which makes it pretty cool!
Speaking of that, did you start working on bikes about the same time that you started riding them?
I had minibikes as a kid, but I didn’t start racing until I was about 13. My dad was a good mechanic but didn’t ever want to do it unless he had to. I tore a lot of stuff up, so I learned pretty early on how to fix it.
Is your dad the one who got you into riding and racing?
Yeah, he raced back in the 70s, just local events. I always saw pictures and stuff and thought that it was really cool. He got me my first bike when I was younger, and it just went from there.
So, you were actually listed as a sponsor for one of our recent Tuesday Toolbox riders – Logan and Lucas Grounds. What precisely is DQ Tuned?
You know, I don’t know exactly… It’s kind of a running joke that I don’t have a website for it. There’s just a webpage and all it says is “DQ Tuned. Yeah, we don’t know what it means either.” (laughs)
[Fact check: yeah, that’s it. Here’s the hyperlink: http://dqtuned.com/]
Given the success of your FMF XC3 125 Pro-Am class debut, should we be expecting to see you at the Ironman this fall?
I actually plan on trying to make it to Snowshoe! I think that race would fit my style a little bit, and I think I’ll give it a go. That’s one race that I’ve always wanted to do, but I’ve always been working with other racers and never had the chance to race it. So, this year, since I’m not working with anybody, I plan to go race it and enjoy myself a little. It’ll be fun to see if I can land back up on the box again.
Well, we will definitely be keeping an eye out for you up on Snowshoe Mountain then! That pretty much wraps this interview up – is there anybody that you’d like to thank?
I’d like to thank all the Spyke’s KTM customers who bring me their bikes to work on so that I can afford to go ride my dirt bike.