GNCC Racing

Tuesday Toolbox: Zach Davidson

Tuesday Toolbox: Zach Davidson

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 | 10:35 AM
Tuesday, December 12, 2017 | 10:35 AM

Despite being a relatively young 15 years old, this championship marks Zachary Davidson’s fourth GNCC championship. The rider from Iron Station, North Carolina is also the 2017 Youth National Champion. I caught up with Zach just after he accepted his award at the GNCC banquet to talk about his season, a recent knee injury, and his plans for next year, which include an Amateur support, ride with Husqvarna USA. Husky’s goal is to mentor Zack and provide him with all the tools he needs to get to the pro level. And that is something that Zach and his family is very excited about. We look forward to hearing more about this young man in the years to come. Congrats on winning the youth overall! How long have you been doing the GNCC series?
Zachary Davidson: I’ve been doing them since I was probably about 12. It was back when I was on 65s. We ran the series starting in 2014, but did a few in 2012, here and there, just to get the feel of it to see how I would do later on. We ended up loving it, so we kept on doing them.

And how did you get started riding in the first place?
My uncle and my dad rode. When I got home from the hospital after I was born, my dad put me on his bike and rode me around. I guess I just fell in love from there. You could say it runs in the family. He ended up getting me a quad to start out on when I was two. I rode that for a little while, until I was big enough to get a dirt bike.

Zach had a successful 2017 season, claiming the Youth National Championship!
Zach had a successful 2017 season, claiming the Youth National Championship! Ken Hill

Will you still be eligible to ride the Supermini class next year, or do you plan to move up to a big bike class?
I’ll be moving up big bikes. I’m moving to the 200 A class.

What bike will you be competing on next season?
I actually have a factory-supported amateur ride with Rockstar Husqvarna lined up for next year, and will be riding their TC125cc.

Sounds like there’s a lot of exciting stuff in your future next year! Looks like you’re a little bit broken right now though. What’s up?
I was racing the Full Gas at Big Buck and I ended up hitting a stump. It threw me into a tree and twisted my leg around. It sounds like I tore my MCL, but I’ve only got three more weeks until I can be back on a bike! 

Glad to hear you’re almost healed up. Those knee injuries are no fun and I feel your pain on that one. Anyway, can you take me through your season this year?
There were some ups and downs but it all worked out in the end! I started off good, getting a couple wins. Then I ended up blowing my motor up at X Factor. After that I had to use the motor out of the practice bike for a while until I could get my race bike rebuilt. That was a little challenging. At Steele Creek we had some bike issues too. The grip on the throttle side kept slipping, so we ended up having to make a pit stop so my dad could throw a zip-tie on it. Even with all that trouble which put me two minutes down, I was still able to come from behind and take the win on the last lap. Goes to show you that it’s not over until you see the checkered flag! I won a couple more races later on, which was good. Mountaineer Run was another frustrating round. A rock got kicked up into the case and all the oil leaked out. Grenaded the transmission but I rebounded and won the next couple of rounds. I fell off the pace a little at the end, but I was able to do what I needed to do to get the points. Then at Ironman I actually ran the big bike in 200 A to see what the three hour was going to be like next season. I think I like it a lot better than in the minis! 

Steele Creek serves as a bit of a home race for Zach and was one of his most impressive rides of the 2017 season!
Steele Creek serves as a bit of a home race for Zach and was one of his most impressive rides of the 2017 season! Ken Hill

That’s definitely good news for you as you get ready to move into the longer race full-time next year. Of the races this season, which one would you say was the most memorable?
Probably Steele Creek. It’s basically my hometown. It’s where my mom grew up and that mountainous area is a place where I’ve ridden a lot. There were so many people that knew me there, and then we had the issues with the throttle, but coming in on the last lap with my dad saying I was only 8 seconds down, I remember everybody cheering me on and it was just an awesome feeling! I felt like a pro coming through the checkered flag because there were so many people there cheering for me. 

Speaking of feeling like a pro, what are your plans for the future as far as racing is concerned?
For starters, hopefully I can get to know some of the pro riders better since I’ll be a part of the Rockstar Husqvarna team. I hope to win 200 A or at least get better so I can move up to tougher classes and get more support as time goes on. 

Sounds like a good strategy! Okay, this is going to be a hard one… can you tell me something about yourself that is not motorcycle-related?
Yeah, that is a hard one… [pauses, then smiles] I like pogo sticking, does that count? 

Yep, that qualifies! Now, who would you like to thank?
I would like to thank Husqvarna for the great opportunity next season, and all of my sponsors from this season: Bryan Easler Toyota, Davis Trim Shop, Chad Davis, Wrightcut, Neeley Racing, Robby Neeley, Danny Littlejohn, Littlejohn Cycle, Jimmy Littlejohn, Ohlins, Palmer Motorsports, Husqvarna of the Carolinas, Ape Graphics/APlus Embroidery, CarbSport, WRP, FXR, Ferrado, Raines Riding University, and our Iron Station clan the Rust family, the Gross family, the Zimpel family, the Coffey family, and God for keeping me safe.

Zach has landed a support ride with Rockstar Husqvarna for the 2018 season. Congrats Zach!
Zach has landed a support ride with Rockstar Husqvarna for the 2018 season. Congrats Zach! Ken Hill