GNCC Racing

Tuesday Toolbox: Devon Feehan

Tuesday Toolbox: Devon Feehan

Tuesday, September 17, 2019 | 3:00 PM
Tuesday, September 17, 2019 | 3:00 PM

Devon Feehan is a 19 year-old pro ATV rider from Windsor, New York – a mere 10 minutes from the Black Sky GNCC last weekend. Feehan has struggled with a shoulder injury all season, and was stoked to finally be back on the ATV just in time for his hometown race. He earned a respectable seventh overall finish, and had been as high as the top three during the early part of the race.

Devon Feehan grabbed the holeshot at the John Penton GNCC in Ohio.
Devon Feehan grabbed the holeshot at the John Penton GNCC in Ohio. Ken Hill So, how was your first race back?

Devon Feehan: First race back was good! My goal was to … with this being my first race back since Tomahawk, I really just wanted to put in a good race. One where I was able to push hard all day. As far as a result, I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself. I just wanted to finish the race strong and leave with something I could feel good about.

And did you leave the race with something you felt good about?

Yeah. I ended up with a good start I think I was about fourth going into the woods, and was able to mix it up for a bit with Walker [Fowler], Adam [McGill], Jarrod [McClure] all those guys, which was cool. I made it up as high as third at one point, but those guys are legit! That’s what I’m really focusing on now, trying to get up front with those guys and learn what it is they’re doing differently.

You’re still pretty new to XC1, right?

This is my second year in the class. I think I’m making good progress. Last year I raced Walker and never saw him one time. Now this year, I’ve been able to get the starts and run up there. I’d much rather run up in third for a while and fall back to seventh then to just run seventh all day. I’m learning a lot from these guys and the more I learn the closer I get to their pace, and the more pieces I start to put together.

Feehan pictured with his ATV before the season began in Florida.
Feehan pictured with his ATV before the season began in Florida. Ken Hill

I know you’ve been struggling off and on with a shoulder injury this season. Can you tell us a little more about that?

The week before Steele Creek I was practicing down in South Carolina. I was doing a couple of sprint laps, and on one of them I caught a stump wrong and it threw me into a tree. I tried to avoid it as best as I could, and it ended up being one of those situations where the machine misses it but then you hit it. My shoulder took the entire blow, and at first I thought I broke my collarbone, but when we got it x-rayed we found out it was my scapula, which is basically just the shoulder blade. There’s not much you can do for that; it just takes time to heal. I ended up giving it eight weeks to be sure, then raced the X Factor. The following weekend I re-injured it at a local race, and that was when we found in addition to the scapula I had torn a ligament as well. It didn’t require surgery, just more time and a lot of physical therapy.

I assume you’re excited to be back to racing again…

Yeah, during injury it really opens your eyes to how awesome what we do is, and it really starts to eat you up when you can’t compete, so I was chomping at the bit. But I did my best to stay involved in the sport as much as I could while I was out. I did the Fuel Ministries camp the last week of July. This was my third year volunteering at the event, it’s always a great time. We had a great turnout, 40+ kids, and I was able to get back on the quad a little and break myself back in. I was also able to go to the Pine Lakes 50th anniversary and see a lot of the ATV industry. I kept busy with my PT and the training I was able to. But yeah, I’m glad to be back.

Feehan battling through the pack at his hometown race last weekend in Harpursville, New York.
Feehan battling through the pack at his hometown race last weekend in Harpursville, New York. Ken Hill

What kind of things were you doing for rehab and therapy?

While I was waiting on that bone to heal, it was complete rest for my upper body, all I really did was spin-bike. Once we realized there was ligament damage I jumped right into the physical therapy my doctor gave me – twice a day mostly working with those elastic bands and lightweight stuff. It was quite a process, but I’d do anything to get back! Once my rehab was complete I moved on to heavier weight stuff until I was training like I normally do and didn’t feel like there was anything holding me back. Then I was able to start getting on the quad.

When we were setting up this interview, you mentioned that you live only 10 minutes from Black Sky. Did it mean even more for your first race back to also be your hometown event?

Yeah, the Black Sky GNCC is exactly 10 minutes from my house, I timed it (laughs). It was a warm welcome back, thanks to all the local support. There were a lot of local WYNOA riders I know here too, and a lot of my family was able to make it out, which is nice. I got to participate in the On Track program on Friday, and we actually went to the same elementary school that I attended as a kid.

That’s really cool! I also saw you were one of the ATV riders on the event shirt, right?

That’s right. It was actually my first time on the shirt, which is a pretty big landmark! Like I remember being a little kid looking at Chris Borich and Walker Fowler on the shirts and now I’m a part of that too.

Feehan has been battling an injury on-and-off throughout the season, but is determined to be back for the last four rounds of racing.
Feehan has been battling an injury on-and-off throughout the season, but is determined to be back for the last four rounds of racing. Ken Hill

What did you think of the course? Was it a lot like what you get to ride at home?

Yeah, it definitely felt a lot like home in the woods, with that dark colored dirt. Now, I have raced here before as well. The WYNOA series has been to this property twice before, I think in 2016 and 2017. They freshened up the course and ran it differently than what I had seen before, but the terrain is definitely familiar. It’s a pretty sweet place!

And what are your goals for what is left of the 2019 season?

I’m pretty far back in the points because of all the races I had to miss, so I really just want to put in some good races and push with everything I have. Like I said earlier, this season has really just been about learning how to get to the front and run their pace.

What is one thing you enjoy doing besides riding and racing?

I really enjoy the training side of things. Mountain biking especially, since I get to be in the woods and get the benefit of improving my fitness. This is a tough question because most things I like to do will usually circle back to racing in the end.

Feehan finished seventh overall at his hometown race.
Feehan finished seventh overall at his hometown race. Ken Hill

Who would you like to thank?

I would like to thank my mom and dad, my family and my friends for supporting me. I would also like to thank all of my sponsors: GBC Tires, Ryland Johnson Racing, Precision Racing, M.R. Unlimited, Evans Coolant, Spider Graphics, Walsh Race Craft, Penske Custom Axis Shocks, Goldspeed Wheels, Nine2 Goggles, Fly Racing, Tire Balls, Sidi Boots, Rekluse Clutches, Wiseco Pistons, RP Race Exhausts, DP brakes, Hot Cams, Baldwin Motorsports, Works Connection, Dirtworks Motorsports, Hiflo Filtero Oil Filters, Streamline Brake Lines, ODI Grips, VP Fuels, Sunstar Chain and Sprockets, Moto Trim Seats, IMS Products, Binghamton Honda and Ezred Tools.