GNCC Racing Family… Sometimes it’s blood, sometimes is a bond built at the track that’s so strong we mean it when we call our racing friends, racing FAMILY.
The Stewart family extends well beyond blood. Hang out at the podium on Saturday and you’ll be hard pressed not to hear riders from the Micro to the Pro ranks thanking the Stewart family for what they do to help riders succeed at the track. It only seemed appropriate, when I approached Charlie and Cooper about doing an interview that I also include mom and dad in the mix since their involvement in our sport is so enormous.
GNCCRacing.com: How did your family get started riding and eventually racing GNCC?
JasonStewart (Dad): I started riding when I was 6 years old, my parents got me a Yamaha atv, had plenty of friends in the neighborhood that had atvs as well, we grew up riding daily after school and made trails on the farmers land behind our house. Had a Suzuki 230 quad sport until I was 16. I only got to race once or twice in north Georgia on some logging trails.
Once the kids were old enough, I got them Polaris 90s, they literally rode the wheels off of them for a few years. They wanted to race, so we tried one at Durahmtown, I’ll never forget it, we rode all day in the red clay mud and the race was at night. Charlie chose not to race at the last minute. Cooper was ready, or at least we thought he was. When we pulled up to clean quads ready to race and Cooper was looking like a muddy mess. I think there were 6 in the class, Cooper on a stock Polaris, versus some Cobras and DRR’s. We had never seen quads like that! Haha! Needless to say Cooper got lucky with a 5th place. I tell people it was like taking a knife to a gun battle. That was the end of racing for a bit. Around 2015 got them Yamaha Raptor 125s. The boys were just like me riding together every day after school. We heard about a GNCC in Sparta and thought we’d check it out, no quads, just spectators to see what it was about. The boys loved it, we decided to try the southern races starting with Steel Creek. Funny thing, we really had no clue, showed up to a line out to the road, mud everywhere, wife yelling at me that race starts at 8am, I literally unloaded the quads in the road and ran down to sign up. I have to give a shout to the lady that checked us in… she said, “Do you have a transponder, AMA….” I looked at her like she was speaking Greek. She said, “The race is about to start, here are numbers, I’ll try to hold it for a few…. Just come back after the race and we will get it all taken care of.” The boys took off and literally drove on to the start as the last class took off. We appreciated the help at sign up and haven’t missed a GNCC since 2016 Steel Creek.
Alicia (Mom): I guess I lost my spot in the garage when the boys were 4 and 6! Yamaha 90s, then 125s, then came the dirt bikes and SXS. If I had known how our lives would change after spectating Cannonball 2016, I would have bought stock in Tide!
Charlie is now racing the School Boy Sr. class in the AM ATV race. Charley how are things going for you this year in a VERY stacked class?
It’s definitely a stacked class this year. There are some fast guys for sure. I spent time in Florida over the break and did some training, so I feel pretty good.
Charlie, you’re impossible to miss on the track with that reversed visor. What’s that about?
I’m a big trend setter guy. Haha!
Alicia: John Glauda Jr. did some customization early in the season last year on Charlie’s helmet. Kind of became his signature look. It’s easy to spot him coming so I’m all for it!
Cooper, I could be wrong, but I don’t think I’ve seen you racing this year. What’s the deal?
Well this year I decided to kind of step back from racing full time on quads to focus more on side by side racing. Also, this year I am headed to college in Mississippi in the fall so it would be hard for me to train and ride to stay competitive. I’m doing some training in the next week to compete in the MidAmerica Outdoor Series, short course SXS.
Jason and Alicia, before we get to any questions, I’d like to personally say THANK YOU! It’s no secret you’re both dedicated to your boys success. But not just their success, over the last few seasons you’ve contributed to the success and support of many ATV riders from the micro ranks to the Pros. To me, more important than the financial support is the moral support you show the micro riders and youth at the podium on race day. I know things come up occasionally and you can’t be there at the podium 100% of the time, but I’d say 99.9% of the time I see you both or at least one of you in the crowd cheering on the kids from row one to trail-rider. THAT. IS. AWESOME.
Jason: Thanks for the kind words, we try to cheer and encourage everyone on, because we hope everyone will do the same for our boys and team.
Alicia: I guess it’s no secret quad racing is unfortunately not growing by leaps and bounds. If we can support some amazing racers and help keep the sport, we love alive, then we all benefit! These team riders each bring something to the team, we are lucky they choose to ride for us.
The podiums are my favorite part of race day! This is the biggest moment for some of these riders lives. To podium at a GNCC? Pretty big deal! We have a ton of Campers (Action Off-Road Camp) on the box this season. Seeing their confidence and how much they have progressed, awesome!
Now the questions! Nearly every ATV podium I do has at least one rider if not all three giving a shout out to SBR and/or Action Off-Road. Talk about the two brands and what motivated you to start supporting so many riders.
Jason: Well, Stewart Boys Racing was started for Cooper & Charlie to have some fun and dad trying to figure out how to track and expense some of the racing. It started with a logo and a quad I bought from Jarod McClure and has turned into a full race team. The goal of SBR was to help other riders with some of our knowledge and parts that we have to contribute and give back and help everybody race and have fun.
Now Action Off-Road is a little different, my main business is Action Tire Company, we are a tire dealer in the Georgia and Alabama areas. So you can tell Action is a common theme in our world. Cooper has always enjoyed business and marketing and making money. He had the opportunity to do a business plan for his marketing class, seemed simple enough, he did the project and wrote a solid plan. Ended up getting 3rd in the state of Georgia-DECA competition and got the opportunity to represent his plan and school at the national level. I took his plan and created it with a website and thought it would be a great way to teach the boys are business, the good and bad. Action Offroad is in its 4th year and doing well, we learn new things every day. The main thing is we want to support the sport and promote racing.
You guys also run a camp for riders. Explain what goes into that and what riders can expect from the camp.
Jason: Well Action Offroad camp is one of those things that started as a simple conversation in my living room, we wanted somewhere in the south to train my kids and anyone else at a high level. When we 1st started racing it was very hard for me to teach my kids. I think all parents get that “Dad you don’t race how do you know!” So I got together with a lot of the Pros and planned the ultimate training camp from the Pros that do know.
At Action Camp we do things a little different, I’m a numbers person, so I’m always trying to show value and improvement. We actually time all of the trainees the 1st day, then we train them on different parts of racing – braking, turns, hills, ruts, mx, starts and even some wheelies. Then we retime them. The greatest thing about our 4th year of Camp is almost all participants have improved, I’ve seen some lap times drop by minutes which is amazing. I have to say Camp is a generic term, at Action Offroad camp its really 4 days of nonstop training We’d love to have everyone come check it out, I mean any age, we have kids as young as 5 to some as old as 55, if you race and want to improve your riding skills come join us www.actionoffroadcamp.com
I have to thank a few people because Action Offroad camp wouldn’t be possible without them. Moree’s Camp Coker for the beautiful property, Joe Byrd for his training ideas, and this amazing list of GNCC pros that take a week out of their summer vacation to come train, teach, swim, and cut track with everyone at Action Offroad Camp. All of these Pros put the weekly competition aside to share their extensive knowledge with people that love this sport Adam Mcgill, Kate Osburn, Cole Richardson, Josh Merritt, Jarod McClure, Derisi Racing (Santo, James, Jordan), Landon Wolfe, Hunter Hart, Haeyden Mickleson, John Glauda Jr, Angel Mcgee, Mason Radar. As everyone knows the race weekend is special because of the families at the track and Action Off-Road Camp is no different, huge thanks to all of the families that have attended and helped to get us to the next level!
Alicia: Seeing the confidence boost of these campers after a few days is super cool! How the Pros interact with the campers and share what got them to where they are in the sport, kind of makes them “real” to the younger riders. I think this last year we had our biggest age gap, 6 years to 55 years old. It’s fun to see each and every rider have FUN and learn a thing or two!
GNCC is a family sport at its core. Nothing is more important than family. Jason, you suffered from some health issues awhile back. How did that affect you and the family as far as racing is concerned.
Jason: I appreciate you asking. Well first off, scariest thing ever! Watch your blood pressure and take care of your body! But after 1 year my doctors have released me fully, I’m still doing therapy trying to get to 100%. I’d like to thank my wife Alicia, son’s Cooper & Charlie, Chad Lindsey, Derisi Racing and Matt Pierce for all of the support and encouragement and keeping my boys racing like nothing happened. The Pros and team members all joined together to make for a great year of success. The race family is an amazing thing, there are 100’s of people I could list but I don’t think you want that, know I’m thankful for everyone. Every weekend at the track we see people that we know of each other, maybe a head node, a smile. But while I was down, I heard from a lot of folks and that sure helps. Thank you!
Alicia: In the days and weeks after Jason’s stroke I realized how much time he puts into team stuff. Getting parts were they need to go, Action Offroad orders placed, ironing out camp details. Coop stepped up big time with the business side of things. God Bless Dana at GNCC, she saved the day more than once. Matt Pierce and the Derisi crew made sure my boys and quads were taken care of. Our buddy, Chad Lindsey is worth his weight in gold. We have the absolute best race fam that took on the boys and made sure it was “just another race weekend”. Team riders calling to check on us and offering support, I’ll never forget it.
Alicia, the ultimate race mom, like so many other moms at the track you’re sort of the unsung hero. What’s it like being there on race weekend supporting your family and by extension your race families?
The ULTIMATE compliment! Race moms dang sure don’t get enough credit. Making sure everybody has what is needed and plenty of Capri Suns is a JOB. I can’t turn wrenches, but I can offer hugs and tell each rider how proud I am of them we are. Getting that muddy hug after a tough race or celebrating a huge win, makes every load of muddy laundry worth it!
I don’t want to put too much pressure on you to name all the riders you’re support. But who are some of the Pros, 4X4 Pros and WXC Pros you support?
If I forgot someone, I’m sorry.
SBR: Cooper Stewart Pro SXS
- Charlie Stewart School Boy Sr.
- Haedyn Mickelson 4x4 Pro
- Angel McGee WXC
- Andrea Rodgers WXC
- Wyatt Wilkins XC2
- Dylan Walraven XC2
- Raelynn Dickerson Girls Jr
- Bryson Dickerson Micro & 70 CVT
- Cole Richardson
- Chris Borich
- Josh Merritt
- John Glauda
- Jarrod McClure
- Austin Abney
- Jay Shadron
- Kate Osborn WXC
- Landon Wolfe Pro 4x4
- Harrison Lindsey SchoolBoy Sr
- Kyle Chaney Pro SXS
- As well as 125 Supported riders!
Who are the sponsors and people you’d like to thank?
Tons of businesses help our teams be successful, below are a few in no particular order.
My family, Alicia, Cooper, Charlie, My Mom & Dad, Action Tire Company, Pierce Performance, Derisi Racing, Cycle Specialty of Fayetteville, Ga, Greenville Power sports, Houser, Fly, Rath, GoldSpeed, THXC, WPS, STM, MZM, Gaerne, Leatt, Obor, Scott, GBC, BNR, Factory 43, Yamaha, Canam, Danny Lopez, and On Point Marketing
I'd like to thank all the folks that support us. Weather it's cheering on our riders, attending camp, or sporting a hat that was thrown at the podium, GNCC racers and families are amazing.
I had a little bit of a moment at the banquet this year. Watching class after class go up on stage and have their few minutes in the spotlight, I was completely humbled by the SBR/Action Offroad shoutouts. To be a part of their program and they like us enough to want our logo on their quad is pretty damn cool.