Women's Wednesday: It's Never Too Late with Jessica Elioff
In the highly competitive world of WXC ATV GNCC Racing, the best of the best female athletes line up for a chance at the center spot on the podium. Jessica Elioff has quickly emerged as a frequent center of the box contender.
Often, these contenders have been racing and rising through the ranks since they were a young girl, but not Jessica. From trail riding as a passenger and happy being the pit crew, she didn't have the itch to race until she was 24 years old. Jumping into the women's amateur class at the beginning, Jessica has found herself in WXC championship contention just four years later with four race wins and three podiums so far in the 2023 season!
We had the chance for a quick chat with Elioff to share her story:
When and how did you first get start riding?!
I grew up always riding utility quads and dirt bikes and when I was 5, I started racing dirt bikes on a little 50. I raced dirt bikes with my 3 siblings for a few years then my family got out of it.
How did you get started GNCC Racing?!
I actually didn’t want to race. I was fine being pit crew. My husband Alex raced motocross when we first met and in 2017, he decided to try a GNCC on our stock quad. We would ride the quad double together through the trails and he would ask if I wanted to drive, and I’d always say no because they just had too much power (and that was a stock one! LOL). The following year 2018 he raced a full season but before the last race, Ironman, he got hurt at work and wasn’t able to race it. I got the itch and said what the heck I’ll try one of these things. Never raced a quad, barley rode a sport 450 by myself before but go big or go home right. I was determined to figure it out. I had no expectations but ended up finishing 12th out of 24 in women’s amateur. After that I was hooked. We bought me a quad and I started racing in 2019.
What are your goals with racing? What drives you to chase after them?
My goal for this year is to win the WXC championship. I’m competitive and just love pushing myself to the limit.
What goes on behind the scenes to prepare for racing WXC?
Eating healthy definitely makes a difference in feeling 100%. I also started drinking rehydrate powder and reds and greens every day. I do landscape for a living so every day is a workout for me but in the evenings, I still try to go to the gym with Alex when I can.
What do you consider your strengths as a racer?
I would say my strength is my physical strength. I don’t have as much seat time as the other girls, but I feel I can physically handle the bike better in some situations.
What's your favorite GNCC track or terrain?
Ooo my favorite track, that’s a tough one. I don’t know if I have one because one year the track might be dry and the next muddy. If I had to pick one though it would probably be Ironman. That was my first race, first win and it has a good mix of fields, woods and hills.
Who do you look up to as your racing hero and why?
This is a loaded question. I can’t say I have one person in particular. This sport is 100% a team effort. I first off couldn’t do it without my husband Alex. He keeps my quad running in tip top shape, along with Nick Davidson. Without these two it wouldn’t be possible. They give me all the pointers, ride with me, put up with my sass and always look out for what’s best for me. Ryan Smith from BNR and Johnny Gallagher also plays a big role in my racing career with bike set up and always encouraging me on and off the track.
What advice would you give to a younger racer that aspires to be where you are one day?
Never give up, don’t make excuses, just figure out a way to make it happen. You’ll have ups and downs but always keep pushing because you can do anything you put your mind towards.
What do you enjoy most about racing and why do you continue to pursue it so passionately?
I like to be a difference, make a difference. This is such a family oriented sport and I try to be a good example. I love how your friends become your family because on and off the track your life is consumed of racing and riding, and you spend so much time with them. Some of our closest friends we met at the track, and I think it’s awesome being able to do this because not everyone gets this opportunity, so I am beyond grateful.
What else do you like to do besides racing?! Do you have any other hobbies?
I love nature, being outside, fishing, planting flowers and riding my horse. One thing Alex and I enjoy doing is taking our boat out on Lake Erie. To be honest though racing pretty much consumes our life, between racing nationals, locals, practicing, working on bikes, working out let’s just say it’s a good thing we enjoy it lol.
Lastly, we know it takes a team for a racer to have the accomplishments you do, who would you like to thank?
- BNR Motorsports
- Raccoon Racing
- GBC Tires
- HMF Engineering
- Fly Racing
- Pro Graphix
- Houser Racing
- Lit Communities
- Guts Seats
- DWT Wheels
- ODI Grips
- IMS Products
- DP Brakes
- Fasset Flex zbars
- Precision Stabilizers
- AntiGravity Batteries
- AC Racing