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Local ATV racer crowned provincial champion

November 4, 2014   ·   0 Comments
atv national champ cody-290-37
By Darren Lum
You wouldn’t know it by hearing him, but Minden’s Cody Withey is a provincial champion, having accumulated the most points to win the seven-round CMRC (Canadian Motorsport Racing Corporation) Ontario Provincial Championships ATV Pro.
It’s not that he doesn’t smile or isn’t ever excited, but that he possesses an even-keeled demeanor, which is an apparent key to his success this season.
True to his character, the word “we” comes up a lot, demonstrating how much he appreciates everyone’s help in his success.
Withey, who races for the Canadian ATV MX Race Team, said he couldn’t have done it without with his parents, Bill and Kristin, who he can’t thank enough.
“They did just about everything for me, driving me everywhere and helping me with my bike, helping me afford everything and what not. Obviously, I couldn’t do it without them,” he said.
The list of supporters includes his girlfriend Jenna Vollmer, motorbuilder Mark Baldwin of Baldwin Motorsports in Ohio, who has been there since the beginning with technical and morale support, teammate Sean Mitchell and his Canadian ATV MX Race Team, SSI Decals and K&N Airfilters. He said this championship is for them.
“It’s nice just having everybody there for me, helping me and kind of pushing me to do better,” he said.
Another aspect of this year’s success, he said, was to treat every race like just another race.
“We just tried to focus on doing well each race instead of worrying about the overall year. If you worry about the overall year you start making mistakes. Things go downhill real quick,” he said.
The 18-year-old finished with four overall round wins out of seven rounds, which included one missed round for a one-point win overall second place Tyler Summers, who was last year’s CMRC title holder. This is the first ever overall title for the Minden teen.
Coming into the last round at Gopher Dunes last month, Withey was only nine points ahead of Summers with two races left. That morning, he felt confident, having raced well at the same course at the beginning of the season. Withey said he tried not to think about the narrow lead over Summers, treating the race like any other.
After finishing second in the first race of the last round, Withey and his team discovered an engine problem just before the last race. His team resolved the problem, but in the haste to put the engine together it led to an additional issue where the timing of the engine was off, leaving Withey with a weakened engine.
“It took everything I had just to make for third,” he said. “I knew I had to get top three at least just to clinch the championship.”
Summers led wire to wire in the race, keeping the pressure on. Although Withey stayed composed, he saw how well Summers was racing, increasing his lead over him and the field and started counting the points in his head, hating how his closest competitor was so far away down the track.
“Of course it bothers me not to be chasing him down and passing him just to win the race [and the overall title outright]. I still knew I had enough of a points lead that I would still take it,” he said.
In the first few rounds he said things went rather smoothly. However, the last few rounds proved to be far more challenging for a variety of reasons whether on the track or in the pits. Overcoming this adversity gives him perspective and an awareness he can grow with.
“I’m more knowledgeable after this season because of things happening. I kind of understand how to prevent them more and just have my bike and myself ready for each race,” he said. “It was a training thing for me. AMA (American Motorcyclist Association) will be the time to shine. I get all the bugs worked out in CMRC and then figure things out for when I head [back] to the States. That was the goal of it.”
The provincial title is one step to his ultimate goal of success in the ATV American race series organized by the AMA.
“It’s just kind of a stepping stone in the direction that I want to go leading towards doing better in AMA because that’s the ultimate goal, but it’s pretty cool knowing that just having the people support you throughout the whole season being able to pull it off not for yourself but for everybody else too because they’re kind of expecting it,” he said.