Cody Gibson 8-21-09
2009 Pro Am Production & Pro Am Unlimited National Champion
August 21, 2009
By Kyle Dammann
photos by Jorge Cuartas and Kyle Dammann
Years Racing: 4
Food: Chocolate Ice Cream and Mom's burritos
Hobbies: Just hanging out with my friends going to the river and riding trails at home.
iPod? I listen to a lot of different music but I mainly like country and hip hop.
Other Sport? Sumo wrestling because I like the way they dress.
There is no climbing through the ranks with today’s young quad racers. At most these kids experience a brisk run through the amateur ranks, usually just long enough for them to become old enough to legally race pro. The grace and ease at which they perform is inspiring and uplifting to us all. Right now, in the ATV racing world, a star is rising. His climb has been brisk and performance dramatic.
Jumping onto the national scene and into ATV racing in general in only the last couple of years, Cody Gibson has quickly become a household name in the ATV racing community.
Could this be in Cody Gibson's future? Time will tell.
Cody showed up on the National scene in 2007 as a young and fast “A” class rider, eventually dabbling in the Pro-Am class finishing mid pack. This is where he caught the eye of former pro, and chassis builder Mike Walsh. Mike would soon take Cody under his wing and begin to mentor him into the national champion you see today.
The 2008 season was one of ups and downs and mixed results for the Gibson Walsh privateer racing effort. Nonetheless, the duo squeaked out a Pro-Am Unlimited class championship by 9 points. And in the Pro-Am Production, Cody finished the year with a respectable third place, sixty one points behind class champ Thomas Brown. It was said that Cody would either win or crash trying.
This all or nothing attitude is often seen in many up and coming legendary athletes of our modern era. Motocross and Freestyle legend Travis Pastrana, and skate/snowboard maverick Shaun White come to mind. Bursting with talent, and overwhelmed with a desire to win makes for absolutely spectacular television, but often leads to broken bones and bruised egos.
The big question going into to the 2009 season was if Cody could keep it on four wheels long enough to win be in the hunt at season’s end. There was never a question of speed, but rather control. With that raw aggression unregulated Cody would be destined to the list of “Should-Have-Beens” fading from history and memory. As we now sit at the conclusion of the 2009 season, the answer to that question is obvious.
Domination is an overused term these days, but it is the only fitting word for Cody and the team’s performance this year. While domination might be the word, 2009 wasn’t without its hiccups for the Walsh Monster Energy Kawasaki team. Switching to a new bike and a new race program certainly had the team working extra hard in the off-season with research and development, prototyping, fabrication and dyno testing – not to mention a ton of training.
The first few rounds saw the team dealing with some teething issues. A couple minor problems early on set the team back some, but it didn’t seem to slow down their pace as they charged forward with the points lead. 2009 also brought a new Cody to the track, a Cody that was thinking about championships and points battles. We still saw the same aggressive faster-than-hell Cody, but this year he added precision to his program.
We sat down and caught up with Cody shortly after he locked up both Pro-Am championships a round early at Red Bud, in Buchanan, Michigan.
How many championships does this make and don’t leave out the amateur stuff.
In 2006 I won the Beginner Class at I-40 MX in Lenoir City, TN. This was one of the first places I ever raced. Let’s see I won the 450 A Class in 2007 at the Nationals. I then won the Pro Am Unlimited in 2008 and got 3rd in the Pro Am Production. And this year won both Pro Am Classes.
I think a lot of people would agree, this year’s Pro Am classes were the most competitive classes on the entire circuit. You dominated both, how does that feel?
One word, Awesome! It definitely makes me happy looking back at what I accomplished this year. I’ll never forget it, that’s for sure.
You do realize that not too many legends in this sport have started their careers with such success?
Yeah, I’ve been really fortunate. Thanks to hard work, great sponsors and a very supportive family I’m winning races and having a blast doing so. It’s been great. I love the sport too. Racing quads is what I love to do, always have.