H&M Mechanic, Allan McCostlin Interview

ImageIf you have spent two minutes at a WORCS race, or just about any organized ATV racing event on the west coast, you’ve probably noticed Allan McCostlin of H&M Motorsports. Allan has seems to have dedicated his life to making sure pro WORCS racer #422 David Haagsma has one of the toughest and dependable quads on pro-row. Allan has been around racing for a long time and now he’s a mechanic for one of the best working programs around racing today, H&M Motorsports. David Haagsma just finished 2nd in the pro class this past weekend at round 3 of the WORCS in Havasu. With success like that you better believe a rider has some of the best backing in the business. Let’s learn a little more about the man behind the curtain…

Allan thanks for taking a break from cleaning to talk with us for a few minutes. Have you ever raced before?
Yes, I use to ride for Curtis Sparks. I raced pretty much every local race possible. I also rode a lot of the big nationals back east for many years.

How about now days?
Not much anymore. I did some of the local flat track races about three years ago just to see if I could still beat the kids. And I did.

How do you know the Haagsma’s?
I met David at Racetown 395 when he was 12 or 13. I could see the first time I saw him ride that he had a ton of natural talent. I started helping him after work and taking him to the races and one thing led to another, here we are now.

Name: Allan McCostlin
Home: Taft, CA
Born in: Taft, CA
Occupation: Manager/Mechanic for H&M Motorsports
Marital status: Single
Pets: None. I travel too much.
First ATV: 1986 Honda 250R
First job: Diesel Truck Mechanic
Hottest Girl: Too many to list
Favorite Place: The race track
Worst Place: Havasu WORCS Track
Worst Habit: Nothing ever seems to be clean enough
Pet Peeves: People that drive to slow on the highway
Favorite Sports Team: 49ers
Favorite Athletes: Shaq, Doug Gust and my riders
Years been racing: 10
Years been riding: 22

What is it like to watch a boy like David Haagsma grow from just a run of the mill beginner riding a bone stock 400EX to the professional that he is today?
It has been awesome watching David grow up and progress to where he is now. I have a lot of respect for Jimmy White formally from the factory Kawasaki ATV team and I keep in close contact with him for advice and ideas. He has helped me a lot with David over the years. I just try to keep him riding, training at the gym and to give me good feedback everytime he steps off the bike so we can continue to progress and move forward. David is very easy to work with and I know he trains harder than most people in the sport.

You obviously are one of the hardest-working mechanics at the track. How did you get started wrenching? Do you have any formidable training, or do you chalk everything up to experience?
Experience. I’m a hands on person. If I can tear it apart I can usually put it back together. When I decided to stop racing, wrenching was the next best thing. I actually enjoy it more now than I did racing. Having people like the Haagsma’s backing and supporting me has turned this into my dream job and I can’t thank them enough.

ImageHow many hours a day do you wrench? Do you have anymore responsibilities other than wrenching for H&M Motorsports?
That’s a tough question. I really don’t know how many hours to say that I work but it’s definetly more than the average guy. I work however long it takes to make sure everytime we go practicing or racing I know everything is 100% safe. Safety is the most important thing and it means a lot to me knowing eveytime Beau and David get on the bikes that I have went over and checked everything on them.

What is your day to day motivation?
David’s raw talent. I work really well under pressure and I have more of that this year than ever. I want to see both of my riders on the podium. That drives me, [Laughing] so does Beau being the jokester that he is.

Can you run us through an average day for you?
I drive from Taft to our race shop in Bakersfield, which is 40 miles away. I work in the shop either on practice bikes or race bikes most of the day. I spend a lot of time on the phone and computer dealing with sponsors and trying to schedule things. I take David riding with Beau usually a couple times a week. On the weekends we are usually usually testing or racing somewhere and then the whole process starts over the next week.

How long do you test before each race?
It just depends. Sometimes very little and sometimes non stop. It depends on how comfortable we are with the track we are going to.


ImageWhat’s your tool of choice?

Snap-On, no question.

What is your biggest thrill besides a race victory?
I would say both riders coming off the track safe .

Who helps you out the most as a sponsor for the team?
Maxxis and the Haagsma family. Maxxis stepped up for us big time this year and I can’t thank them enough. There is no way we would be racing without Maxxis or the Haagsma’s.

Do you have any advice for any wanna-be-mechanics out threr reading this?
[Laughing] If you are wanting to be an ATV mechanic get ready to put in some long hours with little or no time off. Seriously, never be in a rush if you are working on something and never be afraid to ask people questions or for advice.

Can you tell us one little secret of one of your bikes that makes it go so fast?
Sure, two words – Curtis Sparks!

Any parting words?
I would like to sincerely thank all of our sponsors and the Haagsma family. There are too many sponsors to list and I don’t want to get in trouble because I forgot somebody, but thank you everyone and I look forward to seeing you at the racetrack.

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