There are other successful racers/hill-climbers from Carnegie, but Kacy Martinez is very high profile at the moment. She is sponsored by KTM, won the 2009 2010 WORCS Women’s pro title, women’s hill-climb championship, and is the AMA 2009 woman rider of the year.
Kacy started riding Carnegie at a very early age and still enjoys riding here with her friends. Her slim graceful figure belies her profession as a motorcycle racer. Like other successful athletes, Kacy attributes a good part of her success to her family and the backing and support she received from them.
Some time ago I ran into her when I was practicing at the motocross track. That day the track was dry and rutted and I was having trouble going fast though the some of the corners. I noticed a rider on a Honda CR 125 really attacking the track, and I got off my bike to take a look. I watched her as she charged into a dry, rutted corner and then at the last minute pitched it sideways at speed. After hitting the berm, she released the clutch and gunned the bike through the turn and down the next straight. She was attacking the track and going really fast. It wasn’t until afterwards when I saw her go back to her father’s truck and take off her helmet that I realized that she was a girl. If you ride at Carnegie you have probably seen her. She still rides there when she gets a chance.
At about 10:00a.m. on October 16th Kacy was on the starting line for the 24 Hours at Glen Helen. It all began a few months ago when KTM decided to put together a professional woman’s team for the 24 hour race held in San Bernadino County. It appears that KTM supported motocross racer, Sarah Whitmore, came up with the idea after she raced the 6 Hours of Glen Helen and loved it. Her teammates, all KTM racers,
were Kacy Martinez (2010 WORCS champion), Maria Forsberg (2010 GNCC champion) and Sherri Cruse (pro motocross racer and frequent WORC racer). It was reported that they even had their own semi at the track.
Glen Helen is tough. As part of the national motocross championship series, motocross fans from all over the country have seen it on television. It is a rough demanding track, even for professionals. The 24 Hours at Glen Helen includes twelve miles of racing on two motocross tracks (Glen Helen and the REM track), an off road truck track, miles of tight and twisty trails, and a paved road course. It is legendary. Think of
it. About six hours total racing on the track for each team member and almost half of it at night. 24 hours without sleep. This race is the definition of tough. Watching the race you can see that it takes everything out of the competitors and more.
Motorcycle racing is not a team sport. When the gate drops everyone is fighting for the lead. They are all “the competition”. Being a part of a team was probably a new experience for most of these girls. Kacy’s dad, Mark Martinez tended the grill making sure that there was enough to eat and was track side where it counted. He was there the entire 24 hours and his indomitable spirit and work ethic helped the team pull
through both on and off the track. According to Sarah Whitmore in an article in the January edition of Dirt Bike Magazine, the women racers worked really well together both as individuals and as members of a team.
Eventually Kacy lined up on the men’s professional line for a Le Mans style start and took her KTM 250 into second place going through the first turn. Perhaps it was due to her experience climbing hills at Carnegie, but she found traction and sped out of the gate beating all but one of the professional teams lined up beside her. She experienced some problems coming into the Enduro Cross section and fell out of the top
three. The girls took turns riding and when night fell their lap times only fell by one minute. Have you ever ridden through dust at night? You can’t see much.
Anyway when it was all over team KTM captured the women’s pro class victory and came in a respectful ninth overall out of forty-four competitive teams. More importantly, they made history by being the first factory supported off road team. We certainly have something to be proud about. She didn’t ride the race alone. It was a team effort, but they all pushed it through almost impossible conditions and put in an
incredible performance. We at Carnegie Forever want to give Kacy a big collective hug. She is putting us on the map. Her determination and effort have definitely paid off.
See the Racer X web-site.