Recently, David switched to side-by-side racing. He prefers it due to the lessened possibility of injury.
David Haagsma, member of the H&M Motorsports team finished first in the SxS Pro Class at WORCS Round Four race in Lake Havasu, California, on March 23, 2016. It was his second win of the season.
Haagsma took control of the race in the first lap and was never seriously challenged. In four races in the WORCS circuit so far this season, he has won two and dropped out with mechanical problems in two.
High flying Haagsma is no stranger to racing. He has been racing professionally since he was 11 years old.
He finished 18th in the Second Round of the Texas National at Kemp, Texas on April 7, 2016. The race is part of the AMA ATV Motocross National Championship Series where he earned 9 points. He also finished seventh in the Third Round of the ATV Spring Nationals at Muddy Creek Raceway in Blountville, Tennessee on April 21, 2016 and picked up 29 points.
A K&N Filters’ sponsored racer, Haagsma races a Honda TRX-450 side-by-side in the AMA ATV Motocross National Championship Series and a Polaris RZR in WORCS.
Now 23 years old, Haagsma has been racing for 18 or 19 years. First starting on motorcycles, he has been riding motorcycles or ATVs since he was 4 years old.
"My dad was into motorcycles and he showed me how to ride. He bought me a dirt bike when I was about 4 years old," he said.
He noted that he got into riding ATVs because of his friends. "My friends had ATVs," he said. "So I ended up riding a quad with them. I quit racing bikes and joined my friends racing quads and I really got into it. It got to be pretty competitive in the local team events and then I decided to go to bigger races. I did pretty good and decided to stick with it."
His first race was in Taft, California, not too far from his home in Bakersfield, California, when he was about 11 or 12 years old. "It was a flat track race on a quad. I didn’t finish because I ran out of gas. I rode the quad all day and then went out to race," he quipped. "My dad’s friends still make fun of him, but it was a good memory."
He won his first race about two weeks later. It was an ATV quad race in the kids’ class.He turned pro when he was 11 years old. "I watched the pro racers and thought that it was something I always wanted to do. I did well in the amateur class, so I went pro. I started making money and I really enjoyed it. When it happened it was pretty cool."
He has been racing in WORCS since he was 16 years old. This is his first year racing in the AMA Nationals. He won the WORCS championship last year. Although he continues to race the WORCS circuit, he is now focusing more on the Nationals. He noted that there are more races in an AMA Nationals series and the competition is tougher. He is in seventh or eight place overall, but expects to do better in the remaining races and to have better results in the circuit next year.
As a pro he seeks out sponsors and has found the task to be fairly easy. He got his first by emailing the company. "They’re one of my biggest sponsors to date. When I was 13 I just sent them an email and they started giving me discounts on their products. They called me, helped me out with my racing and I started getting better results."
"I started gaining attention among people in the industry, I met a lot of people and I networked," he added.
He noted that many of the sponsors he gathered when he was 13 and 14 years old are still with him today.
K&N Filters was one of his first sponsors. "I thought they were out of reach for quads," he said. "But I was able to get them and I have been with them for multiple years. I ran their products before they sponsored me. I bought them. After I got the sponsorship I get products from them for free.
"It’s working out great," he continued. "I run their air filters on everything, both the quad and RZR. Anything I ask for I get pretty much the next day. The relationship with them has been really good. I’ve even had my ATVs featured in some K&N ads."
His future plans are to continue racing in the AMA ATV Motocross Nationals. "I really enjoy running side-by-side. Side-by-sides are getting really popular. It’s a lot of fun and there is less chance of injury," he said.
He wants to race as long as he can. "As long as I make money at it and as long as I can afford to do it I will keep doing it," he concluded.