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X Games Athletes Cory Texter and Shayna Keep Racing Alive in their Family

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Cory’s two bikes and his racing leathers that K&N helped him acquire.

Cory’s two bikes and his racing leathers that K&N helped him acquire.

Racing motorcycles is in the DNA of Cory Texter and his sister Shayna of Willow Street, Pennsylvania. Their father was one of the best flat track and road racers in the country. So it should be to no one’s surprise that the two kids are following in their dad’s footsteps.

Cory Texter of Cory Texter Racing (CTR) takes on the competition and the track in AMA flat track competitions.

Cory Texter of Cory Texter Racing (CTR) takes on the competition and the track in AMA flat track competitions.

“He got us into it when we were very young,” said Cory. “I started riding a motorcycle when I was 3-1/2 years old.” Cory is now 27.

“My father got me a little PW 50 with training wheels on it. He told me, ‘The throttle is on the right. Have fun.’ So I got on and started riding. I came around the house and drove into the side of a barn. I cried and I didn’t want to ride anymore. My dad said, ‘If you don’t get back on the bike and ride you’re never going to ride again.’ So I hopped right back on that bike.”

Although he was riding and actually started racing when he was 5 years old, he didn’t consider it as a possible career. “I was into other sports like wrestling and running track. The riding and racing was just for fun. We didn’t have much time racing on weekends because my dad was racing and traveling the country. We didn’t have a lot of free weekends to race ourselves."

He won one or two amateur races when he was 7 years old. “I won my first race in Middletown, New York. It was an indoor track. When I was young I wasn’t that fast. I kind of struggled a little bit. I didn’t think I had the talent to make a career out of it.”

When he turned 15 he concluded that he could race motorcycles as a career. “That sure was better than a 9-to-5 desk job,” he quipped.

Cory noted that he didn’t start racing consistently until 2004 when he was 16 and he raced every weekend as an amateur.  He turned entry level pro in 2007 and won his first race at an event in Tucson, Arizona. “It was the expert twin race and I remember taking my dad on a victory lap after the race. The day was very special for me,” he said. In 2008 he competed in his first full season of GMC 1 racing, the top level in the sport.

He races the American Motorcycle Association’s Nationals Circuit, specifically the AMA Pro Track Series. He raced the full season in 2008 and 2009, but in 2010 he broke his arm in March and needed surgery. He wasn’t fully recovered until August and he was starting a comeback, then his dad died.

“So 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 I didn’t race full seasons,” he said. “I was kind of bouncing around. But in 2014 I chased hard after some opportunities and got back into it more consistently.”

He created his own racing team, Cory Texter Racing (CTR), in August 2015 and raced some events. He built a 700 cc Kawasaki and was immediately competitive having won a semi at a national event in Charlotte, North Carolina, just one day after the bike was built.

“Most teams in flat track run a bike powered by a 750cc or larger motor. Despite the fact that I was on a smaller bike I won a heat race at the GNC 1 national of the year and finished seventh in the main event in Delmar, Delaware, on a 700. That’s about 10-horsepower less than what most teams were running,” he said.

This year he intends to tackle the whole schedule. “We’re going to race every round of the AMA Pro Track Series and also participate in X Games,” he said.

“To be more competitive I built a 750cc Kawasaki with a Vulcan S engine. I’m the only rider using the Vulcan S.” He consulted with many people who participate in the sport before deciding to go with such a unique engine.

“Besides the racing, I am a journalist for Cycle World Magazine. I talked to the staff and other people I trusted in the sport to see what they thought of the Vulcan S and they all said it was a good engine. I got the engine with help from Cycle World.”

Cory runs CTR as well as races. He does all the logistics, marketing, and promotion and Justin Bender, Cory’s crew chief, handles all the mechanics work on the bikes on race day and in the shop during the week.

“We’re up against a lot of factory teams with 10 to 15 members and we’re hanging right with them,” said Cory. “It’s not the size of the team that matters; it’s how hard the guys on that team work. Between the two of us, we work our butts off.”

Another one of Cory’s jobs is finding sponsors for the team. “I spend a lot of time getting sponsors. I know how important they are. My dad owned a Harley-Davidson dealership in Pennsylvania, so I grew up in a business environment. I know what it takes to work hard. I am a blue-collar type of guy.”

He has a business studies degree from Harrisburg College. “Most racers who compete at this level don’t have a college degree. I think that really benefits me when factoring in the business side of the sport,” he added.

He spends a lot of time on the phone, sending out emails, and simply grinding to recruit sponsors. “As a privateer, I have to pay for my own tires, my own fuel, my own hauler. Everything I do is paid for out of my pocket. So I try to think of ideas that benefit sponsors as much as they help me. I battle to get them good exposure and I am concerned about getting them a good return on their investment.”

He has assisted sponsors with their research and development. He tries out prototypes on his bike and gives feedback.

His sponsors include K&N Engineering, Cycle World Magazine, McElroy Packaging in Ohio, Evans Cooling, Shockstrap, Liteshoe, Durelle Racing, Big A Customs, Hammer Nutrition, Spectro, Wiseco, Arai Helmets, Motion Pro, DesignStar3, Supertrapp, Alpinestars, Garmin, Barnett, Cometic Motoshippers, Saddlemen, EBC Brakes, Rock Sports, Grip Clean, All Balls Racing, Amped Optics, ISC Racer’s Tape, Hammerhead Designs, Impact Armor, Webcam, GoPro, Rijuice, full Spectrum, Justin Bender Racing, and Lancaster Honda.

K&N has been a supporter for more than seven years, said Cory. “When I first turned pro, they helped me out with product. If they didn’t step up for me this year I wouldn’t have my own team. They’ve been huge with product and they recently helped me obtain my racing leathers.”

He also gets a lot of support from his family including his wife and his sister. However, Shayna also competes. She doesn’t race for CTR, but she does race for another team.

“She’s been racing since she was about 3 years old,” added Cory. “She’s a top ranked female in the world racing flat track and she is the only female to have won a professional race. In 2014 the two of us were the first brother and sister to make a GNC 1 main event and in 2015 we were the first brother and sister to compete in the X Games.”

They both are involved in this year’s X Games, which will be broadcasted on ESPN live on June 2. Cory will be representing his team while Shayna will be an alternate.

Cory has won some local championships, but he has not yet won a pro championship. “I’ve been consistent. I’ve won some AMA All-Star events, which is like a support series.  I know that I can contend for a championship soon. I just need to keep working hard and the pieces will fall into place. It’s just a matter of time,” he concluded.


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