Eric and Taylor Jennings' ESJ Graphics ATV Race Team Goes for a Wild Ride this Season

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Eric Jennings can only watch as his 2012 season goes up in flames
Eric Jennings can only watch as his 2012 season goes up in flames
If there are still any lingering doubts about what role high-octane enriched DNA, and environment plays in racing success, we have a little anecdote for you. The ESJ Graphics Race Team running out of Otisville, New York is a father and daughter squad. Dad, Eric Jennings raced his first ATV event at a local track in 2003, and oddly enough he won. Suspecting he might be on to something, Eric wisely stayed with it, and has since tallied wins in 35 Nationals and 16 Championships.

It appeared at first as though this was going to become the sort of addiction even Dr. Drew couldn't get under control. Then in 2007 Taylor was born, and Eric understandably kicked back his racing schedule to dote over his new daughter. Somewhere along the line doting began to include tech-talk, and discussions about how the fastest path from one corner, to another is a straight line, and the next thing you know Taylor is pointing at dad's ATV and saying "me want one." For the record that last part is only a theory, but here are the facts. In 2010, at the ripe age of three, in her very first year of racing, Taylor earned the number 4 National plate in the ATVA EDT Series. The next year she earned her first championship in the NE EDT Series.

Taylor graduated from kindergarten this year, and before she started the first grade on September 1, she spent the summer testing her speed against the fastest 50cc riders in the country, racing in the NE EDT FNS series, the same one dad competes in. Eric had to sit out Round 1 back in April due to a cut tendon in his thumb, leaving Taylor on her own to defend the ESJ Graphics team legacy. The diminutive dynamo from Otisville proved she was up to the task finishing in 2nd place.

Eric came back with a vengeance in Round 2, finishing 2nd in the Pro class and 5th in Pro/Am. Taylor also finished 2nd. Then in Round 3 Taylor won, and so did Eric, in both Pro and Pro/Am. After the first three rounds Eric and Taylor also both had the overall championship points lead. But that's when the mustard began sliding off the hotdog for the ESJ Graphics Race Team.

Taylor Jennings held up the family racing legacy, missing the 2012 50cc Championship by just five points
Taylor Jennings held up the family racing legacy, missing the 2012 50cc Championship by just five points
In Round 4 Eric scored another 2nd place in Pro/Am, but after a first lap tangle up with another rider, he had to post a DNF in the Pro column. Taylor meanwhile continued her run of straight podium finishes with one more 2nd place. Eric had no way of knowing at the time that this would be the last complete race of his NE EDT series season.

In Round 5, Eric, along with several hundred fans and spectators watched powerlessly, as Eric's YFZ 450 went up in flames on the last lap of the Pro heat, while he was in 2nd place. "I can't buy good luck," declared a dejected Eric. "I missed the first round because of my thumb, I'm four points out of 2nd in the Pro class, and now this!"

Proving that bad luck can be as contagious as winning, Taylor's transmission locked up during her Round 5 race, putting her out of the championship chase. However, with her bike back in full race force for Round 6, and a genetically driven need-to-lead, the pocket-sized girl-wonder dominated both her heat and main event, coming just five tiny points short of the 2012 50cc Championship. "I tried dad!" stated Taylor afterward.

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