Travis PeCoy Building Momentum Towards Lites Championship Charge
If you were watching the second half of last year’s GRC Lites championship, chances are you saw then-rookie Travis PeCoy beginning to make his mark. The Californian off-road racer found his form last summer to the tune of his first heat victory and podium in the series, and the fifth-most points of any Lites driver in the final five rounds of the year.
Fast forward a year, and PeCoy is now one of the series’ top drivers. Now the top point-scorer on defending class champions Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, PeCoy is a career-best third in the standings, has seven straight top-five finishes, and has his sights on the championship.
“I think subconsciously I’ve been a lot more aggressive in the second half of the season,” PeCoy explained. “There have been more make it or break it decisions, and they’ve always seemed to work out, so I’ve had good luck on my side so far. But my aggression has definitely helped me get heat wins, semi wins, and a couple of podiums.”
Alongside teammates Christian Brooks and Alex Keyes, who rank fourth and fifth in points, DRR’s new three-car lineup has put at least one driver on the podium in eight of nine rounds so far this year. According to PeCoy, it’s a mixture of professionalism and camaraderie that sets the squad apart from the rest of the GRC Lites paddock.
“It’s really kind of funny,” he says of the team atmosphere. “We get off the track and we get our work done. We do our homework, look at video and data, talk with the mechanics and the coaches, we figure everything out, and it’s perfect. But once we’re all done with that, we’re probably one of the goofiest teams in the paddock!
“We have a good time, everyone is super friendly, and there’s never been tension under the tent the whole year. It’s really just a big band of brothers.”
Beyond the close-knit nature of the team, all three drivers also benefit from each others’ skill sets. Brooks and Keyes joined the series from karting and open-wheel backgrounds, while PeCoy brings a wealth of dirt experience as an active Pro Lite driver in short-course racing. Between them, they’re able to share information on every sector of each course to assemble a perfect lap—especially important when every course on the schedule is uniquely constructed for any given weekend.
“That’s kind of how it’s worked out,” he continues. “With Christian and Alex, if we’re going by sector times, I’d say 80% of the time I’m a couple tenths faster in the dirt section, and they’re a couple tenths faster in the asphalt. So most of the time it’s about good coaching back and forth—they can tell me what they see in the asphalt, and I can tell them what I see in the dirt.”
With three rounds remaining, PeCoy sits 102 points behind championship leader Cyril Raymond, and 34 behind second-place Conner Martell. With over 220 points still up for grabs, the second-year driver has his sights set on climbing the next two spots and claiming the crown in front of friends and family in Los Angeles.
“I think (a championship) is 100% realistic,” he concluded. “You always have to stay optimistic. I think that everybody has bad luck—I had it in Memphis and Louisville, and we saw Cyril had some bad luck in Atlantic City.
“Anything can happen, especially in GRC, where there’s so much going on. I wouldn’t be that surprised if we saw a pretty dramatic change in the points over these last three races.”
Watch GRC Lites Atlantic City on NBCSN on Thursday, August 24 at 1:30PM ET.
Photo credit: Louis Yio (1, 3-4); Larry Chen (2)