Riding snowmachines since the tender age of 3, Soldotna’s Cory Davis was born into the sport.
So, when his father and seven-time Iron Dog champion Scott Davis claimed his latest crown about a month ago, his son wasn’t far behind.
All it took was a last-second pass on the final lap of the season-closing race for the younger Davis to clinch the World PowerSports Association’s semi-pro open division title by a single point on March 18.
But after crossing the finish line, the results were still up in the air.
“A lot of people were saying I won it and a lot of people were saying I didn’t when I got there,” he said. “No one really knew.”
Not even Davis.
While accepting the trophy for finishing second in the season finale, the SoHi senior overheard an announcement saying he had won.
“I was pretty pumped,” he said. “There’s no doubt about it. It was a cool feeling.”
Despite entering the final race of the 10-race series at Lake Geneva, Wis., two points behind the leader, Brett Bender, and then losing another point during the three qualifying races, Davis paid no attention to the standings.
“I didn’t want to know. I didn’t want to have all that pressure,” he explained. “I told myself to ride as hard as I can and that’s the best you can do.”
After remaining third throughout most of the last race, he passed Bender on the final corner of the last lap in taking second.
Davis held high expectations entering his second full season of semi-pro racing,
“My ambitions and goals going into it were definitely to finish in the top three. I knew I was capable of it,” he said. “Mainly to do better than I did last year. I’ve got to keep progressing. I cant go backwards.”
After the way the season began, however, Davis was surprised with the outcome.
“I had a rough couple of first races. I never would have thought I would have won it at the beginning of the year,” he said. “Then we just started doing better throughout the year.
“I wasn’t riding to my potential. I wasn’t getting the finishes I should have been. I wasn’t riding like I should have been,” Davis added of the tough start.
“Then I started getting a little more comfortable. It started falling in together.”
The next decision for this 18-year old is whether or not to turn pro. But that choice, he said, is partly up to his current sponsor, Arctic Cat, which began sponsoring him roughly two years ago.
“When next year comes around we’ll start talking about it,” he said.
After capturing the semi-pro championship, though, jumping up a class is the obvious next step.
“It definitely is closer,” Davis added.
Whenever the time does come, he knows it won’t be easy.
“The class is definitely a lot higher level of racing and talent than semi-pro guys,” he said. “There’s no slow guys in the pro class. It’s just kind of how it is. You’re not going to get a slow heat.”
With an 18th-place finish in January’s Winter X Games already under his belt and now boasting the semi-pro class crown only a month after his father’s incredible achievement, Davis was more inclined to talk about his dad’s recent accomplishment when asked to compare the two.
“It’s cool that he could pull off the Iron Dog because he’s fallen short so many times,” he said. “It’s cool that he finally pulled it off. I’m happy for him.”
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