Written by Claire Cornelius
Tory Matajcic, an 8-year-old from Lake Havasu City, entered the world of off-road racing on a whim when he participated in his first race while camping with his family.
“We were in last place,” Matajcic said. “I went off the track and wasn't very happy. It ignited in me the desire to win.”
Since that fateful day, Matajcic has continued to pursue that feeling of victory. Her dedication culminated in her accomplishment in 2018 when she won her WORCS Racing Women's ATV Pro championship for the first time. Impressively, she didn't stop there. Matajcic defended his title for the fifth year in a row.
That first win is the proudest moment of her career.
“Winning the championship was a big accomplishment for me after several years of injuries and mechanical problems,” Matajcic said.
Integral to Matajcic's journey was the unwavering support of her stepfather, who played a pivotal role in both her life and the success of her racing career. From turning wrenches on her girlfriend's ATV to providing valuable insight on her rides, he was a constant source of guidance and encouragement.
“He always wants what's best for me and I definitely couldn't do it without him,” Matajcic said.
Matajcic’s off-road racing journey has given her a unique perspective on the challenges that off-road racing presents.
“I've played a lot of sports and they've all been tough,” Matajcic said. “However, racing is a very dangerous sport, so the mental aspect is a big part of it.”
Matajcic's dedication to off-road racing is all-encompassing.
“That's been my whole life,” Matajcic said. “And a lot of people don't realize that I gave up all school activities like dance and college. My whole childhood was spent racing.”
Matajcic gives back to members of the off-road racing community who have made the same sacrifices by hosting training sessions for all age groups.
Of the nine races that WORCS holds each season, the event held at Lake Havasu attracts the largest number of spectators.
“Havasu is a hotspot for racing,” Matajcic said. “Racing on the island is a really cool destination and there are also water jumps where riders jump over the water right next to the lake.”
The next WORCS race on Lake Havasu is scheduled for the weekend of March 15th at Crazy Horse Campground.