Not All Great Things Have To Come To An End
HCR Racing’s Brandon Twitchell Has It Figured Out
Story By: Cody Carney
Photos By: Brandon Bunch
One of the most pleasurable experiences about working as an editor for an off-road magazine is meeting new and interesting people. Finding out about new people, their stories and how each is whackier than the next certainly keeps things interesting. It’s crazy to see how many people gravitate to not just off-road, but particularly the UTV side of the sport. And I’ll tell you, it’s never the same story. Take a gentleman by the name of Brandon Twitchell for instance. Originally a regular appliance salesman just fifteen years ago, Brandon now finds himself recently positioned as General Manager to Daystar Powersports, including the renowned HCR Racing.
Twitchell grew up in Midway, Utah. It’s a small town that today boasts a mere 5,600 residents and sits just fifty minutes away from Salt Lake City. Back in his youth, the town was about half that size, and while Brandon was growing up, he and his buddies were always out catching snakes and riding horses. Though it was normal activities one would expect from farmers, it was a far cry from the living Brandon’s taken today.
Some years later came time for Brandon, his four siblings (three brothers and one sister), and his parents to move. His father, a police officer originally, was from Bryce Canyon, and his mother from Cedar City, so it made sense this is where they would end up in order to get closer to family. From the beginning, Brandon was always an off-road guy, from early days of quads to a hand me down ‘79 XL70 that he ran to the ground, but because of financial circumstances, really did not absorb the sport seriously until he was much older.
Brandon: “When I turned 17, I got my first KX125. All of my buddies raced, and so I started racing motocross and had just an absolute blast, but with racing comes money, and we didn’t have a lot of it, so really it just came to back roots, riding up into the hills making new trails, finding the steepest hill to climb. Luckily, we had a local motocross track that we would just go to and ride any time.
I kind of got burned out on riding dirt bikes when I was about twenty-five. I always loved mountain biking, so went on to buy a downhill mountain bike, and raced very competitively for about two years. I shattered my heel going off a big jump, and that ended my career, but one of my little brothers was always with me, and so I actually handed my bike down to him, and he continued to race pro until he got married and then hung it up himself. Now my littlest brother who’s fifteen years younger than me races pro mountain biking, so that’s more what they followed than anything else.”
Though Brandon has passed the pro racing down the sibling train, his competitive itch still continues to come around.
Brandon: “I just started racing again about three years ago. I got to the point that I was in pretty good shape, but I cased a jump and wadded myself up worse than I have in a really long time. I jacked my wrist up so bad I was out for the season. I got back on it last summer and my only goal was to finish the very last race of the season. I was able to make it and came out in third place.”
A feat in itself after being out for some time. Rewinding a few pedals to back when Brandon shattered his heel, he was sort of stuck in limbo mode yet wanted to compete. This was his first opportunity at dabbling into the side-by-side realm.
Brandon: “I built a 5-1600 car and raced three times. The third time we raced it, with lack of knowledge of building a cage, it eventually broke. It knocked the boot off the motor airbox and cooked it. After that I stopped but I’ve always absolutely loved racing. Money has always been the hindrance. I can’t ever do anything halfway. If I don’t have the best of the best equipment, I feel that I’m not going to be competitive.”
Twitchell says that racing UTVs is not off the table, but if he dives into that rabbit hole that he’ll have to go all in and that doesn’t appear to be in the cards any time soon with how his career path and family priorities are. Fortunately, racing isn’t the only thing UTVs are made for. The Twitchell family’s biggest hobby is to go camping and get into one every weekend they can. Of the places they’ve been, Brandon believes Sand Hollow and Moab, Utah, to be two of his favorites, but has so many other places on the bucket list. He definitely has combined the perfect balance of his passions into an amazing package, and manages to enjoy living the UTV life day in and day out.