With the help of my family and friends I had made it to Tennessee, Carlos from 51 FIFTY helped us with our bike, Larry with Moto Efx created some totally cool graphics and Matt from BOSS worked on my suspension…..my bike was ready to ride!
The Championship race at Loretta Lynn’s is the Olympics for dirt bike racers. You have to qualify through multiple races to earn a spot in the main event in Tennessee. Kids qualify from all over the world including Japan, Australia, and Brazil. Each class has only 43 kids that earn spots to the event. All of the races were really fun to watch because we get to see people from other states around the world and everyone is really fast.
I am not sure how we did it, but with people parked miles from the track…. We got the best spot in the place. We parked right behind the mechanics area in view of the starting gate and most of the track. Our spot was the place most people went to watch the races which was perfect because it gave me a chance to promote my sponsors a little.
My first day on the track was for one 20 minute practice session. When we got to the track in the morning we were a little sad that it was raining. It is difficult to get a good practice on a track that is all muddy and messy.
My practice didn’t go to well…I fell a couple of times and most of the jumps were too wet for anyone to hit. I was defiantly at a disadvantage with most of the kids in my class. Out of the 43 riders in my class 38 of them are a year older than I am, and they have been to the race in previous years and they had the advantage of already knowing the track. Although I was hoping for a better practice I couldn’t wait for the next day to race.
After practice. We went back to our hotel, washed my bike, and I helped my Dad change the oil.
When the gate dropped I was ready to go. I was able to be the first person out of the gate and I got the hole shot. I couldn’t believe that I got such a great start…..it was totally cool. Both because I wasn’t completely comfortable on the track and my bike didn’t turn as well as some of the other kids bikes, I fell back a little but was able to pull off a 9th place finish. It was soooooo hot and I am not used to riding in that much heat for a 20 minute race. When I came around to get the checkered flag, I cleared the jump before the finish but when I landed my hand slipped off the handlebar and I went flying. I was thrown through the finish line and my bike flipped through it as well. So I finished in 9th place but I wasn’t even on my bike when I crossed the finish line. Lol
It was really cool to get on the podium at Loretta’s and have a chance to thank all of my sponsors.
The next day was my second race and it was the last race of the day. The track was super rough and the weather started to change. It was still super hot, but the wind came up a little and the rain was expected at any time. I was hoping I would be able to finish my race before it started raining. I had another good start and I had some really good battles and made some hard passes. Towards the last 3laps of my race I started seeing lightning coming down on the track. It never rained but it was really strange to be riding and seeing huge flashes of light. I was able to finish the race with a 10th place and be under the top 10 tent for a second time.
Michael from 51 FIFTY Energy Drink flew into Tennessee and was there to watch me ride my last race. Before my race Michael and I got to hang out and have some fun watching the races. He even introduced me to other riders and we got to talk about the track.
Ten minutes before my last race I was getting dressed to race and out of nowhere a huge tree fell in our pit area. Luckily we were getting ready to race and not sitting in our chairs. The tree destroyed our easy up and bent the handlebars on my bike. My Dad didn’t have enough time to change my bars so I had to race with them bent. It was so crazy that the tree fell, and I am so happy that no one was hurt.
In my last race I again got a good start, I had to make a couple hard passes and was able to finish in 9th place…..which gave me a 9th place overall finish. Three races, three times in the tent and a top 10 finish….I was pretty happy with that for my first time there. From race one to the final race I increased my lap times by 10 seconds and kept improving on different sections of the track. I can’t wait to improve on what I learned this year at next years race.
After my last race Michael took me to the river to get cooled off….it felt so good!
After all the races we went back to the Loretta Lynn pavilion for the awards ceremony. I was really excited to be able to make it to the awards ceremony and be in the top 10 (1 percent) of racers that make it to the event.