CHESHIRE — Cheshire’s Gage Spaun just made his dream come true.
The 11-year-old dirt bike racer has qualified for one of the largest amateur motocross races in the world, the 37th annual Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship, presented by Lucas Oil, to be held this August at the Loretta Lynn Ranch. Spaun took on over 22,000 hopefuls from across America to earn one of just 1,446 qualifying positions.
“The Amateur National at Loretta Lynn’s is the best of the best motcrossers in America and around the world,” said Tim Cotter Director of MX Sports. “Just being here makes you an elite racer and a top athlete. A solid finish at Loretta’s would you give you instant National recognition and a possible professional career.”
Most of America’s top professional motocross racers, including James Stewart, Ricky Carmichael, Travis Pastrana and Ryan Dungey, have won AMA Amateur National titles at Loretta Lynn’s.
Spaun who attends River Valley Middle School in the seventh grade has been riding dirt bikes since he was 4-years-old.
With the help of sponsors such as Bell Helmets, AOMC, Five Six 0 Graphics, FXR, and Motosport, Spaun has had the opportunity to pursue his dreams. He competes nearly every weekend at both local tracks as well as tracks across many states. When he is not racing, Gage trains with Levi Kilbarger and Chris Whitcraft.
Spaun will make the long journey to Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, along with his dad, mom and sister Riley. The race will run later this summer. Spaun and his family will be camping onsite for the week-long event and will participate in many non-racing evening activities.
Spaun is just one of the over 22,000 racers across the country who spent the last four months qualifying for the event. The top finishers in Area Qualifiers and Regional Championships earn a gate position in the National Championship race at Loretta Lynn’s. Racers may enter a wide variety of classes, from minicycle classes for children as young as four, all the way up to a senior division for riders over 50. There are also classes for women and classes for both stock and modified machines. In total, there are 35 different classes of competition. Spaun will compete in the highly competitive 65 (10-11) Limited class.
The track is built on a section of Loretta Lynn Ranch and Campground in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. The course contains a variety of jumps, corners and other obstacles designed to test the skills and stamina of the racers. The motocross track is used only once a year for motorcycles, so there is no hometown advantage. Racers compete in three 20 minute races over the course of the week per class, sometimes in grueling temperatures. Proper training and preparation are paramount.
Most riders attend the event with the help of their families. Besides the races, the week-long event hosts many family-friendly activities, including swimming, talent show, concerts, and live entertainment.
The race action will be broadcast live daily at www.RacerTV.com in late July for a total of 40 hours of live coverage. In addition, two highlight shows featuring the event will air on NBC Sports Network in the fall.
For additional information on the Amateur National, visit the official website at www.mxsports.com or call (304) 284-0101. Also those interested can follow the official Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts for further information.
Gage is the son of Travis and Jessica Spaun of Cheshire.