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Joseph Waylon Hughes just made his dream come true. Known as Waylon, the 5 year old dirt bike racer recently qualified for the largest amateur motocross race in the world. The 38thannual Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship, presented by Lucas Oil, will be held July 30-August 3 at the historic Loretta Lynn Ranch. Waylon took on nearly 20,000 racers nationwide competing for one of the 1,512 qualifying positions.
“The Amateur National at Loretta Lynn's is the best of the best motocrossers in America and around the world,” said Tim Cotter, Director of MX Sports. “Just being there makes you an elite racer and a top athlete. A solid finish at Loretta's would give you instant National recognition and possibly a professional career.”
With the help of sponsors such as Bell Helmets and Carolina Cobra Connection, Waylon has had the opportunity to pursue his dreams. He has competed in over 20 races since March 2018 and competes whenever he can, or practice on his home track that his family built for him.
Waylon will make the long trip to Hurricane Mills in Tennessee, accompanied by his parents, Brandon and Lindsey Hughes. They will be camping onsite for the week-long event, and will participate in many non-racing activities.
Waylon is just one of nearly 20,000 racers across the country who have 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 ranch. Racers may enter a wide variety of classes, from mini cycles for children as young as four, all the way up to a senior division for riders over 50. There are also classes for women an classes for both stock and modified cycles. In total, 36 different classes will be available for competition. Waylon will compete in the highly competitive Special Limited Class 50cc for 4 to 6 year olds.
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 15-20 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 and consider the event to be their family's summer vacation. Besides motocross, many activities are available, such as swimming, talent show, concerts, and live entertainment.