Weatherford High School student and avid motocross fan Coleton Street may only be 16 years old, but the junior is already making a name for himself within the sport he loves.
Street recently qualified for the 38th annual Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship, presented by Lucas Oil July 30 through Aug. 3 at the Loretta Lynn Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee.
Street successfully fought for a spot, one of 1,512 out of nearly 20,000 original hopefuls across the country, in the upcoming week-long event, which hosts races across 36 different classes (determined by engine size and age) annually.
For Street, who is set to compete in the 250c and 125c classes, earning a spot at Loretta Lynn stands as the culmination of a life-long dream and plenty of hard work, the WHS student said.
“I started racing at the age of 6,” Street said.
“When I was little, my dad would take me around on his dirt bike and then I started watching the pros on Supercross. My biggest inspiration was Ryan Villopoto (a former professional motocross and Supercross racer). Just watching him win gave me more motivation to work harder.”
Simply making it to this level of amateur motocross competition is an exceptional feat worthy of praise, Director of MX Sports Tim Cotter said in a press release.
“The Amateur National at Loretta Lynn’s is the best of the best motocrossers in America and around the world,” Cotter said.
“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.”
Street said he was familiar with the Rocky Mountain ATV/M AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship long before his own journey there as a contestant began, albeit as a fan and spectator.
“We’ve always known about Loretta Lynn,” Street said.
“We’ve been to see it in 2016, watching our friends go. [For me] to go now, everyone is pretty hyped, I’m hyped.”
Hopeful qualifiers for Loretta Lynn must go through two levels of prior competition, area and regional qualifiers, over the course of four months to earn a spot at the Hurricane Mills, Tennessee based event.
There are 54 area qualifiers and 13 regional qualifiers nationwide.
While races at each level vary by location and layout, Loretta Lynn presents a unique challenge unlike anything Street has faced up to this point, the junior said.
“Loretta Lynn is a small track, but it gets really rough compared to all the other tracks,” Street said.
“Plus there are 40 something riders at the gate. The [events] are 15-20 minutes. Hardly any of the local races are that long. Regionals were five laps. That’s it.”
Supported by his family as well as a number of sponsors including Haltom City based auto parts store Mike’s Off Road (who help cover Street’s travel costs), the junior has been able to compete across the country doing what he loves.
Now, the biggest race of his young career is about to begin.
Race action will be streamed at www.RacerTV.com each day during the week-long event.