Cullman 5 Year Old Axel Ward Makes Motorcross National Championship
Local Racer Competes for National Spotlight in AMA National Motocross Championship
5-year-old Cullman resident – Axel Ward – just made his dream come true.
The young dirt bike racer has qualified for the largest amateur motocross race 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 historic Loretta Lynn Ranch. Ward took on over 22,000 hopefuls from across America to earn one of just 1,446 qualifying positions.
Tim Cotter the Director of MX Sports had this to say about Axel’s achievement:
“The Amateur National at Loretta Lynn’s is the best of the best motocrossers in America and around the world. 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.
Ward, who will attend Cullman Primary School in August as a kindergartner, has been riding dirt bikes since he was four years old.
Ward and his dad, Chad Ward both qualified to race the Amateur National at Loretta Lynn’s this year. Chad was just injured from a dirt-bike wreck and can no longer race at Loretta’s. Chad, a former pro, raced professionally for over ten years and can not wait for his son to get to race like he did as a child.
With the help of sponsors such as Scott Goggles, FXR gear, Chad Ward Inc, and mom and dad who help pay his way to the races, Ward has had the opportunity to pursue his dreams. He has won multiple races in the last year and competes nearly every weekend at local races, as well in races across the country in Wisconsin, Illinois, Texas, Tennessee and Ohio. Ward is the 2018 Alabama State Champion in the 4 to 6-year-old shaft drive class in Arenacross.
Ward will make the long journey to Hurricane Mills, Tennessee along with his Mom, Crystal Ward, his Dad, Chad and his Sisters, Hazel and Jaylee. The race runs July 30 through August 4. Ward and his family will be camping onsite for the week-long event and will participate in many non-racing evening activities.
Ward 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. Ward will compete in the highly competitive 51cc (4-6) Shaft DR Limited class.
Ward will wear the number thirty-two as his national number on his jersey.
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. In fact, many consider the event their family support summer trip, nicknaming it the “World’s Greatest Motocross Vacation.” 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, July 30 through August 4, 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, follow the official Facebook, Twitter and Instagram account for exclusive content and to catch the latest news.
About the Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship
The Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship is the world’s largest and most prestigious amateur motocross racing program. The national qualifying program consists of 57 Area Qualifiers (February through May) and 13 Regional Championships (May through June), hosted at select motocross facilities across the country. The qualifying system culminates in the National Final (first week in August) hosted annually since 1982 at the home of country music star Loretta Lynn in Hurricane Mills, Tenn. Nearly 22,000 racers attempt to qualify in 35 classes for the 1,446 available positions at the National. Christened “The World’s Greatest Motocross Vacation”, the National event serves as a launch pad for some of the biggest names in professional motocross and supercross, including Ricky Carmichael, James Stewart, Ryan Villopoto, and Ryan Dungey. The national program is produced by MX Sports, Inc., a West Virginia-based race production company and sanctioned by AMA. For more information, please visit www.mxsports.com.
About the American Motorcyclist Association
Founded in 1924, the AMA is a not-for-profit member-based association whose mission is to promote the motorcycle lifestyle and protect the future of motorcycling. As the world’s largest motorcycling rights and event sanctioning organization, the AMA advocates for riders’ interests at all levels of government and sanctions thousands of competition and recreational events every year. The AMA also provides money-saving discounts on products and services for its members. Through the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Pickerington, Ohio, the AMA honors the heroes and heritage of motorcycling. For more information, visit www.americanmotorcyclist.com. Not a member? Join the AMA today: www.americanmotorcyclist.com/membership/join.
Cullman 5 Year Old Axe Ward Makes Motorcross National Championship
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