MAINE, Maine — After qualifying at the regionals in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, six-year-old Tucker Chase is headed to the largest motocross event in the world at Loretta Lynn Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee: the Amateur National Motocross Championship.
There are roughly 126,000 people who try to qualify for the coveted event. Only 22 people from Maine have ever qualified in the 41-year history of the event, and Tucker is the youngest.
The boy from Raymond started practicing just two years ago when COVID hit, and he is hitting impressive jumps for a kid his age. He has a trophy room with more than 100 trophies after winning races all across the country.
"Did his first race at [age] four down in Skowhegan, Maine, and we were like, "Man, he might have a knack for this," Tucker's father, Aaron Chase, said.
To qualify for the national championship, you must participate in a two-step qualifying process consisting of area qualifiers and regional championships. Only the top six in the regional championship get a ticket to the championship in Tennessee. Tucker finished sixth and secured a ticket.
Tucker's father said he gained a lot of discipline because of the sport, which is physically and mentally demanding. He said this discipline has transferred to his schoolwork too.
Aaron Chase said he and his wife don't worry too much about the sport's danger because Tucker has been going to professional trainings and camps throughout the country where he trains for months to get the techniques and fundamentals down.
"He has realized that in order to get good at something, you have to put in the practice," Aaron Chase said, adding, "He has the skillset."
Tucker's grandfather, who he calls "Papa," has taken on the role of bringing him to races and trainings while his parents work in Maine.
"I am fortunate enough to be able to transport him all over the United States, basically to do his racing," Papa said.
Aaron Chase said it's an expensive sport between trip costs, bike, replacements, gas, gear, entries, traveling, and more.
The Amateur National Motocross Championship is from Aug. 1-6. You can click here for more event details.
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