Thursday, July 23, 2015

What's after Loretta's?

It's where almost every dream of being a professional motocross racer begins. Loretta Lynn's. A win on the biggest stage of amateur racing can almost guarantee sponsors and is a giant step to one day racing a Lucas Oil Pro National. 



I really don't think people realize how hard it is to get to Loretta's. Area qualifiers are step one. Regionals are most racers first experience with a 3 moto format. Local races are short, normally 4 or 5 laps with less than 2 minute lap times making for no more than 10 minute motos. Loretta's is 20 minutes plus 2 laps. There are 7 regions that make up the gate at Loretta's. Regions take 5 to 7 riders to make the 40 spots as riders try to claim a spot as the fastest racers in the world. Here's the thing, 5th place at a regional gets you to Loretta's but 5th from 7 regions puts you battling for 35th. 

Riders at Loretta Lynn's Ranch racing the A and Pro Sport classes have a lot to do with why I do my blogs. Guys like Axell Hodges, Austin Dodd, Mitchell Harrison, Marshal Weltin, Benny Bloss and more are big names on the amateur scene. They have large sponsorships from manufactures, gear companies and industry leaders. Many guys from the A and Pro Sport classes will begin a professional career immediately after their week at the Ranch. 

The sad truth about the next stop in a motocross racers career is that with an economy that took a hit in recent years and a struggle for outside sponsors, most guys who even had full rides as amateurs end up in a pickup truck at their first Pro National. 

Most moto companies have sponsorship budgets divided in to 2 groups. Amateur and Professional. Problem is, as soon as a superstar kid turns pro they are no longer eligible for the amateur budget. On the other side, professional budgets are spent mostly on high profile names for obvious advertisement and publicity reasons. Sponsorship becomes a hard thing for privateers to manage. 

Racers please remember to be loyal to sponsors you earn. Build a relationship and don't always jump ship for a couple bucks. Be good to your local dealership. Remember how hard you have busted your ass to EARN your sponsors. 

If you qualified for Loretta Lynn's, get ready for one of the best weeks of your life. Have fun every lap of every moto. You are one of the 40 fastest racers of your class in the world. Congrats.

I look forward to some more of the fastest guys in the world becoming top privateers at the next level. 

-Kyle Pesci

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