The challenging and winding dirt track has led Jadyn “Tank” Serles to the national spotlight.
The 13-year-old Camano Island resident raced his way from local qualifiers all the way to the largest amateur motocross race in the world — the 38th annual Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship.
The five-day race, presented by Lucas Oil, runs July 30 to Aug. 3 at the historic Loretta Lynn Ranch in Tennessee. Tank took on nearly 20,000 hopefuls from across the U.S. to earn 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,” Tim Cotter, director of MX Sports, said in a news release. “Just being here makes you an elite racer and a top athlete. A solid finish at Loretta’s would 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.
Serles, a seventh-grader at Washington State Connections Academy, has been riding dirt bikes since he was 4 years old.
With the help of sponsors such as Sqerles Racing, Lamson Motorsports Racing Engines and Nost Suspension that help keep his bike running in peak condition, Serles has had the opportunity to pursue his dreams. Tank has won more than 50 races in the last eight years and competes nearly every weekend at local tracks and races across the country.
Tank made the journey to Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, with his family, where they will camp on site and participate in many non-racing activities with other competitors.
The top finishers in area qualifiers and regional championships earned gate positions in the national championship.
Racers may enter a wide variety of classes, 36 in all, from minicycle classes for children as young as 4, all the way up to a senior division for riders 50 and older. The competition also has classes for women and classes for both stock and modified machines.
Tank will compete in the highly competitive 85cc 10-12 limited and 85cc 10-12 mod classes.
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 no one has a hometown advantage. Racers compete in three 20-minute races over the course of the week for each class, sometimes in grueling temperatures.
Races will be broadcast live daily at RacerTV.com. In addition, shows featuring the event will air on NBC Sports Network in the fall.
For more information on the AMA Amateur National, visit the official series website at mxsports.com.