A total of 1386 riders, capacity 42 per class in 33 classes, are competing this week in the 27th Annual Air Nautiques AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships at Loretta Lynn Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn. Each will compete in three motos that will determine the amateur national champions. The event got underway on Tuesday.
The event not only brings out the entire amateur motocross industry, but a lot of Loretta Lynn alumni and top professional riders to watch, as well. Some of the famous faces spotted in the crowd include 2008 AMA Supercross Champion Chad Reed, AMA Toyota Motocross and Motocross Lites points leaders James Stewart and Ryan Villopoto; Washougal National winner Ryan Dungey, Honda Red Bull Racing’s Ben Townley and his fellow New Zealander Cody Cooper, as well as BBMX/DNA Energy Honda’s Jason Thomas. Other alumni spotted include Buddy Antunez, Jimmy Button, Denny Stephenson, Robbie Reynard, Casey Johnson and Mike Craig, whose son Christian is racing this week.
The action isn’t only on the track this week, as other entertainment opportunities abound. Some events featured so far included the Air Nautiques wakeboard jam, featuring two-time X Games gold medallist Parks Bonifay. Hundreds of racers enjoyed the jam session that featured a huge kicker ramp and a 100-foot long rail slide created on Lake Loretta specifically for this event.
Also in the crowd was star and film and television Corbin Bleu, who was on hand signing autographs and posing for photos with young fans and promoting his upcoming movie Free Style. He portrays a young motocross racer in his quest for an amateur national championship in the movie, which is scheduled to be released nationally in January.
On Monday, nine-time Loretta Lynn champion and current AMA Monster Energy Supercross Champion James Stewart was on hand to watch his younger brother Malcolm tag his first Gold Moto Medal in the Motocross B Modified class, his first moto win at Loretta Lynn’s. The elder Stewart was the first person after the finish line to give his younger sibling a congratulatory hug.