HUNTINGTON — Blake Abboud is the latest in his family and one of thousands of riders who were vying for the spotlight at the Rocky Mountain ATV/MC Amateur National Motocross National Championship at Loretta Lynn's in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, last weekend.
Abboud, a 5-year-old competitor from Winfield, qualified for the national championship on the 51cc 5-6 Special Limited class at the national youth regional June 15 at the South of the Border MX event in Hamer, South Carolina.
Blake's older brother, Gavin, and their father Brandon all raced on the amateur motocross circuit.
Gavin, 7, qualified for the same event last year. But moving up in class this year proved to be a challenge with a bigger bike and he did not qualify for the national championship. Instead, the older sibling has taken on a mentor role with his younger brother.
"Hopefully one day, if they keep it up, a manufacturer will pick them up (for sponsorship)," the boys' grandfather George Abboud said. "That what all these kids shoot for, to eventually be picked up and have a great shot at turning pro."
The eldest Abboud helped the boys' father during his racing days and now helps with the finances the boys' sponsors don't cover so his grandsons can pursue their dream.
Racers can qualify for multiple events for age groups and the size of the engine used in the bike. Other riders from the area competing at the amateur national championship were Tucker Snyder of Milton, who competed in the Junior (25+) event; Cameron Manns of Branchland and Izaiah Sigler of Russell in the 51cc (4-6) LTD class; Charleston's Warren Andruzis in the 51cc (4-6) Shaft Drive LTD and Ryder Andruzis in the 51cc (7-8) LTD; and Gage Spaun of Cheshire, Ohio.
Racing began Tuesday and concluded Saturday. Results of the races are posted online at mxsports.com.