Cameron Eason of Hinesville is only 7 years old, but he just made his lifelong dream come true.
Eason, an amateur dirt bike racer who started racing before he was 4, has qualified for what is considered the super bowl of the motocross circuit: the 29th annual AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships, which runs July 29-Aug. 5 at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn.
Eason, a First Presbyterian Christian Academy student, took on more than 20,000 hopefuls to earn one of 1,386 qualifying positions, according to the AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships and its producer MX Sports, Inc.
Eason’s mother Becky said her son will compete in a class of 20 riders
“He was qualified in two classes, but the class that we chose has 20 riders, and out of the whole United States only those 20 can go,” she said. “He’s in the top 20 of the United States.”
Eason has spent the past four months qualifying by competing across the Southeast and as far north as Pennsylvania for the regional meet. The top finishers in an area and regional qualifiers earn berths to the national championship race.
“He has been to two national meets before,” Becky Eason said, adding that Cameron is interested in becoming a professional motocross racer.
“The amateur nationals at Loretta Lynn’s is the event every motocross racer in the country wants to compete in,” event director Tim Cotter said. “A win at the amateur nationals gives a rider instant national notoriety and can serve as a springboard to a lucrative professional motocross career.”
Cotter said many of America’s top professional motocrossers — including James Stewart, Ricky Carmichael, Travis Pastrana and Jeremy McGrath — have won AMA Amateur National Championships. Last year, teenage stars Dean Wilson of California and Eli Toma of Colorado won professional contracts for the season. The track contains a variety of jumps, corners and other obstacles designed to test the skills and stamina of the racers.
“We can’t wait to go,” Becky Eason said. “This is the first time we’ve made it to Loretta’s. We’ve tried before, but this is our first time. We leave next Wednesday.”
In addition to battling the course, Cameron will also have to battle the heat. The race is a three moto format of 15 minutes each. Eason will have one 30-minute practice session.
His mother said it’s going to be intense.
“My heart beats until they wave that checkered flag,” she said.