For the second time in her career, Kingsport’s Jessica Coates has ridden her way into the largest amateur motocross race in the world.
Coates beat out 20,000 hopefuls and earned one of just 1,386 slots in the Air Nautiques/AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships, which will be held at Loretta Lynn’s ranch in Hurricane Mills from Aug. 1-8.
James Stewart, Ricky Carmichael, Travis Pastrana and Jeremy McGrath are among the riders who have kickstarted their pro careers by winning the event.
“The Amateur Nationals at Loretta Lynn’s is the event every motocross racer in the country wants to compete in,” said Tim Cotter, the event director. “A win at the Amateur Nationals can serve as a springboard to a lucrative professional motocross career.”
Coates, who has been riding competitively since she was 12 years old, also qualified for the Amateur Nationals in 2007. The 18-year-old competes nearly every week in the Victory Sports Series, which is comprised of events held in Tennessee, Virginia, and the Carolinas.
She has placed in the top three in the series in each of the last four years and hopes to have a breakthrough at the Amateur Nationals next month.
Coates will be back in action this weekend at Muddy Creek Raceway in Blountville, which plays host to the Kawasaki Tennessee State Motocross Championship.
Hundreds of racers from 15 states will be on hand at Muddy Creek when practice begins today.
The 39 different classes will get busy racing on Saturday and Sunday. For a full schedule and more information, visit www.victory-sports.com.
In other action this weekend, Volunteer Speedway will hold a fan appreciation night, the NHRA State Championships are coming to Bristol Dragway and Lonesome Pine Raceway will welcome the USCS Winged Outlaw Sprint Cars.
Admission will be $5 at Volunteer Speedway on Saturday with the Super Late Model, Pro Late Model and Hobby Stock divisions.
Kids 13 and under will be admitted for free and there will be several giveaways during the evening.
For more information, visit www.volunteerpseedway.com.
Meanwhile, the DER Racing Series will be in action in Thunder Valley on Saturday and Sunday.
Winners on Saturday will receive plaques to commemorate their victories.
For more information and a full schedule, contact Red Whitmore at (423) 989-6952 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the heels of a high-speed visit from the UARA-Stars, Lonesome Pine Raceway will host another entertaining program on Saturday night when the Outlaw sprint cars come to Coeburn.
It’s been 10 years since the series last visited LPR, but the 40-lap feature that will highlight Saturday’s Morgan McClure Chevrolet Speed Spectacular promises to deliver plenty of excitement.
For more information and a full schedule of activities, visit www.thepineraceway.com.