Cameron Eason of Hinesville was shooting for the top at the 29th annual AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships, held July 29-Aug. 5 at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn.
The 7-year-old racer was confident he could win and was ahead of the entire pack when disaster struck.
“In his first moto, he took off and led the whole race, and his motor blew up 20 feet before the finish line,” his dad Chris Eason said. “The motor gave up on him.”
But the second-grader at First Presbyterian Christian Academy in Hinesville still was determined to keep going and finished the competition ranked eighth in the nation. He races in the 4-6 age class.
The AMA championship was a three-moto format in which the racers’ final results were averaged and totaled after the three runs.
Chris Eason said he tried to see if the motor could be rebuilt by the KTM bike technicians who were at the event, but they couldn’t guarantee it would hold. Chris Eason said he placed the backup motor on the bike and just hoped for the best.
“If the bike would have held together, he could have walked out of there with the No. 1 place,” Chris eason said. “Still, it was pretty awesome.”
Pretty good for a boy who started racing only two years ago. After watching his older brother Keaton, 11, race, Cameron decided to give it a go.
Cameron Eason said he felt good about his finish, but he was disappointed when his engine blew. The youngster said he plans to race until he is established as a professional.
“It’s fun,” Cameron Eason said. “It’s fun to catch air.”
Chris Eason said finishing in the top 10 at the AMA Nationals is difficult, and to lead an entire race is nearly impossible. Folks quickly took notice of his son’s accomplishment.
“People came up to me afterwards and said, ‘You know, we’ve been here 10 years in a row and my son has never led a lap here,’” Chris Eason said. “So for him to lead that whole race there was pretty cool.”
Chris Eason said they spend more time living in their RV than they spend at home, but the family wouldn’t trade the experience.
“It isn’t every kid in the world that gets to travel all over the country as a family and do something fun like this,” dad said. “Your average kid sits at home on a Saturday or Sunday and plays Nintendo. We are cooped up in that thing (RV) and it keeps our family pretty tight, but we are together and that’s the main thing. He will definitely see a whole lot more than a lot of kids do.”
Cameron Eason will start racing in the new class at the upcoming 41st annual Thor Winter National Olympics during Thanksgiving Week in Florida.