At the age of six, Owensboro native Kayson McKay secured a spot in the AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship at the ranch of famous country star, Loretta Lynn. McKay’s fifth-place finish at the youth regional qualifier held last weekend in Buchanan, Mich., makes him one of only 42 participants to advance to the event. The national event is set to take place during the week of July 29 in Hurricane Mills, Tenn.
Kayson received his first dirt bike from Santa Claus at the age of two and it was love at first sight. His passion for motocross stems from his father, Cole, who grew up around the sport and wanted to share that same enthusiasm with his son. Kayson began racing at the age of three and has built quite the resume in his young career, often competing in older age divisions.
The AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship is the largest of its kind. It has been Kayson’s dream to qualify for the event since he first took an interest in the sport. After coming up just short of qualifying for the event last year, Kayson was determined to punch his ticket this year.
“I finally made it,” Kayson said. “This has been a goal of mine forever.”
Cole and Kayson’s mother, Karah Koger, shared in the excitement about the upcoming adventure.
“I am so ecstatic and happy for him,” Koger said. “His discipline and determination are awesome — it makes you feel good being a parent — you know you’re doing something right.”
Kayson’s passion for motocross and his purpose-driven mentality were born at a young age.
“He was three and would watch the older riders at races,” Koger said. “He loved it so much — it was soothing to him — he would fall asleep in our lap.”
That passion led to his infatuation with the motocross championship held at Loretta Lynn’s ranch.
“We went down to Loretta’s to watch a friend compete two years ago, and he’s been sold ever since,” Koger said. “He wasn’t going to take no for an answer.”
Kayson still reps the same bike Santa brought him four years ago, a Cobra P3 50 CC 2-stroke motorcycle. Unlike some of his competitors who have newer bikes and additional sponsors, Kayson relies heavily on his ability and the tireless work of his parents.
“We constantly hear that we won’t make it because of money, but we are defying those odds,” Koger said. “Kayson has the talent and he’s determined and that’s what is making it happen – we constantly hear that his determination is inspiring to others.”
While the majority of training takes place in the backyard, Kayson also trains with a former professional rider, Dylan Cox, here in town. An added emphasis for the upcoming national race is for him to become more acclimated to racing in sand, as that consumes much of the track at Loretta’s.
With the race just a few months away, Kayson is keeping his goals and expectations simple.
“I just want to try my best,” Kayson said.