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Local boy wins national ATV race

August 14, 2018 | 5:39 am

Updated August 14, 2018 | 5:39 am

Stiles West | Photo by Jamie Alexander

Owensboro’s Stiles West finished his racing season with a victory this weekend at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch, which is considered the Superbowl of ATV Motocross racing.

West took first place in the 4-8-year-old 50cc Open Class at Loretta’s, adding Tennessee State Champion to his list of championships this season, which already included Illinois State Champion and Pennsylvania State Champion.

Each race during the ATV National Motocross season is considered a state championship in whatever state the race is held. Points are accumulated throughout the season for the national series. The win this weekend at Loretta’s helped secure Stiles as the second place finisher overall in the 2018 American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) ATV National Motocross Series.

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“I was so excited I almost jumped off my (4-wheeler) I was so proud of myself,” Stiles said after this being named a Loretta’s champion.

Todd West, Stiles’ father, said Stiles had a 10-second lead on the last lap after jumping out early and never looked back.

“He ran a good, clean race,” Todd said.

Friday’s practice was rained out, which left the track muddy Saturday morning. That being the case, the mechanics set Stiles’ 4-wheeler up for muddy conditions for the Moto 1 race Saturday, which was a side-by-side duel within an ⅛ of an inch at the finish line.

“Saturday night we set the 4-wheeler up completely differently for drier track conditions on Sunday,” Todd said. “We changed the tires, the gearing, everything. We were ready.”

The Moto 2 race Sunday was all Stiles. “I just tried my hardest and I’m so proud to be a Loretta’s champion,” Stiles said. “There are so many racers here and everybody wants to win it because it’s the biggest race of the year.”

Next season, Stiles plans to compete in both the 50cc and the 70cc classes in the AMA ATV National Motocross Series.

August 14, 2018 | 5:39 am

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