Clarkson Hagan is no stranger to Motocross. He’s just 7 years old, but he’s been racing since he was 4.
“We put training wheels on a Honda-50 and he would ride it around back,” Clarkson’s mom Lindsey Hagan said. “No one in our family did motocross; I had no idea this sport even existed. My husband Grant did dirt cars when he was a teenager but nothing like this.”
Little did they know that just a couple of years later, their son would qualify for an event they describe as the Superbowl for Motocross. When friends who raced competitively invited the Hagan family to go to races with them, they started to gain interest in the sport.
“That’s how we started to get into it,” Hagan said. “We started to travel more, go to bigger races, and then Clarkson started to get better and more comfortable on the bike. His natural talent was starting to show.”
Clarkson raced in Casey, Ill. — which serves as his home track — earning his ticket to Loretta’s. Last year, Clarkson qualified as an alternate, placing 15th overall.
“People want to try to get there; the top 42 kids in the country are there. People from all over the world will come,” she said. “We have been training a lot and have been trying to get him seat time at several training facilities.”
Over time, Hagan said her son has continued to improve.
This will be Hagan’s last year racing as a junior, and he will move to the senior division next year. To make it to the level he’s at right now is something that makes both his parents and his community proud.
The races will be held in Hurricane Mills, Tenn., at Loretta Lynn’s ranch on Aug. 3-8. According to the event website, the outdoor championship is still on, with added health and safety precautions recommended by the Safe-to-Race Task Force.
As for the young racer, he’s just as excited to have this opportunity as his parents are. Last year, Loretta’s was his favorite racing event and he said he can’t wait to return this week. After all, a ticket to Loretta’s is the ultimate accomplishment in racing.
“My favorite part of motocross is the jumps because you get to fly in the air,” Clarkson said. “I can’t wait to race.”