After winning first place in the Loretta Lynn Regional qualifier at Nashville June 22 and 23, motocross champion Robbie Hurtt, a 16-year-old Salem High School student, will be among the best of the best competing at the Loretta Lynn Amateur National Championship competition at Hurricane Mills, Tenn., Aug. 5 through 10.
Hurtt will compete against the top 42 riders in the world in his class. "This is the granddaddy of all races; it's the most prestigious amateur race," Hurtt said.
Ranked number one in the North Central region and ranked in the top seven in the United States in the 250 C class is quite an accomplishment, his trainer, Rusty Busby, said.
Hurtt rides a Honda CR-250 built by Busby, owner of the Buzz Factory in Salem.
Busby, a former motocross competitor, has sponsored Hurtt for the last two years. He does custom performance work on any type of dirt bike according to rider ability and weight.
Busby said he has to rebuild Hurtt's bike about every eight races because the pistons and rings wear out. It's an expensive sport, but he wants the bike to perform at 100 percent, he added.
Busby trains Hurtt on a practice track in Glencoe. The training includes drills, running laps, various techniques, jumping, passing, cornering and starting.
During the season they train about every other day and race every weekend all over Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.
Hurtt said every racetrack is different and Busby helps him figure out where to pass.
In April of this year Hurtt placed first in the Loretta Lynn Area Qualifier competition in Casey, Ill.
In October of last year Hurtt won the State Motocross Championship in the 125CC Novice Class in Pine Bluff. In that competition he rode a 2002 Honda CR-125 built by Busby.
Over the past two years he has won over 40 plaques and trophies.
"I thank the Buzz Factory. Both of my bikes are awesome. If I lose, it is because of me, not the bikes," Hurtt said.