Local racer, 11, qualifies for Loretta Lynn’s National Championship

11-year-old Lilly-Ann Pettus qualified to compete in this year’s AMA National Motocross Championship at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Tenn. Aug 3-8. (photos courtesy of Jessica Pettus - @ lillyann_716)

HURRICANE MILLS, Tenn. – This year’s AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship is coming up next month and there will be a young, local racer in the field at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch. Eleven-year-old Lilly-Ann Pettus is currently the youngest qualifier in this year’s age 11-16 division. The full schedule and race order will be released at a later date, but this year’s event will be held Aug. 3-8 at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee.

The racetrack is utilized just twice a year for the AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships (since 1982) and AMA ATV Motocross Championship (since 1985). A track used so little ensures a fair playing field, and no “hometown advantage,” since no one will have a chance to ride or race on it before the rest of the competition arrives.

Lilly fought through Area Qualifiers and Regional Championships to earn this chance to compete on this stage and her mother, Jessica Pettus, has been extremely proud to watch her work and accomplish her goals.

“I’m just so proud of her. She has worked so hard to chase this dream,” Pettus said. “She was the underdog in the class because of her age. She was competing with girls much older than her and they were on bigger bikes as well, but she never gave up and raced for that golden ticket!”

If you want to learn more about Lilly’s path to Loretta Lynn’s Ranch or continue to track her career going forward, you can follow her on Instagram @lillyann_716.

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Nick Griffin