Cullman’s Carter Early, 7, punches ticket to Monster Energy AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship

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Carter Early, 7, of Cullman, will compete in the Monster Energy AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship in Tennessee in August. (Courtesy of Candi Hollis)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Seven-year-old Carter Early has been on the “Road to Loretta’s” since February, his mother Candi Hollis told The Tribune.

The West Elementary second grader has been selected to race in the “Olympics of motocross.” Hollis said this is the world’s largest and most prestigious amateur motocross race.

“My son races motocross and has been trying to qualify for the AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship,” Hollis said. “It requires a two-step process of qualification from an area qualifier to a regional championship to the national championship. At the area qualifier you will need to place at least within the top nine to advance. (In) the regional championship you will need to place within the top six to advance to the national championship.”

Early will be racing in the Monster Energy AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship at Loretta Lynn Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee.

Hollis said Early started riding his dirt bike for fun in their yard when he turned 5.

“We noticed how quickly he picked up on it,” she said. “Within a few short months, we started taking him to local arena races. It didn’t take long, and he started bringing home first-place finishes. He advanced very quickly. Anyone in the motocross community calls training for the largest amateur motocross competition in the world being ‘the road to Loretta’s,’ because it passes through many states over hundreds of miles. Making it to the end is an achievement of a lifetime.”

Hollis said the family had a long road to get Early to this point, so it means even more now.

“We were actually hit by an 18-wheeler coming home from his very first qualifier in Mississippi, but he continued to race after taking some time off to recover,” Hollis said. “This race is a huge deal but even bigger to us after what had happened.”

The Monster Energy AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship will take place Aug. 1-6. 

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