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Motocross: Walker preps for nationals

Seven-year-old Bentlee Walker catches air during a practice run.1 / 2
Seven-year-old Bentlee Walker will compete at the Motocross Championship July 31-Aug. 5.2 / 2

Seven-year-old Bentlee Walker is preparing for his first trip to the motocross championship at Loretta Lynn's in Hurricane Mills, Tenn. July 31-Aug. 5.

Walker placed first in the district and regional events to qualify.

"This is an exciting opportunity for him," Bentlee's mother Amy Walker said. "This is new for him and our family so we are looking forward to seeing how this goes."

Walker placed first in his area qualifier in Little Falls. He took one of the eight qualifying spots for the regional event in Mount Carol, Ill. Walker needed to place in the top-six to earn his place at nationals. Walker qualified in the 51 cubic centimeters 4-6 limited class.

"We went in there thinking he'd probably take one of six qualifiers, but we didn't expect him to get first," Amy Walker said. "The motivation and determination he has as a seven-year-old is incredible. It blows my mind."

Although Walker is young, his commitment to getting better on his bike is admirable.

"Sometimes we will get home from a long weekend late at night and the only thing he wants to do is ride on our track we have," Amy Walker said. "He doesn't want to do any other sports. All he wants to do is ride."

This summer will be the first national race Walker will be riding in, but it wasn't his first opportunity. Last year, Walker qualified by default in his area event.

"We decided that he wasn't ready to make that next step," Amy Walker said. "He then came to us and said that next year he wanted to take a shot at making Loretta Lynn's and we said yes."

Seven maybe a young age for a kid to start motocross, but Walker has been in the game for three years already.

"He started when he was four just doing local stuff on Friday nights in Little Falls," Amy Walker said. "Once he wanted to do more I told him that we will drive him around if he puts in the work. It's awesome to see how much he loves this."

Walker is preparing for his first motocross trip out of the Midwest, but it probably won't be his last.

"Right now we are just taking this all in one thing at a time," Amy Walker said. "I just want him to go race his race and have fun."