Hilo’s Kai Mukai, age 16, will compete in the Loretta Lynn’s Amateur National Motorcross Championship Race, scheduled July 29 through Aug. 4 at the Loretta Lynn Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn.
According to Kai’s mother, her son is the first Big Island-born boy to be invited to the prestigious event.
What makes the AMA Amateur Motorcross Championships unique is the multi-tiered qualification process. Riders from around the country must first prove they are the best in their area, then region, before they are invited to the biggest amateur motorcross race of the year. The AMA national program includes 50 area qualifiers and 12 regional championships. Several thousand riders compete for the 1,536 qualifying spots that are up for grabs.
This year, the AMA held an area qualifier at the Kahuku Motorcross Track on Oahu. Mukai entered in the 250cc C stock, modified and school boy classes, taking first place in all classes and qualifying for the regional championships that were held June 16-17 in Hesperia, Calif. at Competitive Edge Motorcross track. Mukai took a first overall in the 250cc C stock class, earning him the number plate for that class; he also got a fourth overall in the 250cc modified class, earning him a spot on the gate at the championships for those two classes.
The best riders will compete for the coveted AMA Motorcross Horizon Award, presented to the amateur racer poised for success in the pro ranks.