24th-Annual Roadracing World Young Gun Honors:
By David Swarts
Roadracing World started this exclusive special feature recognizing the most promising young road racers as an answer to pessimists who claimed America had no new, up-and-coming young racers. This edition of the Roadracing World Young Gun Awards marks the 24th consecutive year of showcasing an abundance of new talent.
Roadracing World Young Guns have won:
FIM MotoGP and FIM Superbike races and World Championships;
AMA Pro races and Championships, including eight AMA Pro Superbike Championships;
A KTM RC Cup World Final race;
The Daytona 200 (8 times);
WERA National Endurance Championships and WERA National Challenge Championships;
ASRA/Formula USA Grand National and CCS National Championships;
AMA Road Racing Grand Championships and Horizon Awards;
USGPRU National Championships;
Many regional and local titles.
The competition has continually become more intense as more – and younger—racers with higher levels of accomplishment are nominated, and the level of achievement required to make the grade keeps getting tougher.
We’ve spent the last several months accepting nominations and evaluating road racers between the ages of 11 and 18 (as of the start of the 2020 season) who have, at a minimum, won Expert-level road races and/or Championships on a 125cc two-stroke/250cc four-stroke or larger racebike or had outstanding results as an Amateur/Novice. Most of the riders included here have done far more than the minimum.
The young riders recognized here are the most promising young road racers in North America. All have earned the title of Roadracing World Young Gun.
We will feature one Young Gun per day, presenting them in alphabetical order.
Current home: Mattoon, Illinois.
Current height/weight: 5’10”/140 pounds.
Current school grade level: 11th grade.
Began riding at age: 3 years.
First road race: 2017, Wampum, Pennsylvania, WERA, 300 Supersport Novice, 1st place.
Current racebike: Yamaha YZ450F.
Current tuner/mechanic: James Hart.
Primary race series: AFT Singles.
Top sponsors: Estenson Racing, Monster Energy, Yamaha, Yamalube, WPS, Fly Racing, Arai, Dainese.
Recent racing accomplishments: 2019 season, finished 21st in wild card Supersport 300 World Championship ride on Yamaha YZF-R3 in Qatar, finished 3rd in MotoAmerica Junior Cup Championship in spite of missing 6 of 17 races (1 win, 9 podiums in 11 race starts), finished 11th in American Flat Track AFT Singles Championship in spite of competing in only the second half of the season (2 wins, 4 podiums); 2018 season, awarded AMA Nicky Hayden Horizon Award in Road Racing and Flat Track (the first rider to do so), named AMA Rider of the Year, finished 17th in MotoAmerica Junior Cup Championship (best race finish was 3rd at Laguna Seca, 5 top-10 finishes).
2020 racing goal: Win AFT Singles Championship.
Racing career goal: Be a dirt track Grand National Champion.
Racing hero: Nicky Hayden.
Favorite track: Utah Motorsports Campus.
Favorite hobby: Motocross.
If I wasn’t racing I would be…: Going to school and working some job I hate.