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: Puyallup, Washington.
Current height/weight: 5’10”/130 pounds.
Current school grade level: 10th grade.
Began riding at age: 4 years.
First road race: 2013, Shelton, Washington, WMRRA, 125GP, 3rd place.
Current racebikes: Kawasaki Ninja 400, Yamaha YZF-R6.
Current tuners/mechanics: Dave Kohlstaedt (father), Dave Alexander.
Primary race series: MotoAmerica Junior Cup, WMRRA, OMRRA.
Top sponsors: 2 Fast Track Days, Fluid Suspension Science, 2Wheel Dyno Works, Bell Helmets, Sammy Halbert Racing, Dunlop, Bellevue Kawasaki, Motion Pro, Vortex Racing, Track Skinz Leather, EBC, Umbrella Girls USA, Purveyors of Speed.
Recent racing accomplishments: 2019 season, placed 30th in MotoAmerica Junior Cup Championship (best race finish 11th at Barber), won WMRRA Ultralightweight Superbike Championship (5 wins), placed 2nd in WMRRA Formula Ultra 2 Championship (3 podiums in 4 races); 2018 season, placed 7th in overall WMRRA Championship, won WMRRA Ultra-Lightweight SS Championship, finished 2nd in WMRRA 500 Superbike and Ultra-Lightweight GP Championships, set WMRRA Ultra-Lightweight class lap record at The Ridge Motorsports Park, collected 2 top-20 finishes in MotoAmerica Junior Cup races while riding a Kawasaki Ninja 300; 2015 season, named AMA Youth Rider of the Year in Flat Track.
2020 racing goals: Win MotoAmerica Junior Cup Championship, place in top 5 overall in WMRRA Championship.
Racing career goal: Race in the MotoGP World Championship.
Racing heroes: Sammy Halbert, Valentino Rossi
Favorite track: Sonoma Raceway.
Favorite hobby: Playing guitar and piano.
If I wasn’t racing I would be…: Enjoying time with my family.