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: Rock Hill, South Carolina.
Current height/weight: 5’8”/135 pounds.
Current school grade level: Graduated high school.
Began riding at age: 9 years.
First road race: 2010, Elgin, South Carolina, SEMRA, 3rd place.
Current racebike: Suzuki SV650.
Current tuners/mechanics: Chuck Blackmon (father), Matt Spicer, Michael Copoulos.
Primary race series: MotoAmerica Junior Cup.
Top sponsors: Robem Engineering, Blud Lubricants, HJC, Finishline Machine, Yoshimura, aRacer, Motion Pro, SBS Brakes, Drippin’ Wet, Rock Hill Powersports.
Recent racing accomplishments: 2019 season, finished 4th in MotoAmerica Junior Cup Championship (4 podium finishes), 1 podium finish in MotoAmerica Twins Cup; 2018 season, placed 6th in MotoAmerica Junior Cup Championship (2 podiums, 6 top-5 finishes); 2017 season, placed 4th in MotoAmerica KTM RC Cup Championship (3 wins, 7 podiums), placed 16th and 19th in KTM RC Cup World Final races at Jerez, 3 wins and 9 podiums racing with WERA; 2016 season, placed 7th in MotoAmerica KTM RC Cup Championship, won Yamaha bLU cRU R3 Cup Final; 2015 season, named AMA Youth Rider of the Year, won AMA Moto3 Grand Championship, won WERA Moto3 National Challenge Championship
2020 racing goal: Win MotoAmerica Twins Cup Championship.
Racing career goal: Race in one of the World Championships.
Racing hero: Nicky Hayden.
Favorite track: Barber Motorsports Park.
Favorite hobby: Riding Flat Track.
If I wasn’t racing I would be…: A machinist.