Brantley Spafford spends almost all of his time riding his dirt bike.
“If it was sunny 24 hours a day he would be out there riding,” Nick Spafford said of his seven-year-old son.
Brantley has qualified for Loretta Lynn’s AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship this year in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee the first full week of August. He follows in the footsteps of his maternal grandfather, Brandon Hopkins, who competed in the same Championship race in the 1980s.
“It’s like the Super bowl for any dirt bike rider,” Nick explained while trying to tamper his excitement for his son. “There are only 42 kids in the nation that get this opportunity.”
Nick explained the whole Spafford family is involved and over the years they’ve visited Illinois and Texas as well as every weekend on the local track in Minnesota.
The Spafford’s also have a track at home for Brantley to practice on during the week.
They also partnered up with some friends to start a non-profit called the “Goon Squad” that purchases dirt bike gear for less fortunate kids.
“There are people that go bankrupt trying to finance this whole thing and we just got lucky with Brantley being such a natural on the bike,” Nick said. “He has been around racing since he was two years old. He started on a balance bike when he was two and a half years old. Then when he was four he started riding.”
Brantley will be racing in the 39th annual Loretta Lynn Championship. His grandfather competed in the same race four times between 1983 and 1987. Brantley idolizes his grandfather Hopkins and rides with him occasionally.
Nick told the Sentinel they do most of their racing at District 23 ARMCA (The Amateur Riders Motorcycle Association) events. His favorite track is Echo Valley Motocross Track in Brookston, MN.
“This is his ultimate goal,” Nick said. “He is following in his grandfather's footsteps.”