American Motorcyclist Association regional motocross champions — many of whom receive support from their local dealerships — will lead the race for AMA national titles Aug. 3-8 at the Monster Energy AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship at Loretta Lynn's Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn.
"The march to claim an AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship is long and competitive," said AMA Motocross manager Mike Burkeen. "This August, that march will end for 2020 when 36 national champions hold their AMA National No. 1 plates high and put their names in the record books forever."
In addition to national titles, the best riders will compete for the Nicky Hayden AMA Motocross Horizon Award, presented to the amateur racer who demonstrates the talent and readiness to excel in the pro ranks. As in past years, the rider who takes home that coveted honor will compete in the fastest classes at Loretta Lynn's.
While each racer on the gate has a fair shot to win at Loretta Lynn's, many fans will have their eyes on the AMA Regional Champions to run at the front.
These include multi-class regional champions, such as Husqvarna and Cobra rider Kade Nightingale, from Mounds, Okla., the Mideast Mini-E (4-6) Jr. champion and 51cc (4-6) Limited champion; and KTM and Cobra rider Jaydin Smart from Berry Creek, Calif., who won the same titles in the Midwest Region.
Other multi-class champions to watch are KTM rider Haiden Deegan, from Temecula, Calif., who won both the Midwest Mini Senior 1 (12-14) and Mini Senior 2 (13-15) titles, and the rider who won the same titles in the Southeast Region, Logan Best, from North Port, Fla., on a Yamaha.
Two riders who could set some of the fastest lap times at the national include Suzuki rider Dilan Schwartz, from Alpine, Calif., and KTM rider Austin Black, from Wildomar, Calif. Schwartz won the Open and 250 Pro Sport classes in the Midwest Region and Black won both titles in the Southwest Region.
In the Women's class, multi-time amateur national champion, 2020 Northeast Region Women's class champion and Kawasaki rider Jordan Jarvis, from Clayton, N.C., is expected to battle Riverton, Utah's Tayler Allred. Not only did Allred, who rides a KTM, win the Midwest Region Women's class title, but she also qualified for the national in the 450 B Limited class.
In the Junior (25+), fans will be watching to see if 48-year-old former pro and Honda rider Mike Brown, from Bristol, Tenn., can hold off his younger rivals to win a fourth straight national title. Possible candidates to unseat Brown include Tallahassee, Fla.'s Jesse Wentland, who won the Southeast Junior (25+) championship on his Honda, and 2008 AMA Motocross Horizon Award winner Darryn Durham, from Valencia, Pa., who won both the Northeast Open Pro Sport and Junior (25+) titles on his Yamaha.
Another rider who will command a lot of attention is Kawasaki rider Jett Reynolds, from Bakersfield, Calif., who won nine consecutive AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships before missing the most recent two years with injuries. Reynolds is bringing his Midwest 450 B regional title to the national.
"Although the AMA Regional Championships provide a hint of who is expected to run at the front at Loretta Lynn's, it's just that, a hint," Burkeen said. "When the national gate is filled with the fastest amateur motocross racers in America, anything can happen and anyone can win. One thing is certain, the competition will be incredible in every class as racers chase their motocross dreams."
This year, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event will operate under a comprehensive mitigation plan, with rules regarding social distancing, social responsibility and mandatory mask zones. The full plan is available here: mxsports.com/page/2020-event-health-plan.
"The success of the AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship, its longevity and its reputation, is built on the experience and strong working relationship of the AMA and MX Sports," Burkeen said. "That experience has even been more critical this year as we have made necessary changes to stem the spread of the coronavirus through the work of the Race Leadership Team. We wish the riders, their families and the operations crew a fun and safe week of racing."
To see that future as it plays out in 36 classes running 108 motos, keep an eye on mxsports.com for live results and coverage.