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Brooks dominates for national No. 1 plates
RAC--Hunter Brooks pic 1
Hunter Brooks takes his place on the victory stand after earning one of his two first-place finishes in the AMA Amateur Dirt Track Grand Nationals.


The Bulletin

A pre-race ankle injury could have derailed 12-year-old Hunter Brooks’ shot at seizing two No. 1 plates at the 2015 American Motorcycle Association Amateur Dirt Track Grand Nationals held at the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds in Illinois on July 6-10.

After three days of winning every heat and main event in both the 12-15 age division 85cc DTX and MOD classes, Brooks tweaked an ankle in a warm-up for the final races.

“It happened right before a race, so it was a little scary,” said John Brooks, Hunter’s father. He’s self-driven and motivated, but to me his health isn’t worth a national championship. I’m not one of those dads who will shove it down his throat. He just sucked it up on his own and won it.”

Young Brooks completed his impressive clean sweep in style, earning the No. 1 national plates for both the 85cc DTX and MOD as the top finisher in the points standings. He competed against other top amateur riders in the country for his age group, some of whom are already in high school. Brooks is entering the seventh grade at New Haven Elementary School.

“It’s the biggest win of my career,” said Brooks, who placed third at last year’s grand national. “I was just hoping for another top-three finish, and if I did that it would be OK.

“After my last race I was thinking, ‘Man, I just won ever race.’ It really surprised me. I’m really proud of myself that I actually accomplished that.”

Making it even more special, Brooks got to share the moment with runner-up Christian Spurgeon, a Lodi resident with whom he races with and against a the Lodi Cycle Bowl.

“It was pretty cool getting to do that with him,” Brooks said.

Brooks has been racing competitively since 2009. He is now transitioning to the larger 250cc bikes.

“I’m very, very proud of him,” John Brooks said. “To tell you the truth, after he won the last race I had to walk away for a moment because it was real emotional. There was a lot of hard work involved to get to that point. For his part he has stepped it up physically, doing cross training to prepare. He’s hungry.”

To reach Jonamar Jacinto email or call 209.249.3538.