COLUMBIA — Families of all types gathered Sunday at the motocross track at Finger Lakes State Park for Round 4 of the American Motorcyclist Association’s District 18 series. Motocross Parents, a nonprofit mid-Missouri group created to help young people get involved in motocross, helped organize the event.
Former professional motocross rider Travis Kobush from Martinsburg was at the event to coach his youngest son, Talon, 8, who was racing in the 65cc junior and open classes. Entering the event, Talon, who placed 10th in his class at nationals last year, was in second place in the point standings for the district, which encompasses Missouri and southern Illinois.
Travis Kobush said he thinks motocross is excellent for families and helps teach children responsibility. He said the relationships between parents and their children in motocross are different than those of other sports.
“It’s a good family sport. We spend a lot of time at the race track together,” said Talon’s mother, Tammy Kobush.
Talon’s older brother Treyton, 11, and the boys’ grandfather Jerry Kobush also came to the event to support Talon.
Since 2001, twins Jeffrey and Jason Robbins have been riding ATVs at Finger Lakes State Park, and on Sunday they both competed in the ATV A Class race. Jason Robbins brought his 2-year-old daughter Claudia to the track, though she won’t be able to race because the youngest age for racing is 4. Jason runs his own business in Mexico, Mo., called Robbins Cycles, and he and Jeffrey have a younger brother, Jordan Robbins, 17, who also raced on Sunday in the ATV B class.
Racing against each other has helped the brothers to become better riders, though competing together is not the difficult part.
“I get more nervous watching them than racing against the other,” Jeffrey Robbins said.
Travis Kobush said he also finds it harder to watch his son race than to race himself.
Jocelyn Whitesides, the secretary for Motocross Parents Secretary, said Sunday was one of the best turnouts at the track. The event attracted 185 riders, nearly doubling the expected 100.
Roger Rudkin, the leader for Boy Scout Troop 725 from Harrisburg, said he was thrilled by the turnout because that meant the concession stand his troop was operating at the event would probably sell out early.
“This is our biggest fundraiser, and we’ve done meals in Harrisburg, too,” Rudkin said. “I think this is going to be (the track’s) best year because all of the races are for points (in the series).”
This has been the 25th year the track has been open at Finger Lakes State Park. According to former Motocross Parents President Larry Auman, it is the oldest motocross track in Missouri.