STAFFORD - Southern Regional eighth grader Joseph Rainone's dreams are coming true. The local 13 year-old dirt bike racer has qualified for the largest amateur motocross race in the world, the 37th Annual Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship, presented by Lucas Oil. Joey is a member of JT racing.
The championship will be held the first week in August at Tennessee's historic Loretta Lynn Ranch.
Rainone, #37, is just one of the over 22,000 racers across the country who spent the last four months qualifying for the event. He earned one of just 1,446 qualifying positions and will be racing 40 of the nations best riders in the 85 cc class.
“The Amateur National at Loretta Lynn’s is the best of the best motocross competitors in America and around the world, said Tim Cotter,” Director of MX Sports. “Just being here makes you an elite racer and a top athlete."
Most of America’s top professional motocross racers, including James Stewart, Ricky Carmichael, Travis Pastrana and Ryan Dungey, have won AMA Amateur National titles at Loretta Lynn’s.
Joey was introduced to the sport by his father Chris Rainone at the young age of 5. “Joey had a drive and love of the sport you just couldn’t ignore,” said Chris.
A highlight in Joey’s riding career was winning a national title in 2017, where he took home the Kawasaki Kessler Cup Championship in the 65 cc class. "I worked really hard to win that title,” said Joey.
Recently Joey became a member of Kawasaki “Team Green” in their rider support program. “I love representing Kawasaki and look forward to their support,” he said. Other national sponsors he carries include: Dunlop Tires, 100%, AceribusUSA, Bell Powersport Helmets, JT Racing, Factory Connection Suspension and 100% goggles.
In June Rainone suffered a minor sprain, but is back on the track training hard with his motocross trainer, Dan Callahan of @CallahanMXSxhool. "Joey gives 100% and is driven to do his best", said Callahan. "I look forward to seeing him grow as a rider and an amateur motocross athlete."
"I feel great," Joey said, when asked about his emotions before the event. "I'm really excited to go down there, see my friends and race against some of the best kids in the country."
The race action will be broadcast live daily at www.RacerTV.com, July 30 through August 4, for a total of 40 hours of live coverage. For additional information, follow Rainone's amateur athletic Instagram account @joeyrain1