Greyson Russell is the easiest to spot on the track. His long, blonde hair and small stature compared to the other kids give him away. That, and also he’s fast.
The five-year-old Ottawan just finished up his first-ever arenacross tour in February, capping it off with two tour championships in two divisions. He’s only been riding since September.
Arenacross is an indoor motor sport raced on bikes.
Russell won both the 50cc age 4-6 division, and 50cc beginner division in the Nitro Arenacross Tour, which took place across a number of Midwest states including Kansas, Oklahoma, Illinois, Missouri and Texas. He competed in every stop along the tour, earning the perseverance award in the process.
“He did the whole arenacross on a whim just to see how he does on it, and this is how he came out — on top,” Sara Russell, Greyson’s mother, said.
While he didn’t originally have expectations of winning, Greyson said it felt good to be a young champion. His father, Randy, used to race, which is how he developed an interest in the sport. It didn’t take long for the kindergartner at Ottawa’s Lincoln Elementary to prove he has skills on a bike.
Greyson came away with points, including several first-place finishes, at every event he went to. His first-place finish in the beginner division even came after he missed the final three rounds due to being kicked out of that category for being too fast.
Now that arenacross is over, Greyson will focus on motocross — which unlike arenacross is raced outside on longer, rougher tracks. His goal is to qualify for MX Sports Amateur National Motocross Championship in August at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Tennessee featuring some of the fastest racers in the world.
“He’s going for it,” Sarah Russell said. “[He recently] qualified in both of his classes to go to the regionals, which is right before he can make it into the Loretta Lynn’s Amateur Motocross race.”
Greyson got a lot of seat time during the arenacross tour to get used to riding his two bikes — a KTM 50 mini and Yamaha PW50 — and will continue his daily training logging hours at his home track, he said.
Clinton Dick is a Herald Sports editor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Herald sports on Twitter @ottawasports1