Ridin' high

Milton teen has risen to the top
at Durands’ D-Track Motocross

By Konnie McCollum
Contributing Writer

MILTON, Ky. (April 2006) – Just about every night, weather permitting, racers of all ages wind and grind and fly their motorcycles around the dirt-laden D-Track Motocross on Nubbin Ridge Road in Milton, Ky.

Nick Howard

Photo by Don Ward

Nick Howard of Milton
is one of the top racers at D-Track
Motocross in Trimble County.

Owners Travis and Amanda Durand said they never realized how busy the track would become when they opened it for racing in 2002. Travis said he is thrilled at how locals in the area have embraced his track. Actually, riders from all over the United States and Canada come to Durand’s track to practice and race.
Durand believes the track’s popularity is due to his high safety standards and the good condition in which the track is kept. Before every race, he has a riders’ meeting where either he or friend, Jeff Wolf, hold a brief Christian devotional service to witness about Jesus Christ. At the season opening weekend races on March 18, Wolf conducted the service and invited anyone interested to come talk to him about Christ. After a brief prayer, Durand then climbed into the officials’ tower and explained the race rules over the loudspeaker.
Boys and girls from ages six and up listened intently and then anxiously waited for their turns to take the track.
“It’s really nice to have a place like this locally where people can come and race because in this day and age, with all the zoning laws, it’s not easy to find something like it anywhere,” said La Grange, Ky.’s Jon Bednarski, whose teenaged son, Kyle, races there.
During the rules briefing, Durand stresses to the riders the need for safety, including safe speeds. Few injuries have ever occurred at his track, and he credits strict safety rules for this.
D-Track offers 30 different classes for motorcycle racers and also has ATV races. All ages of riders are welcome at the track. Durand said that children as young as 3 years old have competed on little 50 motorcycles, while adults older than age 50 have also enjoyed racing.
Since its opening, Trimble County’s own Nick Howard, 16, has emerged as one of the track’s top racers. Howard has been racing since he was 7 years old. He is a regular at D-Track, and “When he races, he usually wins,” said Kyle Bednarski.
For the past several years, Howard has raced in various national competitions around the country, and he has garnered many awards.
Cleveland Howard, Nick’s father, said he used to race back when he was a kid, and he decided to allow his son to try it. “Nick took to racing like a duck to water,” Cleveland said.

Nick Howard

Photo by Don Ward

Nick Howard in action.

Debbie Howard, Nick’s mother, said that they are kept pretty busy with his schedule, but both parents are extremely proud of their son, and both help work the gates at D-Track on race weekends. With pride in his voice, Cleveland claimed, “Nick is pretty good.”
In 2003, the younger Howard won his first national title. He competed at the Pontiac Silverdome in Pontiac, Mich., and was named the 2003 Supercross Amateur National Champion. In 2004, he won three classes in the Kentucky State Series.
Last year, Howard qualified to compete at the Loretta Lynn National Championships in Hurricane Mills, Tenn. From March to June, riders compete in 64 area qualifiers and 13 regional championships to determine final rosters for the Annual AMA Air Nautiques National Motocross Championships. More than 22,000 riders in 33 classes attempted to earn a spot competing in this event. Only 42 riders in each class qualified. Howard qualified in two classes, which is an amazing accomplishment. Howard finished 28th in the 125cc stock 12-15 class, and he finished 19th in the 250 Open B Modified Class. He rides a Yamaha YZ 250 and owns two of them.
Howard said he used to get nervous when he first started racing, but now he simply focuses on getting through the race. During his amateur career, he has been injured a few times. His injuries include a broken collar bone and broken wrists, but despite this, he has no plans to quit racing.
Because his racing and training schedule is so demanding, Howard has been homeschooled for the past two years. He will finish his high school next year while he is working on his plans for his professional career. He plans to race amateur for another year and then work on going professional. In order to go pro, he must fill out applications and get a professional riding card. With his record, he should have no problem, he says.
Howard said he is very grateful to the sponsors who have helped him throughout his racing career. In addition to being supportive of him, he said they have provided him with discounts on his equipment and motorcycles and helped with funding to send him to the Loretta Lynn Nationals. He particularly thanked Paul’s Cycle Supply, which helps supply his motorcycle parts, Yamaha of Carrollton, Ky., Yamaha of Louisville, Ky., Troylee Designs, which helps with his riding gear, and Amsoil, which sponsors the oil for his motorcycle. Daniel and Terri Dean are the Amsoil representatives who help him.

• For a race schedule, visit the D-Track website at: www.dtrackmotocross.com.

Back to April 2006 Articles.



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