Sophia Hulsey is 12 years old. Putting on a motocross suit and helmet is part of her daily routine. It’s been a part of her life almost her entire life.
“She was three when she was riding a PW, the little small 50s,” says her father Jeff Hulsey. “Then she was racing snowmobiles at three and a half with a pacifier and pullups on.”
Practicing is easy for Sophia because a field just west of her house has been converted into a dirt track. The hours of practice have paid off. She’s qualified to compete in the Loretta Lynn Nationals of Motocross in August in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee southwest of Nashville.
She made it by going through qualifiers and then a regional competition in Texas.
“Then I had to get top four there to make it to Nationals at Nashville, Tennessee,” says Sophia Hulsey.
She knows what she’s in for. Last year she was a first alternate for nationals and she got to go there and practice on the track.
“It’s definitely a long, tiring track. It’s definitely really hot down there and deep ruts and really big breaking bumps,” says Hulsey.
“I kind of get nervous on the starting line, but once I’m out there I’m not too nervous.”
“She’s aggressive, but yet rides pretty smart,” says her father.
Sophia won’t be the only member of the Hulsey family competing at Nationals. Her big brother Mason has qualified again. He’s been there multiple times.
Sophia also has a little sister eight year old Ava. She also rides, but she’s not ready for Nationals yet.
“There are not too many families that have multiple kids that have the opportunity to make it down there,” says Jeff Hulsey.
Sophia will be one of 30 girls competing in the Girls Junior U-13 division.
“I think I can get low 20s. Maybe even 15,” says Sophia.
“We’ll be racing girls from California, Texas, Florida, Georgia,” says Jeff. “They do training camps year round. It’s one of those, we’re kind of realists. We’re thankful we make it.”
Sophia also races snowmobiles and she competes in softball and basketball.