Hurricane Mills, Tenn. – Stamford’s Antonio Sandalo just made his dream come true. The 7-year-old dirt bike racer has qualified for the largest amateur motocross race in the world, the 31st Annual Red Bull AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch. Sandalo took on over 20,000 hopefuls from across America to earn one of just 40 qualifying positions.
“The Amateur Nationals at Loretta Lynn’s is the event every motocross racer in the country wants to compete in,” said Even Director Tim Cotter. “A win at the Amateur Nationals gives a rider instant national notoriety and can serve as a springboard to a lucrative professional motocross career.”
Most of America’s top professional motocrossers, including James Stewart, Ricky Carmichael, Travis Pastrana and Jermey McGrath, have won AMA Amateur National Championships at Loretta Lynn’s. The race is so prestigious that in 2009, teenage stars Dean Wilson, from California, and Eli Tomac, from Colorado, were awarded premier professional contracts for the 2010 season.
Sandalo, who attends Northeast elementary school, has been riding since he was 5 years old. With the help of sponsors such as SANDALO PLUMBING & HEATING, Stamford Motorsports, Torrco, U.S. Home Services, Arnow Screen printing, FMF, Leatt, RACE TECH, Boyseen, Motorex, Taloon, FULL THROTLLE TATTOO, Aunt Dana, Chris Fuller, Mildord Riders MC and all the boys and family at Sandalo Plumbing & Heating and mom and dad who help pay his way to the races, Samdalo has had the opportunity to pursue his dreams. He has won multiple races and championships in the past 2 years and competes nearly every weekend at Milford Riders and all of the AMA district 34 tracks in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.
Sandalo will make the long journey to Tennessee along with his father Antonio C. Sandalo, mother Nicole and his little brother Luca and 2nd mechanic after his dad his uncle Michael Vetti. The race runs July 29 – August 4, 2012.
Sandalo is just one of the over 20,000 who spent the last four months qualifying for the event. The top finishers in area and regional qualifiers earn a birth into the National Championship race at Loretta Lynn’s. Racers may enter a wide variety of classes, from minicycle classes for children as young as four, all the way up to a senior division for riders over 50. There are also classes for women and classes for both stock and modified bikes.