13-year-old Pocatellan is rising motocross star
POCATELLO — A 13-year-old local motocross racer has made his mark in the sport recently after strong rides in nationally known motorcycle contests at Oklahoma and Las Vegas, and he is looking to take things to the next level in his burgeoning career.
Chance Hymas of Pocatello won both the Supermini 1 and Supermini 2 classes for his age groups in the MotoPlayground Race at Ponca City, Oklahoma, on Oct. 22.
Further, he finished third overall in the Supermini class at the 2018 Monster Cup Supercross at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas on Oct. 13.
“I ended up riding better than I thought I was going to be,” Chance said.
Previously, he got noticed in the summer when racing at Loretta Lynn’s Amateur Championship in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee.
Loretta’s is considered the Super Bowl of amateur motocross racing, which consists of riding off-road motorcycles really fast on dirt tracks full of twists, turns, bumps and high jumps.
In fact, Loretta’s is often the final stop for amateurs before they go pro at age 17 or 18. Chance — who’s already raced in motocross for nine years — earned his way there by doing well in regional qualifying contests.
Still, he was on pins and needles at first.
“With all the hype around it, you’re just nervous,” Chance said.
But not for long.
“After the first race, I was fine,” he said.
Chance first competed on an 85cc motorcycle there and gained attention in particular for one race he didn’t even win. In fact, he wiped out in the first turn.
But he picked himself back up and blew past 35 other riders — in a sport where it’s incredibly hard to pass once all the racers spread out — to finish seventh.
And he did even better at Loretta’s in the Supermini class, which features more powerful dirt bikes, by finishing fifth. In fact, in the future he’ll only ride the Supermini motorcycles in races for his age class. Why? Simple. “It’s faster.”
And he’s drawn to fast company. He obviously likes riding out front the best, but also loves catching riders ahead of him.
“It’s just fun to chase someone until you break them,” he said.
To keep that as second nature, he practices often, riding around American Falls and at a Preston area track. He usually puts in about 20 hours a week on his dirt bike. And when the weather gets too cold, he and his father Chris go farther south to practice.
Chris Hymas, who’s one of the owners of Pocatello PowerSports at 2523 Pole Line Road in Pocatello, said the business is one of the main sponsors for Chance. Others include Scott goggles, Fly Racing, Team Green Kawasaki and Monster Energy Drink.
That all helps because it’s an expensive sport, Chris said. Equipment and travel are costly.
But it’s well worth it to nurture a passion that was obvious to everyone from the first time Chance sat on a dirt bike and rode around the yard at age 3. It was an instant bond.
“I had to get off and I started crying because I didn’t want to get off,” Chance said.
He loves the sport. But it does require him to be away from school often. Alameda Middle School in Pocatello, however, is good about helping him stay current with his school work, Chris said.
“That’s been a big help,” Chris said. “Because if they weren’t, I don’t know if it would be more of a struggle keeping him educated while we’re trying to see what happens with this whole racing thing.”
Chance knows what he plans to happen.
He aims to parlay his talent, drive and experience into a career as a professional motocross racer, where he can potentially earn millions from racing and sponsorships.
In fact, just for winning one event, top professional motocross racers can sometimes earn $1 million.
“The plan is to make this my career instead of having to do something like have a real job,” he said.