LaBelle teen competing in moto-cross championship

Reporter: Zach Oliveri Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

Ever since Dawson Baker was seven-years-old, he’s been chasing his racing dreams. The LaBelle racer is 16 now and speeding to the Amateur National moto-cross championship.

Racing around a practice track in Alva still gives him a thrill while going over jumps and banking into corners. Mastering the track is paramount.

“Don’t even worry about anyone else. You know the track is your biggest enemy out there. Just try to get the best start you can and just finish strong,” Dawson said.

He’s been riding bikes for about nine years and picked the interest up from his dad.

“I just remember I got on it, just learned all the basics, and kind of progressed through the years,” Dawson said.

That progression reached its peak after his third-place finish at the Gatorback Southeast Amateur Regional.

“It was emotional. I cried like a baby,” Dawson’s father, Dusty, said.

“If you’re in the sport of motocross, this race is as high as high can get. And everybody who races dreams of getting to this moment,” Dawson said.

Getting to that point wasn’t easy for Dawson after bad luck got in the way of his chances to qualify in the past.

“Last year I fell, or I had a rider fall in front of me on the first lap, and it took me down,” Dawson said. “And when I was younger, I had my bike break right on the starting line, so I wasn’t able to race and qualify.”

Now that he made it, Dawson wants to savor the moment.

“I’m going to go there and do my best. And whether that brings me first or 40th, we’re going to be happy either way,” Dawson said.

But coming back to Southwest Florida with a trophy remains Dawson’s goal.

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