Living in Raleigh has not allowed Will Price to forget the years he spent growing up and living in Ashe County.
Price, 26, has spent the previous six years racing motorcycles, which include the last four years on the AMA Amateur Motocross circuit. Before that, Price spent a pair of seasons racing sports bikes in the WERA Motorcycle Roadracing series, one of the oldest and largest motorcycle road racing national circuits around.
The 2005 Ashe County High School graduate loved the street bikes, but an accident changed everything.
“I got hurt the last year I raced sport bikes and had a lot of medical bills to pay off,” said Price. “I couldn’t afford to road race anymore and pay my medical bills so I switched to motocross once I was cleared to ride.”
As Price pointed out, motocross racing tends to be less expensive for the drivers. Race entry fees, traveling expenses and bike parts are cheaper.
“As it turns out, it’s more fun too,” added Price.
Growing up, racing has been something that Price has enjoyed watching and learning about.
“I’ve always gravitated towards racing. I grew up watching NASCAR, World of Outlaws and motorcross,” said Price.
Even closer to him was the family history of racing. Will’s father, Gerald, started his racing career at an even younger age, although he did not race motorcycles. Gerald did most of his racing on four wheels.
Price races on several tracks in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states. He says his favorite track is the one probably closest to him. Muddy Creek in Grey, Tenn., is about 30 minutes outside of Bristol.
Price also races at Pro Sport in Wytheville, Va., Cathy’s Creek in Forest City, N.C., Budd’s Creek in Mechanicsville, M.D., and NCMP in Henderson, N.C. He will occasionally race at other tracks in the area as well.
There are several different classes of racing in motocross. Below the professional motocross series, the amateur levels are broken down into different skill divisions and age classes. Skill divisions range from A (amateur pros) to D (beginner), while the age groups range from 25+ all the way up to 50+ with age levels increasing in five-year increments.
Price currently races in the 25+ class and the C class, and rides a 2010 Honda CRF 250R that is powered by a strong fuel-injected 4-stroke motor.
Price is very new to the sport, and notes that most racers get started when they are around five years old, whereas he got started at the age of 21.
“I’m usually the oldest one lining up on the gate in the C class against kids who are, on average, 10 years younger than me,” said Price. “The 25+ class is interesting because you have a mix of A, B and C riders. I got to race Tim Ferry this year at Muddy Creek, he is a retired professional motocross rider who won several pro races.”
Although he is early into his racing career, Price has several highlights he likely won’t forget.
“My favorite racing moments are when my dad gives me a big high-five and hug after finishing well in a race. Him just having a big smile on his face and being pumped for me, that’s always special,” said Price.
Price stated that his favorite racing highlight was when he picked up his first moto win at ECMX in Elizabeth City.
Overall, Price has one moto win, one overall win and several overall and moto podium finishes. The overall wins take the average score of two moto finishes. Each motocross race has two motos to get the combined score.
Being an amateur racer, Price has one big goal remaining that he wants to be a part of.
“I plan on racing and riding for as long as I am physically able. My goal is to one day qualify for the National Amateur Championship at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn.,” said Price. “This championship is the pinnacle of amateur racing. Pretty much every professional motocross rider raced at Loretta Lynn’s at least once while they were an amateur.”
Price wanted to thank all of his racing sponsors that keep him on the track each week. His sponsors are MSR, Smith Optics, Pro Action Suspension, Cycle Gear, Novik Gloves, Decal Works, Gaerne, and Leo Vince Exhaust.