Quad racers enjoy final warm days

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 14, 2005

As the sun sets behind them, the boys were in the last leg of a race they have had a hundred times - one in which no one ever truly wins.

Clayton Chinn, 13, Andrew Nickell, 10, Tanner Brooks, 11, pushed their quad racers to the limit on the road outside their Hanging Rock homes Saturday, the target for this week's Dart.

Each was trying more to squeeze the fun out these last warm days than they were trying to take the lead.

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This year, the boys have formalized their friendship into a bona fide four-wheel racing crew, "Southern Ohio Boys Quad Racing."

The crew actually consists of three other members: The boys' mothers. The three ladies have formed a friendship of their own, if only to help corral their sons.

"We've got to stick together to help out with he kids," Andrew's mom Debbie Sanders said. "It takes all of us to keep an eye on them."

Kim Chinn stood with a mostly comfortable smile as Clayton roared past the three women, popping a small wheelie for the ladies. Though she watches like a hawk on these days, race days are a little different.

"These two will watch mine race," Chinn said, pointing at Andrew and Tanner's moms. "But I won't watch mine race. I'll watch theirs but I just can't watch my own, isn't that awful?"

The boys are required to wear proper padding when they're ripping up their home base of Earlywine Motocross Facility in Maysville, Ky. Even so, a few injuries are bound to sneak through.

"Someone was in front of me and someone was behind me, and I hurt my knee real bad," Tanner said, extending his leg to show off a knee that had seen many better days.

There were no injuries this day, but the boys were obviously tired. The sun had almost set and they had been riding since 1 p.m., something that's become pretty common, Shelly Brooks said.

"If you let them, they'd ride everyday, all day long," Brooks said.

Debbie Sanders, Andrew's mom, said that the boys never latched on to team sports, but they've truly found their niche in quad racing.

"They went and watched the pros race this summer," Sanders said. "Now they've got posters all over their rooms. By the time the weekend was over all the pros knew them by nameŠbecause they bugged them to death."

As the final minutes of daylight burned, the boys took one last lap around their road. The boys will spend most of these final summer days like this, winter's not the most conducive to outdoor quad racing.

However, Sanders said she didn't expect their passion for the quads to dwindle with the warmth.

"Earlywine is indoors Š they have winter racing too," Sanders said.

The Dart is a weekly feature in which a reporter throws a dart at a map of Lawrence County and finds a story where it hits.