A Need for Speed

9 years 6 months 1 week ago Wednesday, March 09 2011 Mar 9, 2011 Wednesday, March 09, 2011 7:33:00 PM CST March 09, 2011 in Sports
By: Eric Blumberg

NEW FLORENCE - Columbia's Carl Edwards is the best known four-wheel racer in Mid-Missouri, but he also has a connection to the best two-wheel racer.

About 60 miles east of Columbia, you'll find New Florence. The population is fewer than 1,000 in the Montgomery County town, but it is home to Lance Kobusch who is one of the best young motocross racers...in the world.

It didn't take little Lance long to learn how to ride a dirt bike. He started when he was three years old.

"Riding down and back the yard a few times," said little Lance, "and saying Dad will you take my training wheels off."

Training wheels are off... And winning is on.

"I have seven National Championships and one World Championship."

"I never, never in a million years would have thought this," says his dad.

His number is 99...and if it seems familiar you're right.

Big Lance is friends with Carl Edwards, who noticed little Lance's speed as soon as he was born.

"Carl Edwards came into the hospital and was like 'Where's Lightning Lance?'," said Lance "Lightning" Kobusch.

"We're not making his first name Lightning because we already decided we're calling him Lance," said Lance Kobusch. "So then, we're like Lance Lightning, Lance Lightning... that's pretty cool."

Lightning is "cleaning up"... His trophy room doubles as a bed room... And it's overflowing with awards.

Lance says, "It's all about being smooth and fast and carrying speed and he is super smart. He understands everything and he is wise way beyond his years when it comes to racing."

"My dad always says I have the talent, but I think it's just because of him," says Lightning.

"There's things that he does that I've never taught him," says Lance. "He just does it."

He's a 56-pound star in his sport and travels more than 40 weekends a year...but lightning had a little trouble in france when he won a world championship.

"Usually you can't understand a word people say to you," says Lightning.

"What's crazy," remembers Lance, "...after the races were over and he won the World Championship, they mobed him. Kids were coming at him from every angle and they had to have adults there telling people to stay back."

Lance "Lightning" isn't officially a pro for another eight years, when he's 16, but he plans on racing for long time.

"Until I get old... about 40," hopes Lightning.

Lightning also says he's going to be part of a new Mini Warriors movie about kids in motocross.

In case you were wondering...he still can't beat dad.

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