Lightning Strikes in the Form of Eight Year Old Phenom

9 years 1 month 2 weeks ago Monday, August 01 2011 Aug 1, 2011 Monday, August 01, 2011 6:48:00 PM CDT August 01, 2011 in Sports
By: Eric Blumberg

COLUMBIA - About 60 miles east of Columbia, you'll find the town of New Florence.

The population is fewer than one thousand in the Montgomery County town. But it is home to Lance Kobusch, 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.

"After riding down and back in the yard a few times, and saying 'Dad will you take my training wheels off?'" Lance said.

The training wheels are off, and winning is on.

"I have seven national championships and one world championship," he said.

"I never, never in a million years would have thought this would happen," Lance's father, Lance, said.

Little Lance's 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?'" little Lance said.

"We're not making his first name lightning because we already decided we're calling him Lance. So then, we're like lance lightning, lance lightning... That's pretty cool," his father said.

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

"It's all about being smooth and fast and carrying speed and he is super smart," his father said. "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," Lance said.

Yet his father said that, "There's things that he does that I've never taught him. 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," he said.

"What's crazy was after the races were over and he won the world championship, they mobbed him. Kids were coming at him from every angle and they had to have adults there telling people to stay back," his father said.

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

"Until I get old... About 40," he said.

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