Hadley motors to sixth

Published 6:33 pm Monday, January 21, 2008

By By Matthew Nascone
It started in Pell City and ended in Hurricane Mills, Tenn.
By the end of that journey, which spanned from March until November of 2007, Atmore native Shane Hadley was in sixth place of the Production C and Four-stroke C classes of the Moose Racing/ITP All-Terrain Vehicle Association (ATVA) National Motocross Championship.
"This was the biggest race season I have ever experienced," Hadley said. "And I have an even bigger race season planned for this year."
Hadley, an Escambia County High School senior, owns the Atmore Motocross Park with his father, Bobby. The two opened the gates in 2005 and have since hosted the Gulf Coast Motocross Championship Series and many other Southeast races.
Hadley placed anywhere from second to 11th during the national competition and he raced in the lowest class with 250 riders.
Hadley brought home a lot of hardware in the shape of two silver cups for his sixth place finish in each of the two classes and 10 plaques from the various tracks on the tour.
"I will be moving up this year into the higher classes and I will be competing in four classes instead of just two," Hadley said. "And the best part about that is if I finish high again next year I will be looked at by all the sponsors."
Those four classes he will compete in next year include, Production B, Four-stroke B, 450 B and Collegeboy 2. Hadley said the Collegeboy class would be the most competitive because it includes riders in the 16-24 age range.
The sixth place finishes and all the acknowledgements to go with them were not the only things Hadley took from the ATVA experience.
"I got to meet some of the pros," he said. "I was able to talk with Pro ATVA national champion Joe Byrd, third place Pro finisher Pat Brown, Doug Gust and some other pros."
The meeting with Joe Byrd led Hadley into another racing experience. He will attend the Joe Byrd Quad Riding School in Tennessee sometime in March with his teammate, Matt Hall.
As it stands now, Hadley's performance grabbed a look from LA Powersports based out of Jackson. His father's company, Baldwin Gulf Coast Pest Control, and the Atmore Motocross Park, also sponsors him.
The sponsorship with LA Powersports garnered Hadley a discount on a Suzuki LTR 450 and all the parts to make it a powerful machine. But his old quads did not go to waste.
"I was able to give Matt the two Yamahas I had, so now he has three vehicles he can race with," Hadley said.
The Gulf Coast Championship Series was also good to Hadley, as he finished second overall in the Pro Class and grabbed a bunch of trophies along the way.
When Hadley is not on his four wheels of fury at the various tracks across the country, he will be attending classes at Troy University. But he will be staying busy on the track as well.
"This year I am running in the Louisiana-Mississippi Cup, the Gulf Coast Championship, the ATVA Series and the World Power Sports Association Series," he said. "I have been doing this a long time and it has just stuck with me. I love doing it."
The rigors of motocross riding may be slightly altered from many other sports, but there is still a lot a rider has to do to keep in race shape.
"You have to always ride and keep your bike in working condition," Hadley said. "I also run a lot to stay in shape and there is also a lot of driving across the country to get to the races."
Racing is in Hadley's blood, but he said he would not always be driving across the country.
"Now that I am 18, I can run the Atmore Motocross Park and I will be taking over Baldwin Pest Control from my dad as well," he said. "It will be hard to handle all that while in college, but my dad told me I could do it. After college I will stay in this area and run the track."
But there was no hesitation when the subject of racing came up.
"I will definitely still be racing in all the races we have at the track," Hadley said.
No matter where he ends up racing, Hadley said there are two things that will always be true.
"It is a great sport and the girls love it," he said.

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