The Loretta Lynn Motocross National Championship Series, held last weekend on the country singer's ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn., attracted some of the most well-known ATV professional and amateur motocross riders from around the nation, including local racer Jeffrey Robbins – who walked away with two top awards in the amateur class and bragging rights for the season.
Robbins took first place in the Plus 25 Class and first place in the Plus 30 Veterans Class, outrunning 22 other ATV amateur motocrossers. Robbins' twin, Jason, and another brother, Jordan, also race. Their father, "Shorty" Robbins, was an avid rider as well, when the boys were growing up.
"Dad started teaching us how to ride three-wheelers at age three and took us out every summer and winter until we turned 16 and found other interests," Robbins recalled. "Then in 2000, my brother bought a four-wheeler, and then I bought one and we started racing."
This year was Robbins' third visit to the national series. His goal this year, he said, was only to "go and do well."
What he likes most about the sport "are the friendships" he makes. Three of his closest riding buddies are his brother, and the Crose brothers, Marshall and Merrill, of Sibley, Mo. The four have been racing competitively for more than a decade.
"We all started racing about the same time, and we all like to win," Robbins said. "We always push each other, which is probably why we do as well as we do."
Robbins said he used to practice after work, and put in up to 80 hours a year. Now, he doesn't put in that much time, but his racing time hasn't decreased any.
This weekend, he plans to ride in the District 18 race in Kirksville. Then there's the Belleville, Ill., race and the Iowa circuit he also runs. The farthest he has traveled to compete is Danville, Va., in 2007. The Loretta Lynn Series was the last national competition of the year.
Throughout his racing career, Robbins has had multiple injuries. He has a metal plate in his left arm from a broken arm he got in a Kentucky race; a separated rotator's cup, from racing at Rolla's track that has since closed; a broken collarbone in Danvillle; and a tooth knocked out, along the way somehow. He admits it's the adrenaline rush that keeps him coming back.
When Robbins is not racing, he owns and operates Robbins Cycles in his new location, 2100 E. Liberty, that sells performance parts and accessories and specializes in engine building.
He also has a lap track on CR 376, that is open to the public upon request and has been the host site for several local racing events. Anyone interested in ATV racing, or has questions regarding the sport, Robbins invites all inquiries.
Page 2 of 2 - Robbins and his wife, Ashley, live in Audrain County and have three sons – Kayle, Gavyn and Jayde – who, you guessed it, are already hooked and love the thrill of racing, just like their dad.