Madison County’s Sam Francis just tossed his red cap with his fellow 2013 graduates. For those grads, there’s plenty of focus on new paths — all the trails to be taken in life.
Of course, Francis’ focus is not on the typical post high school route. No, he’s trying to make it big in the “hare scramble,” a form of off-road motorcycle racing where competitors speed through the woods on single and double-width trails.
Francis is pretty good, too. In fact, he’s already got a national title on his resume. He grabbed the 2012 250C National Enduro Championship trophy. He and his dad, Larry, have traveled much of the eastern United States as Sam has worked his way up the racing ladder. They’ve hit the road to Michigan, Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee, South Carolina. They’ll soon drive to Pennsylvania and Indiana.
The 6’4 1/2” Sam revs up the engine and flies through the woods, while Larry serves as the financier, mechanic, top cheerleader and coach.
“Yeah, I’m the banker and the mechanic,” jokes Larry.
Last year, Sam won the 250C national division, a class for younger riders.
“It’s awesome,” said Larry of his son’s accomplishment. “Not many people have a national champion living in their house.”
Sam says his highlight of his young racing career was the time he spent with his dad on the way to the championship.
“I guess all the memories of the last Enduro series last year and just me and my dad riding all over the east side of America and going to all these races and all the miles that we drove,” said Sam, when asked for his most satisfying racing moment. “It all paid off when we won. And it was just a good memory.”
Sam said his dad gets pretty fired up about the competition.