LEEDS – Seven-year-old Jet Capps is just a pint-size, blond haired, blue eyed boy, who is a bit on the shy side, at least until he suits up and hops on his motocross bike, lining up for the start of a race.
“When he puts that helmet on, he turns into a beast,” said his father, Josh Capps. “He likes to compete.”
The youngster likes to feel the rumbling of the engine as he throttles his bike down a motocross course, and the course jumps are the best.
“He likes to go fast,” Capps said. “He’s a daredevil.”
Jet has already made a name for himself and has even caught the attention of Alabama state legislators. He was recently presented a Resolution from the Alabama State House of Representatives for his recent accomplishments.
The spotlight shone on the youngster after winning the third spot nationally for the 4- 6-year-old division of the AMA (American Motorcycle Association) Motocross racing at the Loretta Lynn National Motocross Championship in Tennessee.
The top 42 riders from across the country gathered for about one week at the national championship to see who were the best motocross racers in the country. Three runs determined the pecking order for riders, and Jet captured the third spot after a third, second and third place finish during the Loretta Lynn National Motocross Race.
Jet missed out on a second place finish by just a half-second, which would have given him an overall second place standing nationally.
The youngster got his first motocross bike from Santa for Christmas 2017.
He had participated in some BMX bicycle races but he had never competed in a motocross race.
He raced in his first motocross race Jan. 5, 2018, in Cullman, and the rest his history.
“He was just a natural,” Capps said.
He said his brother, Jet’s uncle, Jacob Capps, who has competed in motocross races, coached the youngster some.
Capps said he grew up playing football and baseball in Leeds, while his wife, Rachel Brantley Capps, grew up in Odenville, playing softball for St. Clair County High School.
“I raced a couple of times,” Capps said.
He said his son played some Little League football, basketball and baseball, but his interest is in motocross racing and speeding down a dirt track against other riders.
“He told me, ‘I just want to race,’” Capps said. “He just wants to ride.”
His motocross racing has taken him throughout the Southeast and across the country. Jet has competed in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Florida, Pennsylvania , Virginia, Ohio and Oklahoma.
“He has raced at a lot of different places,” Capps said.
Naturally, his parents worry about him, but his father said Jet is equipped with some of the best safety equipment – and they pray that he won’t hurt himself.
“We want to let him follow his dream, and that’s his dream now,” Capps said. “He says he wants to one day become a professional motocross racer.”
Capps said the racers who beat him in the national championship actually live and train at a motocross compound, while being homeschooled.
“Jet is a weekend warrior,” Capps said. “He only trains on the weekends. For him to hang with them is an accomplishment.”
Jet attends Leeds Primary School, and will race in the 7- 8-year-old motocross division next year.