Carson High graduate Aron Harvey had a tough choice to make. He could have attended Carson's graduation ceremony or try to qualify for the Super Bowl of amateur motocross racing.
The choice wasn't that tough after all. The Western regional qualifier for the Loretta Lynn's motocross event in Tennessee was held in Honey Lake, Calif., on the second weekend of June, which just happened to be the same weekend as Carson's graduation. But Harvey didn't hesitate in making his choice, deciding on the qualifier for Loretta Lynn's, considered the nation's most prestigious amateur motocross event. Harvey qualified for the event, which will be held in August.
Harvey, who earned As and Bs at Carson, continued to excel, finishing second in the GFI California State Spring Series despite racing in only five of eight events. Harvey has also won all six motos he's raced in during three MX West Nevada State Series events held at the Carson City track adjacent to Champion Speedway.
He did it during the MX West Spring Series and then came back to do it again the last two Friday nights during the MX West Summer Series.
Harvey's quest for Loretta Lynn's began in May during the Northwest and Southwest Regional qualifiers at Honey Lake. The top 12 riders advanced to the Western Regional qualifier and and Harvey finished in the top three in all the divisions that he competed in.
The top four at the Western Regionals advanced to Loretta Lynn's. Harvey took second in three classes - 250B stock, 250B modified and 125B modified.
Since riders are limited to two classes at Loretta Lynn's, Harvey will race in 250B modified and 250B stock.
There are 19,000 riders that start out trying to qualify for Loretta Lynn's with 40 riders per class making it. A maximum of 1,360 riders qualify for Loretta Lynn's
The expense of traveling to Loretta Lynn's will obviously be great, but Harvey continues to receive more help from sponsors, including Michaels of Reno. "They've really helped him a lot this year," said Aron's father, Ron Harvey.
Another highlight for Harvey came when he finished in the top five in the 125 and 250 class main events after winning both qualifying races in a national event at Mammoth, Calif. Harvey was the only non-factory rider to place in the top five.
"That was pretty awesome," Ron said. "He's been getting a lot of recognition. It was pretty humbling. He's got a good image."
Ron said a top five finish at Loretta Lynn's would guarentee Harvey a factory sponsorship. Ron said his son doesn't know when he'll turn professional. "We're just going race by race right now," Ron said.
But Harvey has been so successful, he's been accused of being a professional by some of his competition, Ron said.
At the Western Regionals, the only racer who could beat Harvey was a factory Yamaha rider. "There's just no way our equipment can match that," Ron said.
Harvey's accomplishments got him featured in Final Lap magazine, something he didn't know about until a youngster showed him the magazine and asked him for an autograph during an event in Southern California.
It's all pretty heady stuff for Harvey, who's just been racing for 2 1/2 years. "My gosh that's unheard of," said Ron about the success that Harvey's achieved in such a short time.