Young motocross rider working hard to make a name for himself on the track

Published: Jul. 1, 2022 at 9:37 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -Landon Whitney is spending a lot of time on a dirt track up in Fountain as he works to hone his craft. And working to become a force on the state and national level.

Motocross is a sport that kids can pick up at a rather young age. Take for instance Landon Whitney of Panama City Beach. ”My son got his first dirt bike when he was four.” says Landon’s father Derek. “We didn’t think it really serious at first, but then he wanted to go out and do some racing.”

“Yeah I was four and I got it for my birthday. I thought it was pretty cool and I wanted to start riding it.” Landon says. And now Landon’s racing on a national level, collecting titles and trophies! His father, who raced when he was younger is his biggest fan! “He’s hitting jumps that I wouldn’t imagine hitting at 12 years old. So he impresses me every day and it’s good to see the progress.” And that progress comes at a price! “Push ups, jumping jacks, riding the bicycle.” says Landon. “He wants it bad.” adds Derek. “I mean when we first moved down here we were waking up at five o’clock. We’re running, in the gym working. Motocross is super physically demanding and you’ve got to be in shape. So he works hard at it.” No matter how hard one works on the bike, it remains a dangerous undertaking. Landon knows that, but says he tries to not let that fear creep into the picture! “Not so much really. Why not? Just focus on just going fast” “Yeah I think when I was racing you don’t think about that stuff.” Derek told me. “But now that I’m a dad, it’s like I’m really scared if you’re gonna hit that jump, or come up short. And he’s taken some pretty hard hits. We’ve been pretty fortunate. I always kind of joke he’s made of rubber. Because that kid just bounces. But we’ve had some bad crashes and that always, in the back of my head, scare me a little bit.”

Landon spending this weekend up in Tallassee, Alabama riding in the “Monster Mountain” event that is part of the Alabama State Championship Series.

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