ROAD TO THE RANCH: NATE THRASHER
Nate Thrasher’s first race at the Loretta Lynn Amateur National Championship took place way back in 2013, competing in the 65cc classes at the time. The Tennessee native only finished one moto inside the top twenty that week and ended up with two 28th overall results, but he quickly turned things around in 2014. Thrasher was one of the top competitors in the 65cc (10-11) Limited class that season, achieving 4-11-2 finishes which placed him in 4th place overall at the end of the three moto format. He clearly had the pace to battle for the podium but the second moto cost him a better overall position. The KTM rider returned the following year in the Mini Sr. classes and gained some experience, finishing just outside of the top ten in the Mini Sr. 2 category. In 2016, all of the experience from the year prior paid off as Thrasher grabbed a 6th place overall and a 4th place overall in Mini Sr. 2 and Mini Sr. 1, respectively. In 2017, he rode for a year with Team Green Kawasaki before signing with the Orange Brigade KTM team and he earned his first overall podium at the Ranch, clinching 3rd place in the Mini Sr. 2 division. He switched over to KTM prior to the 2018 racing season and returned to Hurricane Mills for arguably the most dominant performance of his career, winning all six motos between Supermini 1 and 2 on his way to a pair of titles. Thrasher’s speed was on another level as he set lap times that put him on par with some of the competitors in the A class and B class while still riding what’s technically considered a minibike. He missed the Loretta Lynn Amateur National Championship last year due to injury for the first time in his career, so he’ll certainly be determined to make up for the year off once the gate drops at the Ranch.
How’d the Regionals go?
Regionals went really well. I went to High Point Raceway and qualified in the 250 B class and crashed in the Schoolboy 2 class, so I had to go to Ironman MX to qualify. I have never ridden that track before so I was really glad that I had a chance to ride it.
What’s a typical day of training been like for you getting ready for Loretta’s?
I have been training at the Bakers Factory in Florida since I started riding the 250. We usually ride three to four days a week. Our day usually starts with a bike ride or a run to get warmed up and then we head to the gym. It’s a full day for sure.
Do you have a pre-race routine?
I am really not that superstitious. I just try and get focused and block everything out. One thing I do before every race is pray with my dad.
How do you recover after a twenty-minute moto in the brutal heat and humidity?
My recovery after each race Is to relax my heart rate and drink a lot of water.
Is there one specific year at Loretta’s that stands out as the most memorable for you?
Every year at Loretta’s is memorable, but the best year for me was 2018 when I went six for six and won two titles on my supermini. I also received the youth ride of the year award. Winning titles at Loretta’s is what you work for all year long, so winning two that year was definitely the most memorable.
What do you think is the key to success at the Ranch?
For me the key to success at the Ranch is preparation, having good starts, a good attitude, and mostly having fun.