After finishing fourth in the final standings of the Grand Canyon State Classic motorcycle racing series, 17-year-old Jimmy Vickers jumped to the just-beginning Summer Gold circuit and rode his way to first and third place finishes.
For the past several months Vickers, a sophomore at Payson High School and part-time employee of Bashas', has been racing in the 125 cc beginners, class of the GCSC series. That competition ended two weeks ago.
Wanting to continue to build his career to what he hopes someday is a spot among the professionals, Vickers opted for Summer Gold. The series tipped off last weekend at the Canyon Off-Road Race Park north of Phoenix near Carefree.
Again racing 125 cc beginners' class, Vickers opened with a third-place finish following a less-than-desirable start.
"He had a bad hole shot, but in mid-pack began working his way through the other riders," Cindy Vickers, Jimmy's mother, said.
In the second moto, Vickers learned from experience and was doubly quick off the starting line, giving him an early lead. "Then he pulled away from the competitors," Cindy Vickers said.
Winning was a huge thrill for the youngster, as evidenced by his jubilant finish.
"Passing the checkered flag, he knew he finished first. He was standing on his foot pegs, arms raised in the air," Cindy Vickers said.
Mom has been one of the youngster's greatest supporters, but realizes the risks of the sport -- accidents and injuries.
"I don't like those. I worry a lot about that," she said.
Jimmy will return to action May 22 also at Canyon Off-Road Park. Because of his recent success, race officials have moved him from the beginners' to the juniors' class.
"The competition will be tougher," Cindy Vickers said.
Local motorcycle enthusiasts can join the Payson Motorsports Club, which will be hosting a training session and picnic, beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday. The event will be held south east of Payson outside Star Valley.
Call LaMoyne Swenson at 474-3017 for more information.