American Motocross Mourns Loretta Lynn (1932-2022)
American Motocross Community Mourns
the Passing of Loretta Lynn (1932-2022)
The American motocross community is in mourning following the passing of one the sport’s most influential figures, country music icon Loretta Lynn (1932-2022). The namesake of the world’s single-largest motocross event, the Monster Energy AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship which is more commonly and affectionately known as “Loretta Lynn’s,” passed peacefully in her sleep at the age of 90 on Tuesday morning at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee.
One of country music’s most prolific figures, the legendary “Coal Miner’s Daughter” was also a giant within the motocross racing community, welcoming thousands of amateur racers, their families, friends, and the industry as a whole to Loretta Lynn Ranch each and every August. For the past 41 years, the Monster Energy AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship has served as the proving ground for aspiring motocross talent, with a who’s who list of racers who have made the journey to Middle Tennessee for motocross’ version of summer vacation over the past four decades in search of success. Countless stars have been born at the ranch over the years and Loretta herself has remained a cornerstone figure of the event, which has become an integral part of the family business, spanning multiple generations. In recognition of her contribution to the sport, Lynn was inducted into AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2021.
“Ever since 1982 Loretta Lynn and her family have opened their arms and their ranch to countless motocross families,” said Rita Coombs, matriarch of MX Sports. “Her name may be synonymous with country music, but she was also incredibly popular with generations of motocrossers who have visited her ranch in Hurricane Mills to compete in the annual AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships. She was always a gracious host and she will be sorely missed by our entire sport.”
The legacy of this prestigious event is a byproduct of happenstance, when MX Sports patriarch Dave Coombs Sr. took his family on a road trip in the summer of 1981 to camp at the ranch. A morning jog by Coombs around the property proved to be a moment of inspiration and realization, one that forever changed the course of American motocross and served as the foundation for the country star’s ascension into becoming the standard bearer for the sport. “Big Dave’s” charisma led to a fateful meeting with Mooney Lynn and Loretta herself and he sold them on the idea. One year later, in 1982, the inaugural AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship descended on Hurricane Mills. The rest, as they say, is history, and without Loretta Lynn, the sport of motocross in the United States wouldn’t be what it is today.
Godspeed, Loretta. You’ll be missed, but the racing will live on in your memory.