Small hurdles big reward
Trevor Honstrom is in the spotlight
by John Grones | February 26, 2002
Travis Pastrana, Jeremy McGrath, Heath Voss, Ricky Carmichael, David Vuillemin... Trevor Honstrom...
That’s right – seven-year-old Trevor Honstrom from McGrath, Minn., shared the spotlight with the most noted Supercross racers in the world on Sat., Feb. 16, at the Metrodome in Minneapolis, in front of 54,657 fans.
Trevor entered a drawing at Larson’s Cycle in Cambridge for a chance to ride in the KTM, Jr. Supercross. He had some mixed emotions about being selected. “He was actually very hesitant... then thought about for a week... then he was going to win,” said his mom, Jacquie.
Trevor was just one of several participants, between the ages of seven and eight, awarded this special opportunity. The little guys, and one girl, converged from six different states, and Canada, to compete on the professional track.
From a distance, the track looked like the kind of playground any kid would love in their backyard. However, up close, it loomed much larger. The one-mile track included a rhythm section, two 85-foot triple jumps, several doubles, and a whoops section. There were inclines, much higher and longer than any found in the McGrath area. Jacquie added that there’s no problem finding a rhythm section where they live, with all the swamp heads.
For little Trevor Honstrom, wearing number 4 on his racing vest, the first challenge was to clear the small, internal hurdles — anxiety and apprehension — common emotions for first-time participants. Not a problem, because KTM promoters took this into consideration and eased the participants in slowly, leading up to the main event.
In the morning, meetings were held to remind riders and parents about the reason they are there — to have fun. “Motorcross parents can be similar to hockey or basketball parents. They all think their kid is the best and sometimes overreact,” said Jacquie. A chaplin was also on hand to give a spiritual message to the riders and cover them with prayer.
Shortly after noon, the fathers walked the track with their sons, checking out every dip, jump and corner, as they discussed strategy for the big race. The question still remained: who was more nervous, the children or the fathers? Trevor’s father, Robert, would easily admit to some pre-race jitters.
The next phase for these young riders was a practice round, the first real hurdle to clear. Making it around the one-mile track would be a challenge in itself. With nervous anticipation, Trevor took off, rounded the first corner, cleared the first set of doubles, made the triple jump, whizzed through the tunnel, more doubles, over the second triple, down the back stretch and into the back two corners. Unfortunatley, Trevor’s bike overheated and didn’t finish the course.
Not to worry, the KTM coordinators had scheduled a second practice run later in the evening. For the next few hours, Trevor would have some time to relax, get a bite to eat and sign autographs, a very important skill to hone for high profile riders.
After a long afternoon, and a chance to watch the professionals warm up, Trevor’s second practice round arrived — and none too soon. Trevor was eager to get back on the bike and try it again, but, maybe a little too eager, because right out of the gate, he hit the throttle so hard his bike went straight up in the air, and crashed down next to him. There he laid, flat on his back, looking stunned. Race officials were quick to the scene. They picked up Trevor, pulled his bike upright and started it again. The little guy hopped right back on the bike, minus a rear fender, and circled the course, not only once, but a few times. “I was too far back on my bike,” commented Trevor. “I just wanted to get back on and ride.”
Another hurdle cleared.
During the professional qualifiers, Trevor and his parents, Robert and Jacquie, took some time to discuss a less painful way to start the race. They reminded Trevor that he needed to sit up further on the bike and stand up. “The more you stand, the faster you are,” his dad reminded him.
As the professionals took to the track, Trevor talked about his favorite rider. “That would be Travis Pastrana,” he said. “He’s the most fastest.” This was evident, as Pastrana blew everyone away in the qualifiers. Unfortunately, he got tangled up with Mike LaRocco in the finals and didn’t finish.
Trevor is most impressed with Pastrana’s ability to ride wheelies... “without coming over backwards,” added dad.
When the big race finally arrived, Trevor had one last hurdle — to finish the race. That is exactly what he did. Little #4 buzzed around the track without any assistance — no apprehension... no anxiety. And, when he was done, he received his big reward — the confidence to get over any kind of hurdle, big or small.
All that remained was to sit back, watch the professionals and accept a few congratulatory hugs from friends and relatives.
The Honstrom family would like to thank their sponsor Larson’s Cycle for the opportunity to participate in KTM Jr. Challenge.
This article first appeared in the February 26, 2002 issue of the Voyageur Press.