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All-Terrain Adventure | Fall 2005 Out Here Magazine

ATV racer Christian Lindsey's thrill for speed and adventure runs in his Kevil, KY, family.

Young ATV racer thrills to speed, competition — but safely

By Noble Sprayberry

Photography by Stephen Lance Denner

Friends, speed, and a healthy dose of adventure hooked Christian Lindsey on racing.

"I've always liked cars — something that goes fast and that's extreme," says Christian, who's recorded 10 wins in 28 races. And he's just 12 years old.

A love for adventure runs in his family from Kevil, KY, near Paducah. Indeed, ATV racing isn't Christian's first brush with a high-adrenaline sport.

"We took him to a rodeo for kids and the next thing I knew was that he was climbing on top of a bull," says Christian's mother, Tammie Lindsey. "He was riding 300- and 500-pound steers and beating 15- and 16-year-old boys. He was only 9 at the time."

Despite his rodeo background, Christian switched from horses to horsepower when his uncle and grandfather bought a youth-size all-terrain vehicle with a 90cc engine. Now, from the spring to the end of fall, Christian competes in 24 races scattered across western Kentucky.

His family is right there with him. Tammie Lindsey helps line up the young racers at the starting line and her husband, Tommy, is a flagman.

It's a way to stay close to the track in case something goes wrong. They've been fortunate in that regard, save for one mishap when Christian crashed and rolled his ATV. He had no serious injuries and raced the next weekend.

The family is serious about safety. Manco Power Sports, which manufactured Christian's ATV, has helped keep him safe by providing the necessary safety equipment.

Still, there's plenty of motherly concern by Tammie, but she grew up with horses and rodeo and understands the thrill. "I can't tell him no on something I would do. When I was a kid I'd go in my neighbor's field and get on bulls," she says.

His next step? To move up a racing class, where the engines are more powerful 250cc models and the competitors are between 13-16.

His mom will be behind him all the way, because racing has made Christian more confident and outgoing, she notes.

"It's been a blessing for him," she says, "even though I would have preferred that he'd taken up chess."

Noble Sprayberry is a freelance journalist based in Dallas.