Zoey Kimble

Zoey Kimble in action on her bike.

NEW LEXINGTON – The dream in the title belongs to 13-year-old Zoey Kimble, a seventh-grade student at New Lexington Middle School. Nothing is more private than an unspoken dream, but Zoey is not afraid to share hers. Her dream is to become a professional moto-cross racer and she is chasing it just as fast as her KTM 85 moto-cross bike will allow, nearly every weekend from February to November.

Zoey competes in the Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) series, Senior Girls 12-15 years old Division. Her KTM 85 is an Austrian made bike manufactured by the KTM (Kraftfahrzeag Trunkenpolz Mattighofen) Group in Mattighofen, Upper Austria, Austria. The KTM Group sold 206,423 motorized vehicles in 2016 and led all motorcycles sales in Europe from 2012 to 2016.

Her sport began as a result of a guy named Dave Coombs, better known as Big Dave. He took one look at the rugged terrain located surrounding Davis, West Virginia, and realized it was the perfect place to hold moto-cross racing. His original racing series was known as the Wiseco 100 Miler Series and has since evolved into the GNCC.

Zoey says that her father was a moto-cross racer, but he has since given up racing to help her pursue a career in the sport. That pursuit has taken their family to races in South Carolina, West Virginia, Maryland, Florida, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Georgia. The cost for her to compete is not lost on Zoey.

“It’s expensive for me to race,” says the seventh grader. “I appreciate my father very much.”

Zoey does more than participate in the moto-cross races that consist of a seven–mile race through wooded hills and valleys. She excels at it. Her father says that Zoey is in “the top four racers in the nation” for the Senior Girls 12-15 age division. She recently finished third in a race that took place in South Carolina.

Her racing resume reads like a future national championship foundation in the process of being poured: 2018 Girls Small Wheel GP Championship, 2019 Winter Series Indoor Girls Small Wheel Championship, 2019 Winter Series Indoor Women’s Championship, and the 2021 85cc Jr.GP Championship.

When asked how fast she is going during a race on her KTM 85, Zoey replied, “I don’t know. I’m too busy missing trees. I just go as fast as I can.” That sound strategy has resulted in racing success and no broken bones so far for Zoey. She explained that a seven-mile race consists of five or six laps around the racecourse. A typical race lasts one hour.

“When I get older, I have to race for 10 miles and that’s a two-hour race,” stated Zoey. Once she graduates from the 12-15 age group, Zoey’s goal, besides to continue racing, is to attract national sponsorships that will cover her racing expenses.

Her father explained that prize money and sponsorships for women’s moto-cross are not as forthcoming as it is on the men’s side of racing. However, that may change as more and more young girls enter the sport. “The number of girls racing in the last 12 months has quadrupled,” says the proud father.

Off the track and in the classroom, Zoey says she is an A and B student “even without ever being here on Fridays.” Most Fridays are devoted to traveling to a weekend race that could be anywhere from 200 to 1000 miles away. Although she is a good student, Zoey does not see college in her future. When her riding days are over, Zoey says she would like to train young people hopeful to make moto-cross racing part of their future.

In the meantime, Zoey helps her financial cause by mowing grass, shoveling snow, and babysitting. With none of her New Lexington classmates involved in moto-cross, most of Zoey’s friends are her racing peers who live all over North America.

“We’re friends but it’s not like I can go over to their house because most of them live two days away,” laughed Zoey.

Zoey Kimble rode her first motorized bike when kids her age were still maneuvering little bicycles with the aid of training wheels. After starting to ride at age four, she entered her first race at age five. As in tune as her current riding skills are, Zoey’s focus on her racing future is just as sharp.

While Zoey’s parents, Jimmy and Tiffany Kimble, will have a say in her post-secondary education plans, they fully support their daughter’s full throttle approach to someday shifting gears on a dream until it becomes a reality.

Submitted by New Lexington Schools.

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