Children's Advocacy Center of Caldwell County
Two Young Ladies That Share A Passion For Motorcycle Racing
You are probably wondering, “Two young ladies that share a passion for motorcycle racing?” There are two young ladies from South Caldwell High School in Hudson, North Carolina, Brooke Slaughter and Haley Littlejohn that participate in a hobby most people would not expect. These young ladies race motorcycles and are very serious about it. After speaking to these young ladies, it is apparent that this is more than just a hobby; it is a passion. Both Brooke and Haley said that motorcycle racing is a very family-friendly oriented atmosphere where everyone pitches in to help each other out, but once the race begins the atmosphere changes. There is no give or take; the racing is extremely aggressive and fierce. Their first year of racing was 2011 with a partial season running in 3 Mid East Hare Scramble Series races.
Both ladies compete in Mid East Hare Scramble Series, NC Series, and GNCC. They were the first girls to run in the Mid East Hare Scramble Series and competed against boys. Now the popularity has grown amongst girls and they now compete in a girl’s 9-15 age group.
The type of motorcycle racing that these ladies compete in is called “Hare Scramble.” Hare Scramble is the name given to a particular form of off-road motorcycle racing. Traditionally, a Hare Scramble can vary in length and time with the contestants completing multiple laps around a marked course through wooded or other rugged natural terrain. The overall winner is awarded to the contestant who maintains the highest speed throughout the event. Hare Scramble racing could be labeled as “cross country riding.” "Some like the trees, some like the rocks, some like the roots, some like the creeks, some like it muddy, some like some dust - come check out our races - and see what you love about Mid East Hare Scramble racing!" Buren Hamrick - Mideast Racing
“I think that both girls are exactly what racing is all about. Getting out there with family and friends competing in a sport they love, and having a great time doing it. I think that they both have a great future in the sport as long as they stick with it. Ladies in racing is gaining in popularity and is only going to become bigger, which means more competition. Brooke and Haley are the up and comers and if you ask me you couldn't ask for better role models than Brooke and Haley” stated Gabe Scofield owner of Independent Cycles in Morganton.
Brooke Slaughter is a freshman at South Caldwell High School and resides in Granite Falls, North Carolina. Brooke is a Junior Varsity Cheerleader and was active in athletics until she started racing motorcycles. Brooke is a member of Christ Church located in Hickory. She began riding motorcycles three years ago and began racing competitively in 2011. “Racing motorcycles is definitely my greatest passion!” Since losing her father in 2009, she has learned to race and work on her motorcycle by herself. Her choice of motorcycle is 2013 Honda CRF 150 Expert which she purchased herself from saving money. Brooke is sponsored by Independent Cycle in Morganton, NC Fly Racing, CYCRA SMS and Creative Printing of Boone. The owner of Independent Cycle, Gabe Scofield, works with kids by allowing them to hang out at the shop, working and learning together. “Brooke is awesome, I love her to death and that is exactly why I have chosen to sponsor her for the second season in a row. She has a great sense of humor and she is very passionate about anything she does. She is serious about racing and it shows when you look at her stats. Brooke is tough but also is not afraid to show you her soft side... That goes a long way with me” stated Gabe Scofield. Once a month he takes them a riding for fun and practice. He also gives discounts on much needed parts for their motorcycles. When it comes to competitions, Brooke says she loves to have fun but she is “in it to win!” Her family is very supportive and is always pushing her to do her very best and achieve her goals. Her entire family, including aunts and uncles travel with her every weekend to the races. Brooke says that she has “the best mom in the world!” Her mom is her personal cheering section and her best friend. Brett, her 19 year old brother, is her number one fan. Brooke’s uncle, Ron, has played an important role in her short racing career by actually signing her up for her very first race and also rides and trains with her regularly. Along with her Uncle Ron, Brooke’s stepfather, Tim also helps her with racing. Without their help she would not have the opportunity to race. Brooke rides her motorcycle just about every day to have fun and also prepare for upcoming races. She states, “My family and school always come first in my life, but racing is the next best thing to heaven for me.” Racing doesn’t come without injuries, though. Brooke has suffered a few injuries herself since she began racing competitively. They include a broken wrist, a concussion and a burn on her leg. Even injuries will not stop her passion for racing. Showing her determination and resilience, Brooke raced the last three laps with a broken wrist finishing 4th in her first GNCC race at Steele Creek on April 1, 2012. Brook competed in the NC Hare Scramble Series and won her series championship by finishing first in points in 2012. Brooke also competed in three Mideast Series races in 2012. Brooke’s goal is to further her racing skills while competing in the GNCC Series and Mid East Hare Scramble Series for the 2013 race season and would one day like to race in the GNCC Series as a Pro Rider. Brooke will be running the SETRA Winter Series which includes tracks in SC, GA, and AL.
Haley Littlejohn is a sophomore at South Caldwell High School where she is involved with BETA Club and is also a member of the swim team. Haley has done volunteer work for the American Red Cross and Hickory Soup Kitchen. Haley attends Hillcrest Baptist Church. In her first semester as a sophomore, she is enrolled in college and advanced courses and maintains a GPA of 4.0. Haley’s goal is to attend UNC Chapel Hill. Haley loves all water sports-skiing, tubing, knee boarding. She is from the Brown Mountain Beech Community of Caldwell County in North Carolina. Haley gave up modeling and acting to pursue her dirt bike racing. Haley began riding motorcycles five years ago and racing has become an adrenaline rush that she seeks. Haley began racing competitively in 2011. Haley states that, “I would ride and race 24/7 if that were at all possible. Riding is my passion and I would love to go pro. None of this would be possible without the support of my family, namely my dad, Jimmy Littlejohn. He always has my bike and equipment in tip top shape before race day. He is willing to travel and support my racing financially, which is not cheap. Dad is always at the start line for me when the flag drops with words of wisdom and encouragement. My uncle Danny and Patrick are also a big part of my racing as I guess you could say they are my pit crew also. They are always there willing to help with my bike and cheer me on at each race. I am blessed also to have the support of my aunt Susan, mom, step-mom, and step-dad and many others in my family. Thanks to all of you for your support, prayers, and words of encouragement. Without you, none of this would be possible.” Haley has also seen her share of injuries while racing. She has been bruised, cut, ran over and knocked unconscious. She also has a fierce competitive streak and does not like to quit. Haley practices a couple times a week and rides a Suzuki RM85. She is sponsored by her father’s motorcycle shop called Littlejohn Cycle Sales and Service in Lenoir, North Carolina as well as Moose Racing, Parts Unlimited, and Rick and Lana Bittinger. Haley also has a private sponsor that came on board simply because they wanted to get involved and help Haley. Haley states that “once you start your first race, it’s in your blood.” In 2012, Haley ran in the Mid East Hare Scramble Series almost winning the championship tying for 1st. She also finished 3rd at Big Buck and 4th at Loretta Lynn’s in the GNCC Series. Haley competed in a total of eighteen races in 2012 without any DNF’s. The 2012 season has been her greatest accomplishment so far. This year, Haley’s goal is to compete in all MidEast Races and at least a minimum of four GNCC Races. In the future, her plan is to ride full time at the professional level in GNCC and beyond. Her main goal in racing is to win a GNCC Championship. Haley would love to be a rider with KTM Racing and has reached out for sponsorship. Haley stated, “This past year’s season is dedicated to grandma Littlejohn who passed away in December. Grandma still came out and supported me and my cousins although she was in failing health.”
If you are interested in keeping up with their progress, here are the websites for the different racing series.
MidEast Racing www.mideastracing.com
North Carolina Hare Scramble Association www.yourrace.com
Grand National Cross Country Series www.gnccracing.com
02/13/2013 By Mark Jackson
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