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Zack is on Attack on ATV Circuit
Written by Bradley Schlegel Correspondent

For 12-year old Zack, it takes the support of his parents, Jason and Melissa, who fund his endeavors in the sport and get him to the events which are hundreds of miles away from home.


Hereford 12-year old wins national ATV motocross title

        Zack Decker concluded his first year on the national four-wheel ATV racing circuit with the ultimate prize: a national championship.

        The Hereford Township resident won nine of 10 races in the 70cc Open Class for participants aged 6 to 11 of the 2015 Mountain Dew ATV Motocross Championship.

         "It was awesome," he said. "It's the greatest feeling ever to know you are number one in the world in one class."

        Decker clinched the title after winning the initial seven races on the amateur circuit. On August 9, he capped the run by finishing first at Loretta Lynn's national-level motocross track on her ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn.

        "I was looking forward to the challenge," said Decker, who was knocked out of the only race he didn't win in the series by engine failure. "All my hard work paid off."

        Jason Decker said his son received a plaque, goggles and other riding apparel as well as shocks, brakes and other spare ATV parts and stickers to be displayed prominently on his vehicle  from several potential sponsors.

        Zack Decker, who has been racing ATVs since the age of five, says he likes going fast and jumping high.

        "I rarely take my hand off the throttle, said Zack Decker, who turned 12 on Aug. 28. "When it comes to racing, I am fearless."

        According to Jason Decker, his son – who weighs 65 pounds – has displayed the ability to control a 400-pound ATV at speeds that often exceed 60 mph and on jumps measuring between 40 and 50 feet high.

        "Zack loves speed and he loves to jump," his father said.

        Initially, Zack Decker – who also finished second in the tour's 70cc Shifter, 90cc Open and 90cc Shifter junior classifications this season – competed regionally on tracks that included the Evansville Motocross Park in Berwick and Hurricane Hills in Scranton. Jason Decker said his son dominated, often lapping the competition.

        This year, Zack debuted on the national circuit. From March to August, he competed on Motocross tracks in Texas, New York, Tennessee, Georgia, Michigan and Minnesota. Jason Decker traveled with his son to each weekend event.

        A self-employed concrete contractor, Jason Decker estimated that he spent between $50,000 and $60,000 this season on equipment, including a trailer and engine parts. He employs a full-time mechanic who replaces the motor on a custom-built ATV every month.

        The engine is "torn apart and freshened up" after every race, according to the father.

        "This certainly requires a lot of work," said Jason Decker, the father of three who recently spent $42,000 on three used four-wheelers for next season.

        Zack Decker credits a strenuous training regimen as integral to his success. Jason Decker says his son completed 400 to 500 pushups a day.

        During the winter, Zack Decker works with a professional rider in Texas. Jason Decker said he will homeschool his son, in part, to allow Zack to continue to train.

        "I train hard in the offseason when some people might slack," Zack Decker said. "I need to be in top physical shape."

        The racer had not been able to avoid injury. Early in his career, Zack Decker broke his arm and shoulder in six spots after failing to maneuver a double-jump. He said the four-wheeler landed directly on him. The competitor also suffered a leg injury in a separate crash, but said it didn't force him to miss a race.

        "The day I broke my arm I cried because I wanted to ride," he said. "I tried to start riding with one arm before it healed."

        According to Zack Decker, his mother Melissa gets very scared whenever he flips his ATV, which he said occurs about once every two races.

        Eventually, Zack Decker wants to become a professional ATV racer.  "My goal is to continue doing this, and then win all the pro races," he said.





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