Forbes' Sam Drane has been named America's Youth Rider of the Year after dominating his class at the AMA Flat Track Grand Championships in Du Quoin, United States.
The 11-year-old won 33 of his 36 events across a huge week of racing - and was exhausted and proud at the end of it.
Sam - whose big brother Tom took out the Youth Rider title at the same meeting in 2018 - competed in three styles of racing and brought home three national titles.
It's Sam's first trip to race in the US since 2019 thanks to COVID disruptions, but he said his confidence built day on day as he competed.
"In Australia when we ride we've got tyres that are called knobby tyres," he explained.
"In America you have to run tyres that are slick, they're really slippery, you have to be careful on them."
Precision, he explained, is key.
Sam competed across the short track, his preferred TT competition which features a jump, and the half mile at the championships.
The grand championships boast a thrilling atmosphere, Sam told the Advocate, with the grandstands packed with fans to watch the action.
"It puts a lot more pressure on but as soon as you start riding you just lose all the nerves and go for it," he said.
Standing on the top of that podium for the first time, having placed fourth in 2019, was a thrill.
"I like racing there," Sam said. "Everyone is competitive on the track but friendly off the track."
The Youth Rider title recognises not only the Aussie's obvious talent on track, mum Lisa explains it also takes into consideration how riders present themselves and carry themselves off track with other riders, families and sponsors.
Sam's championship bid was just one part of the Drane family and Team Aus's five-week competitive tour of the US in June and July.
Sam started his campaign strong with a win in his 85cc category in the half mile Brad Baker Dash event, collecting not only prize money but gear and a ticket to see big brother Tom Drane succeed at the AFA Lima Half Mile.
He particularly thanked Team Aus but also his sponsors and all those who got him to and supported him in the States as well as all those backing him at home in Forbes.
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