A dream of Nationals for a GMHS senior becomes reality

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Brody Landheer, submitted photo

Most people know Loretta Lynn as a famous country music star, but Brody Landheer knows her name because of Lynn’s connection to the Amateur National Motocross Championship.

The championship is the pinnacle event motocross racers dream of qualifying for and GMHS senior Brody Landheer did that at the Budd’s Creek Regional Qualifier in Maryland on June 10-11. The top six riders from seven regional qualifying events across the United States advance to the race that is affectionately known as Loretta Lynn’s. The event takes place July 31 to Aug. 5 at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn.

The road to Loretta Lynn’s has not been smooth for Brody, an upcoming senior and three-sport athlete at Granby Memorial High School. “In June 2021, I crashed at the Unadilla Regional Qualifier in New York and had to be airlifted to the children’s hospital where I spent three days,” says Brody, “and then in June 2022, my sister’s and my dirt bikes were stolen from our property. We were devastated.”

Local sponsors came to the rescue. Moms of Enfield (formally Enfield Motorsports) reached out and offered to support the family and help them get back on dirtbikes as soon as possible. Other local sponsors—Second Generation Carpentry of Granby, Four Dad’s Pub of Granby, Clean Juice of Simsbury, Atlantic Coast Performance of East Hartford—are a few of the other establishments that have supported Team Landheer Racing.

Racing is a family affair. Team Landheer Racing consists of Brody and his younger sister Addison who will be a freshman at GMHS in the fall. Both Landheers began racing motocross when they were seven years old. According to Loretta Lynn’s Vault (llvault.racerxonline.com), Connecticut has had 126 racers compete since 1982. Brody is not the first Granby resident to make it to the Loretta Lynn’s. In 1984, Ted D’Onofrio, GMHS Class of 1986, competed in the national event.

Brody stands apart from many of the 41 racers that he will compete against in August. “Most of the kids he’ll race against live at training facilities across the U.S. and do online school. Their focus isn’t on academics,” says the 2014 GMHS grad Corey Ridel who also raced professional motocross from 2013-2020. However, being well rounded in school sports, academics and motocross is important to Brody and his parents.

Brody is one of the top runners on the cross country, indoor track and outdoor track teams for GMHS, qualifying for states in all three sports. He was the fastest Granby male runner in the  Granby 5K Road Race in 2020 and 2021. This past spring, Brody was awarded the top male track athlete by his coach, Bob Casey, for scoring the most points for his team.

In addition to school sports, Brody works hard in his AP and honors level courses while also being dual enrolled in the Asnuntuck Community College Connections Welding Program. Because of his passion in school, the administration at GMHS nominated Brody for the American Legion Boys State program in June, which he will be attending.

Team Landheer Racing will be holding a fundraiser to support the high cost of attending the championship. If you’d like to support the family, you can follow them on Facebook @teamlandheerracing or Instagram @teamlandheer. You can also follow along and watch Brody race in the 250c class and 450c class at Loretta Lynn’s by tuning into racertv.com/category/loretta-lynns

When asked if there is anything he’d like to say, Brody responded, “All glory goes to God, my family and sponsors for all the support. Also, stop by Four Dad’s Pub to say hi. I’m the dishwasher.”