12-year-old Gray Leadbetter, Morganton, NC, is a unique figure in the two-wheel and four-wheel racing world. She is often the youngest competitor, one of just a few females competing in these male dominated sports, and remarkably versatile. She not only races Motocross (specializing in indoors), has jumped metal ramps on her dirt bike, races Karts nationally, but drives her own Ford Fiesta Rally car at a nearby private course and is set to begin racing UTV’s in 2017.
Her dad, a former snowboard racer and Baja car racer, had originally given Gray a four-wheeler when she was just a toddler, but felt it wasn’t safe after Gray tipped it over on herself several times. Gray loved going fast on the motorized toy so to fill the void her parents made her a deal, they told Gray when you can use the “potty” you can get a dirt bike. True to their promise, they got her a PW50 with training wheels and by age three she was hooked on dirt bikes and her racing spirit was ignited.
At age 8, Gray’s Dad introduced her to Karts as another form of racing that she could do during the off-season of motocross. She quickly picked up the sport and the following year she began racing at the club level against some of the best cadet drivers in the nation at the world renowned GoPro Motorplex, in Mooresville, NC – the heart of NASCAR country.
Gray has won back-to-back regional amateur Arenacross championships (racing against boys), an international Kart championship (in Latin America) and in 2016 she podiumed at many national level kart races. This year she moved up a class in her kart racing and won the opening round of the GoPro Karting Championship and got a 2nd place finish at the first WKA National in Jacksonville, Florida, in the IAME X30 Jr category. She also won the first Mini Outlaws race of the season at Millbridge Speedway in Intermediate class.
Gray is sponsored by 84 Lumber, ProClip USA, iOmounts, Alpinestars, Ogio, Verde Speed Resources and Ignite Driven, and is quickly making a name for herself in the race community.