By Hayden Zelson Explore Big Sky Editorial Assistant
BIG SKY – For Jamey Kabisch, the upcoming AMA/KENDA Off-road
National Championship is much more than a race. He’s not just one of
the event’s course designers; he’s also the proud father of two of the
His son Bridger Babock, 14, and daughter Flynn Kabisch, 8, are both
experienced motocross racers, and frontrunners in their respective age
groups, according to Kabisch. When race time comes Aug. 24, Kabisch
will be eagerly anticipating both the general course results, and those
of his son and daughter.
Kabisch describes his experience this year, with the National
Championship coming to Big Sky for the first time ever, as
understandably chaotic. Although he’s not in charge of the kids’
training – that’s his wife Danielle’s job, he says – Kabisch is still finding
the event planning pretty hectic. He has to prepare a safe, fun and
challenging course not just for the 300 or more expected racers, but
also for his own children. That’s a pretty daunting task.
Kabisch describes his experience this year as being much more frenetic than years
past. “I have to make sure that everything is moving well in the course. There are just
so many things to think about with the national championship coming.”
Both Bridger and Flynn have had significant experience on the race
circuit. Flynn has been racing in the Big Sky event for the past three
years, which was formerly known as the Big Sky XC. Bridger has five
years of experience at his home course, as well as significant time
racing around the West in the past year.
In fact, Bridger’s most recent accomplishments make him a favorite in
both of his races. He has won the Montana Championship in the 85cc
category, as well as a national series called the AMA Western Hare
Scramble. This experience will be crucial as Bridger competes in both
the 85cc and the 200cc. The 200cc race is particularly unique because
Bridger will not be up against racers his own age, but rather adults.
It’s not just the kids’ experience that gives them a leg up on the
competition. It’s also their familiarity with the course and the local
terrain. For most of their short racing careers, they’ve been training on
and studying the terrain they’ll be racing on Aug. 24 and 25. “[Flynn and Bridger] definitely have a home court advantage coming
into this race,” Kabisch said. “They know the area well and have grown
up racing here. They especially have a big advantage on competitors
coming from the East.”
It’s easy to see why – East Coast riders aren’t used to Big Sky’s rough
terrain and high altitude.
Regardless of the race results, the family will be heavily invested, and
Kabisch says watching his kids race the course makes all of his work
worth it.
“That’s what it’s all about.”
Be sure to watch Flynn and Bridger as they try to take home the top
spot in their respective fields on Aug. 24-25 at Big Sky Mountain