After finishing his latest semester at the Georgia Practice Facility -- the Cairo-based motocross school for aspiring bikers -- Josh Struebig passed his finals.
"I feel more comfortable passing riders when other people are tight and close to me," said Struebig, 22, of Crown Point. "I'm definitely more confident out there. I'm attacking the track."
At the American Motorcycle Association-sanctioned Mid-East Area Qualifier, May 5-6 at Dutch Sport Park in Bloomingdale, Mich., Struebig earned a pair of firsts in the 250B stock and 250B modified classes.
Struebig also placed second in the 450B modified class and third in the 450B stock class.
The effort qualified Struebig for the Regional Qualifier to be held June 1-3 at Red Bud Race Track in Buchanan, Mich. Top placers from there, the number of which to be determined by the amount of entries, go on to the AMA Amateur Motocross Nationals, July 29-Aug. 1 at Loretta Lynn's Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn.
"People who do well at Loretta Lynn's usually go pro right after," said Struebig, who plans to move up to "A" class later this summer.
Although already Regional qualified, Struebig is due to race at the North-East Area Qualifier, May 26-27 at Sunset Ridge MX in Walnut, Ill. That will feed into another Regional Qualifier.
"It will just give me another chance to make Loretta Lynn's," Struebig said. "But if you do make it, you only get to enter in two classes."
Though he's officially home for the summer, Struebig will return to Cairo in July to attend the "Josh Woods Boot Camp" which he hopes will improve his endurance while racing and riding in the southern-baked heat.
He's also training at home with pro rider and former AMA Arenacross Rookie of the Year, Travis Sewell, of Westville.
"He's got me on a gluten-free diet," Struebig said. "I'm also avoiding dairy products.
"How's it going so far? I just started it."
In addition to being gluten-free, Struebig has become more motor-free as he trains regularly on a BMX bike and runs across town to the Lake County Fairgrounds and back.
Struebig also trains in a less conventional way while balancing himself on a low-extended rope tied to two trees.
"It's core training," Struebig's father, Phil Struebig explains.
Good thing it's not for tightrope training. Now that would be dangerous.