NASCAR & Auto Racing

Father knows better than to race his son, a 250cc champion

Bob Hicks has raced in the top speedway motorcycle divisions at Cal Expo and now at Fast Fridays in Auburn for decades. But he isn’t about to race against his 13-year-old son, Colton,.

It would be too embarrassing, the elder Hicks said.

Colton, a straight-A student at E.V. Cain Middle School in Auburn, won the 2015 American Motorcyclist Association’s Youth 250cc National Speedway Championship last week at Fast Fridays with a dominating sweep. The previous week, Colton won the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) 250cc Silver Cup in Southern California.

The kid can ride and slide.

“I’m sure he’d beat me on a 250cc if we ever raced,” said the elder Hicks. “Heck, I’d need my 500cc bike just to keep up. This has been his year. He peaked at the right time.”

I’m sure he’d beat me on a 250cc if we ever raced. Heck, I’d need my 500cc bike just to keep up. This has been his year. He peaked at the right time.

Bob Hicks, on his 13-year-old son, Colton

Colton Hicks and Rancho Santa Margarita rider Sebastian Palmese, who have battled all season, were tied with 12 points entering the final event last Friday. Palmese won the draw and took Lane 1. Hicks chose Lane 2, and when the tape rose at the gate, Hicks used a quick start off the line and jumped to a lead he did not relinquish. Palmese finished second.

“I always practice my gates when we ride out in Yuba City at our friend’s track,” said Colton, who has raced speedway motorcycles since age 4 in the 50cc class. “Plus, I also use a tighter clutch, and that really helps at the line.”

The trophy Colton won last Friday is almost as tall as the 5-foot-2 eighth grader. The Silver Cup is 6 feet, he said. Both stand next to his bed. They’re a visual response to the age-old essay question: “What did you do on your summer vacation?”

Family time The McKenna family has been open-wheel racing fans for years and will have four generations in the grandstands when the Go Pro Grand Prix of Sonoma comes to Sonoma Raceway on Aug. 28-30.

Kevin McKenna of Rancho Cordova has attended races at Laguna Seca and Sonoma Raceway for decades and has taken all four of his children to races since the late 1970s, he said. Now he has gotten his granddaughters (Kaelin, 6, and Leah, 3) into the sport, and his 85-year-old mother, Catherine of Sacramento, has recently become a huge racing fan. She will make the trip to see the IndyCar race next weekend and support her favorite driver, Helio Castroneves. Kevin’s son, Sean, of Placerville, is the father of Kaelin and Leah.

Castroneves is fourth in season points with 407, one ahead of defending champion Will Power, as IndyCar heads to the Pocono (Pa.) Raceway for the ABC Supply 500 this weekend. Sonoma again is the season finale.

Castroneves trails series leader Juan Pablo Montoya by 58 points. Montoya has wasted no time getting back into IndyCar racing after a lackluster NASCAR career.

All American Speedway – Roseville’s All American Speedway recently ended its summer hiatus and begins a run of six races to name its four division champions.

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Mark Billingsley covers local motor sports for The Bee. Reach him at or @editorwriter001.