It was never supposed to become more than a nice outdoor retreat for the then 4-year-old Dustin Renteria. But one trip to a dirt track on his motocross bike became countless more, and the now 9-year-old Renteria is finding racing success all over the country.
Motocross became a career for Renteria three years ago. Since he first decided to compete, Renteria found immediate success. In three years, Renteria has collected 76 first-place finishes.
This year, though, was perhaps his greatest season of racing. Renteria dominated while traveling all over California, finishing in first place 40 times.
“It’s fun to watch him out there,” his father and manager Dusty Renteria said. “I enjoy fixing his bike and watching him race more than anything else. It’s very rewarding.”
Most recently, Renteria traveled to the Amateur Open of Motocross Nationals in Buckeye, Ariz. on Dec. 3. In Arizona, he completed his season by finishing sixth overall in the 6-9 stock class and fifth place in the 6-9 modified class.
Taking part in multiple different series this year, including the CMC and AMP/GFI Fall Series, Renteria had success throughout the region, including his home course at Hollister Hills.
With Hollister Hills close by, and the California weather allowing him to practice year round, Renteria has grown his skills quickly. But his parents make sure to keep him grounded and at school.
“There are a handful of kids (that race motocross) that are home schooled,” Dusty Renteria said. “Many parents invest everything on their kid going pro. We want Dustin to have a normal childhood, so we try to do that for him.”
A normal childhood includes being careful on what races he goes to. Rarely, will the family travel out of the state during a school week.
“We don’t want him missing out being a child,” Dusty Renteria said.
Dustin Renteria has the most fun racing.
“I like it so much because it’s something fun to do,” he said. “The funnest part is just going fast.”
The young Renteria’s racing style is modeled after Ryan Dungey, a seven-time motocross champion.
Renteria tries to emulate Dungey’s speed and ability on the track, he said.
“He is fast and he is smooth,” Dustin Renteria said. “That is what I want to be like.”
While he does that, Dusty Renteria wants to make sure his son keeps on having fun. The Renteria family has been involved with racing – mostly with cars – for a long time. The elder Renteria works for a racing company and has been involved with racing his entire life.
When the family decided to get Dustin on the track, they didn’t know he would take off with it.
“He was riding on his bike and one day he said he wanted to see a race,” Dusty Renteria said. “After that, it was all in.”
During a school week, Renteria will spend anywhere from four to six hours racing to keep his skill level up. During the summer, though, the son and father are at the track almost daily.
“We definitely go a lot more during the summer,” he said.
Most of Dustin Renteria’s races fall in places where the older Renteria works.
“It’s not completely dependent on where I’m working, but we try to make it work that way,” Dusty Renteria said.
All that hard work has paid off this year, Dusty Renteria said. Early this year, Dustin Renteria was asked to compete for Team USA at a world event in France in 2012.
“We aren’t going to miss that,” Dusty Renteria said.