Meet The Triple Threat Of Leaming Kids
Story By: Savannah Rose
Photos by: Brandon Bunch
Racing is a family affair in the Leaming household – not one, not two, but all three of the Leaming kids are racing the Youth UTV classes, respectively driving Polaris RZR 170 and 570’s. This month’s three-fer Little Rippers introduces you to Cameron, Jaxon, and Alexia Leaming, three kids who’ve got two very supportive parents and the competitive spirit needed to thrive in off-road racing. We met up with them earlier this year at the Off Road Nationals in Wickenburg, AZ to fit out exactly how this trio holds it all together so well.
Cameron, the youngest at age 9, who has only a handful of weekends of racing under his belt, was inspired by his older siblings, Jaxon (age 10) and Alexia (age 13). He took third place at the weekend’s event, despite being incredibly new to the race scene. Cameron was a bit shy during our interview, preferring to let his older brother and sister do most of the talking, but obviously gets loud when it counts – on course.
Jaxon is currently racing two classes, 170 and 570. Alexis races the 570 Youth class. This means Jaxon and Alexia race the same class, making for a little friendly brother vs. sister competition. When asked about racing with his sister, Jaxon told us that it was a little embarrassing, likely due to getting passed mid-race by Alexia.
Alexia: “He got ahead of me, and I caught up and he got stuck behind a car. We were on the same radio channel so I was yelling at him like ‘go, go, get around him!’. We got around him and he was still in front of me, and I couldn’t get around him so I saw the whoops, he kept to the right side, I knew that was my only shot, so I went left and that was how I got him!”
The aspect of racing that the kids seem to love the most is that it’s like a big extended family. Instead of just having Mom and Dad at the track with them, the entire event becomes an extended family, despite being competitive once the green flag drops. After the checkered flag comes out, it’s right back to friendly, good times. Cameron is excited to be out there having fun, and that’s really the most important part of racing, and the determining factor as to why so many people become lifelong racers.
Alexia: “We all pick on each other and stuff but, you know, we all hang out, but you have no friends on the racetrack. It’s like every man for himself, but you get off the track and you’re right back to being friends, ya know. If someone spins you out, you don’t hate that person. You just laugh about it and move on.”
When asked what it’s like being a girl out on the track amongst primarily boys, Alexia wasn’t too phased by being in the minority.
Alexia: “A lot of races there are other girls but here, I was the only girl in my class, I don’t really think about it too much. I think a lot of people look up to me as one of the favorites, but I guess I don’t ever think about it.”
Mom, aka Becky: “I think you intimidate the boys, more than they intimidate you!”
Alexia: “Yeah, the boys don’t intimidate me at all.”
Jaxon had been leading his race when to his dismay, his engine blew up. He had been ahead the first day, when his car just decided to give up. “I was just hoping I could go back out, ‘cause the first day I got first, but I broke down, no clue why, then I wasn’t able to go back out and win” Jaxon noted. Dad and crew chief, Chris, defensively but jokingly chimed in here, pointing out that it was really hot out on the track, making sure the driver knew it wasn’t due to his engine build. Might be time for Jaxon to start turning wrenches! Good help is hard to find Jaxon! HAHA
To prepare for the races, the kids prep.. Well, like kids do at least. Jaxon prefers some Cinnamon Toast Crunch while Cameron chooses Cap’n Crunch Berries. Alexia chooses not to chow down, but to drink a lot of water so she doesn’t get dehydrated out in the desert. Prep is important and they know that, especially during 2020 when many races were cancelled or rescheduled. In order to stay on top of their game, the Leamings practiced virtually via racing simulators like Gravel 4. It was a tough convincing to play games I’m sure!
Other than Mom and Dad being incredibly supportive, the Leaming kids are supported by quite a few sponsors, including XTC Power Products, XTC Racing, Sierra Legends, Advanced Motorsports, Lone Star Racing, Lytle Racing, Rugged Radios, Simpson Seats, KMC XD Wheels, 2X Motorsports, GBC Tires, Walker Evans Racing, SDI Racing, Axia Alloys and Dynojet.