If it has wheels, Nate Dishman will ride it.

If it has wheels, Nate Dishman will ride it.

The 8-year-old Ardmore motocross prodigy can’t stay still. His wheels are constantly spinning, whether it’s on his bicycle he rides in the backyard, inside on a table-top toy track or even on the Las Vegas strip.

It it has wheels, Dishman rides it. For his future.

“Anything with wheels, I love it,” Nate said, furiously pedaling his bicycle.

“We’re at a race every chance we get,” Nate’s father, Steve, said. “Sometimes we all ride together in the country. That’s what we do for fun.”

Together, Steve and Tracy Dishman have become a couple dedicated to getting Nate, who started racing competitively at age 4, to the biggest stage of motocross. It appears that they are on the right track; since beginning competitive racing, Nate has accumulated 104 trophies, corporate sponsors and a blog spot on www.mxresults.com, where the straight-A student at Lincoln Elementary gives updates on his race results for the world to see.

“He told us years ago that this was what he wanted to do,” Tracy said. “He treats it like a job.”

Nate’s “job” has taken him places most 8-year-olds have never been. From April 13-19, Nate raced in the 38th World Mini Grand Prix in Las Vegas, the pinnacle of his young racing career.

Riders from as far as England and Canada assembled for the event, which had more than 43 race classes between the amateur and pro ranks.

Dishman raced in the 7- to 8-year-old Pee Wee Stock (non-modified dirt bike) and Mod divisions. Among 37 competitors in the Mod race, Nate was 15th, but not without some dirt drama out of the gate.

Nate’s No. 60 was the second bike involved in a massive pile-up, one in which Dishman flipped over his handlebars and lost prime position. Amongst a field of superbikes, souped up with bigger tires and fat fenders, Nate brought his underestimated ride back to finish in the middle of the pack.
“For us it was big-time stuff,” Steve said. “Guys at the start thought we had a stock ... were saying ‘What’d you bring a knife to a gunfight for?’

“We like to ride the underdog and sweep in and steal it from them.”

Flipping over his handlebars is nothing to the boy wonder, who had to recover from having all of his motorbikes stolen from his backyard in December of 2007. That didn’t deter the Dishmans, who have been non-stop since getting back on the track with four new bikes.

“We haven’t even unpacked, we’ve been on the go,” said Tracy, who left with Steve and Nate for a race in Blanchard on Saturday morning.

“He’s the type of person that doesn't give up,” Steve said. “He’s very determined.”

Nate’s heroes include Supercross riders Ricky Carmichael, Chad Reed, Travis Pastrana and James “Bubba” Stewart. On his room walls are aerial shots of the legends. In every corner is a litany of trophies that affirm his success. Nate has a resume, which his how he earned his sponsorships from Jones Powersports, Ajax-Kawasaki and Munn Racing, and he’s got his autograph signing down too, even leaving his trademark No. 60 at the end.

In his living room is his most prized possession: the trophy he won at the World Mini Grand Prix. It’s a skyscraper of an award that comes up to Nate’s chin. On top of the trophy sits a blue globe, on top of that a motocross rider.

That could be Nate someday — popping a wheelie on top of the world.

“Man, I sure hope so,” Steve said.

Erik K. Horne