Born and raised in Warner Robins, Brandon Marsalis started out the traditional route with sports playing football for the Warner Robins High School Demons before discovering Motocross after his sophomore season. A late start, but in his career so far, he's finished strong for the past 7 seasons.

“It's intense with it being 100 degrees outside”, says Brandon Marsalis. “And everybody is battling and pushing hard -- it’s a lot of good guys out there. Nobody can take it for granted, that’s for sure.”

He's competing against those who have been racing since their elementary days, but Brandon makes up for experience by investing in a sport he loves so much he even recently graduated from Motorcycle Mechanics Institute in Florida to better perfect his craft, and he's hoping the popularity of the sport grows here in his hometown.

Marsalis explains, “Most guys got mechanics, but me, I train myself, and so far so good. I still have some work to do. It's pretty big, but you don't hear much about it around here. I'd like for more people to get into it around here, that way we can build more tracks and have more places to ride instead of having to travel 2-3 hours away.”

Now the 24 year-old travels year round as one of the top 40 intermediate amateurs that will compete for a national championship in August for a chance to be a sponsored pro, but even if he falls short at nationals, his goal is to move on anyway as a self-sponsored pro. He says it will be worth every penny because he has come so far.

“It’s a pleasure to make it that far, you know, especially from where I grew up,” says Marsalis. I grew up in a housing authority. I had the heart and passion for it. I kept pushing and looking forward and praying for it. Being at this level and making it this far with pro at the end of the year is well-earned. I tell you, it’s hard.”

Brandon is busy practicing 5 days a week on the track, weather pending, preparing for the event, and he is also keeping up with daily maintenance of his bike, which can be a full time job.

The Rocky Mountain Amateur National Motocross Championship is in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee from July 31 through August 5th.