Dustin Nelson grew up in a family of desert enthusiasts and began racing motorcycles on the local motocross track at age six. That first race was all he needed to be addicted to motocross for the rest of his life. Nelson spent many years racing both the local races and amateur nationals, winning Loretta Lynn’s in 1993 riding the 85cc Stock class. Nelson turned pro at the end of 1994 just after his 17th birthday. Nelson’s AMA Supercross and National MX career lasted from 1996 to 2004, with his best SX finish being an 8th and best National MX finish being 12th.In 1999 Nelson became a test rider for Yamaha, evaluating the prototype and pre-production YZ motorcycles. This was also a good year for racing as he won the AMA 4 Stroke Nationals on a YZ400F. Another great thing came from being a test rider for Yamaha … his introduction to ATV racing. In 2002, the testing staff asked if Nelson would be interested in being involved with the development of a pure sport quad with racing in mind. Before he threw a leg over what would ultimately become the YFZ450, Nelson had never ridden a quad on a motocross track. He was pleasantly surprised by how quickly the ATV could get around some of the Southern California tracks.
Nelson’s first ATV race was in November of 2003. Some of Yamaha’s testing staff talked him into going to a QuadX race at Glen Helen and giving it a shot. That day changed his life. Nelson left there with a second place check from the pro class and a lot of thinking to do. In 2004 he had a commitment to race the 4 Stroke Nationals so he raced every off weekend he could on a YFZ450 trying to build his skills. He faced a hard decision for the 2005 season: After finishing 3rd in the championship on two wheels, he hung it up, focusing all his attention on ATV racing. In Nelson’s first full year racing ATVs he finished 3rd in the QuadCross series, and he’s captured a record six titles since.
Nelson is racing the YFZ450R in the QuadX Series in 2012 in pursuit of a seventh title. He is also competing in the World Off-Road Championship Series (WORCS) in 2012.
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