In a young rider's sport, Byrd races with a young heart

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March 22, 2014 WASHINGTON, Ga (WRDW) -- ATV racing, especially at the pro level, is a young man's sport. The body and forearms constantly take a beating.

In the young man's sport, Joe Byrd has the heart, but he'll admit he's an older racer.

"I've probably put more laps in the last 29 years than anyone in the history of motocross... two wheels or four wheels," Byrd said.

At 41 years old, Byrd is the oldest pro competing in the Mountain Dew ATV Motocross Championship series. He's won two championships, giving over-the-hill racing a new meaning.

"It's definitely one of the most physically demanding sports in the world. Doing it from 13 to where I am today, it takes its toll," Byrd said.

The Tennessee-native finished the season opener at Aonia Pass in eighth place. Back-to-back series champion, Chad Wienen claimed the top spot. Wienen has taken competitive control of the series in recent years, but he has respect for Byrd.

"That's a milestone to be at that level and still going out and still be contending for wins and championships," Wienen said.

For Byrd, the ultimate goal is to reach 30 years in the sport. The ride has to end at some point. While Byrd hopes it ends with a few more wins.

"I've seen kids go from two years old to passing me on the track. It's been a fun long road and hopefully I've got a couple more years in me," Byrd said.

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