The dark wooden entertainment center in the Klings' living room is large enough to hold the three large, bronze trophies that adorn it.
But for 8-year-old Palmer Kling, the hardware is too heavy to handle. He had to prop the trophies up for pictures after winning three national titles this month at the 2008 Mini Roadracing National Championships in Shawano, Wis.
The weighty trophies are about the only aspect of the sport the young rider has yet to grasp.
Palmer started riding more than four years ago. His father, Kerry Kling, took the training wheels off Palmer's bicycle about the same time he removed them from his son's Yamaha.
"I owe it to them to show them how to ride," said Kerry, who also rides. "It can be a dangerous sport."
Palmer races in the Southeastern Mini Roadracing Association. At the nationals in Wisconsin, held Aug. 1-3, he raced and won Formula 1, 2 and 3 kids classes.
But in SEMRA, Palmer races in Formula 1 and 2 expert classes as the youngest competitor among fields that include adults. Palmer's brother, 5-year-old Preston, picked up the sport this year and is racing in SEMRA kids classes.
"It's very much a family sport," Kerry said. "It takes the whole support of the family. We really enjoy that aspect."
Kerry's wife, Michelle, is also involved, although seeing her two young sons flying around the track is sometimes unnerving.
"We have lots of fun," she said. "Of course, I worry about them. But I just enjoy watching them."
The Klings have a large black trailer parked at their Martinez home, and an RV they use for longer trips. The caravan will be headed to Alabama in September.
Kerry, an engineer at Club Car, often drives his sons to practice at the closest available track, which is in Elgin, S.C. Palmer first competed in motocross -- where races are held on dirt -- but now competes only in road races.
"There's no jumps (in roadracing)," Palmer said. "It'd be cool if there was."
Palmer's favorite racers are Ricky Carmichael in motocross and roadracer Valentino Rossi. Kerry said Palmer has met Grovetown resident and X-Games silver medalist Robbie Horton, although Palmer doesn't remember the encounter.
A roadracer has to be 16 years old to turn pro. That gives Palmer eight more years to practice.
"I want to keep doing it as long as I can," he said.
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