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Racer Spotlight: Collins Knuth

Collins Knuth follows her father into the world of racing

August 9, 2023 (Story from August edition of American Motorcyclist)

By Keaton Maisano

Header photo by @hbmotoco

In conversation, Collins Knuth comes off as a polite and shy 8-year-old girl, but on race days, there is nothing shy about her knack for riding well and claiming trophies.

Traveling more than 17,000 miles during the 2022-23 AMA Arenacross season, Collins won the 50cc Aircooled (4-8) Limited class in the East, West and national series.

“I kinda knew she had a chance if she rode to her ability,” said Collins’ father Shea Knuth, “but I didn’t know until after the first couple rounds where she would fall into place. After the first couple rounds, I knew she had a good shot at the East and West coast championships.”

The oldest of four girls, Collins has followed in her father’s footsteps, racing different disciplines — such as flat track, arenacross and motocross — and traveling the country like her father Shea and his grandfather Gene had done decades earlier. While her father may have more experience on a bike than her, Collins — who began riding at age 3 — laughed and said she could beat her dad in a race.

“Everybody always asks me if I’m going to have another kid to try and have a boy,” Shea Knuth said, “I always tell them ‘No.’ I’ve got Collins and she’s into what I was into, so to share that with her now is pretty awesome.”

While the family business is back in Illinois, the Knuths spend most their time on the road or in Georgia, where Collins trains. Despite all the hard work and family history, Shea Knuth said racing is about more than just winning.

“We just have fun with it,” Shea Knuth said. “Even though I did it, my grandfather did it, my uncles did it, it’s just an awesome way for us to always be together.”

As for her dreams, Collins aspires to take her talents under the lights and onto the AMA Supercross stage. So, in the future when the best riders in the world are dashing toward the finish line, it may be a blonde-haired rider named Collins Knuth who flies through the air to light the torches in front of tens of thousands screaming fans.