Restaurant to hang Florence’s jersey on wall

PARKERSBURG – A nationally ranked motorcross champion from Parkersburg will be giving a local restaurant one of his jerseys tonight to hang on the wall alongside other local famous personalities.

Caden Florence, 13, will be at a special event 7:30 p.m. today at Buffalo Wild Wings at the Lakeview Shopping Center where he will be giving one of his racing jerseys to the restaurant to hang up.

“I think it is an honor to have my jersey up there on the wall at B-Dubs as long as they will have it,” he said. “It is just a cool experience. I like it.”

A jersey from professional baseball player and local native Nick Swisher also hangs in the restaurant and Florence is excited that he will be in such good company.

“It is an honor,” he said.

The eighth-grader at Hamilton Middle School has been racing motorcycles since he was 4 and has continually been winning motocross and arena-cross races around the country, including West Virginia, Ohio and Missouri.

“He is a two-time national champion (in the Super Mini 12-15 Class) and is currently ranked Number-2 in the nation and is 18th in the world,” said Britton Wasmer, Caden’s manager. “He just got invited to the Monster Energy Cup where he competed against the top 30 fastest super mini riders in the world, kids from Brazil, Switzerland, Canada and all over the world.”

No amount of money could buy anyone into that race, Wasmer said, adding it is by invitation only. Florence raced in front of 50,000 people.

At Buffalo Wild Wings tonight, they will be retiring one of the jerseys, from sponsor One Industries, which Florence won his national title with.

“Since he is a hometown hero, B-Dubs is letting us hang his jersey alongside Nick Swisher’s,” Wasmer said. “It is a celebration and we are also trying to recruit more sponsors for our 2014 season.

“There are people coming in from Pittsburgh, a lot of his sponsors, other local professional racers, family and more. There will be quite a few people there.”

Florence’s current sponsors include SFT Images, Winans Services, Crashaddict Clothing, Pittsburgh Performance, 100 Percent Goggles, One Industries, Privateerworx, Rockwell Watches and Proper Lifestyle.

Florence has raced at the Daytona Motor Speedway in Florida, in Las Vegas and all over the country in front of thousands of people.

“For him to be as competitive as he is at such a young age, he is racing against 15 and 16-year-olds and getting on the podium,” Wasmer said.

In four years, Florence will be racing for the 250 Supercross Championship.

On Jan. 3-4, Florence will be participating in the Action Sports West Virginia Indoor Motocross Championship at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena in Huntington.

It is a race he has participated in every year he has raced, Florence said.

It is always a favorite of his because it is a chance for him to bring a lot of his friends and family. Since he races all over the country, it is one opportunity for the people close to him to see him in action.

Even after all of the years he has been racing, Florence still enjoys it.

“It will be forever that way,” he said.