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AMA Hall of Fame announces 2012 nominees

(Press Release)
April 4, 2012
Filed under News

Press release

The American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation is proud to announce the 2012 nominees for induction into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. The names of 26 individuals, each highly accomplished in the sport, business and lifestyle of motorcycling, compose the ballot from which the class of 2012 will be selected for induction into the Hall of Fame.

“It’s an exciting time for everyone involved in the process of selecting Hall of Fame inductees,” said AMHF Board of Directors Chairman Jeff Heininger. “We are so proud of our nominees and their accomplishments, each of whom embodies the passion, spirit and dedication to excellence that exemplifies the Hall of Fame members already honored at the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.”

Located on the campus of the AMA in Pickerington, Ohio, the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame tells the stories of motorcycling’s heroes and legends, and preserves the history of motorcycling. Hall of Fame nominees are selected from a number of specialties within two main categories. The non-competition category includes ambassadors/industry, design/engineering and leadership/motorcyclist rights advocates, and the competition category includes flat track, motocross/Supercross, off-road, roadracing, and specialty competition.

The 2012 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame nominees are (alphabetically):

Mark Buckner – National/international motorcycling rights advocate, past state coordinator for ABATE of Colorado, past board member/president/chairman of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation.

Rod Bush (d. 2005) – Industry leader as former president of KTM North America and member of KTM worldwide board of directors, former member of AMA Board of Directors.

Derek “Nobby” Clark – Factory mechanic and tuner for numerous World Grand Prix roadracing championships and Daytona 200 and Imola 200 victories from the 1960-80s.

Ty Davis – Multiple championships in AMA Grand National Enduro, AMA National Hare & Hound and Baja 1000, 1990 125cc Supercross champion, multi-time ISDE gold medalist and top American.

Skip Eaken – Tuner/builder for riders who finished first in dozens of AMA Grand National Dirt Track competitions, crew chief for three AMA Grand National Championships and an AMA Superbike Championship.

Jimmy Ellis – First AMA Supercross Series champion and multi-time motocross champion.

Sue Fish – A pioneer of professional women’s motocross racing in the 1970s and ’80s, multi-time Women’s World Champion and two-time Superbowl of Motocross champion.

Louis Gerencer – Multi-time National Hillclimb champion and past president of the Hillclimbers Association.

Charles Gustafson Sr. (d. 1951) – Indian chief engineer who developed the first side-valve engine that debuted in 1916, and is also credited with developing the first kickstarter.

Tommy Hays – (d. 1941) The dominant TT rider of the pre-Grand National Championship era who won numerous AMA National Championships in four years.

Jack Johnson – Multi-time desert racing champion with numerous Baja 1000 wins, silver and gold International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) medalist.

Ron Lechien – 1983 AMA Rookie of the Year, 1985 125 Motocross National Champion, multi-time USGP winner, numerous outdoor national motocross wins and Supercross wins.

Bob Leppan – World’s fastest motorcyclist 1966-70 who directed the team that set the 2007 land speed record for production motorcycles.

John Long – Bonneville Land Speed record holder, five-time U.S. Team member for Anglo-American Match Races, numerous starts in AMA national roadraces and Daytona 200s.

Dennis Mahan – Mechanic for numerous dirt-track, motocross and roadracing champions, first U.S Motocross des Nations team manager, industry racing manager and product specialist.

Rob Muzzy – Engine builder/tuner, crew chief, team owner and businessman with numerous AMA roadracing, drag racing, dirt-track and motocross titles and Daytona 200 wins, a World Superbike Championship and a Suzuka 8-hour endurance championship.

Don Pink – (d. 1984) Dominant 1940s competitor in numerous disciplines, AMA congressman, founder of the New York State Dealers Association and the NY/NJ Metropolitan Sports Committee.

Randy Renfrow – (d. 2002) Multi-time AMA National road racing champion, winner of numerous AMA national races, and a consistent winner in 250 GP racing.

Jarno Saarinen – (d. 1973) Finnish roadracing world champion and the first European to win the Daytona 200.

Brian Slark – England-born motocross organizer in the 1960s, imported/built Rickman, Metisse and Cheney motocrossers and helped establish the Mungenast and Barber motorcycle museums.

Rodney Smith – Multiple championships in AMA Grand National Cross Country, AMA National Hare Scrambles and AMA National Reliability Enduro, multitime ISDE gold medalist and top American, third in 1988 FIM 125cc World Motocross Championship.

Gloria Struck – North American and European world traveler and motorcycling ambassador, Motor Maids member since 1946.

Charlie Vincent – Top 1960s off-road racing competitor in the eastern United States, ISDT gold medalist and AMA congress delegate.

Lance Weil – (d. 2006) Roadracer, mechanic, designer, fabricator and businessman, competed in Europe and the Isle of Man, and the founder of Rickey Racer.

Al Wilcox (d. 2011) – Life member of the AMA and the Mid-Atlantic Road Racing Club who flagged AMA races for 50 years (and WERA for 30), including 15 years at Daytona.

Gene Wirwahn – Credited with building the foundation for the AMA’s government relations advocacy efforts, championed numerous legislative victories and actively promoted responsible riding on behalf of the AMA and the FIM.

In the coming weeks, six new members representing the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Class of 2012 will be elected from these nominees — three from non-competition categories and three from competition categories. The Hall of Fame class of 2012 will be announced this summer, and the new members will be formally inducted into the Hall of Fame at a gala ceremony on Nov. 16 at the Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa in Las Vegas, during the AMA Legends Weekend. Ticket information will be announced soon at MotorcycleMuseum.org.

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