PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) is proud to announce that 2008 ITP Tires/Moose Racing AMA/ATVA Pro Champion Dustin Wimmer is one of five nominees for the 2008 AMA SPEED Athlete of the Year award. The winner will be announced at the 2008 AMA Pro Racing Awards Banquet on Sunday evening, Nov. 23, at the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum in Leeds, Ala.
Dating back to 1976, the AMA SPEED Athlete of the Year award is the highest honor bestowed to a professional motorcycle racer competing in AMA events. Past recipients of the award include such legendary names as Bob Hannah, Scott Parker, Kenny Roberts and Ricky Carmichael.
The nominees so far announced for the 2008 award include AMA Flat Track Champion Kenny Coolbeth, AMA Superbike Champion Ben Spies, AMA Motocross Champion James Stewart, and Wimmer.
Wimmer, from Center Valley, Pa., won five of the 11 rounds on the ITP Tires/Moose Racing AMA/ATVA Pro Championship calendar. The 21-year old opened the season with two wins, then held off a charge by veteran racer and defending champion Joe Byrd. Wimmer won the title by 67 points, with 438 to Byrd's 371.
"It feels great to be nominated for the AMA SPEED Athlete of the Year award," Wimmer said. "I worked hard this off-season and during the racing season to win the championship this year. It's a great thing to be on top of your sport, but it's going to be harder to stay on top."
Wimmer said that the major lesson he learned this year was the importance of patience to develop the consistency necessary to win a championship.
"I learned how to focus more on working harder in the beginning part of the race so I could relax more by the end," Wimmer said. "I had a lot more motivation for this year because I was runner-up the last two years. Another lesson I learned is to relax when you're not in the lead, just work your way up slowly. You have 25 minutes to do it, so don't rush it and make a mistake."
Wimmer's first full year as a pro was 2004 after dominating the Pro-Am 250 and 250 A classes in 2003. Wimmer started racing in 1996 when he was 9.
To see first-hand whether Wimmer wins the AMA SPEED Athlete of the Year award, attend the AMA Pro Racing Awards Banquet, where AMA Pro Racing will honor its professional champions, joined by their families, friends, fans and industry leaders. Held at the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, the banquet will take place among a collection of more than 1,200 historic and popular motorcycles.
Tickets to the AMA Pro Racing Awards Banquet are $125. Tickets to the AMA Sports Awards Banquet, which honors the champions of AMA Sports events on Saturday evening, Nov. 22, are $85. Tickets can be purchased online at www.AmericanMotorcyclist.com. A downloadable registration form is also available. Printed orders can be faxed to: (614) 986-1962, Attn: Cyndi Freeze-Cain; or mailed to: AMA Racing, Attn: Cyndi Freeze-Cain, 13515 Yarmouth Drive, Pickerington, OH 43147.
About the American Motorcyclist Association
Since 1924, the AMA has promoted and protected the motorcycling lifestyle. AMA members come from all walks of life and they navigate many different roads on their journey to the same destination: freedom on two wheels. As the world's largest motorcycle organization with nearly 300,000 members, the AMA advocates for motorcyclists' interests in the halls of local, state and federal government, the committees of international governing organizations and the court of public opinion. Through member clubs, promoters and partners, the AMA sanctions more motorsports competition events than any other organization in the world. Through its Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum, the AMA preserves the heritage of motorcycling for future generations. For more information, visit www.AmericanMotorcyclist.com.