PICKERINGTON, Ohio — When the fastest amateur motocross racers in the country line up for the American Motorcyclist Association Amateur National Motocross Championship at the Loretta Lynn Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn., on July 29 through Aug. 4, they will have earned their spot on the gate. That’s because the road to the national goes through one of 12 AMA Regional Championships featuring the best of the best from each region.
“What makes the AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship unique is the multi-tiered qualification process,” said AMA Director of Racing Joe Bromley. “Riders from around the country must first prove they are the best in their area, then region, before they are invited to the biggest amateur motocross race of the year at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch.”
The AMA amateur national program includes 50 Area Qualifiers and 12 Regional Championships. Several thousand riders compete for the 1,536 qualifying spots up for grabs. Those riders — the best amateur motocross racers in the country — advance to the Red Bull AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship presented by Amsoil at the Loretta Lynn Ranch to race for AMA National No. 1 plates in 36 classes. The best riders will compete for the coveted AMA Motocross Horizon Award, presented to the amateur racer poised for success in the pro ranks.
The AMA Regional Championships kicked off this past weekend with amateur programs in the Northeast, Midwest and South Central regions. Youth championships will begin this weekend, with all regional titles to be decided as June comes to a close.
The 2012 season is the first year in a new five-year agreement between AMA and MX Sports. It extends a successful partnership that dates to 1982, when MX Sports began managing the series and moved the championship finale to its current location in Hurricane Mills, Tenn.
“MX Sports has had a longstanding relationship with the AMA, and we’re pleased to continue that relationship as we celebrate over 30 years of amateur motocross tradition at Loretta Lynn Ranch,” said MX Sports Event Director Tim Cotter.
Added Bromley: “For three decades, MX Sports has helped the AMA deliver what has been an outstanding national championship event, and this season is shaping up to be one of the best ever. MX Sports knows motocross, and we’re looking forward to another series of exceptionally run regional and national AMA championship events.”
The success of the AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship has produced a long list of AMA Supercross and Motocross superstars. Riders who have progressed through the program include Ricky Carmichael, Jeremy McGrath, Travis Pastrana, James Stewart, Kevin Windham, Ryan Dungey, Ryan Villopoto and many more.
“Since the creation of the amateur motocross nationals in 1975, the best motocross racers in the world have made their way through the AMA amateur national championship program,” says AMA Motocross Manager Kip Bigelow. “But qualifying to line up at the amateur nationals is a tall task. Racers must advance through an area and regional qualifying system that provides a best-of-the-best lineup at the championships every summer. The AMA is once again looking forward to working with the dedicated staff at MX Sports, and all the local track organizers who will make this happen in 2012.”
For more information about the national championship program, see MXSports.com.