CYPRESS, Calif. – Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A., made its annual donation to the Feed the Children charity Friday, November 18 at Yamaha’s corporate headquarters in Cypress, Calif. Company officials presented two checks totaling $25,000 along with a truck load of donated items to the organization. With hundreds of Yamaha employees cheering them on, Star Touring and Riding Association members aboard Yamaha and Star motorcycles received a police escort on their way to the local Feed the Children facility with boxes of donated items strapped to the back of their bikes. As part of the festivities, Yamaha also celebrated a successful 2011 racing season with several championship-winning Yamaha Race Team members in attendance.
“The annual Feed the Children and Race Team celebration is something everyone at Yamaha looks forward to each year,” said Bob Starr, Yamaha general manager of motorsports communications. “As we move into the holiday season, it’s a great time to reflect upon the hard work and donations collected over the year that have a direct impact on families in need. Thanks to all of the Yamaha employees and the Star Touring and Riding Association for their efforts.”
ATV racing champions Dustin Nelson and Walker Fowler were on hand to celebrate their successful ATV racing seasons. Both Nelson and Fowler boasted perfect campaigns: Fowler closes out the 2011 GNCC series with the XC2 championship, going undefeated and notching a record 13 straight wins. Nelson was also perfect and clinched his fifth QuadX Championship after winning all eight races in the series
Dustin Nelson’s 2011 QuadX season started with a mud race – not exactly how he planned to begin the season. Just hoping to make it through the difficult race, Nelson and his YFZ450R were victorious, beginning his winning streak. Nelson credits the GYTR-equipped engine for powering him and his YFZ450R to great starts, as well as providing reliable power that allowed him to lead the pack race after race.
“Coming out of that first mud race with a win was a great way to start the season. The smallest mistake can derail your entire season,” said Nelson. “After winning that race, I started to build the momentum and confidence that carried me through the season and onto the championship.”
Joining Nelson at the Yamaha event was GNCC XC2 champion and Yamaha-sponsored rider, Walker Fowler. With a record 10 GNCC Class Championships, Fowler is no stranger to the podium, but his perfect XC2 season aboard the YFX450X is something that had never been done before.
Punctuating Fowler’s standout season was recognition by the entire racing community as he received the industry’s highest honor, the ATV Athlete of the Year Award, at the annual AMA Awards Championship Banquet on Sunday, November 20 in Las Vegas.
“This was a dream season for me. I’m just a regular guy who happens to go fast on an ATV,” said Fowler. “The YFZ450X is the best out there and the company’s support for me and the sport overall is really amazing.”
Although unable to attend, Traci Cecco was recognized for her eighth GNCC Women’s Series Championship. In addition to Yamaha’s ATV racing champions, motorcycle stalwarts Josh Hayes (Superbike series), Bill Dixion (XDL series) and Sam Halbert (GNC series) were also recognized for their championship seasons.
Yamaha has worked with Feed the Children for more than 10 years raising several hundred thousand dollars and feeding tens of thousands of children. This is the fifth year Yamaha employees and Star Touring members made the ride from Yamaha to the local Feed the Children office to drop off donated supplies. Feed the Children is an international nonprofit relief organization that delivers food, medicine, clothing and other necessities to individuals, children and families who lack those essentials.