PICKERINGTON, Ohio — At the end of each racing season, the best amateur racers in the country are honored at the AMA Racing Champions Banquet. This Dec. 4, these stand-out members of the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) will receive the well-earned respect of their peers, family, friends and fans at one of the event’s coolest locations ever, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas.Held on the eve of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame 2009 Induction Ceremony, also scheduled for the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, the event will provide a special opportunity for racers and fans to not only celebrate the accomplishments of racing’s present, but witness the elevation of individuals from all of motorcycling’s past."Amateur racing is a big part of both our heritage and our future, and we’re excited about giving our racers the recognition they’ve earned," said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman. "Whether you race motocross, in the woods, the desert, on a dirt oval or asphalt, you most likely are chasing an AMA National No. 1 plate or a national championship. The AMA Racing Champions Banquet will honor those who achieved that goal during the 2009 season.
"We’re particularly thrilled about this year’s celebration, which lead us into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame 2009 Induction Ceremony," Dingman continued. "Today’s champions will get a first-hand look at what a career of dedication and effort can bring: a place in the revered AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame."Racers who will be recognized at the AMA Racing Champions Banquet include those who’ve won AMA national championships by coming out on top in a season-long AMA Racing National Championship Series, such as the AMA/Rekluse National Enduro Championship Series, or by winning their class at AMA Racing Amateur Championship events, such as the AMA/Air Nautiques Amateur National Motocross Championships. Competitors who’ve earned AMA National No. 1 plates will also receive their personalized hardware for 2009 at the banquet.The following evening on Dec. 5, the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame will induct nine new members. These include motorcycle apparel pioneer Robert Bates, off-highway rights activist Mona Ehnes, industry entrepreneurs and technological trailblazers Geoff and Bob Fox, off-road racer Randy Hawkins, longtime motorcycle safety proponent David Hough, noted race team manager Gary Mathers, successful dirt-track racer and tuner Chuck Palmgren, and suspension pioneer Gilles Vaillancourt.The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino — which was recently renovated with new rooms, a new convention space and a new concert venue — is an ideal location for celebrating the speed, excitement and enthusiasm that defines all forms of motorcycling. With an 84-foot guitar marking the entrance and, of course, all the glitz and memorabilia that fans have come to expect at Hard Rock Café locations around the world, it’s a fitting stage for the country’s best racers and history’s two-wheeled stars.Information about buying tickets to attend the 2009 AMA Racing Champions Banquet will be announced shortly.