The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) has reported that Foremost Insurance Ducati’s Larry Pegram, a current contender for the AMA Pro Superbike Championship and winner of the third round of this year’s AMA Superbike Championship at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., will serve as event honoree at the AMA Racing Road Race Grand Championships this July 12-14 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.
The AMA Racing Road Race Grand Championships feature the country’s fastest young roadracers competing for AMA Racing National No. 1 plates.
“Larry is a great racer and a solid ambassador for the sport of roadracing,” said AMA Director of Racing Joe Bromley. “We’re very happy to have him on board for the AMA Racing Road Race Grand Championships, where he’ll meet and greet the amateur roadracers vying for AMA amateur championships.”
Bromley added that Pegram is a natural choice for event honoree. Few riders know the value of an AMA amateur national title better than Pegram, who won 33 of them when he cut his teeth in amateur dirt-track competition. Pegram, a Central Ohio native, also happens to be intimately familiar with the sinuous curves of the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
“It’s cool to have a stepping stone for the kids, and a safe place for older guys returning or just getting into the sport,” Pegram says. “The AMA’s amateur system is the backbone of racing, and it’s great to be a part of this and help build it from the ground up.”
As event honoree at the AMA Racing Road Race Grand Championships, Pegram — who will compete at the Mid-Ohio Honda Super Cycle Weekend, July 16-18, in the AMA Pro National Guard American SuperBike Championship — will be available to sign autographs for fans and offer advice to racers.
“When I was growing up, racing dirt-track, the AMA Grand Championships were an annual fun time for us,” Pegram said. “It’s a chance for family to get together, take a nice vacation and enjoy some racing. Plus, with the AMA Road Racing Grand Championships being at a beautiful place like Mid-Ohio, it really is a nice area for both racers and family to visit.”
Pegram says that while winning is great, the best part of AMA amateur racing is just having fun.
“When you go to an event like this, you want to make sure you enjoy yourself, have fun,” he said. “When I look back on my racing, some of the most fun I had was when I was racing the amateur stuff. Just go out there and do your best on the track, but always remember that you’re there to enjoy yourself.”
The AMA Racing Road Race Grand Championships award AMA Racing national championships in a number of roadracing classes for both expert- and novice-ranked riders. Not only do riders get ample track time and an opportunity to race against the country’s fastest amateur racers, but the best compete for the AMA Roadracing Horizon Award, which goes to the rider showing the most promise for success in the professional ranks.
Past winners of the AMA Roadracing Horizon Award have included Ben Spies, Blake Young, Jason DiSalvo and Miles Thornton. Other awards at the event include the AMA Racing Top Novice Award, the AMA Racing Youth Award — presented to an outstanding racer under the age of 16 — and the AMA Racing Vet/Senior Award, presented to a standout rider who’s 30 years old or older.
This year, the AMA Racing Road Race Grand Championships follow on the heels of the AMA Racing Vintage Grand Championships, which include vintage and post-vintage racing in motocross, hare scrambles, dirt track, trials and roadracing, are part of AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, the country’s premier vintage motorcycling destination.
This year, the AMA is teaming with WERA as its operational partner for both the AMA Racing Road Race Grand Championships and the roadracing portion of the AMA Racing Vintage Grand Championships. In addition to AMA national recognition, AMA racers also will compete for WERA championship points in select classes at the Road Race Grand Championships.
To register to race at either event, visit AMARaceManager.com. For rules and schedule information, visit AMARacing.com.