Since the dawn of factory-backed race teams in the mid 1980s, the ATV racing industry has gone through some serious transitions, near catastrophes and fought plenty of uphill battles.

From the lull of the 1990s when everyone raced on machines from the previous decade, to the boom of the 2000s where factory race teams were coming out of the woodwork, to today where most OEMs are being very cautious with the entire Sport ATV segment, let alone racing.

In that time, hundreds of ATV racers have risen through the professional ranks but to those of us who’ve been following the industry for a couple decades, there are a handful of names that stick out. Not all of them are multi-time champions, but every one of them has had a significant impact on the sport in one way or another.



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  • Mark Johnson

    Are you kidding me? No Tim farr? How long you been riding for? Writers are jack asses!

  • Dave Campbell
  • randy dinkins

    Can’t say I agree with your list. Did you forget about Tim Farr, Shane Hitt, Marty Hart, Jimmy White, Curtis Sparks or Donny Banks? You put riders like Eichner and Cecco ahead of these guys, are you crazy?
    Think you should review your selection process. Who’s won more races, more championships? Who’s done more to change our sport, who’s brought ATV into mainstream America more?
    Just asking you to rethink and possibly revise your list a little.

  • Jimmy White

    Won’t even try and warrant why guys like myself, Marty Hart or Dean Sundahl are not on the list nor do I care if I was on the list but Chad Wienen before Tim Farr and Dustin Wimmer.  Dustin won 2 championships when the MX series was the most competitive with major factory involvement since the mid 80’s.  I’m not even a Wimmer fan but he was the best at the time and dominated for 2 years.  Chad Wienen won a championship after a lot of the fast and good guys left the series because of the lack of money.  Don’t know who you are Seth but I’m guessing you must be one of Wienens buddies because you sure didn’t do your homework on this article.  

  • Mur

    I totally agree that Tim Farr is a missing ‘must’ for the top ten list.

  • tim

    Steve Mendenhall…was originally a 3 wheel guy but dominated quads in the late 80’s. anyone who knows factory backed ATV racing from the beginning knows this name. 

  • Jamie Byrd

    Please regard to above statements for my opinion. Dustin was a freak fast and Weinen had absolutely nothing for him. I’m not even going to get started on Tim not being number one on this list. Not taking anything away from what the others on this list have achieved, but no Tim?

  • TPC Trikes

     It’s a shame the leave out the most important riders of all time. Not ONE mention of any of the 3 wheeler guys who started all of this. They were the pioneers of the sport. These guys built and raced there own machines. The lsit of “first” are endless, First ATV’s, First In Baja, First on stadium tracks, First on MX tracks, First factory riders, First hybrids, and what most do not know, these guys were making more money in purse and salery then 95% of quads guys do today…and that is not ajusting for inflation. At one race back in 1983 the winners prize money was 20,000. What do pro quads guys get today…1,500? Even the top amature trike riders were making 50,000 a year.

  • Seth Fargher

    Well folks, first of all there are way more than ten people that should be on this list.  This was meant to be an entertaining and engaging article for people across several different generations to enjoy.  If we focused solely on the hard core guys from the 80’s, today’s racers would be upset about not getting any representation.  If we focused solely on them, well we’d get more of what we have here.
    This was an opinion article, not in any specific order, of ten of the greatest ATV racers to swing a leg over an ATV.  I chose the people that I did for specific reasons, not focusing solely on wins or championships, but having a significant contribution to the sport or significant accomplishments.
    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and yes, there are other names that got left off the list that maybe should have been on it.  But we had ten spots to fill and I wrote down the names of various racers, past and present, who I felt merited a spot on the list for their accomplishments.  
    Please also keep in mind that the farther back we go, the harder it is to find information and photos of these people.  We already had a tough enough time finding pictures of some of the guys on the list.  
    You don’t have to agree with the list, this was my list and I have reasons why each person is on it.  I had others on it at fist that I took off because I felt some of these people deserved a spot on the list.

  • darren castor

    this is one of the worst lists ive seen u guys have no since of ridersyou r missing some great riders an legends ive been racing 16years an i agree with mark jhonson no tim farr or dana creech an many others that do belong in top ten i do agree with gust an jones 

  • bob

    What about Caesar he was running horse carts back way before any of these guys on this list. How you going to leave him out? Dang how can writers get asked to write when what they do for a living is study and write crazy.

  • Nick B

    well i saw 4 names that deserve to be on the list the rest i think are just skinny jean wearing jackass watching cronies,thanks for giving the GOOD guys the fame but the really important ones were left out!….
    man i hate suzuki quadracers but denton is the man, is it me or was his quadracer the only one in existence that wasnt a pile of garbage……and thats being tame
    i wonder how many of these characters could have run the blackwater!

  • Rotor

    What has Chad W. done for the sport? Everything he does is for himself, if you don’t believe me then ask anyone that has bought anything from him. Go to the DS450 forum and see what everyone there post before he made the move to Yamaha. You guys didn’t do your research and stuck him on there because he is the fastest on the mx track now.
    He doesn’t hold a light to Joe Byrd and I am not a Byrd fan.

  • nonze

    Top list with no Wayne Matlock, I can’t agree with it.

  • Chad Bercosky

    You forgot 3 time gncc atv champion 1985-1987(Tom Tokay).He was always the guy to beat back in the day but few ever could,he retired too soon.

  • C Allen

    Horrible list.  Google a little harder if you don’t know everyone’s stats.  FAIL!
    The fact you put Weinen ahead of Tim Farr is absurd.  He & others only have a few championships.  Farr dominated the GNC, ATVA, etc. w/ multiple (some reports indicating 13x champion) championships in  MX, TT, as well as many overseas top finishes or victories: Pont de Vaux, Erzberg, etc.  He was consistently at the top of the points whether it was on a Honda, hybrid, KTM, etc… Factory involvement or not he has been instrumental in developing many of today’s finer machines. A racer & later team manager. He’s in the top 5 at the worst. 
    Who cares about today’s racers not getting any recognition.  Was it to be fair so they don’t complain? Go out and prove that your name deserves to be on the list.  Yes, Chad is a beast & is dominating the field. But, keep on trucking Chad and create a legacy.  Then, put his name on the list.

  • Garrett

    Jackie Meadows!!!

  • Tim

    Bob Sloan!Coal Icesses

  • Rodney Shedenhelm

    Who got to vote for this? All time? Last time I saw Dean Sundahl, he had just won his 11th consecutive king of the desert race. He’ won both 3 & 4 wheeled classes.Not to mention all the S.C.O.R.E. international races in Baja  the 500 & 1000. Riverside. On and on. No mention of any pioneers. Marty Heart, Mark Wax, Jimmy White, Ace Willams, Curtis Sparks. You need to do some actual fact finding before posting somthing like you did. 3 wheelers are ATV’s too. They take much more skill to go fast. I guess ill only remain a guest on this site.