Suzuki rider up for 2008 AMA SPEED Athlete of the Year
Dustin Wimmer, winner of the 2008 ITP Tires/Moose Racing AMA/ATVA Pro Series, is one of five nominees for the 2008 AMA SPEED Athlete of the Year award. The winner will be announced at the 2008 AMA Pro Racing Awards Banquet on Nov. 23, 2008.
Dating back to 1976, the AMA SPEED Athlete of the Year award is the highest honor bestowed to a professional racer competing in AMA events. Past recipients of the award include such legendary names as Bob Hannah, Scott Parker, Kenny Roberts and Ricky Carmichael.
The nominees so far announced for the 2008 award include AMA Flat Track Champion Kenny Coolbeth, AMA Superbike Champion Ben Spies, AMA Motocross Champion James Stewart, and Wimmer.
Wimmer won five of the 11 rounds on the ITP Tires/Moose Racing AMA/ATVA Pro Championship calendar. The 21-year old opened the season with two wins and held off a charge by veteran racer and defending champion Joe Byrd. Wimmer won the title by 67 points, with 438 to Byrd’s 371.
“It feels great to be nominated for the AMA SPEED Athlete of the Year award,” says Wimmer. “I worked hard this off-season and during the racing season to win the championship this year. It’s a great thing to be on top of your sport, but it’s going to be harder to stay on top.”
Wimmer said that the major lesson he learned this year was the importance of patience in developing the consistency necessary to win a championship.
“I learned how to focus more on working harder in the beginning part of the race so I could relax more by the end,” says Wimmer. “I had a lot more motivation for this year because I was runner-up the last two years. Another lesson I learned is to relax when you’re not in the lead, just work your way up slowly. You have 25 minutes to do it, so don’t rush it and make a mistake.”
Wimmer’s first full year as a pro was 2004 after dominating the Pro-Am 250 and 250 A classes in 2003. Wimmer started racing in 1996 when he was nine.
The AMA also announced the nominees for the ATVA end-of-year-awards. Nine-time Can-Am GNCC champion Bill Ballance is among the nominees for ATVA Athlete of the Year.
ATVA Athlete of the Year Nominees:
|Bill Ballance||Smiths Grove, Ky.||GNCC|
|Michael Coburn||Garretson, S.D.||Extreme ATVA Dirt Track|
|Cody Gibson||Englewood, Tenn.||ATV Motocross|
|Harold Goodman||Romulus, Mich.||Extreme ATVA Dirt Track|
ATVA Amateur Rider of the Year Nominees:
|Thomas Brown||Sanger, Texas||ATV Motocross|
|Jordan Gallagher||Fenwick, Mich.||ATV Motocross|
|Casey McKibben||Avon Park, Fla.||Extreme ATVA Dirt Track|
|Donald Ockerman||Marshall, Ill.||GNCC|
ATVA Vet/Senior Rider of the Year Nominees:
|Brian Jenkins||Warren, Ohio||ATV Motocross|
|Ken Marcou||Millston, Wis.||Extreme ATVA Dirt Track|
|Thomas Wright||Tabernacle, N.J.||GNCC|
ATVA Female Rider of the Year Nominees:
|Heather Byrd||Union City, Tenn.||ATV Motocross|
|Traci Cecco||Shamokin, Pa.||GNCC|
|Paula Shank||Petersburg, Va.||Extreme ATVA Dirt Track|
ATVA Youth Rider of the Year Nominees:
|Walker Fowler||Rogers, Ohio||GNCC|
|Lake Kuba||Charlotte, Mich.||Extreme ATVA Dirt Track|
|Jeffrey Rastrelli||Palm City, Fla.||ATV Motocross|
|Jesse Skvarek||Jefferson, Ohio .||ATV Motocross|
ATVA Organizer of the Year Nominees:
|Ozark MT ATV Raceway|
|Pleasure Valley Raceway|
|Red Bud Recreation Inc.|