In an announcement out of Daytona Beach the other day, AMA Pro Road Racing announced the return of the Roadracing World Young Gun of the Year Award for the 2014 season. The award honors the youngest of the pro racers in the premier road racing series in America and names the top riders 18 years old or younger who compete and stand out in their respective series throughout the season.
In the shot above taken from the Stu's Shots archives, four riders appear that would have likely at one time or another during their careers been recognized as 'young guns' for their abilities and accolades either earned or 'to be earned' in their respective pro racing careers.
From the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course round of the AMA 250 Grand Prix Championship series event in July-August of 1992, there were four riders who stood out in the series that season that didn't win the title, but were either past or future champions in several major series throughout the world (future 2-Time World Superbike Champion Colin Edwards II won the '92 AMA 250 GP title over this host of fine and talented men.)
(L-R) Rich Oliver is shown on the #97 Wayne Rainey Racing/Otsuka Electronics-sponsored Yamaha TZ250 as the pack gets ready to head out for the series' main event of the weekend at the Camel Super Cycle Weekend presented by Dunlop AMA Pro Road Racing round.
Oliver went on to win five AMA 250 GP Championships to garner the all-time win record of 71 wins at the end of the 2003 season, the series' last before the two-stroke championship was eliminated from the North American road racing championship schedule. Oliver also went on to become undefeated in the 250 series in three seasons, '96-'97, when he won 20-straight races, and in the series' final season of 2003 where he led every lap of the 12-race series swan song. Oliver also claimed a Formula USA Championship and a WERA 250 National Championship to add to his illustrious resume before retiring from the sport to become the owner of the Rich Oliver Mystery School, one of the preeminent riding schools in operation in the United States.
Jimmy Filice, shown on the #1 Commonwealth Racing/Camel/HRC-sponsored Honda RS250, won the previous season's 250 GP Championship while riding for the L.A. Motor Works team, one of three of his championships won in the two-stroke class throughout his career. In winning his final championship during the 2001 season, Filice bested Oliver by just one point to claim the crown in what was a series for the ages as the two battled tooth and nail throughout the year. The 1981 AMA Pro Flat Track Rookie of the Year won a total of 29 National series races throughout his racing career, spread between the AMA Grand National Championship and 250 GP Championship, and was inducted into the AMA Hall of Fame in 2000. Most fans will probably remember Filice's grand win in the 250 World Championship round at Laguna Seca in 1988, riding as a fill-in rider for world championship-winning tuner Erv Kanemoto.
Kenny Roberts, Jr. was Oliver's team mate during the 1992 season, shown on the #25 Wayne Rainey Racing/Otsuka Electronics-backed Yamaha TZ250. KRJR as he is now famously known, as well as being the first-born son of 'The King', Kenny Roberts, Sr, won the 2000 500cc World Championship while riding for the Suzuki team, in the most recent season that Suzuki has been able to win the premier road racing class in the world. Roberts won four races that season and stood on the podium nine times while starting from the front row 13 times throughout the year.
And last, but surely not least, shown just behind Roberts, is the late Randy Renfrow, who won three premier road racing championships before his early and unfortunate demise from this earth in August of 2002. Renfrow is shown on a Ruben McMurter-backed Honda RS250 (partially obscured.)
The very last of the AMA Road Racing Formula One Champions (1986), Renfrow also won the AMA 250 GP Championship in 1983 and the AMA Pro Twins Championship in 1989 on a Commonwealth Honda RS850, built around the all-conquering Honda RS750 that dominated the AMA Flat Track Grand National Championship in the early-late '80s, and headed up by Louisville, KY's Martin Adams, who went on to campaign Renfrow in Honda's return to the AMA Superbike class in 1990. Renfrow won a total of 17 National championship races throughout his career, including a win on a Commonwealth Honda RC31 in the AMA Superbike Series at Willow Springs in 1990 as a member of the Honda factory team. Renfrow was just inducted into the AMA Hall of Fame in October of last year.
You can check out AMA Pro Racing's press release below to read more about the upcoming Roadracing World Young Gun of the Year Award.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 29, 2014) - AMA Pro Road Racing and Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. have reached an agreement to name the 2014 Roadracing World AMA Pro Racing Young Gun Of The Year.
The Young Gun Of The Year Award is based on Roadracing World's 18 consecutive years of recognizing the best young road racers in North America. The 2014 version of the annual feature recognized 32 riders - 12 of them AMA Pro riders - and was published in the April, 2014 print edition of Roadracing World magazine. One of those riders is likely to be named the 2014 Roadracing World AMA Pro Road Racing Young Gun Of The Year and receive a $2,500 cash award.
Joe Roberts is shown on the #3 M4 Motorcycle Racing Honda CBR600RR during the 2014 Daytona 200, in which he placed in the 11th-place spot at the end of the 57-lap endurance race. Roberts, who won three races in the AMA Pro SuperSport Series during the 2013 season, is an instant contender for the just-announced return of the Roadracing World Young Gun Award for the 2014 season. AMA Pro Road Racing photo by Brian J. Nelson.
To be eligible for the award, riders must have been no older than 18 years old at the start of the 2014 AMA Pro Road Racing season. The award will go to the eligible rider with the most overall points in either the SuperSport or GoPro Daytona SportBike classes and a check will be presented during the 2014 AMA Pro Road Racing Awards Banquet.
"We're happy to work with AMA Pro Racing to name the 2014 Roadracing World AMA Pro Racing Young Gun Of The Year," said Roadracing World founder John Ulrich. "For almost two decades we have recognized the top up-and-coming road racers in the country in our annual Roadracing World Young Guns feature. Many of our Young Guns have gone on to great success with AMA Pro, and this is a great way to work with AMA Pro Racing to acknowledge their aspirations and accomplishments."
AMA Pro Road Racing riders who will be eligible for the coveted award at the conclusion of 2014 include: Garret Gerloff, Ryan Matter, Jake Lewis, Mario Alvarez, Andre Ochs, Max Finders, Erick Sanchez, Mathew McAllister, Christian Crosslin, Hayden Schultz, Kaleb De Keyrel, Richie Escalante, Joe Roberts, Nick McFadden, Eziah Davis, Jason Aquilar, Tucker Lancaster, and Bodhi Edie.
AMA Pro Road Racing heads to Road America for Round 2 in Elkhart Lake, Wis. May 30-June 1, 2014. For tickets and more information regarding the Subway SuperBike Doubleheader, please visit http://www.roadamerica.com/buy-tickets/superbike-doubleheader-ama-pro-racing.html.
How to Watch
FansChoice.tv will be the official home for live streaming coverage of AMA Pro Road Racing and AMA Pro Flat Track events in 2014. The site will also provide coverage of IMSA's development and single-make series, and NASCAR's touring and weekly series.
About AMA Pro Road Racing
AMA Pro Road Racing is the premier motorcycle road racing series in North America and is universally regarded as one of the most competitive road racing organizations in the world. The series is comprised of four production-based classes: AMA Pro SuperBike, AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike, AMA Pro SuperSport and the AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series. Learn more about AMA Pro Road Racing at www.amaproracing.com/rr/.
AMA Pro Racing is the premier professional motorcycle racing organization in North America, operating a full schedule of events and championships for a variety of motorcycle disciplines. Learn more about AMA Pro Racing at www.amaproracing.com.
For additional information contact:
AMA Pro Racing Communications, (386) 492-1014, firstname.lastname@example.org