AMA road racer Jake Zemke nominated for 2008 AMA SPEED Athlete of the Year award PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) is proud to announce that newly crowned 2008 Formula Xtreme Series Champion Jake Zemke is the...
AMA road racer Jake Zemke nominated for 2008 AMA SPEED Athlete of the Year award
PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) is proud to announce that newly crowned 2008 Formula Xtreme Series Champion Jake Zemke is the final nominee for the 2008 AMA SPEED Athlete of the Year award. The winner will be announced at the 2008 AMA Pro Racing Awards Banquet on Sunday evening, Nov. 23, at the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum in Leeds, Ala.
Dating back to 1976, the AMA SPEED Athlete of the Year award is the highest honor bestowed on a professional motorcycle 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 for the 2008 award are AMA Flat Track Champion Kenny Coolbeth, AMA Superbike Champion Ben Spies, AMA Motocross Champion James Stewart, ITP Tires/Moose Racing AMA/ATVA Pro Champion Dustin Wimmer, and Zemke.
Zemke, from Paso Robles, Calif., earned his nomination for this prestigious award by capturing the 2008 AMA Formula Xtreme Series Championship. Zemke's second-place finish at Road Atlanta clinched the title with one round to go.
"When I found out I was nominated, I was quite a bit surprised," Zemke said. "It's obviously an honor. Only five guys a year get nominated, and to have your name put up there as one of the five best out all of the racing disciplines that are represented, it's a pretty cool deal. When you look back on who has won this thing, it's a pretty impressive list -- not just the winners but the nominees."
The 2008 Formula Xtreme title is Zemke's first professional championship, yet the 12-year veteran of the AMA professional road-racing circuit has finished championships in the top five 11 times, the top three nine times, and has been runner-up five times. Zemke said that, despite this being his first title, he never anticipated anything less from himself.
"This is something that I've expected," Zemke said. "Being as close as I have before, I look at it as something that just didn't come together, for whatever reason, before this year. This has always been my goal. Of course, I had a great team behind me, and the Erion Honda team played a major role in my success. I couldn't have done it without them."
To see first-hand whether Zemke wins the AMA SPEED Athlete of the Year award, attend the AMA Pro Racing Awards Banquet, where AMA Pro Racing will honor its professional champions, joined by their families, friends, fans and industry leaders. Held at the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, the banquet will take place among a collection of more than 1,200 historic and popular motorcycles.
Tickets to the AMA Pro Racing Awards Banquet are $125. Tickets to the AMA Sports Awards Banquet, which honors the champions of AMA Sports events on Saturday evening, Nov. 22, are $85. Tickets can be purchased online at www.AmericanMotorcyclist.com. A downloadable registration form is also available. Printed orders can be faxed to: (614) 986-1962, Attn: Cyndi Freeze-Cain; or mailed to: AMA Racing, Attn: Cyndi Freeze-Cain, 13515 Yarmouth Drive, Pickerington, OH 43147.