PICKERINGTON, Ohio (Nov. 24, 2003) -- Chris Carr was named AMA Pro Racing Speed Channel Athlete of the Year Saturday night at the AMA Pro Racing Awards Banquet at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas. It was the first time Carr has won the prestigious award...
PICKERINGTON, Ohio (Nov. 24, 2003) -- Chris Carr was named AMA Pro Racing Speed Channel Athlete of the Year Saturday night at the AMA Pro Racing Awards Banquet at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas. It was the first time Carr has won the prestigious award after being nominated six times including the last three years in a row.
Upon learning that he had been nominated again Carr, 36, joked that he wasn't getting his hopes up about winning. However, upon receiving the elusive award Carr was jubilant saying he was shocked and excited. He paid tribute to his wife and children and thanked his mom and dad for allowing him as a child to "chase a dream." Carr laughingly compared himself to Susan Lucci, the soap opera star who was nominated multiple times for an Emmy award before finally capturing the prize.
Carr's success in AMA Grand National racing places him in the upper echelons of the sport's hierarchy. His 62-career national victories makes him the winningest active rider in the AMA Progressive Insurance U.S. Flat Track Championship and his series-leading five victories in the 2003 season places him in second in the all-time AMA Grand National wins category behind retired rival and recent Motorcycle Hall of Fame inductee, Scott Parker. Carr has more AMA Short Track wins than anyone having passed legends Kenny Roberts and Steve Eklund in 2003.
Carr won his first AMA Grand National Championship in 1992 and followed that with titles in 1999, 2001, 2002 and 2003. He's hoping to capture his fourth straight title (sixth overall) in next year's 50th anniversary of AMA Grand National racing. Carr credited his championship to those around him. "I'm proud of our team from our sponsors, to my wife and kids, to my crew chief Kenny Tolbert and Rich Bates who put in a lot of time to allow me to win another championship," said Carr. "They worked hard and this championship is more than a victory for just myself, it's a victory for a lot of people and I wouldn't have been able to accomplish what I have without them."
The AMA Pro Racing Speed Channel Athlete of the Year award is coveted among professional motorcycle racers and is awarded to the racer generally considered to have had the best overall year. A recipient's overall career success can also be considered in the selection process. In addition to Carr, nominees for the 2003 award included Ricky Carmichael, Mat Mladin, James Stewart and David Watson.