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Supercross rider Carmichael named 2001 Pro Athlete of the Year

PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- Ricky Carmichael was named the 2001 AMA/Speedvision Pro Athlete of the Year at the 2001 AMA National Champions Awards Banquet Friday night in Palm Desert, Calif. The 22-year-old Floridian had a record-setting season in 2001,...

PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- Ricky Carmichael was named the 2001 AMA/Speedvision Pro Athlete of the Year at the 2001 AMA National Champions Awards Banquet Friday night in Palm Desert, Calif. The 22-year-old Floridian had a record-setting season in 2001, winning both the AMA EA Sports U.S. Supercross Championship and the AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Motocross Championship. En route to winning these titles, Carmichael etched his name even deeper into the annals of AMA racing history by setting new records along the way.

Carmichael kicked off the 2001 season by winning 14 races of the 16-round AMA EA Sports U.S. Supercross Championship on his way to winning the title. Carmichael's march through the 2001 AMA Supercross campaign included a record-tying 13 consecutive wins.

His supercross success carried into the AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Motocross Championship, where he won seven of the 12 rounds and successfully defended his title. And since he secured the 250-class title before the final race, Carmichael decided to race in the 125 class at the final round in Delmont, Pa. There he won the overall and became the all-time winningest rider in AMA 125cc Motocross history.

"It was definitely a surprise," said Carmichael when accepting the award. "If I didn't get it this year, it wasn't meant to be. I'm happy with the way things have turned out. I'm really happy, I've got it all now." Mat Mladin, Eric Bostrom and Chris Carr were the other nominees for the 2001 AMA/Speedvision Pro Athlete of the Year Award. Carmichael took home a check for $5,000 from Speedvision for winning the award.

The evening got even better for Carmichael when it was announced that his long-time mechanic Chad Watts, was given the 2001 Award for Mechanical Excellence. Watts has been Carmichael's mechanic since he turned pro in 1997 and will follow him to Honda in 2002.

The 2001 AMA Sportsman of the Year was won by veteran racer and 2001 MBNA 250 Grand Prix champion Jimmy Filice. Filice revealed that his first awards banquet was way back in 1981 when he was named AMA Dirt Track Rookie of the Year.

James "Bubba" Stewart will be joining the AMA professional ranks in 2002. Stewart took home the AMA Amateur Athlete of the Year honors Friday night. He is slated to make his pro debut at the Indianapolis Supercross in February.

AMA Pro Racing is the leading sanctioning body for professional motorcycle sport in the United States. For more information about AMA Pro Racing, visit www.amaproracing.com.

-AMA-

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Series AMA
Drivers Ricky Carmichael , Eric Bostrom , Chris Carr