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Will Davis: 1964-2001

WILL DAVIS: 1964-2001 PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- The motorcycle racing community mourns the passing of Will Davis who died Saturday night, Aug. 25, after a multi-rider accident on the first lap of the American Motorcyclist Association's (AMA) Grand...

WILL DAVIS: 1964-2001

PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- The motorcycle racing community mourns the passing of Will Davis who died Saturday night, Aug. 25, after a multi-rider accident on the first lap of the American Motorcyclist Association's (AMA) Grand National Championship race in Sedalia, Mo. Davis, of Goldsboro, N.C., was 36.

Davis was a top contender in the AMA Progressive Insurance U.S. Flat Track Championships. He won four races in the series this season and was the third-ranked rider in the championships coming into Saturday's race. His most recent win came in Harrington, Del., on Aug. 4. He had an emotional victory front of his home state fans in Charlotte, N.C., on July 28. Davis and subsequently several other riders went down in turn four of the State Fair Speedway as the 18-rider field raced on the first lap of the 25-lap final.

Davis was transported by ambulance to Bothwell Regional Health Center, where attempts to revive him were unsuccessful. A representative of the hospital cited multiple traumas as the cause of death.

George Roeder III was also transported to the hospital after the accident. He was treated and released.

Davis was one of the best-loved riders on the dirt-track circuit by both racing fans and his fellow competitors. He started his professional racing career in 1984 and was a five-time Champion of the MARS Asphalt Motorcycle Racing Series. In AMA competition Davis earned his first national win in 1989 on a half-mile track in Lima, Ohio. It would be the first of 32-career victories for Davis.

Besides his considerable on-track accomplishments, Davis was also known as a true humanitarian for his work off the track. He was honored with the AMA Professional Sportsman of the Year Award last December for his work with terminally ill children.

While Davis never reached his goal of winning the AMA Grand National Championship, he was a perennial front runner -- finishing in the top five a total of seven times including earning the runner-up spot in 1997 and again last year.

Davis was ranked seventh on the all-time AMA Grand National wins list. His wife, Rhonda, and son, Cole, survive Davis.

-AMA Pro Racing

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