JR Addison won the 2012 AMA Dirt Track Horizon Award for showing the most promise for success in the pro ranks.
To excel in the highest levels of motorsports competition, it requires both speed and consistency on the track, as well as maturity and respect off it. At the 2012 American Motorcyclist Association Dirt Track Grand Championships, which took place May 29-June 1 in Springfield, Ill., JR Addison from Bucyrus, Ohio, demonstrated all those qualities to earn the 2012 AMA Dirt Track Horizon Award.
AMA Horizon Awards are presented annually in dirt track, motocross and roadracing to the rider showing the most promise for success in the pro ranks. The dirt-track award recipient is selected based on performance at the AMA Racing Dirt Track Grand Championships, promoted this year by Steve Nace Racing.
“The history of professional dirt-track racing in America includes some of the greatest names to compete on two wheels,” said AMA Director of Racing Joe Bromley. “For most of those racers, their path to the pro ranks was blazed through the demanding AMA amateur program. Each year, one of these young riders shows that he is exceptionally prepared to advance to that next level. For 2012, that rider is JR Addison.”
Addison finished the event with four discipline championships and two overall AMA Grand Championships. AMA Grand Championships reflect performance across all four types of dirt-track competition in a specific class.
The 16-year-old Addison won AMA Grand Championships in the 450 Modified class and in the 251cc-Open Singles class. His individual discipline titles were in the two 450 Modified half-mile rounds, and on the mile and half mile in the 251-Open Singles class.
“I’m speechless really,” Addison said. “I don’t know what to say. The mile was a good race, and the TT was good — I got a second and third. I was disappointed about the rain. I wanted to run the short track, but I was excited, too, because I like half miles, and it all worked out. I plan for my first pro race to be in Daytona (in 2013).”
Addison is the first AMA Dirt Track Horizon Award winner to have also won the AMA Youth Dirt Tracker of the Year Award, which he took home in 2008.
Although the AMA Dirt Track Horizon Award is the highest-profile special award at the AMA Dirt Track Grand Championships, additional honors recognize other competitors for standout performances.
The AMA Racing Fast Brain Award, sponsored for the third consecutive year by dirt-track tuning legend and Motorcycle Hall of Famer Bill Werner and AMA Board of Directors Chairman Stan Simpson, recognizes a rider whose speed on the track is matched by stellar grades in the classroom. The 2012 Fast Brain award was presented to Cody Chisham. Not only does Chisham have a straight-A report card, but the Indianapolis, Ind., rider won a Grand Championship in the 85cc Modified (7-11) class.
The 2012 AMA Youth Dirt Track Rider of the Year award was Tyler Scott from Emmaus, Pa. The 6-year old Scott won Grand Championships in the 50cc DTX PW Shaft-drive class and the 50cc DTX PW (4-8) class.
Thomas Englehart won the 2012 AMA Vet Dirt Track Rider of the Year award. Englehart, from Zanesville, Ohio, won the Vet 30+ Grand Championship.
The AMA Dirt Track Grand Championships crown amateur and youth champions in individual dirt-track disciplines, including half-mile, TT and short-track events. Amateur racers also compete in mile events. In addition, AMA Grand Championships are awarded to the riders in each class who have the highest point totals across all disciplines.
Dirt-track racing features a wide range of competitive equipment. Racers field both traditional dirt-trackers and the latest DTX motorcycles, which begin as stock motocross bikes that are then fitted with dirt-track tires, suspension and other modifications.
For more information on all the disciplines sanctioned by the AMA, see AmericanMotorcyclist.com > Racing.