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Spies Nominated for AMA Athlete of Year

Friday, October 31, 2008
Ben Spies is all smiles as he gets his first crack at MotoGP for the Rizla Suzuki squad.
Ben Spies, who not only won the 2008 AMA Superbike title but also competed admirably in three MotoGP races this year, is up for the 2008 AMA SPEED Athlete of the Year award.
The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) is proud to announce that three-time AMA Superbike Champion Ben Spies has been nominated for the 2008 AMA SPEED Athlete of the Year award for his dominating title-winning performance in AMA Superbike. The winner of the award will be announced on Sunday evening, Nov. 23, at the 2008 AMA Pro Racing Awards Banquet at the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum in Leeds, Ala.

The nominees so far announced for the 2008 award include AMA Flat Track Champion Kenny Coolbeth and Spies. In all, five of this year's top riders will be nominated for 2008 AMA SPEED Athlete of the Year.

In 2008, Spies won his third consecutive Superbike championship--and his fifth AMA title since turning pro in 2000--with a series of performances that saw him finish outside the top two only once. He notched a commanding 10 wins and eight second-place finishes, ending the season with a 95-point lead on his closest competition, teammate Mat Mladin.

Spies said he was honored to be nominated for the award.

"It's pretty cool that the AMA has taken it to the next level of involvement," he said. "That they watch the various athletes that they have on board and commend them for their efforts is good stuff."

Dating back to 1976, the AMA SPEED Athlete of the Year award is the highest honor bestowed to 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.

This is the third time Spies has been nominated for the AMA SPEED Athlete of the Year award.

To see first-hand whether Spies 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 also is 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.

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