The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Class of 2013:
Ricky Carmichael has more combined AMA Supercross and AMA Motocross National wins than any other rider in history. From 1997 to 2006, Carmichael won a championship series title each year. In 2002, he recorded the first perfect season in AMA motocross history by earning 24 straight moto victories for 12 overall wins in the premier class — a feat he repeated in 2004.
Carmichael, who was traveling in Europe, said through a text relayed via his mother, Jeanie, “This is for all of the people who helped me get to where I am, and the sponsors that gave me the support to do the job I needed to do. And also, this is for all my fans who supported me through the journey.”
Jeanie added: “This is very honorable for Ricky. He has devoted his life to this sport and now he is recognized for all this achievement. To think that he is being recognized by his peers for this special respect, it is amazing and frankly, emotionally, very moving.”
Danny Hamel accomplished much as an off-road racer: five-time AMA Hare and Hound national champion, Baja 1000 and 500 overall winner and more. Between 1977 and 1995, Hamel was the only rider ever named both as the AMA Amateur Athlete of the Year and AMA Amateur Sportsman of the Year in the same year. He died in June 1995 while racing the Baja 500 when a car strayed onto the road that was part of the course and Hamel collided with it.
“Danny would be speechless with this news,” said Hamel’s friend, Mike Hodges. “He’d walk away, give a very loud ‘Hoo-Ray’ and he’d savor the moment.”
Norm McDonald has been an ambassador for motorcycling his entire life as a racer, promoter, teacher, sponsor and advocate for motorcyclists’ rights and safety. In 1957 he opened K&N Motorcycles — a motorcycle shop — with Ken Johnson. By 1965, they created K&N Engineering and in 1966 the K&N Air Filter was introduced. Over the years McDonald sponsored hundreds of racers, with more than 30 of them going on to the national level.
McDonald was at a loss for words when he heard the news: “When John Ulrich told me I was nominated, I was shocked,” McDonald said. “Now, with this news, I am honored and numb.”
Randy Renfrow began his pro roadracing career in 1981. He won the AMA 250 Grand Prix championship in 1983, the AMA Formula One title in 1986 and the AMA Pro Twins Series championship in 1989. He was known for his ability to be competitive on any type of machinery, from diminutive 250 Grand Prix bikes all the way up to AMA Superbikes, and he excelled in nearly every class of professional motorcycle roadracing. In all, he won 17 AMA Nationals in four different classes. Renfrow died in 2002 in a non-racing accident.
Said his brother, Shawn: “My brother was a lifelong supporter of the AMA and AMA Pro Racing. If he were here today he’d say this is his highest honor.”
Mike and Dianne Traynor co-founded the Ride for Kids motorcycle charity program and the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. They began the Ride for Kids in 1984 to raise funds for childhood brain tumor research. With tens of millions of dollars raised since 1984, motorcyclists have helped the PBTF become the world’s largest non-governmental source of funding for childhood brain tumor research. Mike Traynor died in 2009 and Dianne Traynor died in 2012.