AMA Hall of Fame Ceremony Honors Five 2023 Inductees
The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame inducted its 2023 Class in September, honoring five new members - including Rita Coombs, Ryan Dungey, Barry Hawk, Grant Langston and Travis Pastrana - all of whom received their Hall of Fame rings and gold jackets during the ceremony.
|Left to right: Rita Coombs, Ryan Dungey, Travis Pastrana, Grant Langston, and Barry Hawk.
"We're truly delighted to gather here in Pickerington, Ohio, home of both the AMA headquarters and the esteemed AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, to celebrate this historic occasion," AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman said.
"But this event is far more than a banquet and ceremony designed to honor the remarkable individuals who have made significant contributions to our beloved sport," Dingman continued. "It also serves as a unique opportunity for us to unite in our shared mission of safeguarding motorcycle history for generations yet to come."
The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame also recognized the memories of Hall of Famers who passed away during the last year: Earl Bowlby, Fred Fox, Ronnie Rall and Peter Starr.
Supporters and partners for the 2023 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony included IronLilly.com, National Powersports Dealer Association, Dealernews, MX Sports, Feld Entertainment, Bromley Powersports, KTM, Yamaha and Broc Glover.
Class of 2023
Born in 1941, Rita Coombs - along with her husband Dave - found her calling in the world of motorcycles after seeing On Any Sunday in 1972. In 1973, the Coombs began promoting their own AMA amateur events and opened their own track, Appalachia Lake MX in Bruceton Mills, W.V.
They created the AMA Grand National Cross Country series, which is the largest and most prestigious off-road series in the world, and the AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships at Loretta Lynn's Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennesse. Since its inaugural running in 1982, the AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship has grown into the premier amateur event in the sport.
After her husband's passing in 1998, Coombs continued to run the family business at a high level alongside her children, Carrie Jo, Tim and Davey.
Possessing one of the most noteworthy 10-year runs in Motocross/Supercross history, from 2007-'17, Dungey produced four AMA Supercross 450SX titles and trio of motocross championships in the 450 class, emerging as one of the greatest competitors the sport has ever seen. Beyond his accomplishments in the United States, Dungey also spearheaded Team USA to three straight Motocross of Nations titles from 2009-'11.
Dungey holds the AMA Supercross record for most consecutive podium finishes, landing in the top three in 31 consecutive races across the 2015 and 2016 seasons. Now, Dungey gives back to the community through the Ryan Dungey Foundation, which aims to help children lead healthy lives and support those that are battling cancer.
An eight-time AMA Grand National Cross Country Champion, Hawk cemented himself as one of the greatest off-road competitors the sport has ever seen, capturing seven titles aboard an ATV and an additional championship on two wheels.
Beginning his professional career in 1990, Hawk raced his way to seven consecutive GNCC ATV championships from 1993-99 while also claiming his GNCC Bike Championship in 2003. To this day, Hawk is the only racer to win GNCC championships on an ATV and bike.
Hawk now serves as the team manager for the Coastal GasGas Factory Racing Team, where he has supported many racers to GNCC victories.
As the only racer to win a World MX title, an AMA MX Championship and both AMA Supercross regional championships in the 125/250 cc divisions, Durban, South Africa born Langston moved to Europe when he was only 15 years old to begin his professional racing pursuits.
Just two years later, Langston secured the 2000 FIM 125 cc World Motocross Championship, which resulted in him receiving a deal to compete on the AMA Supercross circuit in 2001.
In 2003, Langston claimed the AMA 125 National Motocross Championship and added regional 125/250 cc Supercross Championships in 2005 and 2006. One year later, Langston clinched the AMA 450 cc Pro Motocross Championship, snapping Ricky Carmichael's seven-year hold over the series.
Langston's career was cut short after a tumor was found in his eye during the 2008 season, causing Langston to experience vision problems. Since then, Langston has opened his own multi-brand motorcycle dealership and served as a race commentator.
Whether he was racing his way to victories on the motocross track or completing stupefying stunts, Travis Pastrana captivated audiences while aboard two wheels.
After starting out in motocross, Pastrana became a stunt rider and lead personality behind the Nitro Circus brand, which spans reality TV, movies and live performances.
At just 16 years old in 1999, Pastrana became the then-youngest racer to claim an AMA Pro MX title after winning the AMA 125 cc National MX Championship. Pastrana added the 2001 125 cc East Supercross title to his resume before setting his sights on the X Games - where he produced 17 medals, including 11 golds.
As the founder of the Nitro Circus brand, Pastrana helped grow one of the largest entertainment entities in motorsports. Sparked by his childhood hero Evel Knievel, Pastrana also followed his pursuits to become a successful stuntman.