Las Vegas, NV – Juha Salminen’s first year in AMA competition earned him one of its highest honors. After he dominated the 2005 Suzuki Grand National Cross Country Series, AMA Sports named Salminen the 2005 Athlete of the Year at the third-annual AMA Sports Awards banquet at the Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Salminen joins such names as Ricky Carmichael, James Stewart, and Rodney Smith in the nearly 30 years of AMA Sports Athlete of the Year Award Winners.
The award concluded a banner evening for GNCC racers. Pro Am ATV Champion Adam McGill won the Amateur Rider of the Year Award, and GNCC Women’s Champion Amanda Mastin collected the AMA Sports Female Rider of the Year Award. Class champions were recognized in all GNCC divisions, and top racers were nominated for special awards, including Walker Fowler as both AMA Sports and ATVA Youth Rider of the Year, Senior Class ATV Champion Dave Simmons as ATVA Vet/Senior Rider of the Year, and Women’s ATV Champion Traci Cecco as ATVA Female Rider of the Year.
The Suzuki Grand National Cross Country Series will host its own banquets over the next two weekends, with the ATV Banquet on November 26th and the Bike Banquet on December 3, all at Lakeview Resort in Morgantown, West Virginia. For all the details on GNCC racing, check out the official website at GNCCRacing.com.
The ATVA-sanctioned Suzuki Grand National Cross Country series is America’s premier off-road racing series. The 13-round series is produced exclusively by Racer Productions. Cross-country racing is one of the most physically demanding sports in the world. The nearly three-hour long GNCC races lead as many as 1500 riders through tracks ranging from eight to twelve miles in length. With varied terrain including hills, mud, dirt, rocks and motocross sections, GNCC events are tests of both survival and speed. GNCC featured sponsors include Parts Unlimited, Moose, Maxxis, Pirelli, Wiseco, Klotz, FMF and ITP, and riders compete for over $2.4 million in series prizes and contingency money. Associate sponsors include Moose Utility Division, Scott, Alpinestars, Öhlins, Cometic, Outerwears, Race Tools, Twin Air, SFB Racing, Thor, Motion Pro, MotoTee’s, Warrior and Laeger’s. Media Sponsors include Dirt Rider Magazine, ATV Sport Magazine and Racer X Illustrated. For more information log on to GNCCRacing.com.