PICKERINGTON, Ohio (August 9, 2006) -- Jeff Ward, an eight time AMA national champion, will be honored with induction into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America at its annual induction ceremony on Thursday, Aug. 17, 2006 at the State Theatre in Detroit.
Ward, 45, began his professional racing career in 1978. After winning seven AMA Motocross and Supercross titles, primarily in the 1980s, Ward switched to open-wheel cars. He was named Indy 500 Rookie of the Year in 1997 and went on to have a successful stint in the Indy Racing League. In addition to winning one race and finishing as high as sixth in the final season standings, Ward had finishes of second (1999), third (1997) and fourth (2000) in the Indianapolis 500.
In 1999, Ward was inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame on the campus of the American Motorcyclist Association in Pickerington, Ohio.
Ward then made an unexpected return to national motorcycle racing in the AMA Supermoto Championship in 2003. Despite competing against riders half his age, Ward showed that he still possessed the aggressive and smooth racing style that won him his earlier titles.
In 2004 Ward won the AMA Supermoto Championship. It marked his eighth AMA national title.
Ward leads the 2006 AMA Supermoto Championship mid-way through the season. The Newport Beach, Calif., resident continues to build on his already impressive resume. This past Sunday, Aug. 6, Ward became the oldest male gold medalist and the oldest Moto X medalist in X Games history by winning the AMA-endorsed X Games Supermoto race in dramatic fashion. Ward edged silver medalist Mark Burkhart by 0.572 second.
“It’s a big honor to be put in the Motorsports Hall of Fame,” said Ward, who will attend the induction ceremony. “There are only a handful of motorcycle racers in there and when you look at the names it’s pretty humbling to be considered in the category with those riders.”
Ward joins a select group of motorcycle racers who have been inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, including Jay Springsteen, Don Vesco, Gary Nixon, Eddie Lawson, Freddie Spencer, Bob Hannah, Bart Markel, Carroll Resweber, Jim Davis, Malcolm Smith, Roger DeCoster, Dick Mann, Joe Petrali, Joe Leonard, Kenny Roberts and Cannon Ball Baker.