Ricky Carmichael to NASCAR

October 12, 2006 8:54am | by:

Word has just come down that Ricky Carmichael has joined NASCAR's MB2 Motorsports. RC has inked a multi-year deal, beginning with the 2007 season.

For more details, check out the full press release below:

MOORESVILLE, N.C. -- Ricky Carmichael, considered the greatest motocross racer of all time, is moving to NASCAR. He will join the Bobby Ginn-owned MB2 Motorsports operation, which currently fields Nextel Cup teams for Joe Nemechek and Sterling Marlin -- and will add Mark Martin to its stable in 2007.

Carmichael, a 15-time American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) national champion and holder of a record 144 wins in Supercross and motocross, agreed to a multi-year contract with MB2, starting with the 2007 season.

Jay Frye, CEO and general manager of MB2, said that Carmichael will compete in a developmental program next year that will include a combination of approximately 15 events in late model stock cars, ARCA and possibly the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Frye added that Carmichael's MB2 program will be accelerated in 2008.

"There were other teams showing interest in Ricky and we are thrilled that he decided to join MB2," said Ginn, who purchased majority interest in MB2 in July. "He brings to MB2 many intangible qualities which have made him one of the great champions in all of motorsports."

"What's even more remarkable is that he achieved a legendary record and is still in the prime of his racing career," Ginn added. "He has both the physical and mental skills to make a successful transition from two wheels to four wheels."

Carmichael, 26, is also planning to run an abbreviated Supercross and motocross schedule next year with Team Makita Suzuki Racing.

"To race in NASCAR has always been a dream of mine," Carmichael said. "This is a new challenge and I have no illusions that the transition will be easy. I truly understand the difficulties that are ahead. But I am committed to do whatever it takes to eventually make it to the Cup series."

Carmichael announced earlier in the year that 2006 would be his final full-time season competing in Supercross and motocross.

"I am excited about joining MB2," Carmichael added. "After talking to Bobby it was evident to me that this is an organization with a strong commitment to compete at an elite level. It's a good fit and I can't wait to get started."

Since joining the AMA Motocross circuit full time in 1997, Carmichael has never lost an outdoor championship. He won three consecutive 125cc championships followed by seven consecutive 250cc titles. His record also includes five indoor AMA Supercross championships.

The 2006 season was the fifth time that Carmichael captured the double -- winning both the AMA Supercross and Motocross championships in the same year.

Next closest to Carmichael's 144 career victories is Jeremy McGrath's 89 wins.

Regarding his exit from full-time AMA competition, Carmichael said, "I plan to always ride some events in Supercross and motocross. The sport has been very good to me over the years."