From 1975 to 1981, the AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships were scattered across the country in an effort to find the right way to determine the nation’s best amateur riders
WORDS: DAVEY COOMBS
PHOTOS: Werner Straube, Denison Design & Racer X Archives
Since 1982, the AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships have taken place at Loretta Lynn Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. For nearly four decades, the country’s best amateur riders have been crowned there, at what’s become the biggest amateur motocross race in the world. But what about the amateur nationals that took place before Loretta Lynn’s? Where were those races run? How did they work? Who won?
From 1975 to 1981, the AMA had two different non-pro motocross championships. One was for amateur racers on 125cc, 250cc, and Open-class machines. (A 100cc class would be added in ’79.) The other was for a wide array of youth classes ranging from 51cc pee-wees to 125cc schoolboys. After a series of AMA District and Regional qualifying races, the finals were held at various tracks around the country.
In this first installment of a two-part series, we’ll dig into the history of the old AMA Amateur Nationals, this time going back to October 12, 1975 at Baldwin Motocross Park in Kansas.