Henry and Carmichael Capture AMA Mazda Truck Motocross Championships; Veterans Wrap Up Series Championships In Mazda's First Venture Into Motocross
10 September 1998Henry and Carmichael Capture AMA Mazda Truck Motocross Championships; Veterans Wrap Up Series Championships In Mazda's First Venture Into Motocross
IRVINE, Calif., Sept. 10 -- Winning a championship is the goal of every athlete, but to win one on your birthday makes the celebrating sweeter. AMA veteran Doug Henry, who returned to the series after suffering a broken back in 1995 and a broken arm in 1997, was crowned 250cc division champion on his 29th birthday following the season ending race of the AMA Mazda Truck Motocross Nationals at Steel City Raceway in Delmont, PA on Sept. 6. Motocross' brightest new star, Ricky Carmichael, dominated the 125cc division and won his 2nd championship in as many seasons. "Inspirational veterans and hot new stars made Mazda's first venture into motocross as title sponsor of the AMA Mazda Truck Nationals series exciting for us and the fans. On behalf of Mazda, I want to congratulate Doug Henry and Ricky Carmichael on their incredible achievements," said Jack Stavana, group manager, marketing plans at Mazda North American Operations (MNAO). "Their dedication and competitive spirit are the same characteristics we strive to maintain here at Mazda." Henry's victory in the 250cc division was his first. Carmichael, the number-one ranked 125cc rider in only his second professional season, captured his second-straight division crown, dominating the field with victories in eight of the 12 Nationals series events. Mazda's first title sponsorship created a $100,000 rider championship bonus and gave race fans a chance to see the all-new Mazda B-Series Cab Plus 4 truck up close. Mazda B-Series Trucks were on display at each of the 12 races in the AMA Mazda Truck Nationals series. The sponsorship reinforces the connection between pickup trucks and motorcycles -- a connection that's long been made by outdoor motorsport enthusiasts and is now featured in Mazda's B- Series advertising. "The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) sponsorship has allowed us to reach 220,000 AMA members across the country and thousands more who attend the exciting AMA Mazda Truck Motocross races," said Stavana. "The B-Series truck's ability to absorb the most rugged terrain and its power to literally go anywhere, mirror that of motocross motorcycles and professional riders. We feel this new association has been a positive one for Mazda." The new Mazda B-Series pickup trucks, which were completely redesigned for 1998, are available in three models -- B2500, B3000 and B4000 -- powered by a 119-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, 150-hp 3.0-liter V6 or 160-hp 4.0-liter V6, respectively. There are two trim levels (SX and SE) and two cab configurations (regular and Cab Plus). In addition, V6 models are available with a choice of two- or four-wheel drive. The 1998 1/2 Cab Plus 4, introduced this summer, is the only import brand truck with four doors. The versatile four-door configuration is optional on extended-cab B-Series SE Trucks. The B- Series' tough, agile and athletic styling was developed by Mazda design engineers at MNAO's Irvine, Calif. design studio. Mazda North American Operations is responsible for the research and development, sales and marketing, and customer parts and service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States. Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., MNAO has approximately 800 dealerships nationwide and is owned by Mazda Motor Corporation, Hiroshima, Japan.