AMA: Cory McDermitt wins AMA Dirt Track Horizon Award
2 August 2000
PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- Cory McDermitt, a 15-year-old rider from Flint, Mich., was awarded the 2000 AMA Horizon Award at the completion of the AMA Dirt Track Grand Championships at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis. He won a total of six races and two championships during the June 30-July 6 Grand Championships, which featured racing on short track TT circuits in Lawrenceburg, Ind., and a half-mile in Indianapolis. McDermitt is the fifth rider given the honor, which is designed to recognize young amateurs who are preparing to move into professional racing. McDermitt follows 1997 winner Nicky Hayden, Roger Lee Hayden (1998) and 1999 co-winners Tony Meiring and Bryan Smith. "It's great to win this award," McDermitt said at the presentation. "There were so many good racers here this weekend, it's a real honor. I think that this will allow me to get some recognition so I have a better chance when I go pro." AMA Horizon Awards are presented in each of three racing disciplines; dirt track, road racing and motocross. Several of the past winners, most notably Nicky Hayden (now a factory Honda Superbike rider) and Travis Pastrana (now factory Suzuki Supercross and motocross rider), have gone on to successful pro racing careers. McDermitt followed in his father's footsteps and began motocross racing at a very young age. He tried dirt-track racing for the first time in 1995 and fell in love with the sport. "I really liked the speed and the close racing on the dirt ovals," said McDermitt, who will be a sophomore at Genesee (Mich.) High School in Flint, Mich. "This half-mile track in Indy is one of my favorites." McDermitt plans to go pro next May when he turns 16. "My family and some good friends are behind me 100 percent," he said. "I know it's a big step to move up to the pros, but I've really had some good competition in the amateur ranks that hopefully has prepared me." The AMA Dirt Track Grand Championships bring together hundreds of the best amateur and semi-pro riders from across the country. This year's race was the 24th edition of the championships.