PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- Success in professional racing not only requires speed and consistency on the track, but maturity and respect off it. At the 2011 AMA Racing Dirt Track Grand Championships, which took place July 25-31 in Du Quoin, Ill., KTM support rider Daniel Bromley displayed all those qualities to earn the 2011 AMA Racing Dirt Track Horizon Award from the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA).
AMA Racing Horizon Awards are presented annually in dirt track, motocross and roadracing to the rider showing the most promise for success in the pro ranks. The dirt-track award recipient is traditionally selected based on performance at the AMA Racing Dirt Track Grand Championships, promoted this year by North American Action Sports (NAAS).
"Although the competition at the AMA Racing Dirt Track Grand Championships features a number of extremely talented riders, some years one rider's performance makes him a clear choice for the AMA Racing Dirt Track Horizon Award," said AMA Track Racing Manager Ken Saillant. "No other Horizon Award contender matched Daniel's five individual championships and two Grand Championships. In the minds of the selection committee, this made Daniel a clear choice for this prestigious award."
At the AMA Racing Dirt Track Grand Championships, Bromley stood out among Horizon Award contenders with five championships in individual disciplines and two overall Grand Championships. Grand Championships reflect performance across all four types of dirt-track competition in a specific class.
The 16-year-old Bromley won Grand Championships in the 250cc Modified Two-stroke class and in the 250cc DTX class. His individual discipline titles were in 250cc DTX short-track and TT, 250cc Modified Two-stroke short-track and TT, and 251cc-500cc DTX TT. Bromley also raced in select 450cc Modified events.
"Ever since I was little, I would watch people I knew win the Horizon Award, and I would dream of winning it myself," Bromley said. "It is really special to get it. It feels really good to see all of our hard work pay off."
Bromley added that a key to his success has been the support of his family, especially his brother Joseph.
"Having a teammate is really important because you have someone you can always look to for help and advice," Bromley said. "You can race together. You can workout together. You can work on the bikes together. Having the support of my family, including my mom and dad, has been so important, and without them I wouldn't be able to do this."
Bromley, whose 6-foot-3, 190-pound frame belies the typical dirt-tracker physique, says his initial professional plans include TT and short-track races, although he hopes to see the track at next year's Hagerstown, Md., half-mile AMA Pro Racing event.
"I want to get my Pro Singles license and go pro in 2012 at the Daytona short track," he said. "I will probably do mostly TTs and short-track races next year. My size can put me at a disadvantage on the half-mile and mile, but it really helps me on the TT and short-tracks where I can manhandle the bike a little more. I do want to do the Hagerstown half-mile next year because it's close to my house."
Although the AMA Horizon Award is the highest-profile special award at the AMA Racing Dirt Track Grand Championships, additional honors recognize other competitors for standout performances.
The AMA Racing Fast Brain Award, sponsored for the second year running by dirt-track tuning legend and Motorcycle Hall of Famer Bill Werner and AMA Board of Directors Chairman Stan Simpson, recognizes a rider whose speed on the track is matched by stellar grades in the classroom. The 2011 Fast Brain award was presented to Hunter Goodwin from Keenesburg, Colo.
This year marked a "first" for the AMA Racing Youth Dirt Track Rider of the Year award when it was given to two riders. Kevin Stollings won Grand Championships in 85cc DTX (9-13) and 85cc Modified (7-11), and Tyler Scott, with titles in 50cc DTX PW Shaft (4-8) and 50cc DTX PW (4-8) classes, shared the award for 2011.
Stollings said his favorite part of the week was "winning the short tracks and having to come back on the half-mile after I placed fourth and seventh on the TT." Stollings sent out a big thank you to "my mom, my dad, my grandma, my little brother and my friend Alex."
Scott, who will be starting kindergarten this year, said he enjoyed the week.
"My favorite thing was racing and it was very fun all week," he said, adding that those who helped him were "just mom and dad and my dog."
The Vet/Senior Rider of the year was awarded to Mount Pleasant, Iowa's Tony Watkins, who won the Vet 30+ class and the Senior 40+ class.
"I came into this week wanting and hoping that I would get this Vet/Senior award," Watkins said. "I'm on a bike every day, and I just enjoy motorcycle racing. I rode when I was younger and turned pro back in '78. I rode for a year to year-and-a-half and then I quit racing, and didn't pick up a motorcycle again for about 20 years. I just love this thing. I hope to keep doing it for a few more years and get the rest of the kid out of me!"
The AMA Racing Dirt Track Grand Championships crown Grand National champions based on their accumulated points in all four dirt-track disciplines: short-track, TT, half-mile and mile racing. The top riders compete for the AMA Dirt Track Horizon Award, which honors the amateur racer poised for success on the pro level. Racers field traditional dirt-trackers, all-terrain vehicles and the latest DTX-machinery. DTX bikes are a fast-growing segment of dirt-track racing. They begin as showroom-fresh motocross bikes that are then fitted with dirt-track tires, suspension and other modifications.
For more information on all the disciplines sanctioned by the AMA, see AMARacing.com.
About the American Motorcyclist Association
Since 1924, the AMA has protected the future of motorcycling and promoted the motorcycle lifestyle. AMA members come from all walks of life, and they navigate many different routes on their journey to the same destination: freedom on two wheels. As the world's largest motorcycling rights organization, the AMA advocates for motorcyclists' interests in the halls of local, state and federal government, the committees of international governing organizations, and the court of public opinion. Through member clubs, promoters and partners, the AMA sanctions more motorsports competition and motorcycle recreational events than any other organization in the world. AMA members receive money-saving discounts from dozens of well-known suppliers of motorcycle services, gear and apparel, bike rental, transport, hotel stays and more. Through its support of the Motorcycle Hall of Fame, the AMA preserves the heritage of motorcycling for future generations. For more information, please visit AmericanMotorcyclist.com.