Carmichael Earns AMA Pro Racing SPEED Channel Athlete of the Year Nomination - News - Dirt Rider Magazine

Ricky Carmichael has received a nomination for the 2004 AMA Pro Racing SPEED Channel Athlete of the Year Award. Carmichael, who in September completed an amazing second perfect season in the AMA 250 Motocross Championship, is a two-time winner of AMA Pro Racing's most prestigious award. He could join Scott Parker as the only three-time winner of the award should he win it on Nov. 14 at Paris Las Vegas during the 30th Annual AMA Pro Racing Awards Banquet.Carmichael made a return to racing in May of this year after going through major knee surgery during the off-season. No one was sure how strong the 24-year-old Floridian would be in his comeback as not only would he be returning from an injury that ended many riders' careers, but he would also be riding a four-stroke motorcycle for the first time in his career. Carmichael proved to be better than ever and supremely adaptable to the new bike by dominating the season opening Hangtown Classic.After winning the first round Carmichael never looked back. He duplicated his remarkable 2002 feat of going the entire Motocross season without a defeat - a perfect 24 for 24 moto wins in the 12-event championship."I'll never forget the 2004 season," Carmichael said. "I wanted to prove not only to everybody else, but also myself that I could come back even stronger than I was before the knee injury. I think this year's undefeated season was maybe even more satisfying than in 2002 because the competition was so strong with Kevin and Chad both on the top of their game."The year was also special to Carmichael since it marked the final season of his three-year association with Honda. "I really want to dedicate this perfect season to all the crew at Honda. We had a great relationship and set a lot of records together," he said on the podium after winning the season finale in San Bernardino in May. Carmichael wore the No. 1 instead of his traditional No. 4 on his Honda at Glen Helen as a tribute to the team.Carmichael is without a doubt one of the best motocross racers in the history of the sport. He owns just about every record in AMA Motocross. Carmichael is the all-time wins leader in combined AMA Motocross and Supercross victories with 108 wins. He also leads the AMA 250 motocross category with 49-career wins so far -- over 20 wins more than second-ranked Bob Hannah. Carmichael owns a record 11 AMA National Championships.Carmichael previously won the AMA Pro Racing SPEED Channel Athlete of Year in 2001 and 2002. This is his fifth nomination for the award.The 2004 AMA Pro Racing SPEED Channel Athlete of the Year will be announced at the 30th annual AMA Pro Racing Awards Banquet to be held at the Paris Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, on Sunday, Nov. 14. Contact Cyndi Freeze-Cain at 614/856-1900, ext. 1232 for more information on the banquet.