Buddy Antunez Retiring

Buddy Antunez announced he was retiring from racing at the End of the Series' Awards banquet in Kansas City, Missouri on Sunday, February 29th in front of his wife, former teammates and friends. A standing ovation was given for the former five-time Arenacross champion - the idol of many of the riders that are now making the top ten in the series.Antunez's career began in 1990 at age 16 when he was a privateer driving himself to the races every weekend, and not taking the sport quite as seriously as he would have liked. Once he started winning races, he began pushing himself harder and harder to win more and more. He reigned as the Arenacross Champion for five years from 1997 - 2001, and brought the series to a new level of competition. It was going to be tough to beat Antunez in 2002, but he left the Arenacross circuit to pursue supercross and after one year was back in the venue that made him a champion. After suffering many injuries over the last two years on the Arenacross track, Antunez decided that it was time for him to retire."If I don't feel 100 percent confident every time," said Antunez. "I am spending more time on the ground and in recovery than I am on my bike." Antunez came into the 2003 season with a broken wrist that set him back from the beginning. He finished out the season earning the number three spot in the points series. Moving into 2004, he was on a new bike, riding for Honda and was confident that he could do some good things. After once again getting hurt at the third round in Rockford he decided that this would have to be the last year."I feel that I have done everything that I can on a motorcycle and have achieved everything that I can." said Antunez. "Looking back, I have five championships, I was able to ride supercross and make a living out of something that I love."Antunez said he would miss the adrenaline rush that he got every time at the starting gate before a race, and he'll miss taking his daughter out to the track to watch him ride. But, the Budman's future will remain in the industry - he plans to work for Crown Athlete Management Group.For more information, log onto www.arenacross.com .