JAMES STEWART INDUCTED INTO THE AMA HALL OF FAME
The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame inducted six new members Friday evening during the 2022 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. Members of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Class of 2022 include Kenny Coolbeth, Greg Hancock, Effie Hotchkiss, Sandy Kosman, Ben Spies and James Stewart.
“Every year, with the exception of 2020, it’s been our privilege to honor motorcycling’s most accomplished and significant people in a very special AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame induction celebration. But it’s more than just a great banquet and ceremony to honor the incredible inductees who’ve contributed so much to our sport…it’s also a chance for us to come together in the interest of preserving motorcycle history for future generations,” said AMA President Rob Dingman.
Traditional ceremony emcee television star Perry King, joined by Laurette Nicoll, guided the audience through the careers and accomplishments of the inductees. In edition to the class of 2022, the Hall took time to remember AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famers who have recently passed away: Wes Cooley, Ed Fisher, Bobby Hill, Loretta Lynn and Preston Petty.
But for motocrossers the highlight of the night was the induction of James Stewart—the only motocross racer on the list this year.
James, born in 1985, displayed tremendous potential early, winning his first National Amateur Championship at the age of 17. Before his 16th birthday, he had claimed seven AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships.
Turning Pro pro in 2002, James won the AMA 125 Motocross title later that year while riding for Kawasaki, becoming the first black man to win a title in the sport. Stewart won the 2007 AMA Supercross Championship, claiming a second in 2009. Incredibly, Stewart won all 24 motos of the 2008 Pro Motocross series — a perfect season — securing the 450 Class National Championship.
Stewart’s professional racing career ended in 2016 after tallying 50 AMA Supercross premier class wins and 48 AMA Pro Motocross national wins, cementing him as one of the greatest motocross racers of all time.
“I want to thank the AMA…this is such an honor,” Stewart said in an emotional acceptance speech. “I was never the cool kid; I wanted to ride motorcycles. But now, when you say my name, it’s Hall of Famer James Stewart. Out of all the things I accomplished in my career, this is the best part. This is like winning the ultimate championship. It’s amazing!”