Promoter Stu Peters named to AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame

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Stu Peters, one of the most prolific and enduring motocross promoters in the history of the sport in the United States, will be inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in November.

Peters joins Phil Schilling, Fred Fox, Doug Polen and Norbert Schickel in rounding out the class of 2011. Peters, whose group, the Continental Motosport Club (CMC), has promoted motocross races since 1968, will be honored at the 2011 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Nov. 18.

"Thirty years ago, I pulled into the more than one-mile-long line to get into Saddleback Park for the annual CMC Golden State Series event," said Tom White, vice chairman of the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation, which raises money for the Hall of Fame. "Almost 1,000 riders would compete that day, including every top factory rider at the time. If you wanted motocross stardom, you had to compete in CMC.

"That was 1981, and Stu Peters had already spent years of his life dedicated to motocross, and today -- 1,000 races later -- he is still promoting motocross events," White added.

Although Peters expanded beyond his Southern California base, his early start and subsequent success in what became a hotbed of motocross competition in the 1970s, 1980s and beyond established his presence in the national consciousness of American motocross. Peters' legacy with historic Southern California tracks, such as Carlsbad Raceway, Saddleback Park and Glen Helen, dates to their very beginning.

Peters raced motocross professionally in Europe in the 1960s and was already actively running local events when the AMA approached him to promote two rounds of the 1970 Trans-AMA Series, which became the sport's first national championship series in the United States sanctioned by the AMA and recognized by the FIM, the world governing body for motorcycle sport.

Today, CMC has grown into one of the largest motocross racing organizations in the country. Its major series include the Golden State Nationals, the Copperstate series, and the Pac-West Nationals. The group runs events in Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, California and Western Canada.

"We brought the word 'motocross' to the West Coast in the late '60s," Peters recalled. "Then, everything was called 'rough scrambles' or 'scrambles.'

"I wrote a press release that I sent to the L.A. Times back in January '68," Peters continued. "A guy named Shav Glick called me up and wanted to know where this word motocross came from. I told him I brought it back from Europe."

Glick, who died in 2007, became a leading editorial advocate for motocross and Supercross at the Los Angeles Times for over 30 years.

Peters says that his success is rooted in the basics. "What makes a successful race is taking care of the racers, at any level," he said. "Good rules, a fair race, a good track and decent prizes. Even when local pros, like Jeff Ward, started following the national series, they would still race the Golden State races, even if that meant taking a red-eye back from a Supercross to make it to a Sunday morning CMC race.

"For me, those are the highlights, being able to put on great races for so many years and providing a stepping stone for so many great racers," Peters added.

From an AMA press release. Posted by Mary Slepicka