The American Motorcyclist Association has race team manager Keith McCarty and dirt-track racer Alex Jorgensen to its list of inductees to the Hall of Fame Class of 2015. Together with their fellow inductees, McCarty and Jorgensen will be inducted to the Hall of Fame on October 17, 2015 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.

McCarty’s name may not be as famous as some of his peers in the Hall of Fame, but Yamaha Racing’s legendary race team manager is responsible for helping launch the careers of riders who are now in the Hall of Fame. His been involved in motorcycle racing for the better part of 42 years and in that time, McCarty has helped riders like Tony DiStefano, Erv Kanemoto, and Gary Nixon each carve Hall of Fame careers of their own. Those guys may have gotten the spotlight for their racing exploits, but it’s guys like McCarty who work behind the scenes to give these riders the best chance of winning that are often not given the recognition they deserve.

Turns out the American Motorcyclist Association understands the contributions McCarty has made for the sport and it’s only right that he’s going to have a place in the Hall of Fame for it.

The same can be said for Alex Jorgensen, who traveled a different road on his way to the Hall of Fame. Jorgensen’s career one of the greatest AMA Grand National competitors is well-founded. He’s the only rider to ever achieve the feat of winning his first four Grand National titles in all four dirt-track disciples: short track, TT, half-mile, and mile. That achievement also came while riding four different motorcycles - Can-Am, BSA, Norton, and Harley-Davidson - making him the only AMA rider to ever pull of that feat.

McCarty and Jorgensen will join motocrosser and off-road racer Rodney Smith and entrepreneur John Parham in the AMA Hall of Fame Class of 2015. Two more names are expected to be announced in the coming weeks as we inch closer to the induction ceremony on October 17, 2015.

Continue reading to read more about Keith McCarty and Alex Jorgensen’s induction to the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.

Why it matters

Congratulations to both Keith McCarty and Alex Jorgensen for their induction to the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Class of 2015. I must say that I don’t know too much about Jorgensen’s exploits in the Grand National title scene, but I have heard of Keith McCarty, specifically his role in recent years as Yamaha’s racing manager.

If anybody deserves to be in that role, it’s McCarty. He began his career with Yamaha in 1977 and has been a steady influence with the team ever since. He’s got an incredible career story, too, beginning with his role as a mechanic for DiStefano, who ended up winning a pair of 250cc AMA National Motocross Championships. When he wasn’t doing that, McCarty also assisted Kanemoto and Nixon in their road racing exploits, further entrenching his role as a vital part of any championship-winning outfit. Today, McCarty is Yamaha’s racing manager and remains a steady influence in the team’s racing exploits.

For all that he has achieved, his induction to the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Class of 2015 is well and truly deserved.

As far as Jorgensen is concerned, all I know is that he enjoyed one of the longest and most successful runs of any dirt track racer in history. Jorgensen didn’t race for just one team, but his versatility made him a valuable asset to whichever team he was racing for.

It’s not everyday that the American Motorcycle Association bestows awards like this so when it honors you for the contributions you made to the sport, you should know that it’s an honor that’s well-deserved.

Congratulations again to Keith McCarty and Alex Jorgensen!

Press Release

The American Motorcyclist Association has announced two more inductees of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Class of 2015. Race team manager Keith McCarty and dirt-track racer Alex Jorgensen will be inducted Oct. 17 in Orlando, Fla., as part of the 2015 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Orange County Convention Center.

"I’m pleased to welcome two additional inductees to the Class of 2015," said Ken Ford, a member of the AMA and American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation boards of directors. "Keith McCarty was instrumental in the launch and growth of numerous Hall of Fame careers. His mastery of the preparation, skill and strategy necessary to excel in racing have contributed to numerous AMA National Championships. Alex Jorgensen enjoyed one of the longest successful dirt-track careers. He also is one of the sport’s most versatile athletes, with wins across eras, disciplines and brands."

McCarty and Jorgensen join motocrosser and off-road racer Rodney Smith and entrepreneur and patron John Parham in the Class of 2015. The two final inductees of the Class of 2015 will be announced shortly.

Keith McCarty’s first job as a motorcycle mechanic was for U.S. Suzuki in 1973 for rider Mike Runyard. In 1975-76, he wrenched for AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Tony DiStefano, winning two 250cc AMA National Motocross Championships. When the motocross schedule didn’t conflict, he worked with the Hall of Fame duo of Erv Kanemoto and Gary Nixon in road racing.

In January 1977, McCarty began his long career with Yamaha as the mechanic for AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legend Bob "Hurricane" Hannah. McCarty has remained in Yamaha’s racing division ever since, working as mechanic, supervisor, department manager and, most recently, division manager for all of Yamaha’s U.S. racing activities. McCarty, who lives in Orange, Calif., is known not only for his technical knowledge, but also for inspirational prowess and organizational acumen that transcends racing disciplines, making him not only an asset for Yamaha but also a valued member of the motorcycling community.

Alex "Jorgy" Jorgensen exemplifies the talent, skill and diverse abilities that are trademarks of the greatest AMA Grand National competitors in history. Of the handful of riders who have wins in all four dirt-track disciplines — short track, TT, half mile and mile — Jorgensen is the only rider who achieved the feat in his first four Grand National wins, while competing on four different motorcycles — Can-Am, BSA, Norton and Harley-Davidson.

Jorgensen’s career boasts a number of special wins. He is the last rider to win an AMA Grand National on a Norton or BSA, both wins coming at Ascot. He earned Can-Am its first AMA Grand National win. He also logged the first AMA Grand National victory on Rotax’s four-stroke single at the Ascot TT. From 1982 to 2004, the Rotax engine would dominate the highest levels of short-track and TT competition. Along with Gary Scott, Jorgensen holds the record of most AMA Grand National wins at Ascot with six.

The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame induction ceremony is open to the public and, for the second consecutive year, takes place in conjunction with the AIMExpo — the fast-growing and impactful event that brings together consumers, dealers, manufacturers, and the world press in one location for global product launches, demo rides, motorcycling seminars, and much more.

Tickets to the 2015 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony are available now at www.motorcyclemuseum.org. Regular entry is $25 per person. VIP tickets that include an exclusive reception, reserved seating and the AIMExpo show admission are $90 per person.

For updates on the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, keep an eye on MotorcycleMuseum.org, as well as the AMA’s social media channels, including Facebook (www.facebook.com/AmericanMotorcyclist and www.facebook.com/AMAHallofFame) and Twitter: @AMA_Riding.

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