Lawson Inducted Into Motorsports Hall of Fame

Lawson Inducted Into Motorsports Hall of Fame

© 2002, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.


From an AMA press release:


PICKERINGTON, Ohio — Multi-time motorcycle road racing champion Eddie Lawson was inducted into the Motorsport Hall of Fame at the Fourteenth Annual Motorsports Hall of Fame of America Induction Ceremony last night, June 12, in Detroit. Lawson won the FIM 500cc World Championship (now called MotoGP) four times, a record for American riders. His world titles came in 1984, 1986, 1988 and 1989. He won the first three championships with Yamaha and his final title with Honda. During his world championship career Lawson won 31 500cc Grands Prix, which when he retired from the series, placed him third on the all-time wins list behind Giacomo Agostini (68) and Mike Hailwood (37). In addition to his world titles Lawson also won two AMA Superbike Championships and two AMA 250 Grand Prix titles.

“It is a real honor to have Eddie Lawson inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame,” said AMA Pro Racing CEO Scott Hollingsworth, accepting on Lawson’s behalf. “Lawson helped America reach its pinnacle in Grand Prix racing during the 1980s and is clearly considered one of the best road racers in the history of the sport.”

Lawson becomes the 13th motorcycle racer to be inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame. He joins a very select group of AMA racing greats in the Motorsports Hall of Fame that includes Carroll Resweber, Bart Markel, Cannonball Baker, Kenny Roberts, Joe Leonard, Joe Petrali, Bob Hannah, Dick Mann, Roger DeCoster, Malcolm Smith, Jim Davis and Freddie Spencer.

In addition to Lawson, seven other motorsports legends were inducted in separate categories. This year’s inductees include Gaston Chevrolet (Historic), Dale Earnhardt (Stock Cars), Eddie Hill (Drag Racing), Gordon Johncock (Open Wheel), Paul Mantz (Air Racing), Fred Offenhauser (At-Large), and Brian Redman (Sports Cars).

Lawson began his professional racing career on the dirt tracks of Southern California during the mid-1970s. He made the switch to road racing by the late-1970s and won his first road racing championship in 1980. After winning four AMA national titles. he moved on to the world championship arena in 1983. He won his first Grand Prix in South Africa in March of 1984.

During his decade on the GP circuit Lawson rode for Yamaha, Honda and Cagiva. In July of 1992, Lawson won his final GP in Hungary — it also marked the first 500cc Grand Prix win for Italian maker Cagiva. That would be Lawson’s last full year of motorcycle racing. He did come back to race the prestigious Daytona 200 and Suzuka Eight Hours races for Yamaha. He twice won the Daytona 200, America’s top motorcycle racing event.

Lawson went on to a brief career in Indy Car racing. He was considered one of the top up-and-coming drivers during the late-1990s.

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