Daxton Bennick honored with Nicky Hayden AMA Motocross Horizon Award
PICKERINGTON, Ohio (August 16, 2023) — Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn., served as the center of the amateur motocross world from July 31-Aug. 5, with 36 class champions earning AMA No. 1 plates during the 2023 AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship.
After sweeping his way to a national title in the Open Pro Sport class, placing first in all three motos, Yamaha racer Daxton Bennick — a native of Morganton, N.C. — was named the Nicky Hayden AMA Motocross Horizon Award winner.
“I’ve been coming here for 12 years, so a lot has gone into it for sure,” Bennick said. “I’ve always liked this track and this place. Every year, I’ve seen guys win it and I’ve always wanted to win it. So, it’s just a lot of hard work.
“Whenever you get here, you can’t let the pressure get to you,” he continued. “You just have to go out and ride.”
Alongside his first-place finish in the Open Pro Sport class, Bennick was also on the podium for the 250 Pro Sport class, earning second place by going 7-2-6 in the motos.
Bennick wasn’t the only rider to earn special awards over the six-day event, as KTM rider Jeremy Fappani emerged as the AMA Amateur Racer of the Year. The Scottsdale, Ariz., native separated himself from the field by capturing the 250 B Limited National Championship with a 2-1-3 in the motos while adding a second-place finish in the 450 B Limited Class with a 1-8-1 performance.
Klark Robbins of Shamong, N.J., was named the AMA Youth Racer of the Year after earning a pair of No. 1 plates in the 125 Jr. (12-17) B/C (2-1-6) and Schoolboy 1 (12-17) B/C (7-1-2) classes.
The AMA Veteran Racer of the Year was awarded to AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Jeff Emig, who also claimed a pair of national championships during the event. The Riverside, Calif., native cruised to victories in the Senior (40+) and Masters (50+) classes with 2-2-2 and 1-2-1 results in each class respectively.
“It was yet another successful AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship, and we’re so grateful to MX Sports, the competitors and their families for making it such an awesome event this year,” said AMA Deputy Director of Racing Mike Burkeen. “The competition was fierce, and AMA Youth Motocross Racer of the Year Klark Robbins, AMA Amateur Racer of the Year Jeremy Fappani and Nicky Hayden AMA Motocross Horizon Award winner Daxton Bennick all proved they have bright futures in the sport. AMA Senior Motocross Racer of the Year Jeff Emig also showcased his ability on the track with a pair of class wins.”
List of 36 AMA National Championships and 2023 Winners:
- Open Pro Sport: Daxton Bennick, Morganton, N.C., Yamaha (1-1-1)
- 250 Pro Sport: Gavin Towers, Venetia, Pa., Yamaha (3-3-2)
- WMX: Kyleigh Stallings, Yukon, Okla., Kawasaki (1-1-4)
- 250 B: Krystian Janik, Oak Lawn, Ill., Kawasaki (6-1-1)
- 250 B Limited: Jeremy Fappani, Scottsdale, Ariz., KTM (2-1-3)
- 250 C: Robert Weiss, Woodland, N.J., Husqvarna (4-2-1)
- 250 C Limited: Chase Haynes, Scottsdale, Ariz., Kawasaki (1-1-2)
- 250 C Jr. (12-17) Limited: Robert Weiss, Woodland, N.J., Husqvarna (2-1-1)
- 450 B: Jadon Cooper, Baytown, Texas, Yamaha (2-1-4)
- 450 B Limited: Leum Oehlhof, Oak Hills, Calif., Yamaha (2-1-3)
- 450 C: Chase Haynes, Scottsdale, Ariz., Kawasaki (1-2-3)
- 125 C: Makai Olerich, Waddell, Ariz., KTM (1-1-2)
- Schoolboy 2 (12-17) B/C: Casey Cochran, Clermont, Fla., Husqvarna (1-5-1)
- College (18-24): Jesse Wessell, East Falmouth, Mass., Husqvarna (3-8-1)
- Junior (25+): Heath Harrison, Silverhill, Ala., Honda (1-1-1)
- Vet (30+): Broc Peterson, Delta, Ohio, Honda (1-2-4)
- Senior (40+): Jeff Emig, Riverside, Calif., KTM (2-2-2)
- Senior (45+): Ronnie Renner, Floral City, Fla., KTM (1-1-1)
- Masters (50+): Jeff Emig, Riverside, Calif., KTM (1-2-1)
- Micro-E (4-7) Limited: Jarrett Tincher, Elkview, W.V., Cobra (6-1-2)
- Micro 1 (4-6) Shaft Dr. LTD: Brody Jones, Blair, Neb., Yamaha (2-1-1)
- Micro 2 (4-6) Limited: Kameron Buckman, Huntington, N.Y., Cobra (1-1-2)
- Micro 3 (7-8) Limited: Kannon Zabojnik, Rowlett, Texas, Cobra (2-1-6)
- 65cc (7-9) Limited: Jaydin Smart, Berry Creek, Calif., Cobra (2-1-1)
- 65cc (7-9): Nico Verhoeven, New Zealand, KTM (11-1-1)
- 65cc (10-11) Limited: Jackson Vick, Highland Village, Texas, KTM (1-3-1)
- 65cc (10-11): Easton Graves, Walker, La., KTM (1-1-1)
- 85cc (10-12) Limited: Nolan Ford, Fairfield, Calif., KTM (2-2-3)
- 85cc (10-12): Wyatt Thurman, Burleson, Texas, KTM (2-1-2)
- Mini Sr. 1 (12-14): Colby Lessar, Centennial, Colo., KTM (5-4-6)
- Mini Sr. 2 (13-15): Vincent Wey, Murrieta, Calif., Husqvarna (1-2-2)
- Supermini 1 (12-15): Deacon Denno, Malakoff, Texas, Husqvarna (2-1-2)
- Supermini 2 (13-16): Landen Gordon, Murrieta, Calif., Kawasaki (1-2-2)
- 125 Jr. (12-17) B/C: Klark Robbins, Shamong, N.J., KTM (2-1-6)
- Schoolboy 1 (12-17) B/C: Klark Robbins, Shamong, N.J., KTM (7-1-2)
- Girls (11-16): Mayla Herrick, Thornton, Colo., Husqvarna (1-1-2)