Four Decades In The Making

March 6, 2024 (This story appeared in the March 2024 Edition of American Motorcyclist)

By Keaton Maisano

When Connie Fleming arrived at Angel Stadium for Round 1 of AMA Supercross on Jan. 5, she knew hardware would be handed out…she just didn’t know she would be on the receiving end!

Unbeknownst to Fleming — an AMA employee for more than 40 years and current AMA Supercross/FIM Coordinator — she was the 2024 recipient of the Mickey Thompson Award of Excellence, an annual award given to an individual who has contributed one’s career to developing and improving the motorcycle industry.

“I was in shock,” Fleming said when she was brought on stage to accept the award. “I don’t know what I said except ‘I’m speechless.’ And then I paused, and I said something. I don’t know what I said.”

Fleming becomes the first woman to earn the honor, which has been handed out each year since 2001. Prior recipients include AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famers Bruce Brown (2002), Jeremy McGrath (2003), Ricky Carmichael (2007), Roger DeCoster (2020) and Ryan Dungey (2023).

For Fleming, the true magnitude of the moment did not hit her when she held the plaque for the first time or when she received many congratulatory messages from colleagues and legends around the sport. But rather, the rush of emotion came in a conversation with her son, Nick, who assured her that she belonged on the list of recipients.

“As a parent, you look at your kids and tell them how proud you are of them,” Fleming said. “But to have your son turn around and say that to you, that’s what did it. When my son said he’s proud of what I’ve accomplished.”