Over the weekend the AMA announced the 2021 class for the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame and it included nine-time AMA Supercross and Motocross Champion Ryan Villopoto. I’m not going to recap the career accolades of RV, they speak for themselves and he was a sure fire Hall of Famer once he became eligible.
But, we had an interesting comment in the story in regards to James Stewart and why he wasn’t on the ballot.
FYI: The only other supercross/motocross athlete on the ballot this year was two-time Pro Motocross Champion Grant Langston.
Back to Stew. Obviously, he, like RV, is a sure fire Hall of Famer. Once he’s actually eligible that is.
Slaw was going to do some capital J journalist stuff on this and reach out to the AMA, but as I was scrolling the gram this morning, I noticed our friend Brett Smith at We Went Fast already did the hard work!
According to Brett, racers must be retired for five years to be eligible for inclusion on the ballot. Which, in the case of Stewart, brings up a tricky scenario.
His last race was on July 23, 2016 where he finished 15th overall at the Washougal National. After that, we didn’t hear much from James over the course of the next few years. In fact, it was until May 2019 that we actually heard the words “retired” from James, when his gear company Seven released the third part of their documentary series with Stew.
So… as Brett noted, does he go on the ballot in 2022 or 2024? Either way, he’ll get in, it’s just a matter of when.
Main image: Garth Milan/Red Bull Content Pool