Blake Davis Named Nicky Hayden Horizon Award Winner

Blake Davis was named the 2019 Nicky Hayden AMA Road Race Horizon Award winner at the Road Race Grand Championship. Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

The following is from the AMA…

Blake Davis was named the 2019 Nicky Hayden AMA Road Race Horizon Award winner and was one of four riders to receive AMA Racing Awards at the 2019 AMA Road Race Grand Championship on Oct. 27 at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala.

Other riders to win AMA Racing Awards included AMA Youth Road Racer of the Year Eli Banish, of Burlington, Ky.; AMA Vet/Senior Road Racer of the Year Charles Ivey, of Augusta, Ga.; and AMA Novice Road Racer of the Year Will Ray, of Etowah, Tenn.

Davis, 13, from Lynchburg, Va., is no stranger to winning AMA Racing Awards, having won the AMA Youth Road Racer of the Year in 2018.

“I was definitely surprised,” Davis said. “There are a few other people I was expecting to win it.”

The Nicky Hayden AMA Road Race Horizon Award honors the amateur racer who is poised for success at the professional level. The award is named after AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Nicky Hayden, who won the first AMA Horizon Award in 1997. The 2006 MotoGP champion died in 2017 after being hit by a car while training on a road bicycle. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2018.

Davis competed in the AMA Lightweight Twins Superstock Expert class at the AMA Road Race Grand Championship and finished in fifth place, while racing a 400cc motorcycle in a 650cc class. His 2019 successes included winning two WERA national championships and seven WERA regional titles.

He plans to make his MotoAmerica debut in 2020 at Pittsburgh International Race Complex Aug. 6-8.

The Barber event also featured 12 riders who claimed 14 AMA National Championships. Ray and Chris Bettis of Lawrenceville, Ga., claimed two class championships each.

“It was another year of excellent road racing at the AMA Road Race Grand Championship,” AMA Track Racing Manager Ken Saillant said. “Congratulations to Blake, Eli, Charles, Will and all of our class champions, and we thank WERA Motorcycle Roadracing for putting on another great event.”

The winners of each competition class and AMA Racing Award are recognized as AMA national champions and are awarded AMA National No. 1 plates. They will be honored as part of the AMA Legends & Champions Weekend in Columbus, Ohio Dec. 6-7.

2019 AMA Road Race Grand Championship Class Champions

AMA 1000 Superbike Expert: Ryan Jones, Winchester, Va.
AMA 1000 Superbike Novice: Chris Bettis, Lawrenceville, Ga.
AMA 300 Superstock Expert: Daniel Kinard, Bentonville, Ark.
AMA 300 Superstock Novice: Nicole Karamichael, Hoover, Ala.
AMA 1000 Superstock Expert: Vasiliy Zhulin, New York, N.Y.
AMA 1000 Superstock Novice: Chris Bettis, Lawrenceville, Ga.
AMA 600 Superbike Expert: Greg Melka, Tampa, Fla.
AMA 600 Superbike Novice: Will Ray, Etowah, Tenn.
AMA Lightweight Twins Supestock Expert: Tyler Freeman, Dawsonville, Ga.
AMA Lightweight Twins Superstock Novice: Rodney Vest, North Topsail Beach, N.C.
AMA 600 Superstock Expert: Connor Funk, Glendale, Calif.
AMA 600 Superstock Novice: Will Ray, Etowah, Tenn.
AMA Lightweight Twins Superbike Expert: Kayla Yaakov, Biglerville, Pa.
AMA Lightweight Twins Superbike Novice: Aden Thao, Fresno, Calif.