While maybe not as well known as other superstars in off-roading, John Penton is a legend. This is his story.
AMA Hall of Fame Museum Honors Malcolm Smith and Mert Lawwill
Racing greats Malcolm Smith and Mert Lawwill will be honored as Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legends at the induction ceremony for the AMA Hall of Fame Museum class of 2012.
The two racing legends were themselves both inducted to the Hall in 1998. Smith and Lawwill were two of the biggest names in motorcycle racing in the ’60s and ’70s, and together were featured in the Oscar-nominated film “On Any Sunday“. Both racers will be officially designated as Legends by the Hall of Fame, joining the ranks of notables such as Kenny Roberts, Roger DeCoster and Bob Hannah.
“Just say the names ‘Malcolm’ and ‘Mert’ and the motorcycling community knows exactly who you are talking about,” says Jeff Heininger, chairman of the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation, which raises funds for the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. “These two legends starred together in the influential 1972 motorcycling movie ‘On Any Sunday,’ and we’re very excited that they will star together again on our induction ceremony stage.”
Smith’s exploits included eight gold-medals at the International Six Days Trial (now known as the International Six Days Enduro) as well as six victories in the Baja 1000 (three on a motorcycle and three in a car).
The 71-year-old still races on occasion, but these days he’s also known as a successful entrepreneur. Smith owns a motorcycle dealership in Riverside, Calif., and starting up motocross gear maker Malcolm Smith Racing (now known as MSR).
Smith also created the Malcolm Smith Motorsports Foundation which supports an orphanage and educates children in Baja, Mexico.
“I’m humbled to receive this recognition because there are so many great riders and racers in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame,” says Smith. “This is a great honor. I’m looking forward to seeing old friends, and meeting new ones, at the induction ceremony in November.”
Lawwill is one of the top dirt track racers with 161 AMA Grand National finishes in his 15-year career. Lawwill won his first AMA Grand National race at the 1965 Sacramento Mile and captured the championship in 1969.
After retiring from racing, Lawwill began designing motorcycle racing frames and championship-winning mountain bikes. Lawwill also developed prosthetic devices that allow amputees to ride motorcycles and bicycles.
“This is totally unexpected,” says Lawwill. “I’m very grateful that my peers in the motorcycling community think enough of me to honor me in this way. I’m really looking forward to this event.”
Lawwill, Smith and the 2012 AMA Hall of Fame Museum inductees will be celebrated at the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa in Las Vegas, Nev., on Nov. 16-17.
[Source: AMA Hall of Fame Museum]