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  • Writer's picturePete Noneman

Former Honda Factory rider Tommy Croft to be Honored by the Legends and Heroes Tour at the San Diego

The 2017 Legends and Heroes tour is proud to celebrate the great heritage of families and moto with a focus on how riders – even the icons of the sport – trace their roots back to family and friends.

One such moto icon is Tommy Croft – who's great personal racing story began with the lessons and support provided him by a loving dad, Ryle "Buzz" Croft. In Tommy's early racing days Buzz molded him to become a responsible person as he worked alongside him at Carlsbad raceway repairing fences and maintaining the racetrack in exchange for entrance fees and race entries.

""Buzz" Croft was the man that we all looked for at the finish line - especially when it was a hot or rainy day at Carlsbad Raceway." Recalls Supercross racing great Marty Tripes, "He'd be there wearing his trademark white BELL hat, windbreaker and white pants with his flags in his hands. A caring and dedicated parent to the sport, Buzz' gift to all the racers including Tommy was himself; standing there flagging, time after time, year after year. Buzz' comfort zone was teaching us kids some responsibility and he was always there for us. His gift to the world was his son Tommy who took those early experiences on to become one of the greatest riders in American motocross and Supercross history."

Alex Moroz General manager for the Legends and Heroes tour says, "Tommy got his first bike at the age of 12 in the 7th grade, a Hodaka Super Rat and his first race in 1970 was at Carlsbad. In just a few short years Tommy developed as a person and as a racer and he went from trading labor for track time to a Team Honda factory ride in 1975 as an 18-year-old high school senior. That same year Tommy was the 250 class runner up at the Carlsbad USGP, the 250cc runner up at the Saddleback Trans Am and 500cc class runner up at the LA Coliseum. In 1976 he scored more 500cc class Trans AM moto wins than any other every American rider.

By 1977 Croft scored victories at the St Petersburg 500cc AMA National and the 1978 Sears Point 500cc AMA National events. Tommy represented the US as a member of that year's MX des Nations team. In 1979 he signed with Team Kawasaki and finished 3rd overall in the AMA Supercross series. Tommy also went on to win the Mickey Thompson Stadium off-road racing series with factory "Team Jeep" winning 5 championships.

Tommy Croft and his late father Ryle "Buzz" Croft will be honored Saturday during a pre-race ceremony just prior to Rd. 2 of the 2017 Monster Energy Supercross series at San Diego's Petco Park. A Legends and Heroes special award presentation will take place trackside on the Monster Energy stage with Dunlop's 6-time AMA champion Broc Glover presenting the award.

Fans are encouraged to meet Tommy Croft, 1977 500cc motocross national champion Marty Smith and 1982 FIM 500cc world champion "Bad Brad" Lackey at the Legends and Heroes Tour Moto Museum in the Monster Energy Party In The Pits at 4:00 pm Saturday.

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