The points with 21 races down and eight to go
Back in 1983, Wrangler Jeans was the sponsor of the AMA Supercross and National series. As the series sponsor, Wrangler wanted to invest money into the athletes and, to that end, they not only sponsored the AMA Championships, but they innovated the Wrangler Dash and the Wrangler Grand National Championship.
Unfortunately, the Wrangler Dash was mishandled by the AMA and became little more than an eight-man heat race at an existing Supercross. The idea of a special $50,000 race for main event winners was not promoted by the AMA and is barely a footnote in motocross history.
However, the Wrangler Grand National Championship had some legs. It combined points from the AMA Supercross series and the AMA National series and awarded a special blue-and-yellow number-one plate to the rider who earned the most points (the winner also received a check for $30,000). David Bailey won the first two blue plates, but when Wrangler left the series, the Grand National Championship was dropped by the AMA.
The passing of time makes you wonder what would have happened if the AMA had had the foresight to keep tallying the yearly points totals of all the riders from 450 Supercross and the 250/450 Nationals. (On a bureaucratic note, points from the 250F East/West series are not counted for AMA National numbers or overall points because they are regional titles in which the riders face limited competition).
The idea of crowning the best all-around rider with a special number plate and prestigious title is worthy of thought. Who was the most consistent? Who stayed near the front over all 28 AMA races? Who will be the 2009 Grand National Champion?
In 2008, the top ten in MXA's Grand National Championship were as follows:
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