Three-time AMA Arenacross Champion Josh Demuth has announced his retirement from racing even though the Babbitt's Monster Energy/Amsoil Kawasaki rider is currently fourth in the series standings following his seventh and sixth-place finishes two weeks ago in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania.
"Over years I've been beat up with a lot of injuries," said the 32-year old Demuth. "It came to a point where I was struggling to get out of bed and race to where I thought I was capable. I was doing all I could [on the track] and couldn't win. I felt like it was a good time to walk away before I ride over my head and get hurt.
"Arenacross has been a home for me. I've been blessed to ride and perform as well as I have. I found a good little niche and it paid off. I got to set some records and make a great career for myself. I had some ups and downs, but I've had a chance to win a championship with my father. I dreamt of being a champion as a kid and I was able to do it, and make my dreams come true. It's gotten to the point where you never want to give up something you feel passionately for, and I tried to ride it out as long as I could, but your body and others things take their toll. I'm happy with how things have turned out."
Demuth has become one of the most prolific riders in the history of the sport, the Texas native winning back-to-back titles in 2002 and 2003 and ending the five-year reign of Buddy Antunez. Demuth also dabbled in various other series, including AMA Supercross, before returning to the AMA Arenacross Series full time in 2009.
With a renewed drive to win a championship, Demuth posted two victories en route to a third-place result in the Arenacross Class standings in 2009. The following season in 2010, Demuth battled bar-to-bar with teammate Tyler Bowers throughout the season. Following a season-ending injury to Bowers, Demuth continued to push, fending off his third teammate Chad Johnson over the final month of the season to claim a third AMA Arenacross Series championship. The six wins marked one of Demuth's most dominant years. Along with Antunez and Dennis Hawthorne, Demuth is just the third rider to win more than two titles.
"Josh's accomplishments speak for themselves," said Todd Jendro, senior director of two-wheel operations, Feld Motor Sports. "He's one of the riders who helped make this sport what it is today and he's been a fan favorite for many years. We'll definitely miss him out on the track, but there is no doubt he's leaving as a legend."
Demuth's legacy within the world of the AMA Arenacross Series will never be in doubt, as he arguably served as the face of the sport in leading it into the new millennium. Fortunately for Demuth, he was able to share that with a lot of others.
"I want to thank all my fans, my family my friends and everyone that's supported me, whether I was hurt or riding well," he said. "I'm so thankful for everyone who was there for me - all my sponsors and those people who have helped me achieve so much success. They, along with the fans, made my career what it is, and they know who they are. I've gone longer than a lot of other riders out there, and it's hard to swallow at the end of the day. You never want to quit something you've done your whole life, but I'm happy with my decision. I've got a good job lined up with some friends and they ride dirt bikes, so I'll still enjoy riding. I'm going to keep at it, but I'll just be taking care of my family in a different way now. I'm looking forward to everything the future has to bring."