Roger Edmondson, the man who orchestrated the Daytona Motorsports Group's purchase of AMA Pro Racing, is leaving his position as chairman, managing member and chief executive officer of AMA Pro Racing - effective New Year's Day.According to a release issued today by AMA Pro, Edmondson is leaving to deal with unforseen health issues. Edmondson is known to have been battling bladder cancer."Roger's health is first and foremost in our minds," said David Atlas, the man who took over as chief operating officer of AMA Pro Racing from Edmondson on November 25. "Roger's significant, multi-decade contribution to motorcycle racing is well known, but nothing is more important than his health."
According to AMA Pro, Edmondson will available to consult with the management of the company, but his official duties will be reallocated among the other current managing members - David Atlas, Tom Bledsoe and Chris Harris.Atlas took control of the day-to-day operations of AMA Pro Racing on November 25 when Edmondson moved to the position of chairman and chief executive officer. According to AMA Pro Racing, the change was to enable Edmondson to "focus on the overall direction of AMA Pro Racing and its vision for the future."The release didn't mention as to whether or not Edmondson would continue in his role of running the Grand Am car racing series.Most will remember Edmondson for two things: The DMG takeover of AMA Pro Racing and the lawsuit he won against the AMA in 2001. On July 8, 2001, the AMA agreed to pay Edmondson, its former road racing manager, $3 million in an out-of-court settlement to end his lawsuit.The original lawsuit was filed in 1996 and arose from the termination in 1994 of contracts under which Edmondson functioned as manager for the AMA's National Championship road racing series and administrator for several classes included in that series. According to an AMA press release issued at the time of the settlement, the AMA entered into negotiations with Edmondson and made a financial offer to terminate the relationship.When those negotiations proved unsuccessful, Edmondson formed the North American Sport Bike series, signing contracts with several racetracks that had previously hosted AMA road races. Subsequently, most of those racetracks terminated those contracts and returned to the AMA schedule. Edmondson then sued the AMA, alleging that the association had interfered with his racing program. In 1998, he received a judgment in federal court in North Carolina in which the AMA was ordered to pay damages that, with interest and attorney fees, would total in excess of $3 million, according to the AMA. The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, subsequently reviewed that ruling and sent it back to the lower court to correct mistakes in several areas.A new trial in the case was scheduled to take place in July of 2001, but the two sides reached a settlement agreement on June 7 of that year that ended the litigation with the AMA agreeing to pay Edmondson $3 million.