Antunez Retires

Paul Carruthers | March 2, 2004

The following release is from Clear Channel…

Clear Channel Entertainment’s Motor Sports division announces the retirement of arenacross legend, Buddy Antunez, from racing. Announced at the end of the series’ awards banquet on Sunday, February 29th in Kansas City, Mo, emotion took over the Budman as he made his announcement in front of his wife, former teammates and friends.

A tear-filled announcement was given a standing ovation for the former five-time arenacross champion, the idol of many of the riders that are now making the top ten in the series and from the staff of Clear Channel Entertainment – Motor Sports. Antunez’s career began in 1990 at age 16 when he was a privateer driving himself to the races every weekend, and not taking the sport quite as seriously as he would have liked. Once he started winning races, he began pushing himself harder and harder to win more and more. He held the reign of the arenacross Champion for five years from 1997 – 2001, and brought the series to a new level of competition. It was going to be tough to beat Antunez, but in 2002 he left the arenacross circuit to pursue supercross, and after one year was back on the track that made him a champion. After suffering many injuries over the last two years on the arenacross track, Antunez decided that it was time for him to retire.

“If I don’t feel 100% confident every time, before I get out on my motorcycle, said Antunez. “I am spending more time on the ground and in recovery than I am on my bike.” Antunez came into the 2003 season with a broken wrist that set him back from the beginning. He finished out the season earning the number three spot in the points series. Moving into 2004, he was on a new bike, riding for Honda, and was confident that he could do some good things. The third round in Rockford, Ill. is when he decided that this would have to be the last year, after once again getting hurt.

“I feel that I have done everything that I can on a motorcycle and have achieved everything that I can.” said Antunez. “Looking back, I have five championships, I was able to ride supercross and make a living out of something that I love.”

Antunez said he would miss the adrenaline rush that he got every time that he got the starting gate before a race, and he’ll miss taking his daughter out to the track to watch him ride. But, the Budman’s future will be in the industry. In three weeks, he plans to move to the other side of the industry and work for Crown Athlete Management Group.

We wish Buddy the best of luck in his future, and the National Arenacross Series will miss the Budman and our former champion.

Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.