A Tribute to Tommy Severson by Tom Benolkin
Tom is widely considered one of the first Minnesota Motocross riders to give pro motocross a try. His exclusion from the original list was because of my ignorance of that time period. We lost time Tom too soon, as he passed away early in 2009. Tom Benolkin, who knew Tommy (as many would remember him as) and his family since he was a kid, gathered these photos and put together this tribute to his career.

In memory of Tommy Severson 5-22-57 to 1-22-09

Many of us young motorcycle loving people were lucky to have a hero we idolized. A person that would help forge our path in the years ahead. If you were growing up around motocross track in the Midwest that person may have been Tom Severson.

In Minnesota, the Severson family brought a flair to our sport that placed Motocross at a higher level. When a person witnessed Tommy gliding around a track on his 125 Monark they immediately knew they were seeing Motocross in its true art form. His every move was as though it were rehearsed. His smooth style with occasional strokes of confidence were the brightest colors on his canvas.

As Tommy would exit a track after a win, it was common for a dozen or more people to follow him right to his camp. It was then that a person would witness the love, fun and joy that surrounded his family.

When he and his father arranged to have national Motocross stars Marty Smith and Danny Turner visit us on separate occasions, hundreds of teenage lives were given new goals and meaning.

Thank you Tommy. You were one of a kind.

Gotta love the innocent look of 70's teens. Love the Maico T shirt he's sporting. (1970)

Drawing a crowd (Buffalo 1972)

In 1973 16 yr old Tommy would wheelie this TL 125 Honda for 10 - 15 minutes around motorhomes, trees, campsites...we would stand with our jaws dropped in amazement.

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