Tom Severson - Minnesota Motorcycle Hall of Fame Member

Tom Severson - Motocross

Many of the stories from the early days of District 23 Motocross involve young Tommy Severson. His father, Kermit Severson, owned Burnsville Sports Center, a dealership that was committed to dirt bikes early on, especially as the sport took off in the early 70s. But this particular story is about Tommyís professional experiences.

After finding a great deal of success locally, Kermit and Tommy hit the road in 1974. He started with the Winter AMA series in Florida, then raced back in Minnesota, and then out to California for a few months. Immersing himself in the center of US Motocross, he took some lessons and raced at Saddleback and other iconic California tracks.

It was during this time period that he tried at least one round of what was the first season of the 125 US National Motocross Championship. The early records are available online, but they donít include riders that competed in an event, but finished outside of the top 20. Through a more conventional investigation, I was able to determine that Tom Severson did race the 125 National at Manning Cycle Park, Utah on June 30, 1974.

Hangtown was a stand-alone round for the 125 series, but this venue and the other two rounds would piggyback on the Inter-Am series. The other rounds were in Kansas and Ohio, both relatively close to Minnesota. He may have raced one of those rounds, but I was unable to determine with certainty where or if that happened.

Tom left us in 2009. Shortly after his passing, Tom Benolkin, a long-time friend of the Severson family, but together this Tribute to Tommy Severson