Wyman B. Priddy - "The Father of Texas Motocross"
Birth Date - January 30, 1946 - September 14, 1982
Birth Place - Ft Worth, TX
Wyman Priddy is "The Father of Texas Motocross" and in his racing days here he was known as "Mr. Motocross of Texas". On the national scene he was simply known as "Mr. Holeshot".
Wyman Priddy started racing hillclimbs in 1962, and by 1966 was aboard a Triumph 500 collecting trophies throughout Texas running TT-Scrambles. In 1968 Wyman started racing motocross, he was at the forefront of the Texas Motocross movement and was the first major Texan to set center stage and make a run on the National and International motocross scene. Marrying his wife Remoh on Dec 17, 1971 the two lived in Ft. Worth and both became a fixture in the early days of Texas motocross. In fact when Wyman was racing for Kawasaki Motors, Remoh worked for Kawasaki Motor's regional office in Grand Prairie, TX.
Remoh Priddy Meadow.... "Wyman was a very unique man". " Wyman had a beautiful baritone voice. He and I sang together at our wedding. He also played the piano beautifully. He arranged the music for a quartet he sang with in college. The other three members were music majors, but Wyman (a PE major) arranged the music! People who knew him in the musical context couldn’t believe he raced motorcycles, and people who knew him from racing couldn’t believe he was such a talented musician. The two just don’t usually go together in one person --- He was extremely talented!"
Indeed Wyman Priddy was a talented man and that definitely rang true in motocross. Priddy trained very hard and understood at the early stages of racing, that motos needed to be longer and that a six lap local race would not cut it at the AMA Outdoor Nationals against the likes of Gary Bailey, Roger Decoster, Gary Semics, Jimmy Wienert, Tony D,. Brad Lackey, Gunnar Lindstrom, Barry Higgins, John Desoto, **** Burleson, Gaylon Mosier and all the other national motocross pioneers. Wyman was also one of the first Texans to be featured regularly in motorcycle manufacturer advertisements in Cycle News dating back to 1970 as well at the Ft.Worth Star Telegram, giving him local and national media coverage. In 1971 Wyman help founded the "Texas Motocross Racers Association" one of the very first motocross clubs for Texas motocross racers. In his racing days the Texan was also an early aftermarket products pioneer, making pipes for 2-stroke race bikes and plastic air boxes. His company was based out of Arlington, TX and was named the Priddy Pipe Shop. He also owned Wyman Priddy's Track and Trail Supply Catalog a motocross mail-order company that helped pay the bills for his racing.
When the first motocross races were being held in Texas, Wyman was right there at the start (not just with constant Holeshots). In Texas, he usually raced both the 250 and Open classes.
Remoh Priddy Meadow..... " He would ride into the pits from having just won the 250 race to jump on his open-class bike (anything over 250 cc’s), barely making it to the starting line in time to win the open race—every Sunday! As motocross gained popularity, we traveled extensively around Texas then later around the US, even racing in Saltillo and Mexico City, Mexico (the most money he ever won in one day--$1,200). Braniff Airlines hosted a Pan-American race in Lima, Peru, and flew Wyman and his mechanic, along with his bike, down there, where Wyman won the race. That was very exciting for those early days of motocross!"
On the national scene Priddy was an Open Class hero, preferring to ride the larger 500cc class over the smaller 250cc motorcycles, and on June 11th, 1972 Wyman Priddy won the 5th round of the AMA National Championship Series in the 500cc class. The first moto would be a battle as Wyman would be passed by Barry Higgins (another CZ mounted racer) in the last few laps of the moto. The second and third moto's would have a hard charging Priddy take the lead and checkered flag with Higgins finishing close behind in each moto. Wyman's 1972 500cc outdoor national win secured his name among the nations best and coupled with the fact that until Dennis Hawthorne's career and retirement, Wyman probably won more races in Texas than anyone else, placing a big bold stamp on his name as the "Father of Texas Motocross".
Spanning from 1970-1978, Wyman Priddy was a regular on the AMA National circuit and by 1978 it was time for the 32 year old to hand the torch to the new crop of Texas racers that had been pushing him for the past several years. The Father, as most younger racers referred to him, decided it was time to retire. Wyman moved himself, wife Remoh, and daughter Holley, to Lake Jackson, TX, where they would welcome another daughter, Wynde.
Wyman earned a BS degree from Texas Wesleyan University (Ft.Worth), in PE and Biology. During his racing days he loved teaching motocross schools through out the Lone Star State. He was well loved for his willingness to help younger riders coming up through the ranks and he was always willing to talk to them in the pits between races, and help them any way he could. Once relocated to Lake Jackson, Priddy began teaching and coaching again, this time at Brazosport Christian School. He was also responsible for setting up their athletic department.
Unfortunately, on Sept. 14, 1982, Wyman Priddy passed away suddenly in his sleep at the young age of 36 from arterial sclerosis. He had no symptoms and was not even sick. Priddy was a strong man of Christian faith. He left behind immediate family that loved and respected him very much. As for all of us Texas motocrossers, we are left with the memories of a motocross father figure that helped put the Lone Star State on the national motocross stage. Priddy loved to race motocross each and every weekend just as everyone of us do. The Father of Texas Motocross' pioneering legacy Will Never Be Forgotten!
Barry Higgins ....."Wyman was the nicest guy I ever met at racing, and also one of the fiercest competitors. Wyman never gave up and was always pushing until the end. That day in Indiana he beat me by a foot, and spent the evening at dinner constantly apologizing for passing me at the finish line. He was the most humble, sincere, honest and nicest guy there was".
Kent Howerton...... "Well I didn't get to race Wyman all that much, but when we did race with each other he was very fast and was always getting the Holeshot. I will never forget one time I came to Dallas to race and Wyman was there, it was purely aggressive bar banging between us. At the scoring tower waiting to get our money I asked Wyman " why are you trying so hard?" Wyman says, "because my wife needs a new pair of tennis shoes" Wyman had a really strong desire to win and was one of the nicest persons I had ever met".
Bobby Pickard.... "Growing up on the east side of Ft.Worth along with Wyman, I truly viewed Wyman as a hero, competitor, mentor, and most of all a friend".
Jody Weisel - Motocross Action ...... "In the early days of Texas motocross the sport was still in its formative stages. As kids we just threw ourselves into racing without much of an understanding about what was involved. As we traveled from Mosier Valley to Lake Whitney to Paradise Valley to Strawberry Hill to Azle to Lockhart to Pecan Valley (there were a lot of tracks with the name “Valley” in them back in the ‘70s), the one constant we had about, how a motocross racer was suppose to act was Wyman Priddy. Wyman was the rock of Texas motocross. He had credentials, a winning record, a real job and an AMA National win. And he never wavered under the gaze of a bunch of 16-year-old kids, he was always polite, friendly and perfect. Once at an AMA National in Kansas, I saw Wyman after the first moto. "I think that something is wrong with that starting gate," said Wyman. I wanted to know what was wrong with it, so I pressed Wyman for his analysis about the flaw. "I don’t know what’s wrong with it, but I know that I should have had the holeshot and I didn’t get it. I’m pretty sure that the gate is messed up.” The strange thing was that he wasn’t bragging. Wyman was too humble to be a braggart. He was concerned. As the guy that I believe to be the greatest starter in the history of the sport, when he didn’t get the holeshot, there had to be a reason. And, he was looking for it”.
Steve Wise... "There are two reasons that Wyman is the Father of Texas Motocross, not only because he was the original fast guy, but more importantly he was a true father figure and a great role model for all the people that surrounded him on and off the track. His very character was an example for a lot of us younger guys coming up".
1 National win - 1st place 500cc AMA MX - Indiana - June 11, 1972
Turned Pro 1966
Factory Ride -- Kawasaki
Retired Full Time 1978 -- became a P.E teacher and coach
First Bike - Harley Davidson 125cc Hummer
First Race - 1962 - age 16
Passed away on September 14, 1982 at the age of 36 from Arterial Sclerosis
June 11, 1972 1st place 500cc AMA MX - Indiana
Notable Yearly Standings
1972 3rd 500cc MX Point Standings
1973 10th 500cc MX Point Standings
1975 1st Place Open Class TEX-AMA Series
1975 3rd Place 250 class TEX-AMA Series
1973 1st Place Open Class Tex-AMA Series