STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT, AUG. 9: Tony Hart, the younger brother of freestyler Carey Hart, was killed during practice for the second round of the XTRM/AMA Supermoto Championship at Stafford Springs Raceway in Stafford Springs, Connecticut. He was 21.
Hart, riding for the Rockstar/Hart & Huntington KTM in the Supermoto Lites class, suffered fatal head injuries when he high-sided on the paved third turn of the oval portion of the race coruse. He was transported to a local hospital where he was declared dead.
Officials from both the AMA and XTRM, the series promoters, refused to confirm his death. It was first confirmed by Stafford Motor Speedway, which issued a statement around 7:00 p.m. that read: "It is with deep regret that the Stafford Motor Speedway announces that during a practice session of the AMA/XTRM sanctioned SuperMoto Event, being held today, rider Anthony Hart, age 21 of Henderson, Nevada, succumbed to injuries received while participating in the event. The Speedway extends their condolences to the family and friends of Anthony Hart."
Hart’s father, Tom Hart, was with him at the hospital. Carey Hart was flying to the area from Sturgis, South Dakota.
The death was the first in the six-year history of the AMA Supermoto Championship.
Rockstar/Hart & Huntington team manager praised the young rider.
“Tony is a pretty dedicated guy,” Watson said at the end of a bittersweet night. Rockstar/Hart & Huntington’s Steve Drew won his second Supermoto Unlimited race of the season and teammate Travis Marks finished fourth. “He never really had any kind of focus until he got involved with Supermoto. And the last eight months he’s been just dedicated himself to riding and racing and training. And everyone around him from his family to his friends have never seen him so dedicated with his training and riding.
“He really, really, really enjoyed what he did. He stayed in my room last night and we stayed up until four o’clock in the morning just talking about life and racing. He had a lot of ambition and a lot of goals.”
Watson was told of Hart’s passing by a state police officer well prior to the heat races. He relayed the news to the team just before the heat races. They discussed withdrawing, but were encouraged by Tom Hart to continue.
“Tony’s dad called me and he said, ‘Tony’s blessings are with you guys and Tony would want you guys to race, no matter what,’” Watson said. “It was kind of hard for us to get our morale together and go racing. I’ve got to take my hat off to Steve (Drew) and Travis (Marks) for finishing a solid first and fourth tonight.”