Top 10 Desert Racers of All Time

Our Top 10 Desert Racers of All Time celebrates the ‘Fastus’ through da’ Cactus!

Danny Hamel
Danny Hamel

1. Danny Hamel
Danny Hamel—just those two words should be enough to say it all. Nobody ever represented the beauty of going fast in the brutal desert environment better than Hamel, who has the distinction of being the last rider ever to win the fabled Barstow-to-Vegas Hare & Hound in 1990. After switching from the factory KTM team to the factory Kawasaki team in 1991, he became an instant star, plastering his name all over the record books in both AMA and SCORE desert racing by dominating the AMA National Hare & Hound Championship five years in a row from 1991 through 1995 and being an important part of the winning Baja 1000 team in 1993 and 1994. The personification of Superman when on his motorcycle, Hamel was sheer Clark Kent off of it, a truly humble and easy-going individual adored by fans on both sides of the border. Hamel appeared destined for even more domination when a collision with a vehicle that strayed onto the course during the 1995 Baja 500 robbed off-road motorcycle racing fans of their superhero and left a huge hole in the fabric of desert racing that will never be fully mended.

Danny Hamel left desert racing on top. As far as we’re concerned, he’s still there.