Five questions with…

2019 AMA Hillclimb Racer Of The Year Bodee O’Neil

Bodee O’Neil (No. 11)

Bodee O’Neil is no stranger to success in hillclimb racing. And he was on his game at the 2019 AMA Hillclimb Grand Championship, which was held July 27-28 at Middle Tennessee Dragway in Buffalo Valley, Tenn.

The 2019 edition of the nation’s official amateur hillclimb national championship featured more than 400 entries competing in 22 competition classes. O’Neil was among 16 riders to be crowned an AMA national champion.

O’Neil won four class titles (125cc, 200cc, 250cc and 450cc classes), set the fastest time at 7.801 seconds, won the King of the Hill competition and was named 2019 AMA Hillclimb Racer of the Year.

The Hager City, Wis., resident’s 2019 results add to an already impressive record of success. He won his first AMA Hillclimb Racer of the Year Award in 2017 and was AMA Youth Hillclimb Racer of the Year in 2014 and 2015.

American Motorcyclist caught up with O’Neil to talk about his experience at the 2019 grand championship.

American Motorcyclist: What goals did you set for yourself before the event?

Bodee O’Neil: I had been training really hard for this year’s grand championship and felt good about it. My goal this year was to score a podium finish.

AM: What was working well for you that weekend?

BO: When I got to the hill, I thought it was going to be a speed hill. The top was really rough though, and riders needed to time the second jump just right to have a good run. The start at the bottom also was very hard packed, and there was a little step before getting to the hill. We made some setup changes to the bike and got our Fine Tune suspension dialed in for our runs.

AM: What was your reaction when you learned you had been named the 2019 AMA Hillclimb Racer of the Year?

BO: It was an astonishing moment, and I’m glad I won it on such a great hill. The event was very good overall and I had a lot of fun there.

AM: What are your racing plans?

BO: My plan is to keep competing in AMA District 17 and District 23 hillclimb races for the rest of the year. I am hoping to make my AMA Pro Hillclimb debut in 2020.

AM: Anything else you’d like to add?

BO: I’d like to thank all my sponsors, God and my mom and dad for their support throughout my career. I’d also like to thank all the people who came out to watch this year’s AMA Hillclimb Grand Championship.