Though he could not compete anymore, Payton kept his attention focused on the racing world, but from a business point of view. At just 18, he bought and ran a local Husqvarna shop and at 31 Honda asked Payton to run its 125 team. That was just the beginning, as since then he has been managing other brands as well, winning one championship after another.
Payton said that he's honored by his induction into the Hall of Fame, and that he reckons the legends he looked up to in his youth are the true heroes of the sport.
"I look around the industry, and there are a few guys I hold in real regard," Payton said in a release. "So, to be in the same Hall of Fame, for that honor, I'm really proud about that. It's there forever. It means that anyone looking back on history years from now will see what you've done."
Payton will join other legends of motorcycling at the 2010 induction ceremony at the Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas this November 19. The event will be part of the AMA Legends & Champions Weekend that also includes the 2010 AMA Concours d'Elegance.
"In AMA Pro Motocross and Supercross, one team is perhaps more synonymous with winning than any other, Pro Circuit, and the motive force behind that team is one of the industry's most driven individuals, Mitch Payton," said Jack Penton, incoming AMA director of operations. "Payton is an architect of not only championship teams, but champions, having developed some of this sport's greatest racers."