1980 Supercross Champ Mike Bell, 63

CONCORD, N.C. – Mike Bell, the 1980 AMA Supercross champion, died Sunday after suffering a heart attack while riding a mountain bike near his home in Southern California.

He was 63 years old.

Bell turned pro during the 1977 season and won his first races the following year. He finished three points shy of capturing the 1979 AMA 500 National Championship before taking control of the AMA Supercross standings one year later.

Bell dominated the 1980 Supercross season, sweeping the doubleheader the opened the season at the Seattle (Wash.) Kingdome and then proceeded to lead the standings for the remainder of the season on his way to his only championship.

He was known for his height and garnered the nickname ‘Too Tall’ from fans and rivals alike. However, his long legs worked against him as he suffered several injuries during his career. He retired in 1983 after finishing second in his final pro race in St. Louis, Mo.