The Texan was an absolute phenom. He turned pro in 2000 at 13. By the time he retired 13 years later, he was a World Superbike (2009) and three-time AMA Superbike champion (2006, 2007, 2008). Spies also collected the 2003 AMA Formula Xtreme and 2007 AMA Superstock titles and scored a victory at the Dutch TT round of the 2011 MotoGP World Championship, the first for an American since 2006. Spies started riding at 5. He won a YSR championship at 9. In 2000, still just 16, he qualified on the front row for his debut AMA Supersport Championship event. All three of his consecutive AMA Superbike titles came over all-time category leader Mat Mladin. Known as “Elbowz” for his brash, elbows-out riding style, Spies’ World Superbike season was one for the ages, amassing a record 11 poles — including a record seven in a row — six fastest laps and 14 wins in the 28-race campaign. And all of this as a World Superbike rookie. Spies announced his retirement in 2013 following a series of shoulder injuries.