I was hustling from one section of Barber Motorsports Park to another during the Saturday AMA Superbike race there in 2005. I was trying to get to another corner, but every once in awhile I couldn’t resist stopping and seeing if there was any kind of angle to shoot from en route. You rarely find a unique angle by chance, but this was one of those shots. I was clearly back in the high brush a bit, but I think this shot of Eric Wood on the Hooters Suzuki, shot with my old Henny Ray Abrams hand-me-down Nikon D2H at 250th of a second, using a late 1980s era Nikon 80-200mm, works, bushes and all. Using the slow shutter speed gave a nice blur affect to the bushes, while Wood is still reasonably sharp. Also check out the nice crowd on the hillside in the background. Barber is a beautiful place to watch a race.
Archive for June, 2010
JARED MEES REPORT:
GAS CITY IN – 19 June 2010
Hey Everyone: Well, we finally got this race in at Gas City, IN., the fourth time trying. In 2008 a Hot Shoe was scheduled there but got rained out. The same thing in 2009. This year they stepped up and wanted to make it a Grand National event, only to get rained out two weeks ago. They brought us back this past weekend to try it again and –we got it in !!!
The race track looked a lot faster than it actually was. When I was in practice and qualifying I would look back at the track and ask myself: “did I just ride on the same track I am looking at?” It seemed so different looking at it versus riding it. Well, qualifying wasn’t too bad, we were 19th after the first round and ended up stepping it up for round 2 and getting 9th.
We were in the 3rd Heat in the middle of the starting line. I got a good jump and was leading. I noticed that the gearing choice I had made for the Heat race wasn’t the right one as everyone moved up on the track. I was geared more for the bottom of the track. Matt Weidman got around me with one lap to go. I ended up 2nd, which put me on the front row for the Main and also into the Dash for Cash. In the Dash I got another good jump but Joe Kopp got me quickly and Henry Wiles got the hole shot. I was still struggling with a couple of things and Robbie Pearson got me on the last lap.
For the Main Event we made some more adjustments. I got a good start off the bottom and was running 3rd. Joe and Henry were about eight bike lengths ahead. I couldn’t get to them but they weren’t running away from me either. Then there was a red flag as Don Taylor got off hard. He ended up breaking his shoulder, needing surgery. I wish him a speedy recovery and hope he gets back soon.
On the restart I got Joe right away and was on Henry. I made a couple of good laps that brought me closer to him but then I would get excited and mess up and he would pull back out. It felt like a game of cat and mouse. I came up short and ended up in 2nd place.
Henry rode a strong race and he earned the win. We made a good roll towards the points.
I was happy with the day and with the fact that we got finally got to race at this track.
We head to Lima OH this coming weekend, so we’ll see what that one holds.
Thank you to all the fans and to all my sponsors for the great support.
Jammin’ Jared Mees # 1/21
Grand National Singles Sponsors:
Rockysonline. com, Lucas Oil, Rogers Lake Racing, Montgomeryville Cycle Center, Twisted Beverage CompanyTM, Saddlemen, Digger 57, Rod Lake, Arai Helmets, Speed Strength Leathers, KK Motorcycle Supply,A&A Racing, Steve & Cindy Vizzo, Battley Cycles, Kelly’s, Maxxis Tires, MTA, JE Pistons, Cometic Gaskets, VP Racing Fuels,Tsubaki, Motion Pro, TCX Boots, Troy Lee Designs, K&N Filters, Millennium Technologies, Vortex, Craig Pickett, E2 Voltage, Goodridge, Works Connection, RekluseClutches, Gene & Gail Cummings, Eddie Mulder, NGK, Z Gallerie, Dick Winters, Oakley, WestCoast Hot Shoes, Jupiter Wheels, EBC, Ogio, Mikuni, Web Cam, Ancra, J&M Racing Frames, Pro Plates, Kold Kutter, Turn 1 Distributing. Crank Works Crank Shafts, Ezup, Twenty Six Suspension, Flash, G2, Penske Racing, Chicken Hawk, Ferrea Valves, J2 Motorsports, Royal Publishing Co., Applied Diamond Coatings, M&Z Anodizing, Brent Armbruster, Bristol Core, Universal Coatings, Hammer Head, Hot Rods, Decal Works, Dyno Jet, DVS Shoes, Xtremely Fit
RED BULL INDIANAPOLIS GP TELECONFERENCE
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
MODERATOR: Welcome, everyone, to this teleconference with Yamaha American MotoGP star Ben Spies. Ben, as everyone on this call knows, earned the first podium finish of his MotoGP career last Sunday at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, finishing third on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine. It was a heck of a ride, for anybody who saw it. Ben started seventh and just rode his way right up through the pack and made the pass for the podium position there on the final lap. It was a stirring, stirring ride. The podium came in just his ninth career start in MotoGP. Ben will compete this weekend at the legendary TT Assen in Assen, Netherlands, and he’s also going to be riding here at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Aug. 27-29 in the Red Bull Indianapolis GP. Ben, thanks a lot for joining us and taking the time today.
BEN SPIES: Yeah, thanks for having me.
MODERATOR: Ben, has it sunk in yet that you’re on the podium at this point. Is this pretty much where you thought you’d be on your progression in the class this year, or is it earlier or later than you thought?
SPIES: It’s definitely earlier. And it hasn’t quite sunk in yet because, obviously, after England Sunday, we went straight down to London and flew here to Assen, and we’re right back in it this weekend. It’s kind of a good thing to keep in a rhythm and try to keep some confidence going. But my goal every race this year was to be in the top 10. Top fives would be a race win for me, so finishing on the podium was a big confidence booster. It leads into an important couple weeks of racing for us. And it came at a real good part of the season as far as going to tracks that I do know. I’m feeling pretty comfortable.
MATTHEW MILES: Can you describe your pass on Nicky Hayden?
SPIES: Yeah. We tried one in the beginning of the last lap and didn’t get it done. And then I was going on the back straightaway, and we go into a fast right-hander, fast left-hander that leads into a hairpin. My plan was to get as close as I could going off the back straightaway so when we went into the third turn, the tight right-hander, that I would be able to kind of slingshot and pass on the inside and kind of do a block pass. But Nicky saw, obviously, that I was there when I tried to pass him earlier in the lap. But he was definitely riding a little defensive but also trying to catch second place. Off the back straightaway, he just got in a little too hot, and luckily I was close enough where I could capitalize on it. If I’d have been another bike length or two behind, I wouldn’t have been able to do anything. But we were able to sneak by on the inside, and I didn’t have to do my planned pass, which was going to be two corners later. And it worked out for us. It was just one of those last-lap, everybody was on the limit. He made a small mistake, and we were just close enough to be there for it.
MILES: Were you at all surprised that you were in that position?
SPIES: Yes and no. We saw that we had pretty good pace on the weekend. But we were a little bit down on top speed. So I was worried that if I didn’t get off the line in a good position, it was going to be hard to pass people. But we passed Simoncelli and Pedrosa, and I could see we were closing on the podium spots. So once we did that and I saw that I could run the pace of those guys, I tried to save my tires as much as I could. And then be there for any mistakes or try to make some passes. And then with a few laps to go, we got past De Puniet and was set up in fourth place. I saw that I had some strong spots, and they had some strong spots. But we were able to get up in there. And honestly after qualifying seventh and having the crash on Saturday, I didn’t think a podium was possible. I thought a fifth or a sixth place was possible. But we just rode as hard as we could and made good passes, had good lap times and was consistent, and was able to get on the box.
AARON FRANK: Was there ever any serious conversation about your substituting for Valentino Rossi on the factory bike, or was that entirely speculation?
SPIES: It was a little more speculation than what it actually was. I think Yamaha, I was probably one of the choices to do it, and they probably would have liked me to do it if it was possible. But in the end, the way the rule is, it doesn’t matter really what they wanted to do. It was impossible. I think a lot of people were kind of making it a bigger deal than it really was. A couple days after the fact, we knew it was impossible. There was no way for me to do it. And I just kind of set on my own thing, just did all my stuff I needed to do. And that was it. There wasn’t much that could be done. Yeah, we just kind of laid it to rest.
FRANK: Does having Valentino out of the picture change your strategies or plans for the next rounds in any way?
SPIES: No, not at all. We have the same package we did before. It’s just one less rider in the championship. It’s a bad thing for the championship and a bad thing for Yamaha. But I really obviously wasn’t racing Valentino and Jorge yet, anyways. So it doesn’t really change the fact for me. And anyways, Lorenzo has been the guy to beat all year long. It’s sad that it’s one less guy on the grid. But I really haven’t been in a race with him, anyways, or close enough to race with him. So my game plan’s just been the same of learning and trying to get as good a finishes as we can. But for me, him being in the championship doesn’t affect really what I’ve been trying to do.
JIM RACE: How much of what you learned in 2008 you can carry forward to this year’s race at Indy?
SPIES: It does. I know the layout of the track, so that’s a big deal. Obviously, when I was there we did have some dry time, and I did a test there. The race there was pretty treacherous conditions. But yeah, it’s another track that I at least know going to. It’s big. I won’t have to learn the track. I haven’t been there for a couple of years, but I still know the basis of it and look forward to going there. It’s a U.S. round. It’s going to be one of our biggest two races of the year, so I’m definitely looking forward to it.
FRANK: How’s your ankle?
SPIES: It’s good. Just doing the physio stuff. It’s getting better. It’s one of those things that just takes a long time to heal. It’s one of the smaller deals in the ankle. But on the bike, it’s not a big deal. It doesn’t affect anything while I’m riding. I’m able to do enough training or what I do to be good on the bike. So it’s not too much of a problem.
RACE: At Silverstone, both you and Colin were pretty vocal about some issues you were having with the M1. If you can be specific, is there a top list of three things that you can change to where you’re currently toward the other bikes on the grid?
SPIES: That’s a hard one to answer just because different bikes suit different tracks. The main thing is we’re just a little down on speed. But that’s obvious. You don’t have to do a whole lot of complaining about it. We can just see it on the top speed charts. But where it’s lacking in that, it makes up, the chassis really good. The bike handles really well. Sometimes when we’re kind of getting in a race with some other guys, it’s hard to do what you want to do on the bike because lacking that little bit of speed. But I couldn’t really put my finger on the three things I’d want to change. A little more power, but I’m sure it’s coming. They know, and they’re working as hard as they can. So we’ll see what they bring.
RACE: Coming out of QP, did you guys find something in warm-up that actually gave you the confidence to run at the front?
SPIES: No. Warm-up went pretty well for us. I think we were sixth- or seventh-quickest in warm-up, but we were also on used tires from the day before. So I knew we were pretty good, and I knew the guys who were ahead of us in warm-up, a couple of them were on new tires. So I figured we had pretty good pace, and what I was hoping for was a good start. And that was pretty much it. I knew if I had a good start, we had the pace to run around fifth or sixth. Once the race got going, the last 10 laps the lap times kept getting faster and faster, and the bike was working better and better. And it all came good in the end.
TOM WEIR: You downplay the effects of maximum speed, but at Silverstone the stats show Pedrosa had a top speed of nearly 324 km/h, and you and Colin both had a top speed of 315, 314. It’s pretty significant. Can that be overcome? Are you on equipment that you think, if you knew the track and had more experience, would be able to be up front on a more regular basis?
SPIES: It’s hard to know. I don’t know when I’m on the very limit of the bike. I felt like I was running good at Silverstone. But obviously when everything comes together, I’m sure the package can be on the podium. The top speed looks bad, but I think it stems a little bit more just from acceleration off the corner, which gets you the mile an hour at the end of the straightaway. The top speed of the bike actually isn’t so bad. It’s just getting off the corner. What the package is really capable of? The only way to know is by jumping on a full factory bike that’s winning races and feeling what differences there are. That’s a hard one to answer. At Silverstone, I felt like I was getting the most out of me and pretty much the limit of the bike, but you don’t know what would happen if Lorenzo jumped on the bike, either. With better equipment, the lap times and the results are always easier. But I feel the package we’ve got is very good. We just need a little bit more acceleration off the corner. But Lorenzo, he wasn’t the fastest top speed, either, but was quicker than us. Like I said, they know this. They need to work on some stuff, and I’m sure they are. It can’t be that bad. It’s winning the championship by a pretty good margin right now.
WEIR: The statistics also show after Silverstone that you’re leading the Rookie of the Year classification. Is that one of your stated goals this year, to beat Simoncelli, Barbera and the rest of that group?
SPIES: Not at all. A lot of people are making that comparison and also the top American comparison. Right now for me, I’ve got my own goals and kind of my own game plan of what I need to be doing and the learning curve I need to be doing. The thing is, we’re a little bit of a handicap to both of them. The Americans have a lot more experience than me in the MotoGP class, and the rookies have a lot more experience knowing the tracks, in general, and knowing where they’re going when they get there. For me, I’m really not setting any goals of trying to top any crazy charts. We’re just trying to progress and get better every weekend, and I think we’ve been doing a decent job at that.
WEIR: Any comments on Yoshikawa in for Rossi, that news that came out today?
SPIES: You hear through the grapevine of what’s happening for a while now. So I knew pretty much right after Rossi’s crash that it wasn’t going to be me, so for me it wasn’t a big concern. I don’t personally know him, but maybe he’ll do some development, maybe they’ll learn some stuff. It’s important to have somebody on the bike. But we’re concentrating as much as we can on my stuff and the team, me and Colin, and that’s all we can do.
MILES: Ben, are you and crew chief Tom Houseworth working any differently this season than in years past?
SPIES: No. It’s kind of just like it was last year and even back in the Yosh days. I talk with him when you come in. We talk with the suspension technician, and then there’s always a Japanese engineer. We shoot a lot of ideas through everybody, and that’s pretty much it. But when I come in, I mainly talk with him. We try to keep things consistent, which is important. Pretty much we’re doing the same stuff we did last year just because even though it’s a different bike, it’s new tracks, a new bike for me, in general, just like it was last year. But how we work together, the way we work, it’s pretty much the same as it’s always been.
MILES: Do you feel you’ll have enough engines this year?
SPIES: Yeah. For me, I haven’t had any problem with that. We’ve been good on mileage, and I’m sure the factory is happy with what we’ve been doing. As of right now, the only bad thing when stuff like you have a couple of crashes, the bike gets laid over on the side of the engine, you can easily write an engine off that has low mileage on it. But we’ve been lucky with the couple crashes I’ve had. I know for me, where I’m at in the season, it’s not an issue at all.
MODERATOR: Ben, talk about how much Colin has helped you this year with your learning curve. The fact that your teammate is a friend, a fellow Texan, a guy you’ve known for a long time. How much has that helped you this year in your development?
SPIES: It’s made a big deal. Just from having somebody to talk to, somebody that obviously thinks a lot like you, we’re from the States. It’s made my transition a lot easier, pretty much in every way. A lot of the problems we’ve had with the bike, we’re both had the same problems. When we’ve had strengths, we both had the same strengths. So even though we have quite a bit different riding style, we agree on a lot of the stuff when it comes to set up the bike. We do a lot of talking, and at the end of the day, we sometimes share information that would make the other person do a faster lap. At the end of the day, we’re on two different career paths, and we’re trying to make the package of our bike better. And if it makes us fight with each other a little bit more but it gets us two or three positions up in the charts, that helps at the end of the day. We work as close as we can and hang out a lot, talk a lot, have dinner, and it’s made my transition a lot easier.
RACE: Last year, obviously very different bikes than what you’re running now, you missed out on Race 2. But you took Race 1 by a hair over Nori at Assen. What are your thoughts for this weekend?
SPIES: I really like this track a lot. We obviously won Race 1 last year in pretty good fashion. Race 2, I ended it with pretty good fashion. I like the track a lot. I like the people out here. Nice people. I’ve watched this track for years, back in the Schwantz-Rainey battles. I’ve got a lot of good memories of just watching the track, and last year was great. I enjoy it a lot. I’m looking forward to it. I think the bike’s going to work fairly well, and I’m ready to ride tomorrow.
DEAN ADAMS: The Rossi situation, with him being out of the championship, the upside has to be the chance of an American winning at Laguna Seca, winning at Indy, obviously has improved greatly. Do you agree, and can you talk about the importance to win at the last round.
SPIES: Yeah, it’s funny that you’re the last question, actually. But I look forward to it. It’s one of those things that you’ve got to be realistic with when you set out to race on Sunday at Indy or Laguna. If you’re half a second off the pace, if you sit there crash trying to win, you’re just basically being an idiot. You’ve got no chance with it. If you’re a couple of tenths off and you’re there, home race, you’ve got to go for it. With Rossi not being there, honestly Lorenzo has been the guy this year, even when Rossi was here. He’s been the guy they’ve got to figure out to try to beat. Even if Rossi’s not there, I still think it’s as tough, if not more tough, with Lorenzo being there. If we go Sunday morning, Saturday, we have good pace and we’re at Indy and Laguna … If we’re here at Assen and we’ve got good pace, we try to get the best result we can. If you’ve got a shot at winning or podium, you always try to do it. But at the home race at Laguna or Indy, if we’ve got good pace that’s battling or close to the front, you can guarantee that it’s going to be … you never want to say crash or win, but there’s not going to be anything left on the table. Yeah, I’ll ride that race like it’s my championship of the year race. Realistically, we’re not fighting for a championship this year, and you want to get a good result for your home fans. It’s not a crash or win, but I’ll ride that race like it’s the last race of the season. But if we’re a second off the pace going into the race, you’ve got to know the limit. I’m looking forward to it, though. I like Laguna and Indy a lot. I think the bike’s going to be really good. I think we’ll have a really good setup when we get there, and I look forward to it.
Legendary two-stroke tuner headed for the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame
PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) is pleased to announce the eighth member of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Class of 2010: Eyvind Boyesen, one of the most accomplished two-stroke engine tuners in motorsports. Boyesen, whose skills in the garage translated into success in the marketplace, will be among the legends of motorcycling honored at the 2010 induction ceremony at the Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas on Nov. 19.
“Eyvind developed many of his innovations in an era of great change in performance off-road motorcycling, and in the process joined other AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famers in becoming a household name in the sport,” said AMA Director of Operations and Hall of Famer Jack Penton. “Both everyday riders and national champions alike used Boyesen’s products over the years, and many more will in years to come.”
Although Boyesen Engineering has long since branched into other areas of innovation, off-road racers in the 1970s through the 1990s knew Boyesen products through marketing of the company’s aftermarket performance reeds. Boyesen’s reeds set the standard as one of the leading aftermarket replacement parts of the two-stroke era, and often were one of the first modifications racers made to a new machine.
“Growing up on the local scrambles and motocross tracks in eastern Pennsylvania during the early 1970s, racers knew one thing: If you wanted a power advantage over your competitors, you needed a Boyesen Power Reed,” said Douglas Strange, chair of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Ambassadors & Industry committee and an honorary member of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America. “It was like a magic elixir that would put your bike on the box. Boyesen Engineering’s reputation continued to grow as his business expanded, and every racer’s toolbox had a Boyesen sticker on the lid. Now, nearly 40 years later, I’m still impressed with Eyvind Boyesen’s commitment to the sport and industry, and his insight to solve problems and bring these new products to the marketplace.”
Boyesen founded Boyesen Engineering in 1972 in Lenhartsville, Pa., and built a worldwide reputation as a two-stroke engine expert. In addition to his reed-valve innovations, Boyesen is also known for a special porting technique that has been used in motorcycle, snowmobile and watercraft two-stroke engines. He also has refined methods of water pump design and developed enhanced accelerator pump operation used in four-stroke carburetion. Boyesen holds more than 40 patents for the aftermarket motorcycle industry, and his company continues to thrive today.
“To be honest I was rather surprised at hearing the news of the induction,” Boyesen said. “I immediately thought, ‘Who would have nominated me?’ I will say that my career has been balanced by my ability to do what I truly love. To this day I will always remember the first time I saw a motorcycle. It was magical. As many that have achieved any level of success (big or small), I am very fortunate to be able to contribute to this sport and industry.”
Boyesen joins previously announced members of the AMA Hall of Fame Class of 2010: championship team owner Mitch Payton, AMA 250cc Roadrace Champion David Emde, off-road rights activist Clark Collins, dirt-track racer Don Castro, off-road gear pioneers John and Rita Gregory, and sidecar roadrace champion Larry Coleman. The final 2010 inductee will be announced soon.
The Class of 2010 will officially be inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame on Nov. 19 as part of the AMA Legends & Champions Weekend. In addition to the induction ceremony, the weekend includes the 2010 AMA Concours d’Elegance on Saturday, Nov. 20, featuring some of the country’s most impressive original and restored classic motorcycles. The AMA Racing Championship Banquet closes out the weekend on Sunday, Nov. 21, where AMA Racing amateur champions of all ages will be recognized for their 2010 accomplishments.
The AMA Legends & Champions Weekend also includes the final round of the Geico Powersports AMA Endurocross National Championship Series on Saturday evening, Nov. 20. Ticket packages for the AMA Legends & Champions Weekend will also include access to the race, held at The Orleans Arena.
The AMA Legends & Champions Weekend will be held at the Las Vegas Red Rock Resort, a world-class spa, hotel and casino, featuring a range of entertainment, dining and family-friendly attractions. The facility’s expansive ballrooms will provide a stunning backdrop for the AMA Legends & Champions Weekend, which is certain to be memorable for the 2010 inductees, champions, families, friends and fans. More information is available online at RedRockLasVegas.com.
Lodging reservations can be made now at AmericanMotorcyclist.com/Accommodations. An announcement regarding ticket information will be made soon.
When writing about a sanctioning body or the officials involved, journalist types like me often tend to point out when things are going wrong, or not being run the way they should. It’s just the nature of journalism. It’s not news when everyone drives safely to work; it only becomes news when someone tries to text at the wheel and plows into a fellow commuter.
The same goes for a racing sanctioning body and its officials. We expect those who run our racing series to do at least a decent job. We don’t say much when things go smoothly and we’re quick to point out shortcomings.
I’ve been on both sides of the fence, both as a journalist and as a racing official in my former capacity as AMA Pro Racing’s media manager. The fact is, putting on a national-level race is a big undertaking with a lot of moving parts. I would say it’s damn near impossible for all those moving parts to work flawlessly over an entire race day, much less race weekend. The best thing a sanctioning body can hope for is the little mistakes that are inevitably made during a race are minor and don’t have a major impact on rider safety or competitive fairness.
I say all that as a preamble to my main point, which is the DMG is being very well served in its Grand National division by Mike Kidd, Director of Flat Track for AMA Pro Racing. Kidd, in my opinion, is flat out doing a killer job of trying to revive a sport – one that when he inherited it was on the ropes. Kidd is the ideal person for the job. As a former Grand National Champion he relates to the concerns of the racers and as a former race promoter he understands the importance of putting butts in the seats and bringing in sponsors.
There are still major challenges. This past week’s Grand National in Gas City is a prime example. The race had maybe 1500 people on hand to watch, and that’s a generous estimate. I still maintain that outside of established events like Daytona and Peoria, the slightly modified motocross bikes used on short tracks and TTs have not yet proven to be able to pull a crowd. I submit Billings, Montana, in 2008 and Gas City as evidence. On the other hand races like Springfield, Indy and Peoria attract substantial crowds, so there’s a good base to build on.
Yet in spite of these challenges Kidd moves forward with fierce determination and optimism. Talk with him for about five minutes and you too will start believing that the Grand Nationals will soon return to its former glory of the 1970s.
Kidd is bringing in sponsors, albeit on a small scale. The TV contract with MavTV is a start. I remember when SPEED TV was a small network that hardly anyone had on their box. I’ve already sent an email to my cable company asking about getting Mav so I can watch the races. If enough people do that someone at the cable companies will listen and before you know it Mav will be part of basic cable.
Regardless of what I think about Kidd’s performance, the most important indicator is what the racers themselves think. I can say that all the racers I’ve talked to on the subject think Kidd is doing a good job too, and believe me they’re a tough audience.
So if you haven’t been to a Grand National lately do yourself a favor and come check out what Kidd and his crew are doing. In fact, if you’re free this weekend you really couldn’t pick a better race to attend than the cushion half-mile at Lima, Ohio. It’s about as American as mom’s apple pie and watching the riders flog their big Twins on the tricky limestone cushion is a spectacle not to be missed.
Thanks to Mike Kidd the AMA Grand National Championship is definitely a series on the upswing.
Joe Leonard (98) leads the pack into the first turn at the start of the 1962 Daytona 200. This was Leonard’s final appearance in the race before he moved on to his auto racing career. Carroll Resweber moved by Leonard to take the lead, but when the motor blew on Resweber’s Harley-Davidson it was Leonard back in the lead. Unfortunately another rider had collided with Leonard during the warm-up lap and broken a screw on his bike’s chain adjuster. Eventually that problem would put Leonard out of the race. Don Burnett would go on to win the race, just nipping a late-charging Dick Mann at the line.
Washougal MX Park Celebrates 30 Years of American Motocross with Motosport.com Washougal Retro National
Late July Tradition Will Recall the Nostalgia of the Original Extreme Sport
MORGANTOWN, W.V. (June 22, 2010) – For three decades, the Pacific Northwest has been a staple of American motocross and to celebrate the 30 years of hosting an AMA-sanctioned outdoor national, Washougal Motocross Park and MX Sports Pro Racing announce the inaugural retro-themed event at the famed Southern Washington track. On Saturday, July 24, the Motosport.com Washougal Retro National, round eight of the 2010 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship, will commence with the world’s best riders continuing their battle for the most prestigious motocross championship in the world.
As the original action sport, motocross has become one of the fastest growing forms of motorsport in the country and for nearly 40 years, American motocross has been the stage for epic races and even greater memories. Throughout that weekend, vintage will be the name of the game at Washougal. Teams and riders will be in the retro spirit with vintage plastics adorning the motorcycles and “old-school” gear featuring the colors and patterns of decades past being worn by the world’s fastest competitors.
“There isn’t a better way to celebrate 30 years of Washougal Motocross than to host a retro national,” said Washougal Motocross Park’s Brian Barnes. “This race has such a strong history that the opportunity for the stars and teams of today to pay homage to the legends of the past was simply too good to pass up.”
To celebrate the riders and bikes of decades past, Washougal Motocross Park will showcase an exhibition for the fans featuring several of the most well known riders in American MX history as well as the machines that have helped make this such a legendary event over the past 30 years.
A large collection of former race bikes will also be on display and Washougal Motocross Park will supply several displays recalling the illustrious history of the lone motocross national in the Pacific Northwest. Fans are also encouraged to lend their support to the retro national by wearing their very own vintage motocross apparel and bright colors that were so popular in the sport throughout the last three decades.
The stars of American motocross hit the track on Saturday, but the retro activities start Thursday and continue through Friday with the popular and competitive amateur days. Hundreds of the region’s fastest and most passionate riders will take to the track before the pros and get the weekend off to a strong start.
For tickets and fan and racing information on the 2010 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship, log on to www.allisports.com.
The AMA Pro K&N Filters Grand National Championship presented by Motorcycle-Superstore.com heads to the Allen County Fairgrounds in Lima, Ohio with some interesting statistics. Joe Kopp riding a Harley-Davidson won the 2008 National will be switching to the Latus Motors / ENI USA R&M / Lloyd Brothers Motorsports Team Ducati which he won the Arizona Mile earlier this season. Last year’s winner Bryan Smith also on a Harley-Davidson will be switching to the Monster Energy Kawasaki Werner-Springsteen Racing machine taking second at the Springfield Mile on May 30th.
Jeff Carver leads the Pro Singles National Championship with 118 points. Ironically Joe Kopp also comes into Lima also with 118 points leading the Expert Grand National Championship series.
Top riders from across the country call this race one of the most demanding, fun and exciting race on the series. The XR750cc Harley-Davidson motorcycle has won 23 of 25 Nationals on the limestone ½ mile dirt track, winning 15 consecutive since 1994.
The Ohio National Championship will mark the seventh event on the 19-race 2010 calendar. Bryan Smith is still seeking his first win of 2010 currently 7th in the Expert rider point’s standings. Smith will headline a field of former Lima winners including Jared Mees #1 (’05, ‘07), AMA legend Chris Carr #4 (’91, ‘99, ‘00, ‘01) and Joe Kopp #3 (’05, ‘07). Although Kopp is the current point’s leader, he is being chased by winners of the last 2 two nationals, Jake Johnson and Henry Wiles each with 2 wins.
The series competed most recently at Gas City I-69 Speedway in Gas City, IN on June 19. “Hammerin’ Hank” Henry Wiles nipped Jared Mees by .624 seconds at the line, with Joe Kopp finishing third. All of those leading competitors as well as Kenny Coolbeth, Nichole Cheza and Jake Johnson are among the top riders coming to Lima.
Fairgrounds gates open at 3 p.m on June 26. There will be a number of vendor displays on the grounds including Budweiser, Lima Ford, Lima Harley Davidson, K&N Filters, and Memphis Shades. Racing fans will also be entertained by The Wheelie Wizzard, Tyler Shepard during intermission.
Timed practice is slated for 3 p.m. with a rider autograph session and open paddock area set for 5:30 p.m. Opening ceremonies at 7 p.m. with the official racing program at 7:30 p.m. Pro Singles and Expert Singles will battle through nine qualifying races with the Pro Singles Main 12-lap feature and the Expert Singles Main 25-lap showdown set to culminate the evening of racing
Tickets/event information for the Ohio National Championship are available at 419-991-1491 or www.ohionationalchampionship.net
My friend Gordon Lunde sent me some old 1960s motorcycle racing magazines to help me in my historic research. Thanks Gordo!
The fist magazine I pulled out of the box was the June 1964 issue of Cycle (Notice it reads ‘Floyd Clymer’s Cycle). This was still the days of Cycle when good old Floyd ran the show. Nothing against Clymer, but the magazine was nothing like it would become a few years later when it was purchased by Ziff-Davis Publishing and became the gold standard – under editors Gordon Jennings, Cook Neilson and Phil Schilling - by which all other motorcycle magazines were compared.
Back to the magazine I got from Lunde: Roger Reiman won the Daytona that year, but according to good old Floyd, they didn’t have a good color photo of Reiman, so they printed with Daytona 250cc race winner Dick Hammer on the cover. That was just an example of how Cycle was run pre-Ziff-Davis. Motorcycle riders could not depend on Cycle for real world motorcycle reviews in those days either. It’s been said the Floyd Clymer never met a motorcycle he didn’t like and you’d rarely see a critical review. The magazine often ran top-speed and horsepower figures given to them by the manufacturers.
Joe Parkhurst came along with Cycle World in 1962 and gave real reviews, pointing out a motorcycle’s shortcomings when found. Cycle World shook up the way business was done in the motorcycle industry in those days and a lot of the manufacturers tried to kill the new publication by withholding advertising, especially when one of their bikes got a bad review, or real horsepower and top speed numbers were published.
Parkhurst deserves a lot of credit for creating a magazine in Cycle World that catered to the readers instead of being a lap dog for the industry. Cycle World got the ball rolling and then Cycle, after it was purchased by Ziff-Davis, became motorcycling’s best and most trusted magazine ever.
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