|Posted on Sunday, July 30, 2017 - 05:19 pm: ||
One month till the MILE!!!
I am willing to throw a cookout in the infield if some Bueller's show interest. By cookout I mean that I will bring a grill, some dead cow and pig and some sides, a canopy, lawn chairs and a cooler full of cold drink.
Sounds like a good time. What could be better than hanging out with fellow Bueller's and watching Harley get their ass kicked?
I could dress the Great White Buffalo (old Ford van) in yellow circa 1980's AMA Camel Pro Race Banners to make it easy to spot. Sounds like a BLAST,
Brothers in Buell
|Posted on Sunday, July 30, 2017 - 07:47 pm: ||
I usually go. Are you riding the blast?
|Posted on Friday, September 01, 2017 - 08:14 am: ||
I'll be there! Section NN Row 1 Seat 1. Front row on the finish line. My favorite place to sit!
I wrote this a couple of years ago about Springfield:
I learned to ride motorcycles in 1969 and I immediately fell in love with riding. I started learning as much as I could about pretty much all facets of motorcycles. I started buying all the magazines at the Newsstand and explored a whole new world with enthusiasm. I read about Old (Vintage) bikes and New bikes, I learned about famous riders like Ed Kretz and “Iron Man” Fred Ham, I read articles on Vincents and even Indian Vincents, Munch Mammuts and Seeley Condors. I fell in love with the Royal Enfield Mark 2 Interceptor. I read about Racing of all types. I read about people like Dave Aldana, Gene Romero, Gary Nixon and Dick Mann. I learned about the different types of motorcycle races. I learned the history of AMA Racing and how the National #1 plate was awarded to the winner of the Springfield Mile up until 1954. I read about places like Ascot and the San Jose Mile and the Castle Rock TT and the Houston Astrodome Short Track. There was a whole lot to learn, and I jumped into the deep end of the knowledge pool with enthusiasm.
In 1973, I saw my first Dirt Track race (the Colorado Springs Mile), and it was instant love all over again. I would attend as many Nationals as I could over the next few years, and I loved watching all of them. I met retired racers and learned about what it was like to race back in the ‘50s and ‘60s. I had my heroes, and would cheer them on at every race I attended.
In the early ‘80s, the Springfield Mile returned. The Legendary Springfield Mile. The place where, in the Old Days, the #1 Plate was awarded. I read about it in the magazines, and decided that, one day I would go to see it. One Tuesday in May of 1984, I was reading a magazine and discovered that the Springfield Mile was going to be held on the upcoming Sunday, May 20. I was unemployed at the time, and I had the money to go, so I left on Thursday for Illinois. I found the Fairgrounds on Saturday, and went to the window to get a ticket for Sunday’s race. When I told the guy at the window that I had just ridden out from Boston, he was amazed and he took me into the Grandstands so that I could see the track. It was groomed to perfection, and I could just tell that the race was going to be a really good one. The track had a real aura; Magical or Electric both come to mind, but however you want to describe it, I could feel it.
However, around midnight that night, it started to rain. I was in my tent at the KOA, and I could hear it. It wasn’t a heavy rain and it would stop then restart, but it was enough to worry me. I got up around 7:00 and rode into town to get breakfast at the Howard Johnson’s. Jay Springsteen, Scotty Parker and their wives were eating in the booth behind me, and I shamelessly eavesdropped on their conversation. I remember Jay saying that he hoped the officials would cancel early so he could head for home, and that just made me feel worse. I had come out from Massachusetts and I wasn’t going to see the race. It was going to be a Rain out.
I left the restaurant, and headed downtown on my way to the Fairgrounds, and the sky just opened up. I wound up stopping in another restaurant just to get out of the rain, it was pouring so bad. I was waiting to get a seat and watching a puddle grow around me as the water drained out of my Levis when I looked over and Ricky Graham was standing next to me. I was getting to have breakfast with three of my heroes, and my mood was so foul, I wouldn’t talk to them. I was bummed. (besides, what do you say to one of your heroes? “Gee, I think you’re cool!”? That only embarrasses both you and him.)
Anyway, the rain quit shortly after that, and the sun came out. I rode out to the fairgrounds around noon, and there was a sign on the ticket window saying Rain Date May 27. The doors to the stands were wide open, so I went in and looked at the track. There was a set of footprints about six inches deep in the mud where somebody had walked across the front straight. I could understand why the race had been cancelled, but I didn’t like it. I thought about just hanging around Springfield for a week so that I could see the race, but then my common sense kicked in and I realized that was not really feasible.
I went back to the KOA, and discovered that the wind had blown my tent down, and my sleeping bag and clothes were soaked. I was camped away from all the Rudabagos and off by the edge of the Kampground, so I hung my wet clothes on the fence behind my tent, and spread my bag out on the picnic table and let the wind dry them. The next morning, I got up early and headed home.
I later discovered that not hanging around was the best thing I could have done. The race got rained out again the following week. If I had stayed, I still wouldn’t have gotten to see it. It took four tries that year to finally get the Mile in.
However, just seeing the track had been enough to get me to come back the following year. And the race in 1985 was good enough to have me returning almost every year for the next 25+ years.
I haven’t been to Springfield for a few years, now. Circumstances and health issues have kept me away. This year though, I’ve already talked to the very nice lady at the IMDA and there will be a ticket for me waiting at the Will Call window on both Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends.
I’ve said it many times over the years, and it still holds true; if I could only see one race for the rest of my life, it would be the Springfield Mile.
If you’ve never been to it, you don’t know what you’re missing.
|Posted on Friday, September 01, 2017 - 10:44 am: ||
>>>If you’ve never been to it, you don’t know what you’re missing.
That's a fact.
Springfield is one of the icons of motorcycling.
|Posted on Friday, September 01, 2017 - 06:21 pm: ||
When Nicky Hayden was asked out of all the tracks he has raced on which was his favorite corner? He replied turn one at the Springfield mile. This was amusing because the article was posing the same questions to Rossi, Lorenzo, Pedro's.... Etc
|Posted on Monday, September 04, 2017 - 02:07 pm: ||
Pretty good race. Yamaha challenged the wrecking crew with no success. If that Indian engine ever makes it to a street bike frame., I'm all over it.
|Posted on Monday, September 04, 2017 - 03:21 pm: ||
It's purely a racing engine, with all the high maintenance that entails. It would lose considerable horsepower if they made it reliable enough to be used in a street bike. It would run like a scalded cat for maybe 100 miles. Then, you'd have to rebuild it. Kind of like making a street bike out of an XR 750.