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Motion Pro Legends Autograph Session

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00pm at the Sacramento Mile


When Bob Bellino of Circle Bell Motorsports resurrected Grand National Championship dirt track racing in Northern California and took on the promotion of the historic Sacramento Mile, he clearly understood the rich history of Northern California’s place in dirt track history, being a former racer himself.  With the help of his friend Larry Langley, Bob created the Motion Pro Legends Autograph Session as a special tribute to the legends on whose shoulders today’s racers stand.  The Motion Pro Legends Autograph Session has proved to be one of the most anticipated activities at each Circle Bell Motorsports race weekend.

To execute the successful Sacramento Mile Motion Pro Legends Autograph Session, Langley has assembled a “Legends” database, from which he has contacted everyone on the list to see if they are interested in joining the year’s festivities.  This year over 30 former racers and “special guest legends,” such as On Any Sunday film producer Bruce Brown, have committed to attend.  Many of the Legends in attendance were in the On Any Sunday film, including Mert Lawwill, who remains a close friend to Bruce Brown.  Most of us grow old and look our years,  but Mert still looks the same as when he was powering his XR750 Harley around the Sacramento Mile back in 1970!  Many of the on-hand Legends are also members of a very select group, the AMA Hall of Fame. 

A one-off poster honoring Legend Terry Dorsch will also be signed by all the legends present and presented to his widow Jennie.  Terry was killed last year in a street bike accident and loved taking part in the Legends activities. 

 

Terry Dorsch

Legends who have RSVP’d and are expected to attend: (*AMA Hall of Fame Inductee)

Bob Bailey
Mike Bast*
Jim Berry
Dave Bostrom
Everett Brashear*
Bruce Brown*
Jim Doyle
Jim Filice*
Walt Fulton
Frank Gillespie
Dan Haaby
Johnny Hall
Dave Hansen
Digger Helm
Steve Hernandez
Tom Horton
Alex Jorgenson
Dennis Kanegae
Mert Lawwill*
Earl Lout
Keith Mashburn
Lee McReynolds
Ronald Moore
Jody Nicholas*
Jimmy Odom
Jimmy Plain
Jim Rice*
George “Bobo” Sepulveda
Sammy Tanner*
Nick Theroux
Skip Van Leeuwen*
Ralph White*
Eddie Wirth
Mike Yarn

Click on an image below to learn more about the AMA Hall of Fame members in attendance

Everett Brashear

Everett Brashear was one of the top AMA dirt track racers of the 1950s. From 1952 to 1960, Brashear won a total of 15 AMA nationals and dozens of regional races. Four-time AMA Grand national Champion Carroll Resweber named Brashear as one of his major influences and he was generally acknowledged by his peers as one of the most talented riders of his time.

Bruce Brown

Moviemaker Bruce Brown produced the classic motorcycling movie "On Any Sunday" in 1971. The movie was a success and helped spur the explosive growth of motorcycling during the 1970s. Brown's movie conveyed the fun and enjoyment that motorcycling added to people’s lives. It also documented the 1970 season of AMA Grand National racing by following defending champion Mert Lawwill. Many people from all walks of life took up motorcycling after seeing "On Any Sunday." The movie was critical success as well, being nominated for an Academy Award for Documentary Feature film.

Jim Rice

Jim Rice was a leading AMA Grand National racer of the 1960s and early ‘70s. During his short six-year professional racing career, Rice scored 12 AMA national wins. He won on mile, half-mile and TT circuits. All but one of his victories came on BSA motorcycles.

Rice was a championship contender for most of his career. He scored a series-leading six national wins in 1970, but came up just short in the final standings, finishing second to Gene Romero in that year’s championship. That season was famously chronicled by the movie "On Any Sunday" and showed a brutal crash Rice suffered at the Sacramento Mile that may have cost him that year’s title

Jimmy Filice

Jimmy Filice was one of the most versatile AMA professional racers from the 1980s to early 2000s. He was AMA Flat Track Rookie of the Year in 1981 and later turned to road racing to become one of the elite riders in the history of AMA 250 Grand Prix racing.

The Californian won a total of 29 AMA nationals in both the AMA Grand National Championship and AMA 250 Grand Prix Series. He would go on to become a three-time AMA 250 Grand Prix Champion. His single biggest victory came in 1988 at the U.S. round of the 250cc Grand Prix World Championship at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, California. Filice was also a factory AMA Superbike rider for Yamaha in the mid-1980s.

 

Jody Nicholas

 

Jody Nicholas was one of America’s best road racers during the 1960s. He was a contender at nearly every road race national he entered from the early 1960s to the time he was drafted to serve in the Vietnam War in 1965. The years that Nicholas served his country came at the prime of his career. He returned to racing after the service and had some successes, but never regained the momentum he had before being drafted.

In 1963, Nicholas won his two career AMA nationals: at the famous Laconia Classic road race and later that year on the road course in Carpentersville, Illinois. He was known for his graceful riding style, which was in stark contrast to the brutish, square-off-the-turn style employed by most American dirt track riders on road courses in the early ‘60s.

Mike Bast

Mike Bast was the top American speedway rider of the 1970s. A prolific performer, Bast compiled an amazing win record in speedway racing after the sport’s U.S. revival in the late 1960s. He established a record of seven American Speedway Championships, including an incredible streak of five consecutive titles from 1975 through 1979.

Ralph White

Ralph White was a leading AMA Grand National racer during the 1960s. White won four AMA nationals during his 12-year professional racing career, including a victory at the prestigious Daytona 200 in 1963. While he was known primarily as a road racer, he proved his versatility by winning the most coveted race in AMA Grand National dirt-track racing – the Springfield (Ill.) Mile in 1965. During his career White was a factory rider for Harley-Davidson, Matchless, Yamaha and Kawasaki.

Sammy Tanner

Sammy Tanner was one of the top AMA professional racers from the late 1950s through all of the 1960s. Tanner won a total of seven AMA nationals, including the prestigious Springfield (Illinois) Mile. He rode for the Triumph and BSA factory teams and was one of the heroes of the famous weekly Friday night Ascot Park races in Gardena, California. When Tanner first began racing as a young teenager, he was just 5 feet tall and weighed barely 100 pounds, earning him the nickname the "Flying Flea." He was also known for being one of the first riders on the Grand National circuit to wear white racing leathers.

Skip Van Leeuwen

Skip Van Leeuwen was one of the best Tourist Trophy Steeplechase riders in the history of AMA racing. Van Leeuwen dominated AMA TT competition in the mid-1960s, winning four nationals on the small dirt-track circuits that feature a jump and left- and right-hand turns. Van Leeuwen won AMA national TT races in Houston (in the Astrodome), Castle Rock, Washington, and at his home track of Ascot Park in Gardena, California. He also won numerous West Coast regional championships during his racing career. After retiring from racing in the early 1970s, Van Leeuwen went on to launch a successful motorcycle accessories business.