With round 8 of the 2014 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship at the Sacramento Mile just over two weeks off, the folks at SMI, the promoters of the resurrected Sacto Mile have taken some time to talk to one of the 'old horses' of the sport to look back at some of the long-standing history from this great west coast event.
In the early '80s, 3-Time AMA Grand National Champion Jay Springsteen was still having problems on and off with the stomach illness that kept him from possibly winning four or more AMA Grand National Championships, and was back to do battle in round 5 of the Winston Pro Series as the The Rolling Thunder Show hit up the Sacto Mile for the first mile event of the season.
Springer had already tied 2-Time AMA Grand National Champion and 3-Time 500cc World Champion Kenny 'The King' Roberts with 29 AMA Grand National wins earlier in the season at the Houston Astrodome, and was feeling fit to race and possibly take over the helm of the 'all-time wins' leader in the AMA Grand National Championship.
From the shot above, Springer can be seen talking with a few other notables of the sport, during the rider intros portion of the first AMA Pro Flat Track Hall of Fame Race at the Springfield Mile over the Labor Day weekend in 1998, a race that was conjured up by former announcer and all-around motorcycle guy Dave Despain. Seen in the shot are eventual 9-Time AMA Grand National Champion Scott Parker, Springer talking with now AMA Pro Flat Track event manager Steve 'The Findlay Flyer' Morehead, and eventual 7-Time AMA Grand National Champion Chris Carr. Despain, who not only acted as the man that put this great event together and helped raise the $100K purse to go along with it, was also the announcer for the event and can be seen 'listening in' in the background as the shutter bugs on hand shoot away at the meeting of the legends to be on the front straight at the Illinois State Fairgrounds mile oval.
Read on below to see what Springer had to do and eventually did to take over the all-time wins list at the Sacto Mile in April '82, and get ready to see some of the best racing ever on the left coast as the stars of the greatest racing show on two wheels in the world get ready to head to Sacramento on July 26 for what will truly be a night under the stars and a track full of stars for round 8 of the AMA Grand National Championship.
Press release courtesy of SMI, the promoters of The Sacramento Mile.
When “Springer” became all-time AMA Grand National Wins Leader
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