Sunday, August 2, 2015

Former Don Tilley Riders Springsteen, Nobles & Church to Be Honored at AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship Charlotte Half-Mile on August 29

Three of Don Tilley’s Riders to Be Honored at the Don Tilley Memorial Charlotte Half-Mile

Fans Can Meet Jay Springsteen, Gene Church and Tripp Nobles While Attending the Race on Aug. 29
CHARLOTTE, NC (July 31, 2015) – Three of the leading riders who raced for the late-great tuner and team owner Don Tilley will be at the upcoming Don Tilley Memorial Charlotte Half-Mile, the AMA Pro Flat Track event to be held at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Half-Mile dirt oval on Saturday, August 29, 2015. Renowned riders Jay Springsteen, Gene Church and Tripp Nobles will be special guests of honor at the event and will be on hand to sign autographs for fans.
This race is named after legendary North Carolina Harley-Davidson motorcycle dealer and race bike builder Don Tilley, who tragically died in an accident last August.
Jay Springsteen was the first rider pegged to ride Lucifer’s Hammer, the legendary ex-Mark Brelsford Harley-Davidson XR750RR that sat in mothballs for a decade before Harley’s racing department brought the XR back to life for then newly-formed AMA Battle of the Twins road racing competition. The effort was run under the Tilley Racing umbrella with the XR getting pumped up to 1000cc. In March of 1983 “Springer” gave the machine a victorious comeback by winning the Daytona Battle of the Twins round over Ducati riders Jimmy Adamo and Brit Tony Rutter and the partnership between Tilley and Springsteen was instantly fabled.
“Don and the Harley guys had that Lucifer’s Hammer running so well,” Springsteen recalled. “The main thing I was worried about in that race at Daytona was keeping from running into the back of lapped riders going around the banking, that bike was going so fast.”
While Springsteen got the legend of Lucifer’s Hammer off the ground, it was another flat tracker named Gene Church, who Tilley lobbied Harley to let race the bike.  Tilley’s pick of Church turned out to be inspired. It was Church who, starting in 1984, went on to race the Tilley-tuned Harley to three-consecutive AMA Battle of the Twins Championships.

Photo courtesy of SMI, promoters of the Charlotte Half-Mile. (Left to right) Gene Church, Tripp Nobles, Jay Springsteen.

“I think Dick O’Brien [Harley-Davidson’s racing boss] was a little skeptical when Don told him he wanted me to race the bike,” Church said. “But Don believed in me and convinced O’Brien that I could handle it. I’ll always be grateful to him for putting that trust in me and was glad we were able to win those championships together.”
Tripp Nobles raced Harley-Davidson’s VR1000 Superbike for Tilley, but it was later on the dragstrip where the pair earned national championships together. Nobles, a leading road racer turned drag racer, won multiple AHDRA National Championships racing a Tilley-built Harley V-Rod.
"It meant a lot to be riding for Don Tilley,” Nobles said. “Over the years we won a lot of races, but in 2003 was our first championship. I’d look over at the line and feel sorry for my competitors knowing I had Don in my corner."
The Dirt Track at Charlotte is a half-mile clay oval on the Charlotte Motor Speedway complex. The Don Tilley Memorial is a return to the early roots of the facility. The track was built in 2000 and one of its first premier events was an AMA Grand National on July 22, 2000, won by Mike Hacker.
“We’re excited to bring together three of Don Tilley’s top riders to our event as a way to honor his memory,” said race promotor Steve McLaughlin. “This is truly going to be a celebration of Don’s life and promises to be a great race as well.”
The AMA Pro Grand National Championship series is one of the longest running motorcycle racing championships in the world. Known by its fans as flat track racing, many consider this form of motorcycle racing the most exciting on the planet. On the straightaways of the Dirt Track at Charlotte top speeds can reach 120 miles per hour running just inches apart, then pitching their machines into the turns and controlling their arc by throttling up and spinning their bike’s rear wheel, all of this on a racing surface made of dirt! Flat track racing has produced many of America’s Motorcycle Grand Prix Champions such as Kenny Roberts, Eddie Lawson, Wayne Rainey, Kenny Roberts, Jr. and Nicky Hayden.
Practice for the Don Tilley Memorial Charlotte Half-Mile begins at on Saturday, Aug. 29 at 2:00 p.m. and opening ceremonies for the evening program kick off at 6:00 p.m.
*** 2015 Ticket Information: Ticket information is available for the Aug. 29, 2015 Don Tilley Memorial Charlotte Half-Mile at
Fans can order tickets online at, by calling the Toll Free Ticket Hotline 1-800-745-3000.
Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are available. Contact the Don Tilley Memorial Charlotte Half-Mile Group Sales Department at  or call 1-844-722-6453 for more information.

Larry Lawrence
c. (317) 332-3899
SMI Media Rep
Sacramento Mile - May 30
Charlotte Half Mile - Aug 29
Las Vegas Finals - Nov 20

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