Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Don Castro Headed to AMA Hall of Fame


Don Castro, on the #11 Team Yamaha XS650-based flat tracker at Terre Haute, is smiling and ready to roll for practice in August of '74. The Yamaha Flat Track Team was comprised of Kenny Roberts #1, Gene Romero #3 and Donnie Castro #11 during the '73-'74 AMA Flat Track campaigns. The triple-threat team was downsized to just Roberts after the end of the '74 season, in what was one of the first and original 'super' teams in flat track of the day. Castro went on to run Erv Kanemoto's Kawasaki H2 750 during the '75 season where he made appearances at Terre Haute, Indy and Syracuse, along with a couple of west coast stops. Earlier in his career, and before I found flat track, Castro was also a member of the Triumph Factory squad, alongside '70 AMA Grand National Champ Romero. One of the nice guys in the sport, seeing Donnie get the nod for the AMA Hall of Fame in November is a great nod to a super guy and one of the great competitors in the sport.

In what comes as great news to fans of flat track, and especially Stu's Shots, it was announced yesterday by the AMA Hall of Fame that former National #11, Don Castro, would be inducted into the Hall this November as one of it's 2010 members.
Castro, who is best known for competing on the Triumph and Yamaha factory squads, as well as riding for Erv Kanemoto in the '75 season aboard the Kawasaki H2 750-based Champion-framed flat tracker, now runs a motorcycle and ATV-based service center in Tres Pinos, CA., just east of Salinas, CA. and south of San Jose.
Back in the summer of '74, my old buddy Dick Jones dragged me to my first flat track race over in Terre Haute, IN. Donnie was competing that day as a member of the Team Yamaha Triple-Threat AMA Flat Track team alongside Kenny Roberts and Gene Romero. While also feeling like the kid that had found sex for the first time in his life (where has THIS been all my life!?), I was also able to get up close and 'somewhat' personal while perusing the pits with many of the stars of the day. Although I never had the pleasure of meeting him personally, the man always had a smile on his face and truly looked excited and happy to just be there and on the track. When Billy Schaefer, former National #96, won his semi race for the day to make the main, the whole Yamaha squad came over into Billy's pits where we were hanging out, to look over his privateer Yamaha that he had just won on. It was pure heaven for a kid of 17 who had also just found pure heaven in the form of AMA Flat Track racing.
And as I remember, Castro had one of the biggest smiles on his face as he checked out the competition. That smile will be stuck with me for the rest of my life.

Congrats to Donnie Castro for this big and super announcement, and we will be looking forward to November for the induction ceremony in Las Vegas to see #11 get his due after all these years. Very cool!

Here's the official release from the AMA Hall of Fame on this super exciting news:


No comments:

Post a Comment

Keep it nice, but keep them coming!

---Please note---You can leave comments anonymously, but you can also leave them while logged into Google, Yahoo and other platforms.
We'd love to hear from you!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.