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Wauseon National Classic Flat Track Race
Friday July 18th
George Roeder II and Chad Rall match raced during intermission at
the Wauseon National Classic Flat Track Races.
won in 2011, and Rall won in 2012 - after swapping leads several times, Roeder broke the tie in 2013.
photo courtesy of David Moore
WAUSEON’s VINTAGE RACE BRINGS OUT THE BEST IN ALL OF US
July 19, 2013
By Larry Barnes
Wauseon, OH and Davenport, IA vintage motorcycle races are not like any other race events you are likely to see.
They are like a walk through time. Bikes and riders from the past 100 years show up to run handlebar to handlebar on
beautifully prepared half mile tracks, with the unmistakable voice of Donnie Bargmann calling the action. Wauseon and Davenport
races are part of the Flat Track Ministries and offer a prayer service to the riders.
July’s Wauseon race featured 152 entries as old as Frank Rick’s 1913 Indian board-tracker,
up to the modern Speedway bikes competing in their own National Championship race. Riders in their mid-70’s raced against
teenagers in some classes, with no quarter given or asked. The stirring opening ceremonies included a parade
lap by the Motor Maids, an invocation prayer, the Pledge of Allegiance, and the National Anthem, sung by racer Paul Bailey.
The Speedway and Handshift classes had repeat winners. Dan Weicht won his third consecutive
Speedway Long Track National aboard a Jawa 500, and George Wills won his second in a row Handshift main on a Harley –
this time without the gift from Roeder. Darryl Jakubowski won two classes this year with two different Triumphs. Matt Walksler
won the Board Track class on a 1926 Harley-Davidson.
third annual Roeder vs. Rall match race was won by George Roeder II on a Kelly George-built Indian Chief vs. Chad Rall on
a Ben Breece-built Harley K-Model. The two sons of dirt track heroes Ronnie Rall and George Roeder, Sr.
upheld their family honor.
While the full grandstand of spectators
got to see 20 heats and eleven main events, much of the excitement was felt in the pits where riders gather and mingle.
It’s like s a family reunion of sorts. Everyone shares the same
passion of keeping dirt track alive, and keeping their old machines running. Everybody helps everybody
with starting their machines and getting ready to ride. But when they take to the starting line, everybody
gets serious. The track is no place for horseplay, and everyone tries their best to ride as fast as they
can. It’s a tribute to these experienced riders that the ambulance stayed parked all night.
Those people included guys like Russ Delaney, who is
83 years old and brought his own old racing pictures from the 40’s; David Coon and his team of riders came up from Florida
packed in an old motorhome; and 85 yr. old Jerry Callen, former AMA National rider #10, who put on a borrowed set of leathers
from his son Mike, and took a few parade laps on the George-built Chief.
But make no mistake; the racing was serious. There were 3 row main events with 18 riders in the 70’s Singles
class, 18 in the Vintage Twin class, 14 Vintage 250/360 riders, and 16 boardtrackers… and every one of them wanted
to be first rider into turn one!
to class sizes, the Handshift Main seemed a bit sparse with only five guys on the line. Unfortunately,
Indian riders Doug Horner, Larry Barnes, and Tom Knight were still putting on their war paint when their race took off without
them. Word from the tribe is they will set up camp closer to the staging area next year.
Scotty Brown with his family and army of friends (Bike Days M-C Club) did an admirable job
of promoting and staging the event. Even with the thermometer in the 90’s, the track wasn’t dusty. A thunderstorm
was headed for Wauseon during the last few main events, then split creating a lightning show to the North and to the South
allowing the program to still finish on time. The crowd went home happy, looking forward to the third weekend in July of next
Race results listed on the "Wauseon Page"