Originally Posted by UngaWunga
I used to have a video of Bahre, in the pit lane with his helpers, yelling at the top of his lungs at the AMA official, telling him to get the damn bikes out on the wet track. They ran the jet dryers for an hour, drying off the track, and he was pissed. Only the locals gridded up when it started to rain again just before the start. The pros sat back and watched the race.
He spent his money, he wanted the show to go on. No matter what. Next year, Wood/LLRS ran the "National" without the AMA. Flopped.
That race was the end of the 'National'. It was Pro Thunder, which really was a deep undercard. I mean the top guys were mostly club champs. Bob Bahre stood up there in the heat of the boycott and offered $25 thousand dollars to the winner of that race. The guy's who imagined themselves as professionals stayed in the garages out of peer shit. What a joke. The truth is that with the exception of maybe 3 riders, they were all grid fillers. None of them ever made their mark as a motorcycle racer.
A local kid by the name of Chris Arbor won that race. He rode his Dad's Duc 748 street bike out of Riverside Kawasaki in Somerville. It was quickly converted for the Pro Thunder opportunity, since his dad was a tuner in the shop. Chris normally rode an R6 in club races.
Maybe 20 starters took the grid. It was one of the most remarkable races I have ever seen in my life. The Arbor kid wanted that $25k and won it going away in driving rain. He crashed 3 times and picked up. It was freakin' awesome! To this day, I love Chris Arbor and I've never even met him. He left the sport after his masterpiece. But he made his mark on me!
I'd like to add that Loudon is a homer's track. The touring pro's hated it because the local nobodies could show them up. The junior teams were quick to hire LRRS notables to ride in place of their regular riders. It was a ringer thing.
The guy who feared nobody was none other then the 'Go Show', Anthony Gobert. He somehow was MIA for everything until qualifying. He showed up in time to ride Q and put his Ducati on the pole!
AMA needs to come back to Loudon.
PS: Mat Mladin owns the track record. It was a 9. The club guys are still about a second off.