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Apr 21, 2001

Air Fence Fund Contributors Write...

Many letters and e-mails have poured in along with the latest round of donations to our Air Fence from contributors Mark Hatten (a racer), former racer Jon DeMent, racer Chris Eklund, Mike Canfield, Team Daemon Racing, Mark Hellvig, Jamieson D. Yonker, Kevin Jordan/Jordan Motorsports, Marty Voelker, Trent Thompson/Paramount Racing, Dean de St. Croix, Norm Viano aka 'Lawdog', Jim Frost/NEDoD, Mike Brown'Team 222 Wayyyy 2 Old 2 Fat and 2 Slow, former racer Paul Black, FMX star Dustin Miller, Paul Kingsburgh, Paul Zavada, Chris Story, racer Dean Scarpa, Ripley M. Howe, racer Chris Kelley, and Fred Olsen. Here are a few of the letters.

Jon DeMent wrote: "I applaud your efforts, and pledge $25 towards the air fencing. I wish it could be more. As an old former club racer, I only wish such protection had been available in my day, I might walk without the telltale racer's limp."

Racer and MSF Instructor Chris Eklund wrote: "I want to say thank you for all you do for all of us racers and enthusiasts. This is a great example of someone that not only vocalizes the problems with the AMA but is willing to do something about it. I challenge the AMA to do the right thing. I challenge the AMA to...dig into their own pockets to provide the Air Fences and safety equipment necessary to protect the very riders that put money into their coffers. At the very least, the AMA should match dollar-for-dollar the wonderful contributions made here for improving rider safety. I hope your actions here result in improved safety for all racers in AMA competition. I also hope your efforts will convince the AMA to get out of competitive motorcycling and concentrate on the legislative and legal activities that originally convinced me to join over 10 years ago. I willingly pledge $100 and hope that in some way it will make a difference. I will be placing a check in the mail tomorrow. Thank you once again."

Mike Canfield of Chandelle Motorsports wrote: "I applaud your aggressive action in support of the safety of Motorcycle road racers. I, too, have seen my riders and friends transported from racing events. While not all would have been help by an Air Fence, some very serious injuries may have been lessened had these fences been in place. I cannot contribute a great deal of money, but I cannot let this fund go by without participating in some way. My conscience and concern for all who participate in the sport we love will not allow it. Thank you for instituting this fund."

Bruce Leung wrote "The check I mailed yesterday was made out to AMA Pro Racing. Would it be better to send one made out to Roadracing World? If so, say the word and I'll send a new one (and ask you to destroy the first one."
And yes, Bruce, if the check is made out to Roadracing World we don't have to count on anybody at the AMA figuring out how to act in a timely fashion, and can just go ahead and start buying the Air Fence and getting it deployed.

Racer Mark Hellvig wrote, "I am just a second-year Novice racer pretty strapped for cash. But one cannot put a price on safety, especially for the sport that has captured our hearts and minds so very much. If I ever become good enough that I am in a National and see an Air Fence covering some immoveable object, I may be assured enough in my own safety to twist the throttle just a little more, push a little harder, and get a little faster, just as every racer should be able to do now. I am donating $100 in hopes that one day, my son/daughter and I can sit down and watch a full-grown Hayden, Hopkins, Acree, etc. racing in World Grand Prix, and tell them about a wicked crash they had back in the day and how track safety protected them from serious injury. Thanks."

Jamieson D. Yonker wrote, "I would like to pledge $20 toward the purchase of Air Fence to be used in AMA Pro Racing."

Kevin Jordan wrote, "I would like to congratulate John Ulrich in starting this fund-raising drive. The AMA has let too many racers get injured or killed and it is time we try to put a stop to it. I will be entering the racing arena in the near future and hope to compete in AMA events, so I am in full support of this. Please accept my pledge of $100 towards the purchase of the Air Fence."

Marty Voelker wrote: "I have already sent in my check for the Air Fence but I made it out to the AMA as instructed. If you need it changed (as may be the case as I read the latest) please return it and I will make it out to the proper payee."
And yes, Marty, if it's made out to Roadracing World we can avoid any stalling tactics by AMA and get on with deployment of Air Fence.

Paramount Racing owner Trent Thompson wrote "After witnessing far too many deaths as a result of no Air Fence, Paramount Racing applauds John Ulrich and Roadracing World for their hard work on making Air Fence a reality. Paramount Racing would like to pledge $5000 to the Air Fence fund. Once again, thanks for all your hard work on this drive."

Racer Dean de St. Croix wrote: "I spend my days wrapped up in the responsibility of owning my own small business, being a single father for half of the week, caring for my employees and looking forward to the next time I can get on my racebike. I take my racing very seriously and understand that it is essential to my life and happiness. Ask my ex-wife. To a great extent and to varying degrees I think this is true for even the most dedicated professional, through the weekend racer, to varying degrees.

"My friends and family ask me how I can go out and risk so much for a (simple) thrill. The question is hard to answer. In fact there is no answer--at least not a good one and it is definitely not simple. Except to say that my life and my contribution to others would be so much less if I couldn't share my passion in this way. I guess this is what my life is.

"In my arrogance I could say that if my friends share in my passion whether directly or through my everyday life then we are all better for it. I know I share in theirs--it just might not be racing bikes.

"Reading your mag over the years and others has made me acutely aware of your contribution regardless of context to our sport and thus my life. Perspective is irrelevant--the fight is the important point. I know you know this. My point is I appreciate it right or wrong (my experience--right).

"When I scanned your site as I do a number of times a day and saw your request for Air Fence I immediately sent in $100. It makes sense. It makes sense to just get the fence and figure out how to make the logistics all work out later. That's the easy part. Finding people to carry the stuff around, to set it up and manage it is the easy part. I have always been successful in business and with my racing by just doing it. The phrase makes sense--especially when lives are in the equation. The lack of ability to take responsibility for personal decisions is one thing I have always despised. I despise it even more when people are charged with this task and wrap/protect themselves in process and buracracy. We as racers embrace our vulnerability every time we step onto the track. We revel in it and grow from it. We live because we challenge ourselves in the ultimate way. My friends and family don't see this. They don't see when they get in front of five people to make a presentation or sell a product, but it is the same thing. Racers just add a certain physical parameter to the equation that makes us challenge our living.

"Why are these people afraid to take responsibility and just make a decision? Are they racers? Why can't American Honda or Yamaha or Suzuki--or even Miguel or Nicky or Doug reach into the change pocket and buy the whole thing? Are they responsible? Are we? Who cares? That's not the point. Who looks better or who is implicated the next time some racing organization wants something? What is the precedent? Who cares? And I think we are all smarter than that."

The list of contributions so far follows:
Erik Buell/Buell Motorcycle Company $5800
Trent Thompson/Paramount Racing $5000
Anonymous $4725
Steve Brubaker/Race Tire Service $3000
John Ulrich/Roadracing World $2900
Aprilia USA $2900
American Suzuki Motor Corp. $2900
Ducati North America $2900
Jonathan Glaefke $2900
Wendell Phillips/Lockhart Phillips $2500
Dennis Smith/Sport Tire Services $1500
Marc Salvisberg/Factory Pro Tuning $1450
Bob Dragich/Roadracing World $1450
Fred Renz/Yoyodyne $1450
Bob Blandford/N.E. Sportbike Assn. $1100
Chuck Warren/Arclight Suzuki $1000
Jim Rashid/4&6 Cycle $1000
Scott Willock $1000
Don Emde/In Memory of Cal Rayborn $1000
Jason Pridmore's Star Motorcycle School $1000
Intrepid Café Racers $775
Team Daemon Racing $600
Don Lemelin/Scuderia West $500
Kevin Erion/Erion Racing $500
Pinky's Pizza of Walnut Creek $500
Doug Gonda $500
Jerry Wood/Penguin School $500
Mike Canfield/Chandelle Motorsports $500
Jim Davis/J6 Racing/In Memory of Dirk Piz $500
Brooks Gremmels/Shogun Motorsports $500
Jim Di Salvo/Alien Racing $500
Edward S. Siccardi, Jr. $300
Dan Fischer/ $300
David Finniff $300
Marietta Motorsports $300
Brendan Guy $300
Dean Scarpa $300
Anonymous $300
Brian Mitchell $250
Al Ludington $250
Tim Simpson $250
Spectrum Motorsports/VJB Racing $250
David Roy, Ducati N. America $250
Debbie Roy/Frenotec $250
Papa Thiam/WERA BBS $200
Bill Capshaw/ICE Motorsports $200
Scott Decker $200
Terry Embury $200
Jim "Dutch" MacKenzie/WERA BBS $200
Scott Jenkins $200
Chris Kelley $150
Robb McElroy $150
Tim Chin/Team Bandit $150
Jim Williams/ $125
David Boosales $125
Mike Brown: Team 222 Wayyyy 2 Old, 2 Fat and 2 Slow $125
Pat Stricker $100
Gary Rand $100
Michael Roberson/WERA BBS $100
Sean Jordan/WERA BBS $100
Army of Darkness $100
Stuart Gregg $100
Pinky's Pizza/Lippman Racing $100
Bob Szoke $100
TyrSox $100
Ron West/Omzig Productions $100
Joe Facer $100
Preston Rash $100
Geoff Maloney/GP Tech $100
Melissa Berkoff/Neighbor Of The Beast $100
Caesar Gonzales/WERA BBS $100
Dorina Groves $100
Philip Rusin/ $100
Allen "Spence" Spencer $100
Matt Wadsworth $100
Dean N. De St. Croix $100
Tony Tugwell/ $100
Bart Fuqua $100
Brian Stokes $100
Chris "Opie" Caylor $100
David McElvain/NEDoD $100
Ned "Peanut" Brown/NESBA/TPM $100
Vance Hacecky $100
Patrick Mee $100
Dave and Jason Parker $100
Paul Kingsburgh/ $100
Lucky Deleoni $100
Tom Drumm $100
David Brown $100
Steve Moonitz $100
Jake Swan $100
Chris Story $100
Chris Eklund $100
Randy Ball/WERA BBS $100
Mark Hellvig $100
Gary Schilling/On Time Racing $100
Steve Sumner $100
Laura Granato $100
Norm Viano/Lawdog Sports Mgmt $100
Kevin Jordan/Jordan Motorsports $100
Val Gregory/In Memory of Dirk Piz $100
Dave Gess $100
Rob Berland $100
Paul Black $100
Steve Hewitt $100
Mike Ciccotto $100
Tripp Nobles $100
Scott Rehl $100
Steve & Lorraine Aleport $100
Jeff Rozycki/WERA BBS $100
Tyson Kamp $75
Max Buxton/NEDoD $50
Nelo Hakola $50
Tyler Sandell $ 50
David J. Kopfinger $ 50
Aaron Loyd $50
Martin Voelker $50
Steve Hopkins $50
Louis DeBlois $50
Leigh Taunton/EMGO $50
Randy Sinisi $50
Danny Hull $50
Team Skidmark Racing $50
Ryan Meskimen/WERA BBS $50
Erik Astrup $50
Paul Zavada $50
James Greeson $50
Victor Mokler $50
Steve Clark/J. Guthridge/Tight Squeeze Racing $50
Nate Olsen $50
Anthony Moey $50
Dustin Miller $50
Jim Frost/NEDoD $50
Steve Martinez $50
Frederick Olsen $50
Don Moody $35
Lindsey Leard $30
Greg Gabis $29
Ripley Howe $29
Mark Hatten/Meccanica Corse Racing $29
Josh Loberant $25
Charles Tomes $25
Jon DeMent $25
Timothy Wilson $25
Mark Novak $25
Rene Ferron $25
Sean Patrick Brisini $25
Richard Korol $25
Eric and Khristine Lowanger $25
S.C. Pittman $20
Jamieson D. Yonker $20

To pledge a contribution, call Roadracing World at (800) 464-8336 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time, Monday-Friday, when operators will be standing by. Credit cards accepted. Pledges can also be made by e-mailing For background information, see Time To Take Back The AMA post from Tuesday morning. Stay tuned for more details, as we work toward our goal, $87,000 or 30 beautiful sections of Air Fence.