An anonymous donor has kicked in another $4725 to our Air Fence fund and made it six beautiful 30-foot sections to protect our racers from hitting solid walls and embankments at AMA Nationals.
That's $17,400 raised in 24 hours, plus another $250 personal donation from Al Ludington, who works for Team Kawasaki with Eric Bostrom. Ludington's personal donation should in no way be considered an endorsement of this project by his employers, who have not yet seen fit to contribute. New total: $17,650.
No one who saw the TV footage of Grant Lopez hitting a concrete wall during the 1999 AMA National at Phoenix International Raceway, or watched the helicopter carry him away, or saw the look on the faces of his mother and sister, needs us to explain why we are doing this.
It is a shame that AMA Pro Racing has its collective head so far up its collective ass that individual racers, mechanics, parents of racers, race team owners, enthusiasts and fans have to collect the money to buy the Air Fence so urgently needed, but if that's the way it is, it's still worth the effort to not have to watch another rider air-lifted away after hitting a bare wall.
The current contributor list looks like this:
John Ulrich/Roadracing World $2900
Marc Salvisberg/Factory Pro Tuning $1450
Bob Dragich/Roadracing World $1450
Bob Blandford/N.E. Sportbike Assn. $1100
Chuck Warren/Arclight Suzuki $1000
Jim Rashid/4&6 Cycle $1000
Don Lemelin/Scuderia West $500
Kevin Erion/Erion Racing $500
Edward S. Siccardi, Jr. $300
Brian Mitchell $250
Al Ludington $250
Papa Thiam/WERA BBS $200
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
Ron West/Omzig Productions $100
Joe Facer $100
Preston Rash $100
Geoff Maloney/GP Tech $100
Melissa Berkoff/Neighbor Of The Beast $100
Ceasar Gonzales/WERA BBS $100
Dorina Groves $100
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
Josh Loverant $25
To pledge a contribution, call Roadracing World at (800) 464-8336 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time, when operators will be standing by. Credit cards accepted.
Pledges can also be made by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Readers should feel free to call their parts, tire and accessory suppliers and urge them to make a contribution to improve safety conditions for AMA racers. For that matter, contact local dealers and ask them to encourage their OEMs to contribute.
For background information, see Time To Take Back The AMA post from Tuesday morning.
Stay tuned for more details.