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this day, several of my friends and I still commonly use the phrase
“remember that crank?” It dates back to the early and mid-1990s when
we went through the new racer’s school at Willow Springs, headed by
Danny always had some words of wisdom, and warning,
for those new racers who were doing their own work on their bikes. It
usually took the form of a story, mostly hypothetical, yet clearly based
on a composite of real world experiences and mishaps he’d witnessed out
at Willow, and elsewhere.
The most memorable for me, was his scenario
of having your motor apart Friday night, hoping to get it back together
in time for the WSMC race weekend. You then realize that your crankshaft
doesn’t look so good, in fact, it really needs to be replaced. However,
you know it’s unlikely you’re going to find a new crankshaft and get it
installed in time, and even if you could, you can’t really afford it
right now anyway. So you figure it’s good enough, and it surely will
last one more weekend. So, you put your motor back together, and you
head off to Willow Springs that weekend.
So come Sunday afternoon you’re
chasing down some squid heading into Turn 8, and you’re about to go
underneath him midway through 8, moving at about a buck fifty, and….”remember that crank!?”
This is where it chooses to grenade of course, and so the seemingly
endless process of a terrible and chaotic crash ensues, with horrific
injuries to both you, and the guy you took out, because you made a bad
decision. Then begins the detailed account of the costs associated with
the entire scenario, from the totaled bike, to the $1500 taxi (ambulance) ride to the hospital, the thousands in the ER, thousands more for
surgery, all the lost income and work, eventual eviction or
foreclosure, the wife leaving you and taking at least half of what’s
left, and then it really starts to get bad after that.
successfully drove his point home; I remember it 20 years later.
this day, when someone is doing something they know they shouldn’t be
trying to get away with, someone will inevitably say “remember that
That’s the memory that stands out the most for me.
I ran into
Danny and spoke briefly on occasion during the months that I
sporadically raced with WSMC over a three or four year period. I never
got to know him personally, but I always appreciated what he brought to
WSMC, the riders, and the sport of motorcycling. I know he’ll be missed,
and I wish the best to his friends and family.
WSMC # 622