Oct 24, 2013
© 2013, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.
From a press release
issued by MRA:
MRA President Tony Baker (left), MRA Founder TG "Woody" Witte (center), Colorado Motorsports Hall of Fame Board Member Bill Vickery (right) with the J.C. Agajanian Award. Photo courtesy of MRA.
Arvada, CO - As perhaps the crowning achievement of the Motorcycle Roadracing Association’s 40th Anniversary Season, it was inducted into the Colorado Motorsports Hall of Fame Wednesday night [October 23] as the recipient of the J.C. Agajanian Award – Honoring outstanding contribution to motorsports by an organization. A few prior winners of the award include the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, the Bandimere Family, Colorado Sports Car Club of America, and NHRA West Central Region.
MRA President Tony Baker accepted the award on behalf of the organization with the following speech:
“It is a tremendous honor to be selected by the Board as the recipient of the J.C. Agajanian Award. We are celebrating our 40th Anniversary season this year as well, and so to be placed in the same company as the Bandimere Family, Colorado SCCA, NHRA West Central, and the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is humbling to say the least. As one of the lesser known racing groups in Colorado, I’d like to say just a little bit about who we are. Originally founded in 1973 by Woody Witte as the Rocky Mountain Roadracing Association, our first race was held at Woody Creek Raceway in Aspen, CO. The name was soon shortened to Mountain Roadracing Association and continued under that name until 1988. Following some 'restructuring' during the off season, the MRA was re-incorporated in 1989 as the Motorcycle Roadracing Association. The global financial collapse in 2008 very nearly forced another new iteration of the MRA acronym during the 2009 season, but we were fortunate to have great leadership and a committed group of members to see us through. Present day MRA is a 501C7 non-profit, with approximately 275 Racing and Associate members. We operate as a mostly volunteer organization, and put on one race school and seven race events each season which attract 150 to 160 riders, and 500 to 600 spectators to each round.
"The MRA has produced some of the country's very best road racers over the years, including Hall of Fame inductees Bruce Sass and Donnie Hough. Others include Daytona 200 all-time mileage leader Ricky Orlando, World Superbike competitor Shane Turpin (who incidentally won six more national championships at Daytona last weekend), father and son duo Bill and Doug Vickery, 250cc GP rider and AMA Red Bull RoadRace Factory team owner Danny Walker, AMA Superbike Rookie of the Year Dan Tuner, Yamaha Champions Riding School instructor Mark Schellinger, and multi-discipline racer and champion Mike Pettiford.
"Historically, and without exception, when MRA racers travel to other tracks around the country… we win races! – So rest assured our members are representing the Colorado Motorsports Community extremely well!
"The MRA is a virtual organization that only exists, tangibly, when we come together to race. We don’t have an office or headquarters of any kind, just a website and a PO Box... yet we’ve managed to pull this off now for 40 years. As a long-time member, I can say with certainty, that it is ONLY because of the commitment and dedication of our Members, Sponsors, and Volunteers that we are able to accept this award today.
"I believe it’s appropriate for us to recognize the people who really have made our success possible over the years. As one of the few groups in Colorado focused exclusively on 'paved road course racing,' the MRA couldn’t exist without the help of our four-wheeled racing friends who share the same facilities and same passion for road racing that we do. For many years, the Colorado Motorsports Council and their member clubs were the driving force that kept our racetracks open, as they maintained and managed many of our facilities. And more recently the Colorado Amateur Motorsports Association with their vision to build High Plains Raceway, a track which is OWNED and managed by members of the racing community, paved the way to ensure the future of road racing in Colorado. We appreciate your years of work and dedication - more than you could ever know.
"Finally, I’d like to recognize those individuals and organizations that have been there to support the MRA – year after year – without ANY chance or expectation of profit or personal gain.
"ABATE of Colorado
"Fay Myers Motorcycle World
"Woody Witte of Woody’s Wheel Works
"the Vickery Family – Bill and Shari, Doug and Teri and their team at Vickery Motorsports.
"and last but certainly not least - the thousands of members who have been a part of the MRA over the past 40 years…
"Each of you, and all of you, are the lifeblood - the heart and soul of the MRA and everything we do.
"Thank you all so much for having us here tonight, and for taking the time to honor a club that has been such a big part of our lives over the years!
"It’s been a pleasure."