Remembering Dick Mann: Moto-Journalist Art Friedman

Remembering Dick Mann: Moto-Journalist Art Friedman

© 2021, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.

FIRST PERSON/OPINION:

Dick Mann’s late ex-wife Susie once related a story about one of Bugsy’s experiences at the Daytona 200.

This was back when qualifying was done via a flying lap on the oval on Wednesday or Thursday. It was the same day that the Alligator enduro was contested nearby. The day started with heavy rain, which was forecast to continue throughout the day.

Seeing that qualifying would certainly be delayed, Mann took his BSA thumper and entered the enduro. Sure enough, by midday, the rain stopped and the track began to dry. BSA sent people to try to find Mann and get him back to the Speedway, because if you didn’t qualify on that day, you couldn’t start in the first wave. Time was running out to qualify, and there was no sign of Dick Mann. BSA was desperate. They finally managed to squeeze Mann’s teammate Ralph White into Mann’s leathers. This was no mean feat. White was significantly taller than Mann. They sent him out to qualify for Mann.

What really annoyed White was that he qualified better as Mann than as himself (perhaps the compressed version offered less wind resistance).

As far as I know, Dick Mann was the only rider ever to qualify for the Daytona 200 without having actually been there.

Art Friedman

Santa Paula, California

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