Friday, June 16, 2017
THE STEEL SHOE SYNDICATE
American Flat Track racing was born out of the blisteringly fast board tracks and dusty horse racing circuits of the early 1900s, where towns such as Dodge City, Kansas, Laurel, Maryland, and Fresno, California played host to “Class A” 1000cc national events. In 1954 the American Motorcyclist Association Grand National Championship was launched with San Jose, California’s Joe Leonard winning the number one plate for the Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based Harley-Davidson Motor Company. By the early to mid-1970s, Flat Track was a wildly popular form of motorcycle racing in the United States. Captured so vividly by Bruce Brown’s camera in the seminal film On Any Sunday, riders such as ’69 champion Mert Lawill, Gene Romero, Gary Nixon, Dave Aldana and a young Kenny Roberts (who would later trade in his trade in his steel show Flat Track accolades for three 500cc World Roadracing Championships).