Loving the San Francisco Bay Area... Community development, urban ministry, trying to defeat poverty, faith, religion, politics, good music, the quest for the perfect pizza, the Yankees, motorcycles... All in a 'day's life'

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Jay's Back


The other love of my life, that I don't talk about too much in this blog, is motorcycles and motorcycle racing. Jay Springsteen, Harley Davidson racer and former racing idol of mine is back after a crash.
Springsteen at Full Speed

DAYTONA BEACH -- Jay Springsteen is pretty much a "vintage" type, much like the No. 9 1972 Harley-Davidson he rode Monday and Tuesday in American Historical Racing Motorcycle Association events at Daytona International Speedway.

Indeed, the 49-year-old Motorcycle Hall of Famer is even older than a lot of the riders against whom he competes.

"Some of them could be my son," Springsteen said. "I'm going to be 50 in April."

Generally speaking, the older one gets, the slower bone fractures will heal -- and motorcycle racing generally isn't prone to particularly cushy landings when one is hurled from a seat.

Springsteen's recovery rate was taxed nearly to its limits in the aftermath of a serious late-July wreck last year on a half-mile dirt flat-track in Greenville, Ohio.

Twisted and bent, Springsteen was airlifted to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio, where doctors inserted four pins and a rod into one all-but-shattered vertebrae.

Beyond a broken finger here and a broken collarbone there, it was the first time in his career Springsteen had taken such a big Hit. He also had rib fractures in 11 different places.

Springsteen initially thought his racing days were over.

"It was the first, really serious surgery I ever had. I thought that was gonna be the end of my career," he said. "The doctors that put me back together said I was done, too. But I proved the doctors wrong."

In a body cast, it would take Springsteen awhile to heal, though, and cost him a long-anticipated start in Moto-ST's October debut road race at Daytona International Speedway.

Scheduled to team with Jimmy Filice in Moto-ST's SuperTwin class here during the Fall Cycle Scene, Springsteen was relegated tothe pits.

"I felt good about being on the team and stuff like that, but I had feelings that I hadn't felt in a long time," said the first rider to ever reach 30 wins in AMA Grand National competition, winning more than 10 percent of the AMA flat-track races in which he competed.

Springsteen would get back on the horse for Sunday's Moto-ST DaytonaUSA 300k, teaming with Filice to win the SuperTwin-class race by more than one lap.

Springsteen hardly took a breather when he followed with four wins over two days of AHMRA action that closed out Tuesday, capturing wins each day in Formula 750 and Formula Vintage atop his Harley.

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