This one’s a predicament for Gene Burcham (4). Burcham is coming up on Duane Dreyer (73) during a late-1980s WERA Endurance at Talladega Grand Prix Raceway. Dreyer, co-owner of Dreyer Yamaha-Suzuki in Indianapolis, was Gene’s sponsor. Gene eventually got by Duane, but it wouldn’t have been an easy task. Dreyer was a nationally-ranked motocross racer who dabbled in road racing and became a WERA national champ.
Brian Lantz (with his step-dad Buzz Pritz’ name on the leathers) was still a teenager racing novice WERA when this photo was taken at Blackhawk Farms in the mid-to-late 1980s. He went on to become one of the top WERA riders in the 1990s. In 1999 Lantz did a one-off AMA Supersport ride at Road Atlanta on his own Kawasaki, back when the field was loaded with tons of factory racers. He worked his way up through the field passing riders like Rich Alexander, Jake Zemke and Damon Buckmaster along the way to finish 16th (fourth privateer) out of 43 starters. The last I heard Brian had a plumbing business near Atlanta. Brian is the son of WERA President Evelyne Clarke.
Sammy Halbert came into his own this season to become one of the top riders in the AMA Grand National Championship. Halbert won at the Bulls Gap (Tenn.) Half-Mile and has been a consistent podium finisher. He leads the mythical overall AMA Grand National Series (combining points of the GNC Twins and Singles Championships) over Jared Mees by a single point going into Pomona on Oct. 24.
This photo was taken with a Nikon F100, Nikon 300mm f/4 lens with Kodak Ultra Max 800 film.
Dan Chivington quietly went about winning his share of Suzuki GSXR contingency bucks in when the program was introduced in 1986. He was a surprise winner at the GSXR Cup final during the GNF at Road Atlanta in ’86. That race featured the best club racers from across the country and to this day is a high-water mark in WERA GNF history.