The AMA Grand National Rookie class of 1979 had a reunion and they were featured at the 2009 Indy Mile. The reunion was inspired by the original Gary Van Voorhis “Class of ‘79” story and the follow up on the class in Archives 30 years later both in the pages of Cycle News. The original May of 1979 story followed the progress of the top six Junior racers Scott Parker, Wayne Rainey, John Wincewicz, Tommy Duma, Charlie Roberts and Ronnie Jones making their expert debut in 1979 and the Archives article caught up with the guys nearly 30 years later.
It was an emotional reunion. Only Wincewicz was missing. The Indy Mile crowd gave the Class of ’79 a resoundingly warm reception. Charlie Roberts said he’d never seen that many flashes going off when they brother the group on stage.
“It seems like this is our DNA,” Rainey said after getting a minute-long standing ovation upon his introduction. “When I started racing my heroes were guys like Kenny Roberts and Jay Springsteen. To see the history continue and then this Class of ’79 Reunion, it shows how much the fans care about the history of this sport. That class of rookies did so much; it was great to be a part of it.”