I am so happy I found this roll of negatives from the 1985 WERA Grand National Finals. I had very few photos remaining from this race and this happens to be a shot from a classic race showing a ton of great riders.
It’s the A Superbike final with Meril Moen (No. 31) leading the pack at the start of the race going into Road Atlanta’s turn one.
Moen is just ahead of Gary Gibson (No. 32), Ottis Lance (No. 517), Robert Head (No. 99), Kevin Rentzell (No. 48). Just to the inside of Rentzell is Joe Nelson. Also in the photo are Steve Nardiello (No. 92), Pat Gill (No. 637), Rodney Cohen (No. 916), Tommy Sloan (No. 614), John Giambrone (No. 744), Stu Edenfield (No. 228), Jon Gray (No. 20) and Chris Thomas (No. 906). The last rider in a line straight back from Gibson is Herbert Williams (with the white stripe on his helmet).
Farther back in the novice ranks if you look to the far left of the photo you’ll see Adam Smith (No. 161) who was the standout novice star of the GNF that year. You can also see novice Bob Englert (No. 298) and Patrick Tharp (No. 917).
Texan Moen won the race and the WERA A Superbike Championship. Interestingly he and Ottis Lance were soon to become teammates on Kosar Racing’s AMA Superbike squad. Kosar was one of the top privateer teams of the mid-1980s.
The one mystery in this photo is No. 48 Kevin Rentzell. Rentzell appears to be on a Suzuki GSXR. The GSXR didn’t come out in America until 1986, so I’m a bit confused. His bike could be a Suzuki RG500, which had a similar front fairing as the GSXR. I know a lot of Rentzell’s buddies check out this site. Maybe they can shed some light on exactly what Rentzell was riding in this photo.