Terre Haute’s Action Track (1976)

Terre Haute, Indiana 1976. AMA Grand National Motorcycle Race.

Riders line up before the start of the 1976 AMA Grand National at Terre Haute’s Action Track, a Half-Mile clay track on the far western edge of the Indiana, which hosted AMA Grand Nationals throughout most of the 1970s. (Gary Van Voorhis photo)

Terre Haute, Indiana’s Action Track hosted AMA Grand Nationals from 1969 to 1977 and then once more in 1997. The challenging clay Half-Mile at Terre Haute was best known for USAC auto races, but the AMA events drew big crowds in the 1970s. This shot is from the 1976 event, which was won by Kenny Roberts on a Yamaha twin.

The bikes look lined up to go in the wrong direction, but longtime racing fan and photographer Mike Stuhler, who attended several Terre Haute Grand Nationals, said riders were introduced and faced opposite race position, before firing the machines up and turning them around to point in the right direction.

Lined up in front would be the second-row starters. You can see the machines of Paul Bostrom (No. 46), the uncle of Ben and Eric Bostrom, Randy Cleek (No. 29), Corky Keener (No. 62), Ricky Campbell (No. 82), Gary Scott (No. 1) and Steve Eklund (No. 74Z). Lined up behind, on what is actually the front row, you can just make out Kenny Roberts (No. 2), tuner Bill Werner sitting on Jay Springsteen’s No. 25 factory Harley and Hank Scott’s No. 14 getting ready for the start of the race in front of a packed grandstand.

One thought on “Terre Haute’s Action Track (1976)

  1. Thanks Larry. Nice memory. I was sixteen years old and I was there. I was a Kenny Roberts fan. My dad wanted to get a jump on the crowd and we started walking to the car during the final. We listened to the announcer call the back and forth battle between Springer and Roberts. I heard the call of Roberts edging out Springer on the last lap. Sure would have liked to see that. I still feel lucky that I was there. John Lambrick

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