Wayne Rainey as a Flat Tracker

The one thing that keeps coming to mind when scanning Paul Schwab’s amazing racing photo collection is how he consistently captured the intersection of riders from different eras and genres competing against one another. This shot is a great example. It wasn’t marked, but I believe this might be the Barberville (FL) Half-Mile during Daytona Bike Week ’79. That’s Wayne Rainey (No. 8E), who was still primarily a flat tracker at that point, running side by side with Scott Pearson (No. 95). Corky Keener (No. 62) and Scott Parker (No. 40X) are just behind the two leaders with Willie Crabbe (No. 46) leading the rest of the pack. Rainey and Parker were part of that famous Class of ’79 rookie group that was so talented and also included riders like Charlie Roberts, Ronnie Jones, Tommy Duma and John Wincewicz. Rainey, of course, went on to become a three-time 500cc Grand Prix (now MotoGP) World Champion and one of the founders of MotoAmerica, and Parker the all-time winningest rider in AMA Grand National history. Thanks to Paul for capturing and now preserving a great period in American motorcycle racing. (Paul Schwab photo)

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