2007 Sandia Classic

Running hard for first during classic racing at Sandia

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Craig Murray on his way to a first place in Saturday's race at the 2007 Sandia Classic.

Photo by Richard Backus

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The 2007 Annual Sandia Classic ran Sept. 14-16, 2007, and in five short years, it’s evolved into one of the highlights of the vintage motorcycle race season. With a full slate of competition including motard, motocross, sidecar and historic road racing, Sandia showcases every category in American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association (AHRMA) racing, and then some.

The brainchild of racer Craig Murray, the Sandia Classic was launched to fill the void created when racing ended at Steamboat Springs, Colo., in the late Nineties. Murray, who campaigns a 1973 Triumph in the BEARS division (that’s Craig at right on his way to a first place in Saturday’s race), says his goal was "to produce an event that’s appealing to racers." Judging by racer interest, he’s succeeding: Road race entries increased from 230 in 2006 to 365 in 2007.

He’s also turned his attention to building spectator attendance, adding a swap meet, dirt track racing (held at the neighboring Harvey Caplin Memorial Speedway), and new for 2007, modern Superbike racing and sidecar racing exhibitions from the Sidecar Racing Association.

All that work is paying off, as an estimated 3,500 bike fans showed up to take in the action. At 1.1 miles, the Sandia circuit is short, but that keeps the racing tight, making for some great competition as riders look for passing opportunities.

Motorcycle Hall of Famer Bubba Shobert was on hand this year, signing autographs and mixing with the crowd next to the vintage bike show (Honda was this year’s feature), as was motocross champ Gary Jones, the 2007 Legends of Motocross Sandia Classic Legend. Visit www.sandiaclassic.net to check for event updates. MC