6pm- Cocktails | 7pm- Dinner | 8pm- Guest Panel
Special Guest - Gene Romero
With Paul Smart and David Aldana
Hosted by Alan Cathcart
Click here for tickets or patron table form for 2012 Motorcycles By Moonlight Benefit Dinner.
Click here for 2012 Motorcycles by Moonlight Sponsorship Opportunities information.
2011 Moonlight by Motorcylce’s featured guests – (L-R) Alan Cathcart, Paul Smart, Jason DiSalvo, and Cook Neilson.
Gene Romero competed in the Daytona 200 14 times winning it in 1975 and coming in 2nd in 1970 and 1971. His career spanned sixteen years from the late 1960s until his retirement in 1981. His first national win came in 1968, on a TT course, riding a Triumph. Known as a TT specialist early in his career, Romero became a top contender in all forms of Grand National racing and won nationals on miles, half-miles, road-racing circuits and TT tracks. He won the 1970 AMA Grand National Championship riding for Triumph and won 12 AMA Nationals throughout his career including the AMA Most Popular Rider of the Year Award in 1970. He was one of the first racers to attract sponsorship from outside the motorcycling industry and for one season, Evel Knievel was his primary sponsor. Romero raced motorcycles until 1981. After a short auto racing career, Romero became the manager of Honda's AMA Grand National dirt track racing program from 1982-1985. From there, Romero formed a promotions company and is involved in numerous projects from motorcycle racing series to town fairs and festivals. Romero was inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1998.
Dave Aldana is one of the most colorful personalities in racing, was a top AMA Grand National Series competitor during the 1970s, winning four AMA nationals during his career. By the late-1970s, Aldana began concentrating on road racing. He became a factory rider for Suzuki and later joined Kawasaki’s AMA Superbike team in 1980. He went on to be a Honda factory rider in the FIM World Championship Endurance Series. Aldana teamed with Mike Baldwin to win the prestigious Suzuka eight-hour endurance race in 1981. He later rode the revolutionary Elf Hondas in the world endurance series. One of the most versatile racers in the history of the sport, Aldana competed in nearly every form of motorcycle racing, including motocross and speedway racing. In 1970 Aldana became a rookie expert on the AMA Grand National circuit riding for BSA. It was to be one of the most memorable rookie seasons in the history of the series. Aldana made a serious challenge for the championship. A crash at the Sacramento Mile with just three races to go dashed his hopes for the title, but along the way he won three nationals, finished third in the series and won the hearts of America’s racing fans with his win-at-all-costs riding style. The classic motorcycling documentary, "On Any Sunday," caught snippets of Aldana’s rookie season and it conveyed his brash and carefree attitude.
While with BSA, Aldana was a part of the American team that went to England to participate in the Trans-Atlantic Match Races. It was Aldana’s first taste of racing outside of the U.S., and he later said those races really honed his road racing skills.
Paul Smart is a retired road racer with a rich history riding Triumph racing motorcycles for the UK factory. He was the first person to win a race on the then new factory built three cylinder Tridents in 1970. He also competed in the Anglo-American match races on a triple, and won the Bol d’or 24 hour race also. Being the lone Brit and #1 rider for the Triumph factory among a team of US riders, Paul was the fastest qualifier at Daytona in 1971. He pioneered the “knee out” hanging off the bike riding style so popular today. Smart considers racing highlights to include: winning the AMA Ontario 250 on a Kawasaki in 1972, 3rd place in the Barcelona 24 hour race on a 250 Ducati in 1966, being the highest points scorer on road racing alone in the AMA nationals in 1972, starting three times on pole at Daytona on 3 different brand of bikes, winning the Dallas AMA national in 1973 and winning all three 750 races at the European Superbike championship at Silverstone in 1973. A private man, you will not find many pictures or press interviews with Paul Smart, he tended to be overshadowed by Brother In-Law, Barry Sheene, but to those who know him, Paul is a great personality, a committed motorcyclist, a mine of information on classic bikes - and full of racing anecdotes. He is still an avid motorcycle enthusiast still riding for pleasure these days.
Gary Nixon's AMA racing career was marked by both extraordinary success and courage. Nixon's perseverance and talent at home and abroad made him one of the most popular and most respected racers in the history of the sport. Nixon began his professional racing career in 1958 and at the AMA Grand National level in 1960. Nixon rode a Triumph to back-to-back AMA Grand National Championships in 1967 and 1968. During his 22 years of pro racing, Nixon earned 19 AMA National victories and amassed over 150 Grand National finishes. His career spanned three decades and he competed as a factory rider for Triumph, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha.
In 1966 (right), Nixon was AMA Grand National runner-up to Bart Markel. The 1967 racing season turned out to be the best of his career. He started the season with a hard-fought victory in the Daytona 200. By the end of the '67 season Nixon had tallied a total of five victories and had earned his first national championship. He followed up in 1968 with another title, this time in a close battle with Fred Nix that came down to the final race. Nixon's national wins in 1968 came at the season opener at the Houston Astrodome and in Columbus, Ohio.
Nixon's renowned toughness became clear in the late 1960s and early 1970s. A series of injuries that would have kept most people bed-ridden didn't even keep Nixon off the track. At one point, he raced for three years with an 18-inch stainless steel rod holding his left leg together. The injuries forced Nixon to focus primarily on road racing. While that prevented him from winning another Grand National title, Nixon turned his infirmity into new opportunities. Nixon became known as one of the world's best pavement racers. His international success earned him the title of AMA Pro Athlete of the Year in its inaugural year. Nixon died in 2011. He was 70.