It’s a once-in-a-lifetime deal for Rich King… that is unless he is still on the Harley-Davidson factory dirt-tracker when he is 139 years old.
In a move to recognize the 100th anniversary of the Harley-Davidson Motor Company, the two-rider factory dirt track team will be sporting new paint schemes and leather designs for the 2003 dirt track season. The normally orange and black 500Rs (pictured) and XR750s of King and teammate Jennifer Snyder have been repainted in the same silver hue that is being used on all of Harley-Davidson’s 100th anniversary street models this year. And King has even gone a step further, asking and receiving a special dispensation from AMA Pro Racing in order to change his National number from 80 to 100 for this season only.
“The idea came up, and I thought it was a good one,” King said. “To be a part of heritage this way is outstanding. It’s something that no one else will ever get to do. I’m fortunate to be the one to get to do this. Besides, if this the only way that I do get the number one on my numberplates, then what the hell.”
AMA Dirt Track Manager Bruce Bober said that the sanctioning body welcomed the Harley PR move.
“They requested it to see if they could make the change, and we did what we could to accommodate them,” AMA Dirt Track Manager Bruce Bober said. “We will hold Rich’s number 80 for him. As far as scoring, it will not be a problem. We have traditionally allowed Novices to use three-digit numbers.”
AMA Director of Dirt Track Operations Steve Morehead also said that he thought the move by Harley-Davidson was a nifty one.
“Well, you see this in NASCAR all the time, teams coming out with special paint schemes,” Morehead said. “Anything that we can do to put more pizzazz in our series and get away from the old school way of thinking, the better.”
King will carry the number 100 into battle at tonight’s AMA Hot Shoe National at Daytona Municipal Stadium.