J.B. Norris dies in Lima

Larry Lawrence | June 28, 2008
LIMA, OHIO, JUNE 28: AMA Grand National announcer J.B. Norris died Saturday of an apparent heart attack he suffered shortly after arriving at the Allen County Fairgrounds, site of the Lima Half-Mile.

According to friends Norris said he felt faint before collapsing. He died shortly afterwards at a local hospital.

Norris has announced AMA Grand National Championship races since 1991.

According to his website, Norris formerly served as the Executive Director of the Illinois Motorcycle Dealers Association, organizing the IMDA’s promotion of the Springfield Mile, the Du Quoin Mile, the Santa Fe TT and other races. In the 1980s, he worked as the AMA Professional Dirt Track Racing Manager overseeing the Grand National Series. In the ‘90s, J.B. was an Advertising Manager for the American Motorcyclist. He had also worked for Speed Channel, CBS, and ESPN, broadcasting the sport he loved.

Norris had been a contributor to Cycle News, Road Racer X, AMAFlattrack.com and Flat Illustrated.

Riders and fans at Lima were told of Norris’ death and a moment of silence was held in his honor.

“J.B.’s passing is a great loss to the racing community,” said friend and fellow announcer Donnie Barger. “He loved AMA Grand National racing and all the people involved in the sport.”

Larry Lawrence | Archives Editor

In addition to writing our Archives section on a weekly basis, Lawrence is another who is capable of covering any event we throw his way.