Oakland Supercross 1979 – Weinert And The Tire!

Paul Carruthers | January 25, 2012

With the Monster Energy Supercross Series set to visit the Oakland Coliseum this weekend for round four of the series, the race brings back memories to many of the first-ever Supercross at the venue in Northern California – round one of the 1979 series won by Jimmy “The Jammer” Weinert.

Looking back at the 1979 Oakland Supercross when Jimmy Wienert won the race using a paddle tire.

And it’s not the fact that Weinert beat Bob Hannah in leading every single lap of the main event and every lap of his heat race that jogs the memory, it was that Weinert’s Kawasaki was clad in a paddle tire. With the track almost entirely made up of sand that day, Weinert used a sand tire that his tuner, Roy Turner, had purchased at a dealership. Weinert had the only one in the race, but he downplayed its role in his win.

“Well, it didn’t help much at all,” Weinert said at the time. “But it sure psyched out the competition.”

This was back in the day of full factory bikes and Weinert’s was a one-off that used a 125cc chassis, a 250cc motor and shortened suspension components. Oh, and that paddle tire that produced roosts four times as large as anyone else’s in the race – a tire that was later banned from AMA Supercross racing.

“I still can’t believe it,” Hannah said in a post-race interview. “The old man tore me up.”

Team Honda’s Steve Wise finished third in the race.

Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.