After a rollercoaster ride like no other, Derek "Nobby" Clark has been elected to the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, ending the four-month debacle in which Clark was inducted, un-inducted and now inducted again after a supplemental vote.
The issue was caused when Clark's name appeared on the 2012 ballot due to "a clerical error by the staff," which meant that six names were voted on from the road race committee - four more than the two officially submitted by the road race committee. Clark was then voted in and told of his induction, only to be told later that he wasn't in.
When it was announced that Clark was being un-inducted, all hell broke loose with several Hall of Famers sending resigning their membership status on the grounds of foul play.
Then the American Heritage Foundation Board then decided to conduct a supplemental vote for Clark's inclusion, the results of which were issued today in a press release from the AMA.
"Derek 'Nobby' Clark stands shoulder-to-shoulder with road racing's most enduring legends, and played a key role in successes that will go down in history among the greatest of the sport," said Jeffrey V. Heininger, chairman of the AMHF. "It's time for Mr. Clark to take his rightful place among the many legends who embody the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame."
For 25 years, Clark was one of the world's leading motorcycle race mechanics. In addition to being a part of 17 FIM Grand Prix World Championships, earned in classes ranging from 50cc to 500cc, his teams won three Daytona 200s, one Daytona 100, four Imola 200s and eight Italian Championships. Clark not only excelled at the highest level, but also worked with some of the greatest motorcycle racers in history, including Hall of Famers Mike Hailwood, Giacomo Agostini and Kenny Roberts.
"It certainly was a surprise," Clark said. "I'm very excited, and I'm looking forward to being in Las Vegas for the induction ceremony and seeing my old friends. I haven't seen quite a few of them for quite awhile, so it's going to be like a family reunion."
Clark also expressed his appreciation for the support he received during the supplemental vote process.
"I'd like to thank everybody who supported me," Clark said. "I admire them, and I respect them, and I hope they all come back to the Hall of Fame. In my opinion, all of them are legends, and I respect them not just for what they've done in racing, but for what they've done for motorcycling in general. Motorcycling is a big family, and that is something we are privileged to have."
Clark joins the late Rod Bush, KTM North America president and industry visionary; pioneering female motocrosser Sue Fish; 1975 AMA Supercross Champion Jimmy Ellis; world-class bike restorer Brian Slark; the late Al Wilcox, iconic race starter; and off-road racing legend Ty Davis as a member of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Class of 2012.
The supplemental vote for Clark was implemented by the AMHF, which overseas the Hall of Fame, in response to procedural errors that invalidated Mr. Clark's inclusion on the original ballot, according to the AMA. The supplemental vote did not affect the other 2012 Hall of Fame inductees.
"The members of the AMHF Board of Directors extend our sincerest apologies to Mr. Clark for the mistakes that invalidated his original ballot," Heininger said. "By way of this supplemental vote, we've ensured that Mr. Clark's induction took place with the utmost sincerity and that no one can question his inclusion in the Motorcycle Hall of Fame."
The supplemental vote was tallied by the independent voting service Votenet. The accounting firm Plante Moran independently audited the results.