Hall of Fame Inductee – 2006
J.C. “Pappy” Hoel Outstanding Achievement Award
Jay Springsteen began riding motorcycles when he was nine and set his heart on racing shortly after. Springsteen’s reputation as racings “golden boy” was already cemented by his early teens, achieving the AMA’s prestigious Top Amateur in 1974. In 1975 he was named AMA Rookie of the Year, earned six podium finishes and finished third in the AMA Grand National Championship.
Harley-Davidson was so impressed with the young rookie that they signed him in 1976 when he was just 18 years old. In the 1976 season Springsteen would earn the respect of fellow racers and the hearts of spectators as he battled it out for “one of the hardest-fought titles in the history of the series”. At the end of the day Springer would claim the title, winning five out of the last seven nationals that year.
He went on to win back-to-back titles in the 1977 AMA Grand National, becoming only the sixth rider in AMA history to achieve this milestone; and with his 1978 AMA Grand National Championship he gained the elite status of becoming only the fourth rider in AMA racing history to win 3 consecutive titles.
Jay was only two points short of winning the title for a fourth time in 1982 and although the win slipped away, this was the season he reached another milestone, becoming the all-time AMA Grand National win leader, winning 30 national victories.
During the mid-90’s Springsteen experienced great success in the Harley-Davidson 883 Sportster Performance Series and won often. In 1995 he won his first AMA Grand National in ten years and from 1995 until 2003, he finished in the top-10 in the AMA Grand National Championship standings. He won nationals again in 1999 and in 2000, and in 2003, his final racing season, Springsteen scored two podium finishes.
The AMA recognizes Springsteen as one of the greatest flat-track racers of all time, and his record, spanning 25 years, is difficult to argue with - four decades as a leading rider, three championships, ranked in the top 10 an incredible 23 times, winning nationals on dirt track, miles, half-miles, short tracks and TT’s.