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Ronnie Jones


10 AMA Grand National Champinoship wins, 32 podium finishes between 1980 and 1995, finished in the top 10 in 11 consecutive seasons and scoared Grand National point in 21 consecutive seasons.

Ronnie Jones’ inspiration for racing came from the movie “On Any Sunday.”

“I remember thinking that I had no idea that guys could make a living racing motorcycles,” says the 55-year-old from Edmond, Okla. “I never wavered from wanting to do that. My parents probably thought I’d outgrow it.”

When Jones was a kid, he saw a flier in a motorcycle shop for a national dirt track race in Oklahoma City, and he convinced his dad to take him and his brother to the races.

At age 11, Jones got in on the racing action.

“My sister is three years younger than me, and a classmate of hers and his whole family raced,” Jones says. “I got to watch him. Then one summer, the boy who raced the bike went to see his grandparents in Colorado, and his parents offered me his bike to race.”

Jones was hooked. He started selling newspapers and working at the car wash so he could afford a bike of his own.
Jones raced as an amateur from 1972 to 1976 and started racing professionally in 1977.

From 1979 to 1984, he was a privateer riding Harley-Davidsons, and from 1985 to 1995, he was a Honda privateer. He then went back to Harley-Davidson from 1995 to 2014.

Riding as a privateer, Jones collected 10 AMA Grand National Championship wins and 32 podium finishes between 1980 and 1995.

Jones’ career was notable for its consistency. He finished in the Top 10 in 11 consecutive seasons and scored Grand National points in 21 consecutive seasons.

Jones also scored wins in three of the four dirt-track disciplines of short track, TT and half-mile. He just missed scoring a Mile victory on several occasions, finishing second five times.

Jones says his biggest accomplishment was beating his idol.

“Just to win a national was a big thing,” Jones says. “I won my first national in the Houston Astrodome in 1980. I was 19 years old, and I had to beat [AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legend] Kenny Roberts. That was a huge accomplishment for me—beating one of my heroes.”

Yet another pivotal point in Jones’ racing career came after the death of his younger brother, David—also a pro dirt track racer—in 1980.

“The first race I rode after that was the national at Santa Fe Speedway in Chicago three weeks later,” Jones says. “I won that national. Whether winning that race was a sign from God or my brother to keep racing, I took it as that.”
Jones says it was a challenging time and a great time as a privateer.

“I wasn’t the only one out there doing that,” Jones says. “We would travel like a band of gypsies from race to race, staying in various campgrounds and people’s houses and using motorcycle shops that would let us work on our bikes there.
“It was difficult—building bikes, loading bikes, traveling and racing. There was a lot of camaradie as we traveled around together, struggling, but having the time of our lives.”

Jones retired from full-time competition after the 1999 season, but he continued to race select events through 2014.
During his most recent campaign, Jones set a record by scoring points in professional flat track 35 years after his rookie Expert season.