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Dirt-tracker Palmgren goes to AMA Hall

Five-time National winner also a noted tuner

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Jun. 10, 2009
National-winning dirt-track racer Chuck Palmgren has been named to the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame class of 2009.

Palmgren won five Nationals, the 1969 Santa Rosa Mile, the 1969 Sacramento Mile, the 1970 Nazarath, Pa., Mile, the 1972 Westbury, N.Y., Mile and the 1972 Indianapolis Mile. Palmgren was also a noted tuner, known for his work on the Yamaha 750cc motor and frame design.

“Chuck Palmgren excelled in an era when success on the track meant the rider had to be both racer and tuner – not just understanding how to ride fast, but being able build a motorcycle to go fast, as well,” says Rob Dingman, AMA president and chief executive officer. “Palmgren stood out among his peers in each area. That’s even more evident in his later career, which he spent exclusively on the tuning end of the wrench.”

Of all his racing memories, Palmgren says the Sacramento Mile and Indianapolis Mile stand out.

“Indy was a bit different than Sacramento,” says Palmgren. “Indianapolis took a lot of commitment, whereas Sacramento was a slick groove, and you could race the racetrack. Indianapolis let you go other places, and that made it more wide open, speed-wise. It was a lot quicker. There were a lot of places I liked to race, but Indy was a whole lot of fun”

Palmgren and the other members of the 2009 Hall of Fame class will be inducted Dec. 5 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nev.

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