Dave Sehl was very likely Canada’s most successful dirt-track motorcycle racer. Unlike the up-and-over motocross rider, or the super-smooth motorcycle road racer, dirt-track motorcycle racing is conducted on speedways from a half-mile dirt track to ones a mile long. The riders are flat on the machines down the straights and then slide through the turns with one foot skipping along the top of the dirt surface to keep everything upright. Dirt-track speedway motorcycle racers are the bravest of the brave. During his three-year professional career riding for Harley-Davidson, Dave won six AMA National races, a marvellous record. He won on the half-mile tracks at Louisville (three times), Columbus and Terre Haute and on the mile at Atlanta, Ga.
Dave Sehl was king of the dirt. He won the dirt portion of the AMA championship in 1969; he was fifth in the AMA National title chase in 1971 and 10th in 1972. As well as competing in the United States, Canadian Motorcycle Association records show that Dave was the 250 Expert Dirt Track Champion in 1970 and 1973 and the 750 Expert Dirt Track Champion in 1971 and 1973. As well as winning sanctioned events, Dave was also expert at running non-sanction, big-money events, notably an invitation-only race in 1971 at Roosevelt Raceway on Long Island, N.Y., when he walked away with first prize money of $4,000 from a $15,000 total purse.
Image via FlatTrack.com