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Old 03-19-2005, 07:20 PM   #1
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Wicked The real GNCC Henry Story

A dealer buddy of mine went down to Florida for vacation this winter. He ran the Orange Crush GNCC in the 35 class. He did OK too. He told me the GNCC course was one bad motorscooter. Totally whooped from the hundreds of quads that ran it earlier. It was one long sandy grind that gave you the mother of all arm pumps...And then he told me about Doug Henry:

On the big day, this little scruffy van shows up at 0 dark thirty and parks betwixt the Factory haulers. Two guys unload one little Honda and set up under an EZ-Up canopy...they were ready....

Pretty soon the buzz goes around the paddock that Doug Henry and friend is under that EZ-Up. Doug was there on vacation and thought the GNCC National might be a good break from New England snow.

Henry made it to the front fast and as the factory teams looked on they wondered..."who is that guy?". The first clues were within viewing of the paddock. Near the Start/Finish there were three giant logs set up as obstacles for the GNCC guys to navigate. They were sort of like speed bumps, intended to slow the field down... Then Henry comes by WFO and TRIPLES them!!!

My buddy say's the announcer exclaimed; "You'll never see that again"...

As the laps ground down, it is obvious that Henry is playing with his pursuer, the world champ. Henry would lead, then slow and let the champ catch up and pass. Henry would triple the logs and look back to egg the Euro on. Juha Salminen was into it after awhile, and he responded... Pretty soon he was tripling the logs too!

My buddy said that Henry was so much faster through the ugly stuff it was unbelievable. As Henry circled on his penultimate lap, the announcer started predicting that Henry would make a gas stop and his lead would evaporate. So he's saying...."Henry is coming in for gas. He's stopping for gas...and a drink. He's coming in....he's coming in.... Doug Henry has pitted for a drink!!!!... no gas!!!"

Juha closed up, but was still 40 seconds back when Henry stopped for his drink. But on that last lap with just a half mile to go, there was this gully...

Henry dove into that gully lap after lap at twice the speed of his competitors; snick snick roost...But this time he launched out the other side square into the trunk of a freaking tree! I mean the tree hit him flush in the chest and knocked him back flat, while his bike continued tumbling!!! My buddy thought he was out for the count....maybe worse.

But pretty soon Henry staggered to his feet and over to pick up his bike. Meanwhile Salmenin was a comin'...

Doug Henry took the win by some 10 seconds, and proceeded to flop on his back and get emergency medical treatment at the flag.

To me, that Doug Henry Orange Crush GNCC victory was one of the greatest performances in all motorsports ever. Right up there with the KR Indy Mile aboard that TZ; and Mike Hailwood in the 1978 IOM on the Desmo. I mean it is among the best moments ever.

God I love this stuff: Old 'has been' Doug Henry, shows up at the sport's toughest GNCC National while on vacation...as a classic privateer 'van man' amid the million dollar factory efforts....and smokes them all. Absolutely embarrases them...every rider, every tuner, suspension guru, trainer, motorbuilder....the bunch.
Damn that was sumpin'....The van man LIVES!!!!
-pantah
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Pantah screwed with this post 01-18-2008 at 06:54 PM
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Old 03-20-2005, 05:27 AM   #2
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Great story.

Thanks.
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Old 03-20-2005, 06:00 AM   #3
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Great report!! Pictures next time!! Thanks for writing that up!
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Old 03-21-2005, 06:44 AM   #4
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Awesome.

to Doug Henry
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Old 03-21-2005, 09:39 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pantah
as a classic privateer 'van man' amid the million dollar factory efforts....and smokes them all. Absolutely embarrases them....every rider, every tuner, suspension guru, trainer, motorbuilder....the bunch.
Damn that was sumpin'....The van man LIVES!!!!
-pantah
right on to that. this whole "suspension tuning" is overplayed. I remember going thru post dirt bike withdrawl and having been stupid enough to get married and join the navy circa 1983. was reading about Ron Liechen explaining why he hadn't done well at some race, complaining about how the bike wasn't set up right. I was thinking, well gee. its a KX500 hold it wide open all the time you'll win. if you can't, live with it. whiner.

my favorite MX memory.

On the starting line circa 1976, my brand new Can Am 250, surrounded by new YZ's, Elsinores, RM's, etc.

this guy on the rat CZ from hell moseys up, proceeds to tighten up the tie down that was snaked through and around the frame and his low pipe which was in effect holding the pipe on the bike. everyones looking a each other and wincing and shaking their heads.

that guy went by everyone in the first turn on the outside line in a cloud of dust and thats the last we saw of him as we fought over 2nd place and back.
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Old 03-21-2005, 09:43 AM   #6
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Talking Damn...

And people ask me why I wear an Old Doug Henry T-Shirt for inspiration!
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Old 03-21-2005, 10:40 AM   #7
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Ron was high while trying to set the suspension on the bike. give the guy a break. you can hold it wide open in the straights but your depth percetion gets alittle off and it is hard to judge how fast the turns are coming at you when you are HIGH.
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Old 03-21-2005, 04:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pantah
God I love this stuff: Old 'has been' Doug Henry, shows up at the sport's toughest GNCC National while on vacation...as a classic privateer 'van man' amid the million dollar factory efforts....and smokes them all. Absolutely embarrases them....every rider, every tuner, suspension guru, trainer, motorbuilder....the bunch.
Damn that was sumpin'....The van man LIVES!!!!
-pantah
The Cycle News article is pretty good. I agree- that was an awesome moment in motorsports.

to Doug Henry.
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Old 03-27-2005, 02:27 PM   #9
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do you guys remember

the Fox ad that showed Doug Henry's back surgery scar?
He is a living legend to my mind.
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Old 03-30-2005, 01:28 PM   #10
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same thing he and john dowd did to the spoiled factory riders at a very flooded hangtown 12 to 14 years ago,as a privateer.he got a factory ride the next year.a real nice,personable guy too.the sport needs more like him for sure.
somewhere i've got that fox ad as a giant poster,says something like "what's holding you back?" or similar on it.
the guy doesn't have quit in him,those are very rare.
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Old 03-30-2005, 05:36 PM   #11
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Henry Is 'da Man

I run SUPERMOTO with Doug up here in NY and not only is he sickeningly fast (he makes me feel like a wiggely worm,the lowest life form) but he's a really nice guy to boot! I was glad to hear of him kicking ass at the GNCC-just one more type of M/C racing that he's great at!
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Old 12-16-2006, 02:43 PM   #12
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Doug Henry and Juha Salminen

A bump for Xmas feelgood...
-P
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Old 12-16-2006, 04:37 PM   #13
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I've got that No Fear t-shirt, When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth signed by Doug. Go back to the year Yamaha ran the machined billet YZ400F and in the outdoor season no one could touch him. WOuld have been great to Juha go from I ain't going to jump that to I guess I'm going to have to jump that to its kind of fun getting some flight time.

And I was at that Hangtown. Henry and Dowd were the only guys racing that day. The other riders were to busy trying to survive.
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Old 12-16-2006, 04:41 PM   #14
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Any videos of this anywhere? Sounds good!
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Old 12-17-2006, 05:51 AM   #15
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Pantah,

It was not last winter (06 GNCC) it was the 05 Orange Crush GNCC. I was there and watched after flogging myself in the morning. It was a Honda that he was riding and got a tank from someone like the day before. But most everything else is pretty much dead on. It was great he was standing in the sign up line right in front of me just like everyone else. He wasn't trying to get any special treatment, just one of the guys . Of course after about 20 mins in line Carrie Jo Combs saw him and pulled him out of line to help him get signed up. But he was great just hung out all weekend just like any other privateer. Hats off to Doug he is a true hero of the sport.

Ref: the video of it check out gnccracing.com and they should have a link where you could buy the 05 Orange Crush DVD.
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