Bobby Hill and Billy Huber finished in a dead heat in the 10-mile National Championship motorcycle race at Lakewood Speedway in Atlanta, Georgia


Sunday 8th August 1948

Bobby Hill and Billy Huber finished in a dead heat in the 10-mile National Championship motorcycle race at Lakewood Speedway in Atlanta, Georgia. This was the only dead heat in American Motorcycle Association history. Coming into the final lap of the race Indian’s Bobby Hill held a 30-yard lead over Harley’s Billy Huber. Huber cut the lead in half during the first turn, holding his position on the back straight. Hitting the final turn wide open, Huber drove out of the corner on the inside and pulled up to just 10 feet behind Hill. Taking advantage of Bobby’s draft, Billy Huber swung out with the finish line only 150 yards away. Determined, Billy cranked it pulling neck and neck with Hill. Both riders crossed the finish line simultaneously in a photo finish, setting a Lakewood Park track record of 7:46.47. With the crowd going batshit, President Mike Benton of the Lakewood Park Speedway declared both riders winners, and both riders received first-place prize money. The first and only tie in AMA National history. Bobby Hill was known as one of Indian’s famed “Wrecking Crew”, along with Bill Tuman and Ernie Beckman. The three made an indelible mark on the motorcycle history books and solidified Indian’s racing reputation. Bobby Hill was AMA National Champion in 1951 and 1952 by virtue of his victories on the Springfield Mile. Hill won a total of 12 AMA Nationals during his professional racing career spanning the years 1947 to 1959. Bill Tuman was the last single-day winner of the AMA Grand National Championship at the Springfield Mile in 1953 before the AMA Grand National Championship Series was created in 1954. That win also marked the last time an Indian rider won the prestigious AMA Grand National No. 1 plate. Tuman won a total of five AMA Grand Nationals during his racing career that spanned 1947 to 1955. Ernie Beckman earned ten podium finishes from 1949-1957 and only finished outside of the top 10 six times in that span. Beckman was the last rider to win an AMA Grand National race on an Indian— August 2, 1953 at Williams Grove, Pennsylvania. Billy Huber won the AMA 100-Mile National in 1950 and 1951, at the Langhorne Speedway near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He held multiple track records and is considered one of the strongest racers of his era. On July 5, 1953, with the temperature over 100 degrees at the 200-Mile National Championship race in Dodge City, Kansas, at the 140-mile mark Huber was overcome by heat stroke causing him to crash hard coming out of the corner. Tragically, he would die the next day from his injuries. All four men were inducted in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1998.


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