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Old Time Newsies set to kick up dirt in Dayton

By Greg Billing, Staff Writer 1:08 AM Saturday, June 12, 2010

DAYTON — The Old Time Newsies Professional Motorcycle Races has come full oval for Dayton’s Pat Kelley.

The former competitor raced in the first event held back in 1970 at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds. Forty years later, Kelley is running the show.

Kelley took over promotion of the show from his father, J.R., who helped start one of the nation’s highest paying flat track races in the country with a purse of $10,000.

“We never really gave much thought about how long it would last,” Kelley said. “We were interested in helping motorcycling and at the same time helping a very worthy charity.”

The Old Time Newsies celebrates its 40th anniversary tonight, June 12, at the fairgrounds. The classes include 750 expert, 750 basic twins, 450 expert and 450 pro sport. Among the 100 expert class riders expected to attend is Michigan’s Jared Mees, an AMA Grand National title contender sponsored by Kelley’s KK Motorcycle Supply.

Practice is at 4 p.m. and racing starts at 7:30. Admission is $17 and proceeds benefit Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the Greater Miami Valley.

F&S Harley-Davidson is also a main sponsor, and Kelley said Dayton area motorcycle dealers contribute to the racers’ fund.

For his part, Kelley’s racing career was cut short. Kelley, who didn’t make the feature in his Newsies debut, tried road racing for a few years before shattering his knee after a fall at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

With his racing days now dedicated to selling parts and promoting, Kelley gave his pitch for spectators to come out to the fairgrounds today.

“If they’re looking for some exciting racing, people going 80 to 100 mph on a motorcycle into a turn and throwing up dirt and just having fun, that’s the place to go,” he said.

Old Time Newsies set to kick up dirt in Dayton