"Tommy Norris Memorial Album"
- In the words of his friend Lee Abernathy -
I first met Tommy Norris at Elkton back in 1970. He was kid who couldn't sit on his Bultaco and touch the ground at the same time. First time I saw his Dad out there holding the back of his bike on the starting line I couldn't help but think “ What is wrong with this guy putting his “runt” of a kid on a race track with these men”. As I was later to learn I was wrong on both counts. This “Runt” of a kid was fast and he knew far better than me and most others how to handle that bike at speed. The second thing I was wrong about was his Dad. Tommy's Dad, Mom and brother were some of the best people I ever met in the racing world and Tommy was a reflection of their generosity, warmth, and just plain niceness, you could ever want to know.
For the next 9 years I watched as Tommy progressed through the Amateur ranks and eventually into the pros. To say that he was a talented racer would be the understatement of the decade. He didn't win every race that he entered but those that beat him had to ride their butts off to do it. The ones who did beat him just got lucky that day or night. There was no one who could beat Tommy on a regular basis. Any race that Tommy was in I was there to watch it. He was smooth, never wild, always in control, and absolutely relentless in the pursuit of first place and nothing less. As I sit here thinking I can't think of a time when he fell on the track. To me his on track talents were absolutely amazing but there was more that set him apart from all the others.
During those 9 years that I knew Tommy as a fellow racer, I also knew him in my role as a promoter and district official. Here is what really set him and the rest of his family apart. During the winning races and the non winning races Tommy was the same, genuine, sweet, easy to get along with, smiling, person. Just talking to him brought a smile to my face. He was one of those very rare individuals who has enormous talent and an even greater personality that compliments it. As you look at these photo's look at the smile on this young man's face and know that it was genuine.
I was lucky enough to know and watch Tommy during the 70's . He was a rider that I loved to watch ride and person who made me proud to say that he was a friend.
God Speed Tommy
Click on image below to view album