Rider: Steve Storz
Now: Proprietor of Storz Performance
Then: Directionless county surveyor
"I was a car guy in high school. I wasn't interested in motorcycles until one of my buddies brought home a 1970 Triumph TR6C. He let me ride it and that kind of put the light on for me. After that, it was motorcycles instead of cars. I worked all summer for the county surveyor in the town I lived in. It was a really boring job, but I saved enough money to buy the very same bike.
"I was 20 years old and living in Omaha, Nebraska. I'd had a series of crummy odd jobs but was pretty directionless. My sister got married to an Air Force guy and moved to San Francisco. They were stationed at Hamilton AFB and had a place for me to stay, so I came to California. I heard about a motorcycle mechanic's school down in Woodland Hills. So I went down there and enrolled in that, and wound up working part-time at a Triumph dealership in Burbank owned by a guy named Jack Hateley. His son John was involved in racing, and through them I got pulled into the whole Ascot Park thing.
"I was always better at working on bikes than riding them, and the Hateley thing led me to other dirt-track jobs and, ultimately, a position within the Harley-Davidson factory race team. So in an indirect way, that first Triumph led to where I am today. It led me to my interest in bikes, becoming a mechanic, moving to California, getting involved in racing-all of those things. That particular motorcycle was definitely a life-changer."