That this story starts at a dusty Bakersfield muffler shop is wholly appropriate considering that Mann—two-time AMA Grand National champion, first-ever “Grand Slam” winner (a national mile, half-mile, shorttrack, TT, and roadrace all in the same year, 1971), and widely considered the best all-around racer ever—was the archetypal workingman’s racer. Although he had countless factory rides with Honda, BSA, and others, even when he raced under a factory flag he maintained his fierce independence. Some have characterized Mann as mercenary, but Iannucci is kinder, calling him a “pragmatist” instead. He never thought of himself as a particularly good rider, Iannucci says. He was just a rider who figured out how to do well using strategy and logic. And he liked doing things his own way.