Leslie Parkhurst

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Red Parkhurst was a central member of the Harley-Davidson Wrecking Crew, and a highly successful and popular racer on both side-valve and eight-valve Harleys. He started racing ]]Harley-Davidson]]s privately, serving his apprenticeship on the notorious pine-planked Motordromes (nicknamed 'Murderdromes') but caught the attention of the factory team when racing at Milwaukee. He was recruited to the team and, being recently married, abandoned the Motordromes for safer dirt tracks. The following year, after many wins, he had a serious accident at Rockford, Illinois, but carried on racing until the USA entered the First World War. Despite declaring he would never return to racing, Bill Ottaway managed to persuade him back with the lure of a ride on the eight-valve racer for the 1919 season; he won the 200 Mile Internal Road Race Championship at Marion, Indiana and in early 1920 set up new speed records (although not officially accepted) of 112.61 mph (181.2km) over the mile on an eight-valve and 82.09mph (132.1km) on a sidecar outfit. But by this time Red Parkhurst was one of the oldest racers on the track and he decided to retire for good, citing his responsibility to his wife and child.