Team Suzuki Endurance came back from a first-hour crash to win the eighth round of the 1997 WERA National Endurance Series, a 4-hour at Memphis Motorsports Park in Millington, Tennessee on Saturday, September 6. The win, Team Suzuki Endurance’s 126th endurance race victory since 1981, locked up the team’s 13th title. Team Suzuki Endurance first won the WERA National Endurance Championship in 1983, followed by titles in 1984, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996 and now 1997.
Lead rider Tray Batey crashed while leading in the first 40 minutes of the race at Memphis when his knee clipped a haybale inside a corner. Batey limped the bike back to pits for repairs, which required replacing the entire front brake system. Co-rider Grant Lopez took over the controls and started a ferocious charge back to the front, riding without the benefit of a windscreen, which was smashed in the crash. Lopez and Batey made up the three laps lost to crash repairs, and, in the last half hour, Lopez lapped the field a fourth time, giving the team a one-lap margin of victory.