A Brief Interview with David Aldana
By Jamey Blunt
Photos by Jamey Blunt
PERRIS, CA, MAY 13, 2012
Former National number 13, David Aldana, is always a crowd favorite on the Grand National dirt-track circuit. Aside from his “skeleton” or “Superman” race leathers, the crowd could always count on Aldana for excitement, for his riding style and for his never-give-up attitude.
David was on the West Coast over the Mother’s Day Weekend, and we caught up with him at Perris Raceway, site of round four of the Southern California Flat Track Association series, and David was gracious enough to answer a few questions.
TCC: What is your fondest memory of Perris Raceway?
Aldana: Oh, gosh, probably riding my Suzuki. At that time, though, I was sponsored by Ossa, which then was run by Kenny Clark. [Kenny Clark ran the racing effort for Ossa and then moved on to be race team manager for Factory Yamaha for many years.] Kenny Clark was my first sponsor when he gave me that Ossa Stiletto to ride. But at the same time, I was riding an 80cc Suzuki, and I was racing against Freddie Edwards, who, in fact, helps run the Perris Raceway. We had a lot of good battles together, along with me and a guy names Stevie Nichols. Keith Mashburn would come out sometimes on his Honda and would win back when he rode for Skip Fordyce.
This sure brings back a lot of old memories, but it was really a stepping stone to get to Ascot. I’d race at Ascot on Friday nights and then a scrambles race here at Perris on Sunday. But I guess the best memory here would have to be what I said earlier about riding my Suzuki and the guys, Freddie, Stevie, and Keith.
TCC: You mentioned Ascot. What’s your fondest memory of Ascot?
Aldana: I think it would be the weekend that I won the Yamaha Gold Cup on the Norton. Prior to the TT National that I ended up winning the following day, it was one of those exceptional weekends that I had never thought would happen in a million years, and it all happened in one weekend. The Friday night half mile, then the Saturday National TT, then it was also the first National Norton had won in over 20 years, and then we all know that a couple years later, Alex Jorgenson won another National on another Norton, a Ron Wood Norton. But I was the first in 20 years, so that was something I’ll remember for a long, long time. Because not only did I win the race – something that hadn’t been done in a long time – but the bike caught on fire in the winners’ circle, and that made it that much more spectacular! Whereas nowadays, you can go to Supercross and they have fires, and gas, and bombs, and rockets that go off to accentuate whatever it is they’re announcing – well, in this case, it [the “pyrotechnics”] was accidentally induced by leaky carburetors on a good-running Norton!
TCC: Tell us: What is David Aldana doing with his life now?
Aldana (laughing): I always tell people I’m an estate manager. Then they ask me, “Oh yeah, for who or what?” Then I say, “Well, it’s really a glorified house-husband position, but all the same I make sure the garden is kept up, the clothes are washed and folded, and the house is dusted and vacuumed, the meal is on the table at 6 o’clock so that when she gets home from work that everything is all done. I feed the animals, take the pets to the vet whenever need be or necessary, I should say – that’s a full-time job in itself, trying to keep the little lady happy. What do they say? “Happy wife, happy life.” (He laughs.) And I’m here, right? So I must have done something right, to be able to get out away from the house or a get a hall pass, as they say. Oh, and we do have rental property here in California and another place in Florida. So, I mean, between those investments here and there, I stay pretty busy without having to get a real job.
At this point, Aldana needed to secure the motorcycles he had been slated to race in two different classes and attend to the business of racing. He currently resides in Fayetteville, Georgia, and is one of the few people whose hair actually seems to get thicker with age…
[For more on this event, check out “Dateline Perris: Preview of Round 4” by Jamey Blunt. Also, stay tuned for full race coverage, more photos, and results from this event, coming soon… Editor]