When James Brown and Tom Clancy call to make hotel reservations, they have a hard time being taken seriously.
Brown, an Evans resident, shares his name with the late entertainer. Clancy shares his with the best-selling author.
Brown is trying to make a name for himself on the motorcycle racing circuit. He recently won the points title of the West East Racing Association's heavyweight twins superbike division for the North Florida region.
Brown races for Augusta Triumph/Ducati, a team based out of an Augusta motorcycle shop run by Clancy. The team is a small one. Brown rides the WERA circuit and serves as mechanic and occasionally helps on the pit crew of Mark Crozier, another ADT rider who recently won an American Motorcycle Association points championship.
Brown's day job is as a mechanic for BMW, so working on the bikes comes naturally.
"It really helps," Brown said. "It's nice knowing your way around a motor."
Growing up, Brown's passion was dirt bike racing, a sport his parents turned him on to. He remembers racing dirt bikes as far back as 1985.
He wasn't introduced to street racing until 2000. He has been racing with Augusta Triumph/Ducati since 2004.
Back then, Triumph didn't offer a race-worthy bike, he said. After taking a break because of fatherhood, Brown started racing a Triumph bike in 2007.
His seven-race WERA schedule ended Sept. 6. His season total of 69 points was five more than second-place finisher Tyler Lamb.
Brown's itinerary on race weeks starts with packing up early in the week, departing for the race destination after work Friday and racing Saturday and Sunday. Team members often don't return on Sundays until almost midnight.
Brown said the schedule often means some dragging on Mondays.
Ellen Lewis, Clancy's sister and Harlem High's assistant principal, took over team operations three years ago. She pays the bills, registers the riders for races and maintains the team's Web site. She also attends every race she can.
Brown doesn't race for the money. Whatever he earns goes back to the team. ATD pays all racing expenses, and sponsors cover some of the cost of equipment.
Brown said he would feel bad keeping the money, because all his racing expenses are covered.
The upkeep of the bikes is Brown's responsibility. The few team members collaborate on strategy and equipment.
"We're our own R&D department," Clancy said. "It's been an uphill battle."
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