Ben Spies who moved away from the AMA series and will be racing in the WSBK championship for Yamaha next year, has decided to use ‘19’ as his racing number.
Spies has chosen this number to pay homage to his friend Ryan Smith who used 19 as his number, but died tragically in a club race in Texas.
Spies went on to say :“Beyond that reason, the number nineteen just keeps coming up way too many times for me to ignore it.
A couple of my friends noticed it as well.
I’m not very superstitious and I don’t do a whole lot of weird things, but my little cousin, that was his number all through high school.
My long-time girlfriend back when I was a teenager – we’re still good friends – it was her number in high school too.
And things like, when I’m filling up at a truck stop, it always seems to be I’m at island no.
Or with my thousands of miles that I do on the road in the motorhome, every time I look up at a mile marker, it ends in 19.
I figured it was time to put it into action, and hopefully my old buddy can help me out as much as he can, because we’re going to need it this year, that’s for sure.
”Spies isn’t the only American rider to run this number in a world championship, three-time world champion Freddie Spencer used the number in the 1980s.
John Kocinski also used it several times in 250 and GP.