Helping injured riders and their families since 2009

Rookies of '79 is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that helps injured riders and their families.

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Ryan Varnes

July 5, 2022

We are deeply saddened by the loss of American Flat Track racer Ryan Varnes during the short track event at Weedsport Speedway in NY. The Rookies of '79 are heartbroken like the rest of our flat track family over the loss of Ryan Varnes.

It is our mission to minimize to as great a degree as possible the financial responsibilities and hardships upon the family when a tragedy like this occurs. If you would like to help us support the Varnes family by donating to the Varnes fund, click on his picture above for donations up to $1,000.  For donations over $1K, please mail your check to Rookies of '79, 3989 Springer Lane, Springfield, IL 62711.

Your donations and support through social media has been amazing. Thank you to everyone in our flat track family. The goal of this outreach is to cover the immediate costs associated with celebrating Ryan's amazing life. Please include Kevin Varnes, Dolly Varnes, Jim Varnes, the entire family and those close to Ryan in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Charlie at 217-899-1811

*Photo Credit - Tom Stein - 2019


Weedsport ST Raffle Item

July 2, 2022

This weekend we're raffling a 24" x 36" print of the iconic "Pipeline" print.  Tickets are $5 each or you can get 5 tickets for $20.  The drawing will be held prior to the main event for the Super Twins.  Get your tickets ASAP and your ticket numbers will be sent via email.  Winning ticket will be posted on FB and here on our website.  Good luck to all who participate!


March 31, 2022

This year we have 3 raffles to help raise money for our injured riders.  First is a 2022 Accessorized Yamaha YZF-R7 street bike.  Tickets are $25 each or 5 for $100.  The others are a 2022 Indian EFTR Mini and a 2022 Indian EFTR Jr.  Tickets for those are $5 each or 5 for $20.  Tickets can be purchased at our merchandise event or here on our website.  Drawing will be held at the AFT Finale at Volusia County Speedway, October 15th.  Please make your selection below and good luck to all.


March 22, 2022

We currently have four riders recovering from injuries sustained in racing accidents at the Volusia II Half Mile and the Texas Half Mile events. They are:

Mark Tepper

Michael Lainhart

Tanner Dean

Justin Jones

We have created fundraisers for each so you can donate to the athlete/family of your choice, or if you are so moved, provide something to each. Each of these fundraisers are separate and all net proceeds will go directly to the athletes. Thank you to our flat track family for your support of the Rookies of '79 charity, who is blessed to help those injured while competing in our beloved sport. #flattrackfamily (click on the pic to donate)

Mark Tepper
Michael Lainhart
Tanner Dean
Justin Jones

Tanner Dean

Michael Lainhart

Mark Tepper

Justin Jones

Kyle James injured in Shelbyville TN

Kyle James of Memphis TN was injured during a practice session at the Calsonic Arena in Shelbyville TN on February 26th. He sustained a dislocated shoulder and will be unable to work as an auto mechanic until he's healed.  Click on his pic to make a donation.  Thank you!


Rookies of '79


Welcome flat track family! We can't thank you enough for helping us fulfill our mission to help our injured flat track riders in their time of need. Please explore your options here to either donate to our general fund, donate to a special fundraiser, purchase items, view our current auction items, or sign up for one of our special events!! 

We are an IRS approved 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, so donations are generally tax deductible*! Every dollar helps goes to fulfilling our mission of positively impacting flat track riders and their families that are struck by racing injuries.

*Individual tax situations vary. Please consult with your tax professional.

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Our Mission

Our mission is to positively impact injured flat track motorcycle riders and their families as quickly as possible when a racing accident occurs by providing financial assistance.