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2014 East  Coast  Speedway News

See the History Pages for previous news - 2013 East Coast News


US Open

One of the most prestigious events in North America for speedway motorcycle racing, The John F. Stalma US Open National Championships, is set to come to Champion Speedway in Owego, NY on Aug 30 and 31, 2014 and one of the greatest riders of all-time, former WORLD CHAMPION, Sam Ermolenko, is set to compete. Ermolenko, from Cypress, CA but who has lived in Wolverhampton, England for over 25 years now, will be making his second appearance at Champion Speedway in his career. In 2012 he rode the US Open, becoming the 4th American World Speedway Racing Champion, to have turned laps at the local track! Ermolenko was extremely impressive, despite having been retired for five years, and nearly won the event, finishing second after losing a few valuable points with mechanical gremlins. Ermolenko has competed in a few exhibitions the past several years and his lap times were on pace with the current world GP stars. Champion Speedway promoter, Jason Bonsignore, lured him out of retirement so that local fans will have had the chance to see one of the all-time greats again!

This year's Championship series will include two nights of racing at Champion on Aug. 30 and 31. The big news of who is racing does not stop at Ermolenko. The most notable announcement being that 17 year old California whiz-kid and 2013 AMA Under 21 National Champion, Max Ruml of Los Angeles has committed to the event. Ruml, tipped as a future World Champion, has been tearing up the West Coast tracks and just got back from representing Team USA in the World Team Cup rounds in England and Poland last month! Joining Ermolenko and Ruml on the program will 2012 US Open Champion, Chris Kerr, of Auburn, CA, who rode 5 seasons in the World Class British League, 4-time US Open Champion and Hollywood Stuntman, Shawn "Mad Dog" McConnell, of Brea, CA, and 13 year British League star, David "Victor" Meldrum, of Berwick, who now currently resides in Florida.

Local fans will have a lot to cheer and the guest stars will have their hands full as Bonsignore has a very strong program of local riders at the moment. The local Division 1 pool of riders expressing interest in the event was at 20 last week. The top local favorites to win the Championship have to be Endicott's Adam Mittl, who just clinched the NY State Championship in July along with Binghamton's Mikey Buman who has 3 wins in 2014 and Port Crane's Casey Donholt, who also has 3 feature wins. Windsor's Tuff McBride is a multi-time track and East Coast Champ who has been nursing some injuries but could do well if healthy and Dave Clark of Berkshire can be hot at times. A strong local contingent of long serving veterans and up and coming riders may also give the visitors a run for their money.

Speedway motorcycles have absolutely no brakes, go from 0 to 60 mph in 3 seconds and slide totally sideways through the turns. They run on methanol and the sport attracts crowds of 20,000 plus for weekly meetings in Europe. There are only several pockets of speedway in the US and New York is recognized as one of the best, second only to California.

The Speedway action gets underway at 7 p.m. on the 30th at Champion Speedway, and at 6 p.m. on the 31st at Champion which is on East River Drive at the end of Rt. 434 in Owego. ATV and Support Class racing will be included both nights. Monday the 1st at Noon will serve as a rain-date. More info can be found by calling (585) 739-9612 or going to www.eastcoastspeedway.com or www.speedwaybikes.com.

Division 1 lineup for August 30/31 at Champion Speedway, Owego, NY!

#2 Adam Mittl
#5 Mikey Buman
#‎5W‬ Max Ruml
#6 Shawn McConnell
#007 David Meldrum
#10 Ron Walker
#13 Sam Ermolenko
#24 Russ Cornell
#27 Chris Kerr
#38 Jerry Harman
#47 John Lewis
#60 Dave Clark
#64 Gene Bonsignore
#70 Corey Brookes
#72 Tuff McBride
#77 Chuck Podany
#97 Casey Donholt
#171 Brian Hollenbeck
#277 Keith Hawkins
#327 Dave Oakden
#581 Ray Barondick

A qualifier may be held for the 20th spot amongst a couple riders on this list and possibly more to be named


Larry McBride Memorial

A great field of riders, Division 1 listed below, for this Saturday's Larry McBride Memorial at Champion Speedway at 7pm...

Adam Mittl
Mikey Buman
Casey Donholt
Tuff McBride
Dave Clark
Jeff Garlinghouse
Jerry Harman
Brian Hollenbeck
Russ Cornell
Ron Walker
Keith Hawkins
Jesse Diem
Corey Brookes
Joel Parsons
Alex Heath
Ray Barondick


Legends Night June 28th

The list of legends is growing for June 28th, 7pm Hank Bassett Cup/Legends night and Celebration of the life of Howie Oakden, confirmed so far ... Stormin Norm Robinson, Hurricane Hank Bassett, George Lazorbeam Lazor, Warren Diem, Mike Robinson, Bob Robinson, Mike Robinson (Bob's son), Mike Lauterborn, Bruce Sill, Rick Close, Pistol Pete Atwater, Joey Sephton, John Boogeyman Lewis, Moonbeam, Nick Ciardi...likely...Pat Cliff, Matt Otto, Rodney Payne, Kelvin Herrala , hopeful for ... Jumpin John Leale, Chip Lettie, Fiske Jagger, Mike Cortese, Heber Belles, Hitman Hesmer, Fast Frank Watson, Jody Garris and many more! This is the largest gathering of former riders in many years, drag old fans out, bring new ones, help spread the word! Lets pack the place for Howie!

Jason Bonsignore eastcoastspeedway@hotmail.com (June 19, 2014)


#50 Howie "The Hammer" Oakden

The Speedway Community has lost an irreplaceable friend, Howie "The Hammer" Oakden, has passed after a long battle with cancer.

Please see his riders profile page for further information: Howie Oakden


Champion Speedway is pleased to open for it's 40TH Anniversary this Sunday evening with the Patrick Ahlund Spring Classic Championship!

This year marks my 17th as promoter and I am excited to announce a great lineup for Sunday evening, listed below, along with the schedule for this summer!

#1/72 "Tuff" Larry McBride
#2 "The Missile" Adam Mittl
#5 Mikey Buman
#007 "Victor" David Meldrum
#10 "The Reaper" Ron Walker
#14 "Jet" Jesse Diem
#24 "Doctor Dirt" Russ Cornell
#38 "Beufford" Jerry Harman
#60 "The Shark" Dave Clark
#64 "Mean" Gene Bonsignore
#65 "Jammin" Jeff Garlinghouse
#70 Corey Brookes
#82 "Steamboat" Shawn Engel
#97 Casey Donholt
#196 "The Hazard" Alex Heath
#581 Ray Barondick

#9 Brandon Bruzek
#10 Roger Roberts
#32 Brandon Sturzenegger
#38 Spencer Portararo
#56 Don Wheeland
#81 "Battlescar" Mark Bradley
#91 Mike Clark
#92 Andrew Clark
#117 Brian Bailey

#23 Pat Farrell
#33 Jim Sanchez
#36 Cameron Taylor
#58 Bill Wheeland

2014 Champion Speedway Schedule
May 25 - Sunday - Patrick Ahlund Spring Classic Championship 6pm
Jun 7 -Kelly Moran Night S/H
Jun 28 - Hurricane Hank Bassett Cup/Legends Reunion
Jul 19 - New York State Championship *Double Points
Jul 26 - To be Titled soon
Aug 2 -Harley Night
Aug 16 - Larry McBride Memorial S/H
Aug 23 - Omar Lightner Cup
Aug 30 - Round One John F. Stalma US Open Championships
Aug 31 - Sunday - John F. Stalma US Open Championships Final/Stormin Norman Robinson Night 6pm
Sep 1 - Monday - US Open Rain date - 1pm
Oct 12 - Sunday - Fall Brawl Classic 2pm
2015 Ice Racing Schedule
Jan 30th and 31st - New York State Indoor Ice Racing Championships First Arena, Elmira, NY - Tickets available at First Arena.com


There will be practice at Owego Saturday at 3pm if the weather is OK, May 17. (Champion) License paperwork and money MUST BE IN FROM ALL RIDERS this weekend to get the discounted rate.

If you will not be able to attend this weekend, I can email you the forms. I must hear from anyone wishing to race May 25th by Tuesday. Please do not show up without money and expect to practice or race! Oil will be available at the track, if anyone needs parts or tires NOW is the time to tell me, not two days before the race.

Please do not order parts or ask me to bring things down and then not have the money either.

Jason Bonsignore eastcoastspeedway@hotmail.com (May 14, 2014)


Practice Saturday, May 15 at 3pm, weather permitting. $20.00 each at Champion

License paperwork will also be on hand, EVERYONE will have to purchase a 2014 license. Thank you!

Jason Bonsignore eastcoastspeedway@hotmail.com (May 8, 2014)


This was cancelled - Too much water on the track! If the weather is good there will be practice at Champion at 3pm May 4. I hope to have license paperwork available also.

Jason Bonsignore eastcoastspeedway@hotmail.com (April 29, 2014)


I am very pleased and honored to announce the Grand Marshall for Saturday night at the NY State Indoor Ice Championships in Elmira, NY is, one of the Greatest Ice Speedway Riders of all-time, 1988 US National ICE Champion, George "Lazorbeam" Lazor! I am really looking forward to having him there! One of the best riders and people you will ever meet!

Jason Bonsignore eastcoastspeedway@hotmail.com (January 16, 2014)


Jan 17 & 18 ICE RACES!!! - New York State Indoor Ice Racing Championships - First Arena, Elmira, NY! - Tickets available at First Arena.com

Tickets are now on sale for the NY State Indoor Ice Race Championships Jan 17 and 18 at the First Arena in Elmira, NY! We have a great field of indoor ice specialists for this event! More info and tickets can be found at www.firstarena.com or by calling (607) 734-7825


Champion Speedway has posted their 2014 Tentative Schedule.

Jason Bonsignore eastcoastspeedway@hotmail.com (December 9, 2013)

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