2003 North America Speedway History
2003 Northern California - 2003 East Coast
U.S. UNDER 21 INVITATIONAL
A major new event in American speedway takes place this Sunday as the
Bruce Penhall/Billy Hamill United States Under 21 Invitational will be
held at Wheel2Wheel Raceway in Victorville, California. This will be
the first Under 21 Championship of any kind to be held in the United
States. In addition to the Under 21 Invitational, there will be the
California Youth Championship.
Former first division rider Donny Odom, owner of J.O. Racing, has spent
significant time planning the event and, with the continued growth of
the youth program, he is confident that it will become a fixture on the
American speedway calendar in the future. Odom hopes that the event may
eventually be used to determine the representatives for the United
States in the World Under 21 competition. Currently, the riders are
selected by the AMA.
The Under 21 competitors aren't the only riders who will have something
to race for. The California Youth Championship will have divisions for
the four-stroke and the two-stroke machines as well. This event will
add another important event to the youth calendar, which already
includes the Youth National Championship and the Gumball Rally
The rider lineup is headed by 2003 World Under 21 Finalist Ryan Fisher,
who also finished second in this year's AMA National Championship
Series. Bryan Yarrow and Eric Carrillo, who both competed in the World
Under 21 Qualifier in Poole, England in May, will also be competing as
well as several of California's top young speedway racers. The roster
isn't exclusively made up of California riders. Chris Strong and Brian
Hollenbeck will be traveling from New York and Aaron Laird will make the
trip from Colorado.
Fisher, the only rider in the field who competes regularly in Europe,
enters the event with the most big-race experience. Yarrow and
Carrillo, both former National Youth Champions, will try to use their
experience gained in the World Under 21 Qualifiers to their advantage.
Shaun Harmatiuk, Chris Kerr, Justin Boyle, J.T. Martynse, and Mark
Carrillo all have competed in U.S. National Championships and that
should prove beneficial in a meeting that has quickly developed
importance among riders and fans.
The California Youth Championship will feature many of California's
speedway stars of tomorrow competing in three separate classes. Many of
the youth racers in the lineup have competed in the Youth National
Championship including two-time champion T.J. Fowler and Gumball Rally
Champion Ricky Wells. The 80cc two-stroke class will include Odom's
son, Tyler, and Conner Penhall, son of two-time World Champion Bruce
In addition to the championship races, the meeting's namesakes have
hinted at possibly challenging each other to a series of match races.
The possible battle between two of America's former World Champions has
drummed up even more interest in the meeting.
Despite a history of young riders succeeding in international speedway,
the United States has never staged an Under 21 Championship. That
success has included World Under 21 Champions Ron Preston in 1979 and
Shawn Moran in 1981. In 2003, Ryan Fisher qualified for the World Under
21 Final, becoming the first American to do so since Josh Larsen in
Admission to the event will be $7.00. The gates will open at 10:30 AM
and the racing will begin at 1:00 PM. Wheel2Wheel Raceway is located at
the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds in Victorville, California.
Riders or fans seeking information regarding the event are encouraged to
use the contact information listed below.
J.O. Racing (Donny Odom)
firstname.lastname@example.org OR email@example.com
Phone: (310) 375-2996
Fax: (310) 375-3066
Steve & Trish Wells (714) 695-0048 firstname.lastname@example.org
Ryan Evans email@example.com
Rider Hometown Age
Under 21 Championship
6 - Ryan Fisher Norco, CA 20
7 - Eric Carrillo Newark, CA 19
8 - Bryan Yarrow Vacaville, CA 19
12 - Greg Hooten Jr. Sacramento, CA 17
18 - Justin Boyle Long Beach, CA 17
25 - T.J. Fowler Palermo, CA 15
27 - Chris Kerr Auburn, CA 19
29 - Matt Browne Pleasant Hill, CA 20
36 - Tim Gomez Hesperia, CA 15
87 - Aaron Laird Brighton, CO 16
93 - J.T. Mabry Napa, CA 15
93e - Chris Strong Binghamton, NY 16
105 - Michael Hernandez Fountain Valley, CA 17
112 - Devin Defreece Fairfield, CA 20
115 - J.T. Martynse Penryn, CA 18
139 - Shaun Harmatiuk Garden Grove, CA 20
145 - Dario Galvin Corona, CA 15
169 - Mark Carrillo Newark, CA 17
171 - Brian Hollenbeck Owego, NY 17
201 - Neil Facchini Riverside, CA 18
1 - T.J. Fowler Palermo, CA 15
19 - Dylan Stark Lake Forest, CA 11
27 - Krystal Cramer Lake Elsinore, CA 12
66 - Jason Ramirez Orange, CA
99 - Miles Calvin Fullerton, CA 15
142 - Ricky Wells Yorba Linda, CA 12
301 - Dale Facchini Riverside, CA 15
5 - Ricky Valdez Riverside, CA 10
17 - Dusty Phares Pauma Valley, CA 9
223 - Tamara Krips Riverside, CA 14
81 - Conner Penhall Corona, CA 12
142 - Ricky Wells Yorba Linda, CA 12
146 - Tyler Odom Redondo Beach, CA 10
MAELY'S RANCH OPEN AGAIN
We're happy to announce that Maely's Track will be open for practice
effective Sunday, November 9, 2003. The track will be open from 9am to
5pm weekends. Admission to the track is $25 per rider. The track will be
closed, however, November 23 for the Under 21 Championships Race at
Victorville. The Winter League Series is still on. We will be racing as
scheduled, Saturday, November 15 and Saturday, November 29. All riders
must show proof of Medical Insurance to ride the track. NO
EXCEPTIONS!!!!!! For questions regarding track practices and events,
call Bryan Galvin at (909) 454-5410.
I'm pleased to announce that the Maely's Winter Series will be resuming
on Saturday, November 15, 2003 starting at 12pm. John DeFries just
received notice that the track will reopen, and we are all looking
forward to getting back on Maely's track and continue racing. The cost
will be $30 per rider, which will include an additional $5 per rider to
cover the cost of an EMT. Any questions, or if you want to sign up to
race, please e-mail me at Kiwicovers@aol.com or call
John DeFries at home (909) 464-7848 or on
his cell (909) 525-7268.
Thanks, Trish Wells
LAKE ELSINORE OPENS
Dukie Ermolenko informed me that the practice track in Lake Elsinore is
now open for practice. The track will be open from 9:00 am until dark
Friday through Sunday. The track itself is very wide with a slight
banking. The track is close to 1/4 mile, but a smaller track has been
cut on the inside and should be ready for practice soon.
Ermolenko has been receiving encouraging comments regarding recent
improvements to the track surface. To ride at Lake Elsinore, insurance
is required to enter the facility. Most of the motocross tracks in
Southern California require an IMSA membership. Cost is $20.00 per year.
Lake Elsinore will be carrying their own insurance in place of the IMSA
card. The track staff has been informing riders that they will honor the
IMSA card for the remainder of the card period. There is also an on-site
EMT at all times.
Ermolenko is also accepting students to attend his Speedway Academy and
anyone who is interested can contact Dukie at the information provided
above. Students can rent bikes and other equipment if necessary. The
track will be open Friday through Sunday, but please call ahead of time
for confirmation. One suggestion, bring your smallest rear sprockets
because the track is BIG and FAST!!!!
The immediate plans are for the track to be for practice only, with the
possibility of race meetings being held there in the near future. The
track will be open to speedway riders of all divisions, including
juniors; flat track riders; and quads. Dukie will also be running his
Speedway Academy from the facility. Dukie is also hoping to have an
on-site store that would carry parts as well as complete new and used
bikes. The shop would also have bikes and/or equipment that could be
rented for the day.
Dukie wanted to express that should he decide to hold race meetings in
the future, his schedule wouldn't conflict with the race dates of any
Southern California speedway track or association. Ermolenko wants to
work with all promoters and build continuity among speedway promoters,
which he feels would improve the state of speedway in Southern
KEN MAELY PASSES AWAY
Updated October 9
Sad news to report today. Ken Maely, a man who has touched the lives of
many racers from many types of motorcycle racing, passed away today.
This is a tremendous loss to the racing family and will leave a
tremendous void in the life of anyone who had the pleasure of knowing
Updated October 13
The following was posted on cyclenews.com:
According to Ken Maely's son, Mike, there will be a bench racing session
and memorial celebration for the late hot shoe builder and motorcycle
racing icon, who passed away last Thursday.
The event is scheduled to take place at Bassani Manufacturing, 2900 E.
La Jolla, in Anaheim, California, 92806, on Saturday, October 25, from
noon to 6.p.m. There will be refreshments and food available, but the
event is BYOB.
Attendees are requested to please RSVP to Mike Maely via the following
e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
2003 SRA U.S. NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
October 11, 2003 - Costa Mesa, CA
2 - Josh Larsen Monrovia
2n - Alan "Crazy" Christian Reno, NV
3 - "Gorgeous" Gary Hicks Hesperia
6 - Shawn "Mad Dog" McConnell Tustin
8n - Bryan Yarrow Vacaville
9 - "Flyin" Mike Faria Reno, NV
10 - Scott Brant Riverside
11 - Bobby "Boogaloo" Schwartz Costa Mesa
12 - Randy "The Rocket" DiFrancesco Bakersfield
14 - "Fast" Eddie Castro Ojai
15 - Charles "Dukie" Ermolenko Cypress
16e - Jeremy Parsons Johnson City, NY
24 - Bobby Krips Riverside
31 - Kelly Moran Huntington Beach
40n - Tommy Hedden Auburn
56 - Jim Estes Carson City, NV
94 - John Cook North Highlands
130 - Chris Manchester Reno, NV
139 - Shaun Harmatiuk Garden Grove
166 - Andy "The Enforcer" Northrup Alta Loma
18 - Justin Boyle Long Beach
89 - Danny Perkins Rancho Santa Margarita
RYAN FISHER IN WORLD UNDER 21 FINAL
September 12, 2003
Ryan Fisher will make his first World Championship appearance tomorrow
when he lines up for the World Under 21 Championship in Kumla, Sweden.
Fisher has attempted to qualify the past two years, but bad luck has
prevented him from making the Final prior to this year. Fisher is the
first American to qualify for the Final since Josh Larsen finished fifth
in 1993. Only two Americans have won the Under 21 Championship in the
past, Ron Preston in 1979 and Shawn Moran in 1981.
CONNER PENHALL ON MOTO KIDS COVER
August 26, 200
Youth speedway received some valuable press coverage with a cover story
in the September/October 2003 issue of Moto Kids Magazine. Conner
Penhall, son of two-time World Champion Bruce Penhall, is the cover
picture. The article provides a lot of information about the youth
speedway program, the equipment and where you can buy it, and where you
can practice and race. The article provides the web addresses for the
tracks and for the distributors. The son of Cycle News editor Paul
Carruthers also took a few laps on one of the youth bikes. This is
excellent media exposure for the youth program and speedway in general.
For more information about Moto Kids Magazine click this link: http://www.moto-kids.com
SPEEDWAY HITS LAS VEGAS
August 17, 2003
Speedway racing will be in Las Vegas, Nevada on Friday, September 2003.
The event will be at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway and is part of the
Great American Motorcycle Experience (GAME).
Although GAME is promoting the event, International Speedway Inc. has
been contracted to help produce the show. Riders have until September 2
submit their entry forms, but many of the top riders have stated that
they will compete for the $5250 purse.
This event should give speedway a lot of exposure to new fans. Las Vegas
has been one of the locations that has been mentioned as a potential
Grand Prix site should the United States be granted one by Benfield
International. The track will be inside the 1/2-mile dirt oval and
measure approximately 250 yards.
Las Vegas Motor Speedway is located north of Downtown Las Vegas. You can
get there by taking Interstate 15 to the Speedway Blvd. exit. The racing
will begin at 7:30.
McCONNELL & MILLER IN TERMINATOR 3
July 3, 2003
Current Southern California First Division rider Shawn McConnell and
former World Finalist Rick Miller performed stunts in the movie
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, which is debuting in theaters this
week. The two perform several different types of stunts throughout the
movie which stars Arnold Schwarzenegger. Their faces are concealed in
all of their scenes, but they were involved in several of the more
spectacular and elaborate scenes. One prominent scene involves the
character John Conner being chased by a wide variety of different
vehicles. The scene culminates with many vehicles crashing and a lot of
explosions. Would you expect anything else from the Terminator trilogy?
Maybe there can be a speedway scene if there is ever a Terminator 4.
RYAN FISHER IN GP SEMI-FINAL
June 19, 2003
Ryan Fisher will be competing in the Grand Prix Semi-Final Qualifier
this Sunday at Rybnik, Poland. Fisher needs be among the top eight point
scorers to move on to the Grand Prix Qualifier Final. He qualified for
the semis after finishing third in the quarterfinal round. Fellow
American Billy Janniro, who was second in the same quarterfinal round,
will be in Terenzano, Italy on Saturday competing in his semi-final
RYAN FISHER MAKES THE WORLD UNDER 21 FINAL
June 9, 2003
Ryan Fisher finished eighth in the World Under 21 Semifinal in Abensberg,
Germany to barely qualify for the World Under 21 Final. Fisher struggled
early, only scoring three points after the first three rounds. He was
able to score four points in the final two rounds to bring his total to
seven and force a three-rider runoff to determine the final two
qualifiers for the Final. Fisher finished second in the runoff to book
his place in the Final. This was the third consecutive year that Fisher
had made it to the penultimate round. He didn't qualify for the Final in
2001 and was unable to compete in last year's semi after suffering an
injury. The World Under 21 Final will be held at Kumla, Sweden on
UNDER 21 QUALIFIER RESULTS
May 25, 2003
Bryan Yarrow scored five points and finished 10th overall and Eric
Carrillo and Kyle Legault scored three points each to tie for 13th
place. Unfortunately, this means that none of the three North Americans
competing today will move on to the Under 21 Semi Finals. However, the
experience gained was very valuable for all the riders involved
especially Yarrow who had never ridden a track bigger than about 220
yards. He should come away happy with the experience and it will benefit
him in the future.
The following is a press release from International Speedway Inc.
ORANGE SHOW SPEEDWAY MOTORCYCLES ROCK SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA!
May 14, 2003
International Speedway, Inc. is proud to announce the addition of a
second racing venue and 13 Friday night dates to our 2003 event
schedule. These Friday night events will take place at the National
Orange Show Events Center, in San Bernardino, CA.
The new Orange Show Speedway will kick-off with a special Fair event May
23, 2003 at 8:00 pm. Also scheduled is a Practice/Industry Day, Sunday,
May 18th from 12:00 to 5:00 p.m. and a Practice/Press Day, Tuesday, June
3rd from 11:30 am to 3:00 p.m.
Witness the color, speed and excitement of fuel burning, brakeless
Speedway Motorcycles from the comfort of Grandstand seating as they
spin, slide and speed towards the checked flag. Speedway hard-cores race
elbow to elbow, completely sideways, to the ragged edge and way, way
beyond! Over 30 breathtaking races crammed into 2 action packed hours of
The full 2003 schedule is enclosed and features 13 dates. Speedway fans
will recognize many of the same promotions which have made Costa Mesa
Speedway so popular. Kids Night, Harley Night, Skirt Night, FMX and even
a Motorcycle Demo Derby supplement the weekly program of Professional
Speedway Motorcycle Racing and Sidecars. Expect the same level of
excitement and professionalism at Orange Show Speedway that
International Speedway, Inc. events are famous for.
The Speedway track is located within the "Big Stadium" at the NOS Event
Center. The race track is planned to be about 40' longer than Costa Mesa
and 50' wider, close to the Ascot Speedway track in size and shape. You
won’t be disappointed with this excellent facility and race track!
Adult admission for all events is just $10.00, Juniors (13-17) and
Seniors (60 plus) is $6.00, Children (6-12) $3.00, 5 and under and
Programs are FREE. Gates open at 6:30, pre-qualifying heats will start
at 7:30 and the show will begin with the National Anthem at 8:00 p.m.
The Pit gate will be open from 5:30 to 7:00.
Great tickets are available at the gate. Friday night, May 23rd, buy a
Speedway ticket and get admission to the National Orange Show Festival,
FREE. Check out our schedule for season-long excitement, it’s all yours
for just 10 bucks!
Race down to the hassle free Orange Show Speedway to join KCAL for the
best event bargain ever. The all new Orange Show Speedway Motorcycles
Friday Nights thru September.
For more information, directions and track facts check out our web site
at www.costamesaspeedway.net or call our offices at (949) 492-9933, we will be
happy to answer any questions that you may have.
AMERICAN SUCCESS IN INTERNATIONAL QUALIFIERS
May 3, 2003
Billy Janniro and Ryan Fisher finished second and third, respectively,
in the first GP Qualifying Round in Lonigo, Italy to qualify for the GP
Semi-Final Qualifying Round in June. The meeting was won by their
Coventry Bees teammate, Lee Richardson.
Fisher followed his success in Lonigo by finishing fourth in the World
Under-21 Quarter-Final in Terenzazo, Italy. Following an exclusion in
his first race, Fisher scored 11 points in his final four races to claim
a spot in the Under-21 Semi-Final. Fisher has qualified for the Under-21
Semi-Final three consecutive years. He failed to qualify for the Final
in 2001, and was unable to compete in last year's Semi-Final after an
injury forced him to withdraw from the meeting.
JOSH LARSEN AND CHRIS MANCHESTER SIGN WITH BELLE VUE
Updated March 31, 2003
Josh Larsen has officially signed with the Belle Vue Aces of the British
Elite League. Due to work and family commitments Larsen will ride for
the Aces in April as a trial. He scored nine points, including a heat
win over Grand Prix competitor Niklas Klingberg, in his first meeting.
Larsen is excited about returning to Europe and is hoping to get one of
the American slots in the World Championship Qualifiers. He has had
success in the World Championship rounds in the past as he competed in
the 1994 World Final in Vojens, Denmark. He actually qualified despite
not competing in Europe throughout the season.
Larsen will be returning to the British scene after last competing in
1999 for the Eastbourne Eagles. His previous stints were with Arena
Essex, London (after Arena moved there), and Bradford.
Joining Larsen on the team will be two-time National Champion Chris
Manchester, who will be returning to the club he last competed for in
1999. Manchester is tentatively competing on the Aces' British League
Cup squad, but is hoping to find a permanent place in the team.
Manchester has had international success as well, having won the 1996
Overseas Final, only to later have his qualification into the next round
revoked over the controversial solid-block tire ordeal.
Manchester is also excited about returning to Europe and is determined
to make his return successful. His first meeting will be April 3.
NO SPEEDWAY AT ARROWHEAD IN 2003
February 15, 2003
After two successful seasons at the Orange Show Fairgrounds, there will
not be speedway at the facility in 2003. Arrowhead Motor Speedway
Promoter Charlie Venegas is very disappointed to make the announcement.
Venegas stated that the fair board increased the lease to amount that
wasn't financially feasible to maintain a weekly speedway show at the
fairgrounds. Venegas had a tentative schedule in place for 2003,
including an AMA National Championship round, and felt that the
negotiations for a new lease would be reasonable. Unfortunately, that
was not the case.
Venegas was also informed that the fair board had sought out other
promoters in Southern California to possibly promote speedway at the
site. Apparently, those promoters also felt the lease was unreasonable
and negotiations never got off the ground. Venegas feels that the fair
board negotiated with him in bad faith by never directly informing him
that they were seeking the possibility of other promoters. That, coupled
with the notion that the fair board was entertaining the idea of
promoting speedway themselves, forced Venegas to threaten legal action.
Although Venegas doesn't feel that the Orange Show could successfully
promote speedway themselves, due to a lack of knowledge of the sport, he
felt he needed to protect his investment.
All of the news coming out of San Bernardino isn't bad, however, as
Venegas already has one iron in the fire with regard to a new location.
Venegas has been negotiating with the city of San Bernardino about a
possible location that is approximately one mile from the Orange Show.
Venegas also stated that the city actually called him when informed
about the Orange Show. Venegas has been working closely with the city
council and with the mayor about the new venue.
Venegas was upbeat when during the conversation and is confident that a
deal can be in place before the beginning of the 2003 season, which was
tentatively set for Wednesday, May 7. He said that the new facility will
be much bigger than the Orange Show facility and also much better. The
size and shape of the track may change as well with Venegas considering
making the track longer and wider. With a new facility may also come a
new race night. Venegas feels that a switch to Friday night would
benefit fans, riders, and himself.
He feels that Friday is better because most fans and riders will not
have to work the next day and he's hoping to attract more riders from
the Bakersfield area on a more consistent basis. He realized that one
repercussion of a switch to Friday night would be fewer visits from
Northern California riders who seemed to flock to his track even though
it was over 400 miles away. With Friday night being the same as Auburn's
race night visits from Northern-based riders would diminish.
Venegas promises to keep the speedway community informed as things
transpire regarding a new facility. He is tireless in his effort to
continue to have speedway in the Inland Empire in the years to come.
Venegas promoted four races inside the Orange Show stock car stadium in
2000 and then two full seasons at his own facility adjacent to the
stadium. He promoted over 40 events in that span of time including the
highly successful AMA National Championship round in 2002. In addition
to the Southern California-based riders, Arrowhead attracted over two
dozen Northern California riders, a rider from Colorado, appearances
from European-based Americans, and several visits from foreign riders.
BILLY HAMILL YOUTH SPEEDWAY SCHOOL AND GUMBALL RALLY
Former World Champion and current Coventry Bees team captain>
Billy Hamill will host a two-day event for Youth Speedway riders.
The event will be held at the popular Maely Ranch in Corona,CA. The
two-day event will consist of the following:
2/22/03 - Instructional lessons from Hamill
2/23/03 - Gumball Rally Race
The event will start at 8:00a.m. Saturday morning with a barbecue
planned for the late afternoon. The fee for this event is $150.00 per
rider. Prizes and trophies will be awarded. All Speedway riders must
attend both days. PW50 riders are welcome on Sunday.
Event sponsors include: Ken Maely, Jawa - Cody Products, Racer's Pub,
Mother's Polishes and Troy Lee Designs.
For more information or to reserve a spot contact Steve Wells
714-695-0048 or e-mail at PACAUTOIMP@aol.com
LIMITED SPACE AVAILABLE
The Gumball Rally brings
Billy Hamill full circle in his career. The first race that Billy
ever entered as a junior was the Gumball Rally at Maely's Ranch in 1983.
The trophy that day was an authentic Gumball machine filled with
gumballs. Billy has stated that he really wanted to win that trophy and
was disappointed that he didn't. The 2003 Gumball Rally, just like the
original meeting 20 years ago, will have Gumball machines for trophies.
The Gumball Rally was staged in 1983 and 1984 with Bobby Cody, son of
Jawa distributor Bill Cody, emerging as the victor each time. Other
riders participating in the Gumball Rally included 1997 World Champion
Greg Hancock; 1994 World Finalist
Josh Larsen; NJK Leathers owner Kelcey Gordon; and future First
Jessie Finch, Trinon Cirello,
Jason Chism, Randy Evans, and Ryan Evans.