American Speedway  

1998 ICE Indoor
Speedway Racing

ICE Racing Index

Indoor ICE Speedway Racing

World ICE Racing Championships VI

The Cow Palace, San Francisco, California
The Greatest Spectacle On Ice
Promoted by: Gary Densford - President / I.C.E.
Saturday 8:00PM, February 14, 1998

1997 Charlie Venegas

The new World ICE Champion Charlie Venegas
Photo by Gary Roberts at the 1997 American Final

Race Results By Gary Roberts

A good crowd showed up despite horrendous weather conditions (by California standards) to see an exciting show at the Cow Palace on Saturday night. Lots of loving couples were there to celebrate Valentines Day with an evening of smoke filled roar, showing that romance is not dead.

This was the first time I had attended an indoor speedway event. There did not appear to be any kind of extraction system and had it been only speedway, no problem, I could have enjoyed an evening of inhaling burned Castrol R. But there were several races of 2 stroke quads, which still lingers in my throat today. The biggest joke was that cigarette smoking was forbidden! Is there any hope that sanity will ever prevail?

On to the racing. The evening started with 8 qualifying heats. It all looked fairly slow until riders fell. Then they seemed to accelerate into the wall. It all looked a bit dangerous. Steve Lucero, 1996 US National Champion who was sitting behind me pointed out that most of the machines did not have guards on the wheels. Its bad enough getting a hand or foot pulled in by a tyre, but much worse with screws in it. Young James Birkinshaw from the UK looked like he got his hand trapped in a rear wheel after tangling with another rider in his first race and was replaced by a reserve for the rest of the evening.

James is in good shape. He was taken to hospital after his early heat crash. He suffered a broken finger, and required thirty stitches to his hand after getting it caught in the rear wheel spokes. He plans to race the next weekend in San Diego. - Editor

From the 8 heats, 3 riders qualified straight into the front row of the main event. They were Jeff Orosz, Charlie Venegas and Matt King. Then there was a run off for the 3 slots in the back row. Qualifiers from that were Robert Curry, John Grant, and Ronny Kemp. Non qualifiers included Canadian Gary Hesmer and Doug Mignano.

In the main event Charlie Venegas got one of his famous starts that put him into a lead where he was untouchable. Canadian Jeff Orosz was second with the other front row man Matt King in third place. From the back row Robert Curry's start was so good it looked as if he jumped the start. He out accelerated Venegas! But the referee didn't stop the race. Curry rode behind King for a couple of laps before getting inside and moving him over. Meanwhile Jeff Orosz in second place seemed to be riding wider and wider. It looked like he was getting tired. Eventually he hit the wall fairly hard coming out of turn four on the third lap and was down allowing Curry up to second.

John Grant must be a man of phenomenal stamina. In addition to competing in the speedway events, he was also in the flat-track races AND the quad races. He showed no sign of exhaustion and made it to the main event in all three.

Overall diagnosis. A good evening out, but not as good as Speedway. Costa Mesa's Spring Classic is March 7 and Auburn's regular program starts early May. I'd probably go and watch ice speedway again.

Bike Final Results were :
1st Charlie Venegas (California)
2nd Robert "Kid" Curry age 36 (California)
3rd Matt King (California)
4th John "Mountain Man" Grant age 45 (California)
5th Ronny Kemp (California)
6th Jeff Orosz (Canada)
Quad Final Results were :
1st Jim Giovanni - Morgan Hill, California
2nd Jason Montgomery - Atascadero, California
3rd Mike Kuhn - Woodland, California

600cc Super Stock 'Thunder Thumpers" Final :
1st John "Mountain Man" Grant age 45 (California)
2nd Robert McDonald - Hayward, California
3rd Michelle DiSalvo - Modesto, California
Heat points are 1st: 10, 2nd: 5, 3rd: 3, 4th: 1
3 points for the last three places in the last chance race
Final Race: 1st: 30, 25, 20, 15, 10, 5
The points from this race night are doubled towards the series totals.

  WORLD        Rider                  Heats             Heat  Last FINAL  Race
STANDINGS                       1  2  3  4  10 11 12 13 Total Chnc       TOTALS
 1st Charlie Venegas         : 10          :10          |20|        1st  50
 2nd Robert "Kid" Curry      :  5          :          5 |10|  2nd   2nd  35
 3rd Matt King               :        5    :         10 |15|        3rd  35
 4th John "Mountain Man" Grant  3          :    5       | 8|  3rd   4th  23
 5th Ronny Kemp             :       10    :       5    |15|  1st   5th  25
 6th Jeff "Number One" Orosz :          10 :   10       |20|        6th  25
 7th Doug Mignano            :           3 :      10    |13|  4th        16
 8th Bill Hermant            :    10       :       1    |11|  5th        14
 9th Gary "The Hit Man" Hesmer           5 : 5          |10|  6th        13
10th John Gregg              :     5       :          1 | 6|              6
10th Mike Armtrout           :        3    : 3          | 6|              6
12th Gary Ackroyd            :  1          :       3    | 4|              4
12th Dave Worthen            :     3       : 1          | 4|              4
12th Mark Starcevic          :        1    :    3       | 4|              4
12th Jimmy Martinez          :           1 :          3 | 4|              4
16th John "Oh No! O'Neill    :     1       :    1       | 2|              2
17th James Birkinshaw        :             :            | 0|              0

Thanks to Gary Densford for faxing the heat and points sheets to me this week! - Kim

www.speedwaybikes.com - All rights reserved.