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Sideways Saturdays Speedway
Cal Expo - Sacramento, CA

Sideways Saturdays Speedway
Cal Expo - Sacramento, CA
Saturday June 17, 2000

Bart Bast wins the Main Event!

Bart  Bast 1999

From Gary Roberts

Another hot evening at Cal Expo. The track was considerably better than the previous week, with the exception of the exit of turn four, which produced some frightening moments for a couple of riders, but nobody came seriously unstuck. The pole seemed to have been moved out quite a long way, making the track rather narrow, which resulted in limited overtaking, particularly in the final events.

Scratch Main
1. Bart Bast
2. Billy Janniro
3. Bobby Hedden
4. Robert Curry

Billy Janniro did not get a good start. He caught up to second but despite much effort, he could not get past Bart Bast.

Scratch Consi
1. Ryan Fisher
2. Ian Ferris
3. Steve Martynse
4. Chad Felicio

There were a number of top names not in attendance, but it did not detract from the fact that youngsters Ryan Fisher and Ian Ferris both looked very fast.

Handicap Main
1. Ian Ferris
2. Ryan Fisher
3. Billy Janniro
4. Bart Bast
5. Robert Curry
6. Paul Orlandi

Early serious contender Paul Orlandi went down, and remounted half a lap behind. This left it up to the under 21s Ferris, Fisher and Janniro to take the top 3 places.

Handicap Consi
1. Bobby Hedden
2. Steve Martynse
3. Glenn Moore
4. Marvin Sonnier
5. Scott Olney
6. Chad Felicio

Division 2 Main
1. Ron Woodsford
2. Vince Bertolucci
3. Greg Hooten Snr.
4. Matt Browne
5. Kevin Fereira
6. Jon Curry
7. Derek Silva
8. Greg Howell

John Curry started from the 10 yard line, got past the four riders on the zero and started working on establishing a safe lead. Then Greg Howell fell down and the race was restarted. Not enough of the race had been run to have a staggered restart, so each rider started from his original handicap. Jon jumped the start and for the next rerun, was put back. This put paid to his chances of repeating his win of last week. Ron Woodsford took a fairly steady approach to what was a very competitive race.

Division 2 Consi
1. Richard Powell
2. Craig Boone
3. Harlan Bast Snr.
4. Ivan Sevart
5. Dave Booth
6. Bill Dixon
7. Mike Browne

Richard Powell looked great, leading his qualifying race, until the last corner, when he went wide and let the second and third riders take the qualifying places in the main. This relegated him to the consi, which he won in fine form.

Division 3 Main
1. Mike Achilles
2. Mike Hooten
3. Bruce Baker
4. Brian Leventon
5. Dave Baker
6. Dennis Chandler

Division 3 Consi
1. Geno Bellino
2. Chris Orlandi
3. Eric Ryan
4. David Lee
5. Les Veale
6. Bill Warnock

Junior Division 1
1. Bryan Yarrow
2. Greg Hooten Jnr.
3. JT Mabry
4. Chris Kerr (ef)
5. JJ Martynse (retd)

Junior Division 2.
1. Paul Johnson
2. TJ Fowler
3. Josh Newby
4. Chris Smith

Junior Division 3
1. Mitchell Johnson
2. Amanda English
3. Tom Fehrman
4. Michael Wade
5. Victoria "Tori" Hubbert

The junior races brought out a disappointing turn out of riders. College graduations, the day before father's day and the state of the track last week were some of the reasons mentioned. The crowd was, I'm afraid a long way down on the previous week.

It is clearly in the interests of US Speedway that Sideways Saturdays succeeds, as a Speedway venue. What needs to be done to make this happen? Nobody would dispute the fact that the show is not as well organized and the track is not as well prepared as Fast Fridays. Perhaps this is why the number of competitors is less. Perhaps that is why the number of spectators is less. But there was a lot of good racing, the morale among the riders was good, the atmosphere among the crowd was very favorable.

What other sporting event can one go to see, in Sacramento, the capital city of the State of California, a city of nearly half a million people, on a Saturday evening, to see National Champions compete, every week? Where else can one see two and a half hours of live entertainment, for less than $10? This is a bargain, the place should be packed. Speedway is a great sport. The place is full of nice friendly people, What's gone wrong?

I have heard complaints of poor advertising, badly marketed, expensive to park etc. etc. etc. There are excuses not reasons. Three years ago, we ran Speedway in Santa Maria, a Central California town of much less than one tenth of the size. There were between 9 and 22 riders, with an ability standard that ranged from lower second division to "wouldn't qualify for" third division anywhere else. One and a half seasons and $80,000 later, we closed, but we recognized that the reason for our failure was that we simply did not have a show. At Sideways Saturdays it's a different story. Sideways Saturdays has a show, a very good one.

So what is wrong? Is it because Fast Fridays is so successful that Sideways Saturdays is seen as a poor substitute? If that's the case, then Northern California Speedway probably won't grow any bigger. Assuming another promoter were to appear and come up with a location and manage to persuade enough riders to come out and compete on say, Thursday nights, I have difficulty in seeing how they would do any better. Do we face the fact that Sideways Saturdays is doomed?

I would like to suggest to every reader, who comes to Sideways Saturdays to bring a friend next week. Preferably one who has never been to Speedway before. It is up to us, the regular spectators to ensure the integrity of our Saturday evening's entertainment is maintained. We have an opportunity to help this promoter find more spectators, we should make the most of it, while the opportunity is still there.

Gary Roberts - groberts@iee.org

Cal  Expo turns 1 and 2 Cal  Expo turns 3 and 4

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