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1996 Bakersfield Speedway
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1996 Bakersfield

June 1, 1996 - Bakersfield Speedway

From: Gary Roberts

What a fantastic night of speedway! Some really fast close racing attended by a monster crowd. The format was 20 riders, 12 qualifying heats, 5 riders per heat, giving 3 rides per rider. The 5 highest point scorers went to the main, the next 5 went to a consolation. The only problem I had all evening was the commentator. He confused me totally, with his point scoring and his announcement of the finishing order of many races. For that reason I am leaving out the points scored.

The support class was also very well attended, again with a lot of close racing, by many riders who had never ridden on a track of this size or surface. Two locals, Randy DiFrancesco and Rick Pearce were in a league of their own and it was clear, even to the commentator(!) that they should have been in the Division 1 class. There is another meeting on August 3. I'm sure this will be corrected for next time. It was very clear which riders had raced in England. Bobby Schwartz, Steve Lucero, Shawn McConnell, Brad Oxley and Gary Hicks were winning races, while making it look very easy.

This was apparently the first time that speedway had been run on this track. The track was a banked, very hard clay surface, that had a wide blue groove for the bottom half of its width, but was slightly dusty outside the groove. Needless to say riders going wider than the groove had difficulty getting back down and most ended up in the straw bales. Fortunately no serious injuries were incurred.

Brad Oxley set up and promoted the event, and everyone agreed, did an excellent job. I hope this can become a more regular event.


  1. Bobby Schwartz
  2. Steve Lucero
  3. Gary Hicks
  4. Gary Ackroyd
  5. Brad Oxley


  1. Shawn McConnell
  2. Jake Zemke
  3. Doug Nicol
  4. Jesse Finch
  5. Brian Pappalardo


  1. Randy DiFrancesco
  2. Paul Binnquist
  3. John DeVries
  4. Rick Pearce (engine failure)
  5. George Fox

Gary Roberts - gary_rob@ix.netcom.com

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