1997 Dixon Speedway
July 26, 1997 - National Qualifier
From: Gary Roberts
On Saturday, July 26 the fourth and final qualifying round took place for the 1997 US National.
The location was the two and a half month old Dixon track, in Northern California. The track had a whole bunch of
new dirt on it but most riders found it patchy and it later became somewhat bumpy. However compared to the
Owego, NY track that I saw last week, it was like a billiard table.
Despite two months of advance practice that the Northern California riders had, many of the Southern California riders
did quite well. They certainly looked more comfortable than at Auburn the night before.
Results, in order of grand total from all 4 rounds, with previous total, Dixon score, followed by the grand total:
Prev Dx Current
Bobby Schwartz 68 24 92
Mike Faria 62 23 85
Bart Bast 61 21 82
Bobby Hedden 51 20 71
Bob Hicks 39 15 54
John Aden 54 0 53
Eddie Castro 26 18 44
Andy Northrup 31 13 44
Brad Oxley 37 6 43
Shawn McConnell 34 8 42
Louis Kossuth 31 10 41
Chad Felicio 23 14 37
Pat Linn 25 10 35
Matt Becker 25 9 34
Robert Curry 25 9 34
Rick Pearce 26 5 31
Gary Ackroyd 21 10 31
Kelly Bennett 20 5 25
Jerry Black 20 3 23
Randy DiFrancesco 15 8 23
Vance Felicio 17 4 21
Jason Chism 12 5 17
Billy Janniro 5 9 14 reserve 3 rides
Jason Daniels 12 0 12
David Faria 5 4 9
Steve Martynse 0 3 3 reserve 3 rides
Bobby Schwartz, Mike Faria and Bart Bast were all unbeaten in the qualifying heats and along with Bobby Hedden,
all won their semi-final heats, so came together in the main event. Schwartz made no mistake from the gate and lead throughout,
from Faria, Hedden and Bast. Eddie Castro who was riding his new laydown incredibly fast, won the consolation, from Hicks, Northrup and Felicio.
John Aden and Jason Daniels did not compete, so reserves contested the qualifying heats. Billy Janniro rode well, getting 3 second places.
As the reserve, he did not qualify for the semi finals.
Who did differently to what was expected?
Brad Oxley did not look comfortable and only got into the semi finals after winning the run off from Kelly Bennett, Rick Pearce and Jason Chism.
I expected to see Matt Becker score more points. He has been riding well at Auburn and is one of California's most promising
looking youngsters. He won his first heat, and was leading his second till a launch from a hole in turn 3 took him from first to
last. His second place in his third heat ensured his position in the semi-finals. A bad start left him battling with Chad Felicio
for second place, which ended with Felicio going down and being awarded the seed to the consolation event.
Overall, there were several hard fought races, but comparatively little overtaking. Next week is Dixon's last meeting this season,
with their track championship.