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1997 Fairgrounds Raceway
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1997 Race Results

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Fairgrounds Raceway
Santa Maria, California

April 12, 1997 - Fairgrounds Raceway
From: Gary Roberts

Fairgrounds Raceway had its first 1997 meeting on a brand new, enlarged track with a near perfect surface, which stayed that way all evening. Competition was strong among the 18 second division only riders. The strategy taken last year to grow local talent is certainly working. At least half the riders were locals, supplemented by Bakerfield, Victorville and the high desert area and a couple who drove up from Los Angeles.

The Bakersfield contingent dominated the racing, much the same as last year. Racing was to a regular GP format, supplemented by the winner of the D joining the C, winner of the C joining the B, winner of the B joining the A, same as last year.

Brad Sauer         15
Robbie Sauer       14
Marvin Sonnier     11
Charlie Powell     10
Terry McCurdy      10
Tim Appel           8
Billy Lyons         8 reserve, 3 rides
Rudy Maresca        7 reserve, 3 rides
Mark Hitchcock      6
Mark Maynard        6
Gerry Dutweiler     6
Paul Baldwin        6
Jeff Smith          4
John VanderMuellen  3
Jason Chabot        2
Malcolm Roe         1 
Jason Montgomery    0
Jimmy Collins       0

D final
Smith, Collins, Cabot, VanderMuellen
C final
Hitchcock, Maynard, Dutweiler, Baldwin, Smith
B final
McCurdy, Maresca, Hitchcock, Maresca, Lyons
A final
Robbie Sauer, Brad Sauer, Powell, Sonnier, McCurdy

The Sauer brothers, from Bakersfield, were in a class of their own. They have been around for several years, racing at all the Southern California tracks. On the other end of the experience scale was third finisher in the A, Charlie Powell, whose made his racing debut on Saturday. Clearly an experienced moto-crosser, this 17 year old looks to have great potential.

Malcolm Roe, another Brit, had his first competitive race in 18 years. He rode despite a horrendous looking bruise he acquired in the afternoon when his primary chain snapped. He had bike problems all evening and must be in horrible pain now.

As with any start up operation we ran into a few teething problems, but generally the evening went without any obvious (to the crowd) problems. Some of last year's staff have become racers, some been given other positions, (I am referee!) so we are short of infield helpers. Anyone in the area who is interested in getting involved, please send me an EMail. This could easily become a path to take up racing.

We are also short of spectators. The crowd was less than 300. We are starting an advertising campaign to get a few more people in. In 2 weeks there is a strawberry festival, normally attended by some 20,000 people in the fairgrounds complex, and we will be racing afternoon and evening. It is hoped that will sustain interest.

Same as last year, the atmosphere was great. Friendly, a lot of good sportsmanship, everyone helping out and we all got together in the pub afterwards. A great evening.

Gary Roberts - gary_rob@ix.netcom.com

Fairgrounds Raceway turns 3 and 4 Fairgrounds Raceway turns 1 and 2

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