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1997 Bakersfield Speedway
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1997 Race Results

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Bakersfield Speedway
Bakersfield, California

April 5, 1997 - Bakersfield Speedway
From: Gary Roberts

This was the first of two speedway evenings at Bakersfield Speedway, this season. The second will be on July 19.

The track is supposed to be one third of a mile, although it looked much smaller. There does not appear to be a standard in the US of where on the track the measurement is taken. It is fast. The heavily banked surface is a smooth hard clay, with no loose dirt on top. The blue groove was 30 feet wide and covered not only the corners but the straights too. It was like tarmac. The straights were relatively short, making it like a squashed circle.

The racing was good. Just the same as last year, the only thing that spoilt the evening was the commentator. He kept confusing me by reporting on misidentifying riders sometimes with ones that weren't even in the race. Hence my results are questionable, especially in the support class, where local riders, that I don't know, competed. He really got on every speedway followers nerves by referring to "Bike number 9, ridden by ...." There was also Pro-Am 600 class racing, which is basically American flat-track using 600cc motorcycles, mostly powered by Rotax engines.

Scratch Main:
1. Mike Faria
2. Bobby Schwartz
3. Steve Lucero
4. Rick Pearce
5. John Aden - Disq.

Scratch Consolation:
1. Shawn McConnell
2. Greg Ayers
3. Andy Northrup
4. Brad Oxley
5. Jesse Finch

Support Class:
1. Bryan Thompson
2. Robbie Lee
3. Paul Binnquist
4. Marvin Sonnier

Mike Faria was in a class of his own, winning most of his races by at least 1/4 lap. Bobby Schwartz looked good, the non-straight straights suited his style. Brad Oxley, who promoted the event was not enjoying his usual success. I recall seeing him struggle at Ventura, another large banked track. Probably the biggest difference from last year was Rick Pearce. He won the support class last year and was rightly in division one this time. His fourth place in the main demonstrated the progress he has made in a short time. John Aden, who goes well on bigger tracks broke the tapes in the main and was disqualified.

Gary Roberts - gary_rob@ix.netcom.com

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