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1998 Champion Speedway
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1998 Race Results

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New Champion Speedway
344 East River Drive
Owego, New York 13827

1998 North East Qualifier
July 11, 1998 Champion Speedway
From: Kim Gregory

Warren Diem wins it! This places him in the AMA USA National in Auburn California.

We have FIVE reports for you to read from the Qualifier night! You HAD TO BE THERE!!!

The track was better than ever, without the opening night's slick spots. It lasted the entire evening without breaking up, or getting a 'Blue Groove". It took a while for some riders to convince themselves how FAST the track really was! Missing from the night's program was Chris Hesmer, and the Muszynski brothers from Canada due to a tough evening the night before at Paris Speedway. Also the one race suspension handed to Wakefield and Matt Otto kept them out of the Qualifier.

Division One Final Results:

Tom Sephton, on only his second speedway race in many years, just about won it. The lineup for the main was:
Gate 1 - Lenny McBride #71 (NY)
Gate 2 - George Lazor #51 (NY)
Gate 3 - Tom Sephton
Gate 4 - Warren Diem #4
Gate 5 - Len Dillon

On the fist start of the main, McBride had the first corner, with Lazor, Sephton, and Diem sharing the same spot on the track behind McBride's wheel. They didn't make it, all three going down, and Diem didn't get up. The ambulance was called out onto the track, and Diem staggered with much assistance to the rear of the ambulance where he was given oxygen, and cold compresses to bring him around. After 15 minutes he was ready to prove to one and all he could race again, and climbed onto his bike and did two hot laps around the track with the ambulance and attendants still standing in the middle of turn two!

A long time was spent at the start line getting set, as Diem was not happy with the position that Lazor took at the gate. The second restart was the same as the first, but Lazor managed to stay on his bike. Diem had to retire his Godden, and bring out his Jawa 898 backup bike, and Sephton had ignition box problems. The gates were remarked with lime, and the third start was on! Sephton had the first turn and held the lead to turn three where Diem made a powerful pass on the outside!

Warren Diem held the lead to the checked flag followed by:
2nd Tom Sephton
3rd Lenny McBride
4th Len Dillon
5th George Lazor.

From Tim Mathewson - E-mail LGEK77A@prodigy.com

It should be noted that the main event had to be restarted FOUR times with Lenny McBride breaking the tapes on the third try and ultimately being sent back 10 yards. The crowding problem seemed to be caused by McBride lining up too far to the inside of the track for his number one draw. That coupled with the new 5 man main format and no chalk marks, combined to cause the problems. On the first restart Diem tried to get the lineman to mark out the boxes but it didn't happen and we saw the result. On the second restart Diem would not pull up to the line until the referee came down, paced out the boxes and they were marked with chalk. Once that was done, everyone lined up where they were supposed to. McBride almost anticipated the next gate perfectly but barely caught his front fender on the tapes and ultimately cost himself a shot at the number one spot. It's too really too bad. It would have been a Classic Diem vs. McBride duel for the death! It should also be noted how well Tom Sephton rode, finishing second in the main as well as second in points in the in the qualifying rounds with three heat wins. This man is ON FIRE!

From Gary Roberts

Interesting to see Warren Diem managed it again. He rode out here in the eighties and I remember him well at Binghamton when I lived in Rochester. I look forward to seeing him here in September.

Dash for Cash

1st Joe Veninsky
2nd Howie Oakden
3rd Kendall Brooks
4th Jerry Harman Jr.

Support A Final Results:

1st Cam Rafferty
2nd Joe Veninsky
3rd Howie Oakden
4th 'Mean' Joe Greene
5th Kim Gregory
6th Alex Wojturski

Support B Final Results:

1st Jerry Harman Jr.
2nd Kendall Brooks
3rd Jay Stalma
4th Karl Humphrey

Division One Heats

Rider _1 _2 _3 _4 _5 _6 _7 _8 _9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Total Points
#4 Warren Diem _ 1 _ _ _ _ _ 1 _ __ 1 __ __ 1 __ __ 12
#104 Tom Sephton 1 _ _ _ 1 _ _ _ 1 __ __ __ 3 __ __ __ 10
#1 Lenny McBride _ _ _ 1 2 _ _ _ _ __ __ 1 __ 2 __ __ 10
#51 George Lazor _ 2 _ _ _ _ 1 _ _ __ __ 2 1 __ __ __ 10
#83 Len Dillon _ _ 1 _ 3 _ _ _ _ __ 2 __ __ __ __ 1 9
#127 Tom Rafferty 2 _ _ _ _ _ 2 _ _ __ 4 __ __ __ 1 __ 7
#92 Mike Cortese _ 4 _ _ _ 1 _ _ 3 __ __ __ __ __ __ 2 6
#17 Bruce Nelson _ _ 2 _ _ _ _ 4 _ 2 __ __ 2 __ __ __ 6
#50 Howie Oakden _ _ 3 _ _ 2 _ _ _ __ __ 3 __ __ 3 __ 5
#64 Gene Bonsignore _ _ _ 2 _ _ 4 _ _ 1 __ __ __ __ __ 4 5
#68 Freddy Legault 3 _ _ _ _ _ _ 2 _ __ __ 4 __ __ __ 3 5
#190 Kelvin Herrala _ 3 _ _ 4 _ _ _ _ 3 __ __ __ __ 2 __ 4
#37 Gary Hesmer _ _ 4 _ _ _ 3 _ 2 __ __ __ __ 3 __ __ 4
#677 Tim Mathewson _ _ _ 4 _ 3 _ _ _ __ 3 __ 4 __ __ __ 2
#66 Patrick Ahlund _ _ _ 3 _ _ _ 3 4 __ __ __ __ __ 4 __ 2
#327 Dave Oakden 4 _ _ _ _ 4 _ _ _ 4 __ __ __ 4 __ __ 0

From Ian C. Blair - E-mail webmaster@winsports.com
I had a great time at the Northeast Qualifier at New Champion Speedway in Owego on the 11th. I was very impressed with Jason Bonsignore's support crew; it seems like he has a good group of people working with him to keep the show running smoothly (Only one complaint: The announcer needs to tone it down and realize that every single second of dead air does not need to be filled with stream-of-consciousness impersonations of Taco Bell commercials...) I was also impressed with the good attention to the racing strip given by the crew. They really worked at it and paid close attention to getting it right.

In all, I was super stoked by the racing and the total evening. Warren Diem definitely had the mojo working, but I was also impressed by the riding of Cam Rafferty; I hope he sticks with it because he appears to have talent.

From: Steve Tennant 208 Pisgah Church Rd. Greensboro, NC 27455 - E-mail racewear@mci2000.com

Kim thanks for the web site, without I would have gone to Owego last weekend and gone to the Tioga Speedway, but after seeing the web site I knew that CHAMPION SPEEDWAY was the only place to be. Boy what a great night of racing it was. I have not been to Champion in about 12 years and the place was looking pretty good. As "Moonbeam" calls you "net boy" you do a hell of a job. I just can't remember the last time I enjoyed racing so much. That comes from a person you has gone to races since I was 2 yrs. old and now it is 40yrs. latter...

Diem dons qualifier cap at New Champion Speedway

By Larry McBride (E-mail: mcbride70@juno.com )

New Champion Speedway in Owego, New York, hosted it first National Qualifier under the AMA's new format that seeds the winner directly to the National Championship, in Auburn, California.

On his way to the victory podium, Warren Diem had a near perfect night of racing. After winning his first three heats Diems nine points were matched only by Tommy Sephton. Final heat number four, however saw Sephton fade to a number three finish while Diem continued perfect for his fourth win.

The only blemish on Diems record occurred in the first semi when Lenny McBride gating from the inside pole, and Diem coming off the two spot continued their wheel to wheel competition. In and out of turn one and two, and down the back straight McBride and Diem looked to be attached together. Lap two was a repeat as the two again rode bar to bar with Diem trying the outside line. Into lap three Diem tried the inside, but could not gain the needed real estate to over take McBride who grabbed the checkered by less than a bike length.

With the semi's over the tension and fan expectation was mounting, and main event was marred with crashes and confusion. Off the start from the inside out was McBride, Diem, Sephton, George Lazor, and Lenny Dillion.

With five riders on a not to wide track first turn action got hazardous with Diem, Sephton, and Lazor going down very hard bringing out the red flag and the ambulance. After about a 20 minute delay, Diem who was said to have been briefly unconscious was allowed by the Referee Don Hawkins to try a lap to determine if he could handle his bike.

Calling for an original restart all five again entered turn one as close as the first start and again the red flag came out as Sephton, and Diem again crashed hard. The third start again saw another original restart with no penalties imposed.

Restart number three was halted when McBride touched the tape as it went skyward breaking the bottom strand, and was sent to the penalty line for the upcoming number four restart.

Diem now occupied the inside on the front line, but Sephton took the lead in turn one, and held it down the back straight with Diem along side. Staying outside Diem found the traction he wanted to take the lead at the start line. Diem then pulled to a comfortable lead for the remaining three laps and the victory.

In the Support A class, Cam Rafferty, who only recently received permission from the AMA to race at 14 years old, again showed that it was warranted. From the pole Joe Veninsky took and held the lead for two laps only to relinquish it to Rafferty on circuit number three who then steadily increased it to take his second victory of the season.

Race Results

1. Warren Diem (God); 2. Tom Sephton (God); 3. Lenny McBride (God); 4. Lenny Dillon (GM); 5. George Lazor (Jawa).
1. Cam Rafferty (God); 2. Joe Veninsky (Jawa); 3. Howie Oakden (Jawa); 4. Joe Greene (WL); 5. Kim Gregory (Jawa); 6. Alex Wojturski (Jawa).
1. Jerry Harmon (Jawa); 2. Kendall Brooks (Jawa); 3. Jay Stalma (Jawa); 4. Karl Humphrey (Jawa).
1.Joe Veninsky (Jawa); 2. Howie Oakden (Jawa); 3. Kendon Brooks (Jawa); 4. Jerry Harmon (Jawa).

Larry McBride
411 Bevier St.
Binghamton, NY 13904
(607) 723-2387

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