New Champion Speedway
344 East River Drive
Owego, New York 13827
1998 USA vs Canada
August 8, 1998 Champion Speedway
Four reports from:
and Tim Mathewson
US Team Trounces Canada
By Larry McBride
OWEGO, NY. AUG 8
The US Speedway team totally dominated the Can Am Challenge at New
Champion Speedway in Owego, NY on Aug 8. Tallying the total scores, the US
team gathered 50 points while the Canadian team scored only 22. The
absence of 12 time Canadian National Champion
Len Dillon was evident in the Canadians low score. Also the Muszynski
brothers were absent adding to the Canadian teams woes. The top points
riders from Canada were Nick Fafard, and Jeff Orosz with 4 points each
while the US top points leaders were Warren Diem and Lenny McBride,
both of whom won all three of their heat
starts to score a perfect 9 point total.
Although the Canadian contingent was less than in previous years, a more
than full night of racing was presented. With the sign up of over forty
riders the Can-Am Challenge was accompanied by a full scratch program,
and division two handicap that brought
the total races to 39.
Division 1 scratch racing saw the Diems Cycle/Bennett Used Auto Sales
sponsored Diem easily out distance the field in both his heat and semi
races. McBride, however had a more difficult time qualifying for the
main. The Anton's Pizza/Tony B Tires sponsored
McBride, while on a borrowed bike due to a hard crash in the Dash for
Cash race, was put to the test by Bruce Nelson, also on a borrowed bike.
Bruce gated perfectly in both his heat and semi for two consecutive wins
over McBride. Larry's semi second place was
still enough to place him and JBR Racing sponsored Nelson in the main.
The Main Event lineup included McBride viewing the gate from the inside pole
position with the next four spots going to Gene Bonsignore, Nelson, Diem,
and Tommy Sephton sitting on the outside by virtue of winning the last
chance qualifier. In and out of turn
one and two in the first spot was McBride while Diem powered around the
field to second exiting turn two. McBride, now back on his repaired
Godden, stuck to the pipe on turns three and four while Diem only inches
away got a little to sideways and had to
straighten it out and drifted to the outside. McBride rode a near
perfect line affording Diem little chance of passing. On laps three and
four McBride found more traction to take a commanding lead to the finish
line. With McBride and Diem taking first
and second, a spirited encounter ensued for third place. Bonsignore had
maintained the third spot for three and one half circuits with Nelson in
close pursuit. Driving deep into turn three Nelson moved Bonsignore out
just enough to exit turn four only slightly
ahead, but enough to grab the lead for a third place finish.
With one regular event remaining to be run before the East Coast National
on August 29 and 30, Diem and McBride will surely be going head to head
on August 22 for the Track Championship. McBride, the 1997 track
champion, and Diem have been the only winners
of the main events this year at New Champion Speedway with two
The Support A Handicap main was taken by Cam Rafferty. By virtue of
previous victories, Rafferty gated from the 10 yard line with three
riders on the zero line. Entering turn three on the first go around
Rafferty had already taken the number one spot
and cruised to an easy checkered flag.
Support B Main was gathered in by veteran flat track racer Todd Hunter,
who for his first time in a speedway race took the lead off the zero yard
line. Todd held off Russell Hartke for two laps before Hartke moved to the
inside of Hunter for first only to
fall in turn two and gave the lead back to Hunter who carried the checkered
flag for his first victory lap even on a speedway bike.
The Dash for Cash was started three times before completion by two
crashes. Sponsored by Race Tools of Rochester NY, the six rider race was
a handicap type event eventually won by Mike Buman who was brought back
to speedway by Old Timers Night, and decided
to park his stock car in the garage and again mount a speedway bike.
Cam-Am Challenge: USA - 50 Points. Canada 22.
Division 1. Main: 1. Lenny McBride (God); 2. Warren Diem (God); 3. Bruce
Nelson (God); 4. Gene Bonsignore (God); 5. Tom Sephton (God).
SUPPORT A: 1. Cam Rafferty (God); 2. John Mercier (Jawa); 3. Jeremiah
Smith (Jawa); 4. Tim Mathewson (Jawa); 5. Joe Veninsky (Jawa); 6. Kim
SUPPORT B: 1. Todd Hunter (Jawa); 2. Karl Humphreys (Jawa); 3. Russell
Hartke (Jawa); 4. Jerry Harman (Jawa); 5. Jay Stalma (Jawa); 6. Mike
Dash for Cash: Mike Buman
411 Bevier St
Binghamton, NY. 13904-2628
Lenny McBride Wins the Main! USA beats Canada 54 to 18 (official), (50 to 22 by my count)
From: Kim Gregory
A severe lack of rain limited the track crew from keeping
the track watered. This made the racing much dustier than usual,
but not to the point of dangerous visibility. The surface was much
looser than last race, building a deep cushion just off the groove.
Warren Diem used this to great advantage for much of his passing.
The groove was grippy, tossing off many riders, including myself!
My ribs are telling me to sit out the next few races! 'Mean' Joe Greene was also
bruised badly in an early heat, giving him an early finish for the night.
Bruce Nelson provided a good show in the
Division one final on a borrowed Weslake, passing Gene Bonsignore
to claim third for the second time this season.
Division One Final Results:
1st Lenny McBride #71 (NY)
2nd Warren Diem #4
3rd Bruce Nelson
4th Gene Bonsignore
5th Tom Sephton
The Canadian team was weakened by
the Muszynski brothers not showing up. They were replaced in the
team racing by Americans Matt Otto and Dave Oakden who race extensively in Canada.
Despite having the current Canadian National Champion and a
former British League rider, the Canadians were soundly thrashed.
Team Racing USA Vs Canada
Dash for Cash
This race was started twice, and only got one and a half
laps each time, due to severe crashes. The win was awarded to Mike Buman.
Support A (Handicap) Final Results:
1st Cam Rafferty
2nd John Mercier
3rd Jerimah Smith
4th Tim Mathewson
5th Joe Veninsky
6th Kim Gregory
Support B Final Results:
1st #80 Hunter
2nd #31 Karl Humphreys
3rd #10 Russel Hartke
4th #38 Jerry Harman Jr.
5th #69 Jay Stalma
6th #18 Mike Robinson - New Zealand
From: Randy Johnson
It was certainly another exciting night of racing action at Champion
Speedway last Saturday! I brought along some friends who had never
attended a motorcycle racing event of this nature (or possibly any
motorcycling event), and only some of whom had ever even seen anything
like it on television. Some never knew there were such motorcycles or
racing events around. There definitely were some "nail-biting" moments
and spontaneous outbursts of enthusiasm amongst these "new fans" in our
group! More than one person said they would surely come again!
I stopped at Jones Custom Cycle in Towanda today to talk to him about
Champion Speedway. I found out he is also an old fan of Champion
Speedway "back in the day" and was at the track last Saturday. He was
already aware of the upcoming Harley Davidson Night, but I left him with
a quite a few schedule cards when he said he wanted to get a bunch of
people around to come up for that event. Some of you may be familiar
with him and his shop. He said he used to sponsor Close from Towanda,
and attended Champion Speedway regularly years ago. He knew that Close
was at the "Legend's of Speedway" night, and was additionally very
excited about how he was told Watson from Canton had ridden that night!
I love meeting old Champion Speedway fans and creating new ones!
From: Tim Mathewson
This weeks results from New Champion Speedway were published!
I faxed them in to
the Press & Sun-Bulletin Sunday morning and they WERE published in
Monday mornings paper. The Press & Sun-Bulletin's web address is... www.pressconnects.com