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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 USA vs Canada
August 8, 1998 Champion Speedway
Four reports from: Larry McBride, Kim Gregory, Randy Johnson and Tim Mathewson

US Team Trounces Canada

By Larry McBride

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 victories each.

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 Gregory (Jawa).
SUPPORT B: 1. Todd Hunter (Jawa); 2. Karl Humphreys (Jawa); 3. Russell Hartke (Jawa); 4. Jerry Harman (Jawa); 5. Jay Stalma (Jawa); 6. Mike Robinson (Jawa).
Dash for Cash: Mike Buman

Larry McBride
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

(points: 3,2,1,0)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Total
Warren Diem 3 _ _ _ _ 3 _ _ _ 3 _ _ 9
Mike Cortese 2 _ _ _ _ 0 _ _ _ Mech _ _ 2
Gene Bonsignore _ 3 _ _ _ _ 2 _ _ _ _ 3 8
George Lazor _ Fell _ _ _ _ 3 _ _ _ _ 1 4
Bruce Nelson _ _ 3 _ _ _ _ 2 _ _ 2 _ 7
Tom Sephton _ _ 2 _ _ _ _ 3 _ _ 3 _ 8
Kelvin Herrala _ _ _ 2 1 _ _ _ 0 _ _ _ 3
Lenny McBride _ _ _ 3 3 _ _ _ 3 _ _ _ 9
Team USA 5 3=8 5=13 5=18 4=22 3=25 5=30 5=35 3=38 3=41 5=46 4=50 50
Team Canada 1 3=4 1=5 1=6 2=8 3=11 1=12 1=13 3=16 3=19 1=20 2=22 22
Dave Oakden Fell _ _ _ _ _ _ 1 2 _ _ _ 3
Matt Otto 1 _ _ _ _ _ _ 0 1 _ _ _ 2
Nick Fafard _ 1 _ _ 2 _ _ _ _ _ 1 _ 4
Guy Fafard _ 2 _ _ 0 _ _ _ _ _ 0 _ 2
Jeff Orosz _ _ Parked _ _ 2 _ _ _ _ _ 2 4
Andy Harris _ _ 1 _ _ 1 _ _ _ _ _ Fell 2
Gary Hesmer _ _ _ 1 _ _ 0 _ _ 2 _ _ 3
Freddy Legault _ _ _ 0 _ _ 1 _ _ 1 _ _ 2

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

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