2005 AMA Speedway Motorcycle Racing
November 17, 2005
News Release SP 11- 05
Contact: Heartland Media & Events LLC
HISTORIC GATHERING OF CHAMPIONS TO BENEFIT TEAM USA SPEEDWAY
LONG BEACH, California – An historic gathering of America’s past World Champions in the sport of Speedway motorcycle racing will take place here on Sunday, January 29, aboard the historic RMS Queen Mary ocean liner.
The Inaugural Team USA Speedway Testimonial will feature a lavish brunch and Honoree Ceremony recognizing the six American Speedway greats who have won Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) individual world championships, followed by a memorabilia auction to benefit Team USA Speedway’s 2006 efforts in FIM World Championships.
Since the FIM World Speedway Championship was created in 1936, five American riders – the late Jack Milne (’37), Bruce Penhall (1981-82), Sam Ermolenko (’93), Billy Hamill (’96) and Greg Hancock (’97) -- have captured the sport’s top prize – and in 1983 Shawn Moran became America’s only FIM Long Track Champion.
All of the Speedway champions will attend the event, and the machine on which Jack Milne became America’s first-ever world motorcycling champion will be displayed in memory of the pioneer of American motorcycle sport who passed away in 1995 at age 88.
This is thought to be the first time that all of the surviving American Speedway World Champions will make a joint appearance, and the occasion will be marked by production of a limited-edition group portrait.
The champions will pose for the photo with Milne’s 1937 championship machine and will autograph 125 numbered prints that will be offered for sale to Speedway enthusiasts and memorabilia collectors. No other prints of the photo will be authorized and all digital images from the photo shoot will be destroyed after the exclusive, one-time run of 125 prints has been produced
Jack Milne’s historic machine is being provided by Gary and Sandy Hicks of Riverside, California. Mrs. Hicks is Milne’s niece and the daughter of the late Cordy Milne, who was also a Speedway racing star and whose racing achievements included four US National Championships.
Noted motorsports announcers Terry “Ike” Clanton and Bruce Flanders, both fixtures on the Speedway racing scene, will donate their services for the 2006 Team USA Speedway Testimonial. Flanders will be Master of Ceremonies for the Honoree Ceremony and Clanton will be the lead auctioneer.
“We’re confident that the Speedway racing community will want to be on hand for this unique gathering of champions and to support Team USA Speedway,” said event organizer Bill Amick, who serves as Team USA Speedway Manager. “From our announcers to Jack Milne’s family and from our great champions to a cast of special guests that we’ll announce soon, people are showing tremendous generosity and commitment to Team USA Speedway.
“The signed and numbered portraits are sure to become collector’s items,” Amick added, “and they represent just a portion of the great items that will be up for bid in the memorabilia auction.
American teams have won five FIM Team World Championships and three FIM Best Pairs titles, the most recent in 1998. Those championships have since been consolidated into a single event, the FIM Speedway World Cup, which America has yet to capture. Team USA bowed out of the 2005 competition in the first round, missing a transfer by a single position.
Proceeds from the 2006 Team USA Speedway Testimonial will be used to defray the cost of participation in the 2006 FIM Speedway World Cup and also to assist individual American entries in the FIM World Junior Speedway Championships and Speedway Grand Prix Qualifiers.
The Team USA Speedway Testimonial event offers a wide range of sponsorship opportunities to companies involved in Speedway racing, and enthusiast sponsorship packages will also be available. A private welcome dinner for the event’s honorees and sponsors will be held on Saturday evening, and Sunday’s Honoree Brunch and AMA-sanctioned memorabilia auction will be open to the public.
“We have a long tradition of success in FIM Track Racing championships and we’re pleased to lend support to AMA’s Team USA Speedway and join the Speedway community in honoring our past world champions,” said American Motorcyclist Association President Robert Rasor, who also serves as Vice President of the FIM.
“Enthusiasts can really make a difference for Team USA Speedway by attending the testimonial activities on January 29, donating items for the memorabilia auction and purchasing the limited-edition portraits.”
Enthusiasts and collectors who are interested in more information about the 2006 Team USA Speedway Testimonial, about providing auction items, or about attending the auction as buyers are asked to contact Heartland Media & Events by phone at (740) 397-1647 or email to email@example.com.
News updates will also be posted at www.HeartlandMedia.info.
Heartland Media & Events LLC provides media relations, editorial and consulting services to a variety of clients, with emphasis on international motorcycle sport.
October 3, 2005
News Release SP 7-05
Contact: Heartland Media & Events
Venerable AMA Title on the Line
AUBURN, California – The most venerable championship in all of American motorcycle racing will be decided Saturday night (October 8) in the final round of the 2005 AMA National Championship Speedway Series at Fast Fridays Speedway, located at the Gold Country Fairgrounds.
Five riders remain in contention for the championship, which dates back to 1932 and is currently held by Greg Hancock of Costa Mesa, California. Hancock can control his destiny and virtually assure himself of the title by qualifying for the A Main Event. Winning the title will be anything but easy, however, and Hancock knows full well that his nearest pursuer in the points race, Billy Hamill of Monrovia, California, is ready to pounce on any opportunity afforded him.
Hancock and Hamill, both 35, have been racing each other for more than two decades, from their Southern California Junior Speedway days in the 1980s and throughout international careers that carried both to World Championships in the 1990s. They know each other’s every move and have combined to win the AMA’s premier Speedway racing title for the past seven straight years.
Hancock is chasing his sixth AMA title and Hamill his fourth and Hancock brings a 42-36 points lead into the 2005 series finale. Third ranked and another six points back is Charlie Venegas, 38, of San Bernardino, California. Also in the title hunt are two-time AMA Champion Mike Faria of Reno, Nevada, and 2003 championship runner-up Ryan Fisher of Norco, California.
In addition to 2005 laurels, riders will be competing for invitations to compete in the exclusive AMA National Speedway Series again in 2006. Based on a series of criteria, 12 riders will earn automatic bids to the 2006 series and a top-10 finish in this year’s points will all but assure riders of an invitation
Here are the 2005 AMA National Championship Speedway Series standings heading into Saturday’s season finale:
2005 AMA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP SPEEDWAY SERIES
RIDER POINTS AFTER ROUND 2 OF 3
Pos. Rider, hometown Points
1. Greg Hancock, Costa Mesa, CA 42
2. Billy Hamill, Monrovia, CA 36
3. Charlie Venegas, San Bernardino, CA 30
4. Ryan Fisher, Norco, CA 24
4. Mike Faria, Reno, NV 24
6. Bryan Yarrow, Vacaville, CA 20
7. Buck Blair, Junction City, AZ 19
8. Bart Bast, Auburn, CA 18
9. Bobby Schwartz, Costa Mesa, CA 15
10. Nate Perkins, Bullhead City, AZ 14
11. Tommy Hedden, Auburn, CA 13
12. Eddie Castro, Ojai, CA 12
13. Shawn Harmatiuk, Garden Grove, CA 8
13. Jimmy Fishback, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 8
13. Chris Kerr, Auburn, CA 8
16. Billy Hiles, Auburn, CA 3
September 28, 2005
2005 AMA Sports National Championship Speedway Series Update:
Round 3 Draw
Draw #Name Rider #
1 - Billy Hamill 2
2 - Qualifier 1
3 - Nate Perkins 15
4 - Bryan Yarrow 8
5 - Charlie Venegas 6
6 - Bobby Schwartz 11
7 - Tommy Hedden 7
8 - Greg Hancock 1
9 - Chris Kerr 10
10 - Eddie Castro 9
11 - Qualifier 2
12 - Bart Bast 5
13 - Jimmy Fishback 22
14 - Mike Faria 4
15 - Buck Blair 14
16 - Ryan Fisher 13
August 13, 2005
2005 AMA Sports National Championship Speedway Series Update:
AMA Sports has announced that Billy Janniro will have to withdraw from the AMA National Championship Series due to scheduling conflicts. Janniro is very disappointed to miss this year's series, but vows to return next year and win his first AMA National Championship.
The conflict arose because the dates for the series were different when Janniro signed his letter of intent to compete in the series. Janniro's team, the Coventry Bees, are in the middle of a playoff chase in the British Elite League, and rounds one and two of the series conflict with three critical league meetings that Janniro has over that weekend.
AMA Sports Director Ken Saillant expressed his disappointment with the situation, but was understanding as well. "We're going to miss Billy Janniro in the National Championship Series. We felt releasing him from his obligation to race in the series was the right thing to do since the dates were changed after he signed his letter of intent. We look forward to Billy competing next year."
Nate Perkins will replace Janniro in the field of seeded riders. Perkins, in his first full season in First Division, has won a Scratch Main at Industry Hills and a Handicap Main at Auburn.
1995 Junior National Champion Jimmy Fishback will replace Perkins in the qualifying round. Fishback returned to speedway this year and has qualified for the Scratch Main on more than one occasion at Industry Hills this season.
The AMA U.S. National Championship Series will consist of three rounds contested at the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn, California on September 2, The Grand in Industry Hills on September 3, and the series concludes in Auburn on October 8.
AMA U.S. National Championship Series Rider Lineup
#1 Greg Hancock
#2 Billy Hamill
#3 Nate Perkins
#4 Mike Faria
#5 Bart Bast
#6 Charlie Venegas
#7 Tommy Hedden
#8 Bryan Yarrow
#9 Eddie Castro
#10 Chris Kerr
#11 Bobby Schwartz
#12 Shaun Harmatiuk
#13 Ryan Fisher
#14 Buck Blair
#15 Justin Boyle
#16 Matt Browne
#17 Devin Defreece
#18 Dario Galvin
#19 J.T. Mabry
#20 J.T. Martynse
#21 Jimmy Fishback
#22 Denny Scopellite
The draw for Round 1 in Auburn is listed below:
1 Chris Kerr
2 Shaun Harmatiuk
4 Greg Hancock
5 Nate Perkins
6 Bobby Schwartz
7 Mike Faria
8 Eddie Castro
9 Buck Blair
10 Ryan Fisher
12 Billy Hamill
13 Tommy Hedden
14 Bart Bast
15 Bryan Yarrow
16 Charlie Venegas
Elimination Race 1
Elimination Race 2
June 21, 2005
2005 AMA Sports National Championship Speedway Series:
AMA Sports has announced the 2005 AMA Sports National Championship Speedway Series.
Five-time National Champion Greg Hancock, who has won the last two championships leads a 22-rider field that includes three other AMA National Champions. Hancock, the 1997 World Champion, will return to the U.S. to defend his title against former National Champion and 1996 World Champion Billy "The Bullet" Hamill. Hamill, as well as Billy "The Kid" Janniro, will also be travelling from Europe to compete in the series. Former AMA National Champions Flyin" Mike Faria and Bobby "Boogaloo" Schwartz are also included in the lineup.
The rider lineup was based on the following criteria: Last year's results, AMA selections, and riders who submitted a letter of intent to compete in the series.
This year marks the fourth year of the AMA National Championship Speedway Series and is the third time that the series will be contested over three rounds. Fast Fridays located at the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn, California will host rounds one and three. The Grand in Industry Hills, California will host the second round.
Fast Fridays has hosted all or part of the AMA National Speedway Championship since 1998. The Grand will be hosting the AMA National Championship for the first time on September 3.
Friday, September 2nd, - Rd. 1 - Fast Fridays Motorcycle Speedway - Auburn, CA
Saturday, September 3rd, - Rd. 2 - The Grand - City of Industry, CA
Saturday, October 8th, - Rd. 3 - Fast Fridays Motorcycle Speedway - Auburn, CA
Elimination Round Riders:
Fast Fridays Motorcycle Speedway, Auburn, CA - (530) 878-7223
The Grand, City of Industry, CA - (714) 232-2567
June 13, 2005
As I'm sure everyone knows, we came up a bit short in the Speedway World Cup qualifier in Daugavpils, Latvia, but I wanted to take this opportunity to thank Greg Hancock, Sam Ermolenko, Billy Janniro, Josh Larsen and Brent Werner for clearing their calendars, enduring a grueling travel schedule and turning in a strong runner-up effort.
Also, a special thanks to Richard Child and the guys who helped him do the really dirty work -- picking up equipment in England, driving from the UK to Sweden, picking up more equipment, riding the ferry to Latvia, driving to the event, supporting the US Team...and then doing it all over again in reverse.
We congratulate the Russian team on its victory and wish them well in their next Speedway World Cup round on July 31 in Swindon.
And as the Governor of California might say...we'll be back!
Meanwhile, let me also take this opportunity to ask for members of this group to provide input on several promotional ideas for next year's Team USA Speedway effort. You can respond here in the group or email me at TeamUSASpeedway@yahoo.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Do you think it is a valuable use of resources for the AMA and the US Speedway community to field a team in the FIM Speedway World Cup?
2. Would you be likely to purchase official Team USA Speedway apparel or merchandise if the proceeds were earmarked to support the team? If you answered yes, what items of apparel or merchandise would interest you most.
3. Would you be likely to attend a $75-a-plate testimonial dinner honoring American Speedway greats if the proceeds were earmarked to support the team?
4. Would you be likely to participate in a silent auction offering autographed Team USA Speedway items if the proceeds were earmarked to support the team?
I'll be meeting later this week with the AMA to discuss the future of this project and your thoughts will be appreciated.
Thanks, Bill Amick, Heartland Media and Events, 2005 AMA Speedway World Cup Manager