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2009 Speedway News and Views

News & Views: Victorville was a blast
Posted by: "Harald Zechner" razamataz91107@yahoo.com
Date: Tue Jul 21, 2009

Saturday was one of those race days, noon at the PAS to settle up with Donnie Kazarian for the Longtrack event and then take in a little of thier off road show. 5pm it's off to Best in the West for a NASCAR style show (their sanctioning body is ASA). Then on to Victorville for the Speedway races.

Wheel2Wheel Raceway at the Victorville Fairgrounds is a really special venue. Their small oval track makes for the most unbelievable racing. They claim to be the "Fastest Speedway Track in the United States". Maybe a tall order but it is impressive how quickly the machines get around its tight banked surface.

The riders are just as special as the track. Hardcore, they are not there for the money. They want to ride. Seems like they get plenty of opportunity. Not taking anything away from our spectacular 1st division pilots I was surprised at the number of lower division riders that haul ass at that facility. The track layout really suits them.

The crowd at Saturday night's event was just as hardcore as the racers. They love Speedway and aren't afraid to tell you so. Being there is like returning to 1985. It's very hip in a old fashioned kind of way.

I have to give promoter Steve Evans his due. He's brought Speedway racing at Victorville back from the dead and over the last few years has made it a good solid race venue. Working with track owner and former Speedway star John Aden they have really refined how much banking can be safely run on a short track. Watching the First Division Main Event with Harmatiuk, Gomez, Green and Brad Sauer was interesting, hum, very interesting. Sidecars were no slouch either.

After the races everyone went down to the pizza joint. It's gone through four name changes but it's the same place we went to 20+ years ago. Same inside and out. Still good food and lot's of fun.

All in all Victorville was a blast and I promised myself I would make the journey up the hill on a more regular basis. For you spectators it's really wild watching them race on a banked track. For you riders it's really special watching you ride on the banked track. Give it a try.

Wheel2Wheel Raceway will be running again this Saturday. Make the call, it's a good tip.

For a complete schedule go to wheel2wheelraceway.com or speedwaybikes.com.

Howie Zechner

News & Views: Is it Wednesday nights?
Posted by: "Harald Zechner" razamataz91107@yahoo.com
Date: Mon Jul 6, 2009

The Grand is Americas nicest Speedway facility so why is it always short on riders? The promoter is really trying and seems to be doing most everything right so why is the rider count so far down?

There's always nice touches at Industry Hills Speedway. Last week it was free Speedway posters for the fans. The week before free ice-cream for all the riders, everyone in the pits and all the spectators. I think the week before that it was oranges and bananas the week before that. Got to admit, that's a nice touch.

The foods good and the beers cheap. It's priced fair. Flanders "the Voice of Speedway" announces so it can't be that.

The 50/50 brings in good money. Half goes to the winner. It brings the purse structure way up.

Although the track has been challenging on some nights last week it was real strong. I think their getting it. It's definitely getting better all the time.

So what is it about the Grand?

Now we all know Jeff Immediato is a "different" promoter but his commitment to Speedway cannot be denied. He spends a lot of money. How long can that continue without everyone's help?

Jeff wants Speedway on television. He does a good video production on a weekly basis. Lots of talented people work on it every week. It's just a matter of time before his mouth and some good racing get this sport on a weekly cable or over air station.

Imagine what will happen to our sport when television finally finds us. A weekly show would bring in sponsorship dollars on a whole new level.

Speedway is a movement, not a track or a rider. It's many people and places acting together and making our sport grow into a marketable product.

I urge all riders and all the track promoters to ban together in assuring that all our speedway venues live. When a track fails it affects the others. When a track excels so do all the others. So does the sport.

Speedway is on the edge of once again being the major force it was two decades ago. Don't screw it up. Now is the time. Find it. Make it.

Wednesday night at the Grand is just one small piece of the big puzzle as is IMS, Fast Fridays, Costa Mesa, Vallejo and Victorville.

Thanks for listing.


News & Views: I give it four stars.
Posted by: "Harald Zechner" razamataz91107@yahoo.com
Date: Sat Jun 20, 2009

As you have already heard last nights IMS opening was huge. Lots of riders, lots of celebrities, lots of fans and a excellent race track that produced quality competition during every heat.

The excitement of IMS returning was everywhere. For the old-timers like myself it was deja vu, for the newcomers it was the thrill of a fresh venue packed with all the amenities you get with a newly built stadium.

Were there bumps in the road? Of course. The PA sucked, port-a-poties were scarce and the show ran a little to long. Did anyone care. I think not. All were way to busy enjoying themselves to let those little hiccups be a bother.

IMS being successful is one more step in Speedway being recognized as a major professional sport in America. Any one tracks success will help the other tracks succeed and new tracks to be formed. All promoters need to work together and encourage their riders to support as many venues as possible if we are ever to attract the major sponsorship dollars you all want and deserve.

Congratulations again to Jason Bonsignore and Shawn McConnell who had the dream and acted on it and kudos to all those that volunteered their time to bring it to fulfillment.

Next stop Costa Mesa. Then on to the Grand. And please lets not forget about Ridgecrest on July 4th or my California Longtrack Championship at the PAS on July 11. See you there.


USA Speedway News & Views: IMS opens tonight
Posted by: "Harald Zechner" razamataz91107@yahoo.com
Date: Fri Jun 19, 2009

Speedway history will be made today with the grand reopening of IMS in San Bernardino. The track is located on the east side of the Orange Show Grounds near the intersection of the 10 and 215 freeways. It's almost in the exact location John LaDouceur and Charlie Venegas had their tracks.

Take the first exit (Orange Show Road) off the 215 after it crosses the 10. There's lots of construction going on so if you miss the first exit no worries, just take the second (Mill Street). After leaving the freeway go East to Arrowhead Ave. If you took the Orange Show Road exit go North on Arrowhead and if you took the Mill Street exit go South on Arrowhead. Enter at gate 9. It's really close to the 215 freeway and a lot easier to get to than it sounds. Although the gates open at 6:30 the races won't start till 8pm so traffic should cooperate.

I was there yesterday and can report that this will be a superb race track. It's almost a exact duplicate of the old IMS in length and width. There's a full rider line up, Flanders the voice of Speedway and former IMS announcer on the microphone and numerous other surprises. You won't be disappointed.

See you there.

USA Speedway News and Views.
Posted by: "Harald Zechner" razamataz91107@yahoo.com
Date: Tuesday June 5

It’s always a pleasure to be a part of the AMA/USA Speedway National Championship Series. I was Grand Marshall. What a treat. Get to be interviewed by Terry ‘Ike” Clanton, get to say “Gentleman Start your Engines”. Sweet.

Saturdays weather was strange. Overcast, cloudy, a little rain in some parts of the Southland. I’m sure it kept some fans away but they missed out because it was gorgeous in Costa Mesa. Warm and dry.

Brad Oxley stepped up to the plate. For the fourth consecutive year he put up 15K and made it happen. You sir are the man. The track was well prepared and held up throughout the event. If there ever is such a thing as a smooth meeting you made it happen.

So what does 15K get you. The best like the first Heat that had Hancock, Fishback, Janniro and Wells. If that doesn't get your attention them you better check your pulse.

Mark Williams and I had the honor of interviewing most for video. The boys were on, happy to be there. They all had stories. Ricky Wells got off the airplane from England, went though customs and right to the track. Venegas, Hedden, Bast Ingalls raced the night before at Auburn.

Gary Hicks and Shawn McConnell made this round the hard way. Up though the elimination races. Hick's transferred all the way up the program. That’s a tough feat that has only been repeated once before in the National Championship Series.

What can you say about Greg Hancock. Outstanding, brilliant, professional, fast, lucky. All apply. Hancock is unbelievable. It’s worth going to the next round just to see him race. If Greg can win this series he will be break Mike Bast’s record of seven National Championships.

At every meet there's a rider that just has the wow factor. In Round One that rider was Kenny Ingalls. What a treat. This kids fast.

Defending National Champion Billy Janniro was also on fire and like a handful of others shoulda, coulda, but in the end wound up with a very hard fought second.

So did anything not go right. You bet. Mike Faria was way off the pace. We know he can and has won this Championship before but not last night. Didn't agree with the Galvin’s call when he red flagged Castro’s perfect gate but then I’m not the referee and I wouldn't want Brian’s job for all the tea in China.

Thanks to all the riders who competed and to those that wanted to but couldn't get on the program. Thanks to all my fellow USA Speedway Board that was there in force. Thanks to my fellow promoters who all attended. Jeff Immediato, Industry Speedway, IMS Jason Bonsignore, Fast Fridays Dave Joiner and my partner in the California State Long Track Championship at the PAS next month Steve Evans Victorville , Perris, Ridgecrest. Can’t forget about Gene and Steve’s pre race barbeque. Good burgers dude. Please do it again at my Long Track Championship on July 11th.

Hope to see you all at Round Two of the AMA/USA Speedway National Championship Series on Friday, July 10 at Fast Fridays Motorcycle Speedway at the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn, California.


USA Speedway News and Views.
Posted by: "Harald Zechner"razamataz91107@yahoo.com
Date: Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:57 am (PST)

Three different major races at three different race tracks in three days. Calling it a National Marathon triple header weekend is a great call Steve. Maybe we need to think about arranging a buss tour like Chris Agajanian did when we went to Ventura for the Tuesday night Speedway races. (showing my age).

Want to congratulate all the Southern and Northern track promoters. I know they are all aware that with the current recession they must produce top quality shows to keep the spectators, riders and sponsors coming.

We will have lots of racing to choose from in 2009.


USA Speedway News and Views.
Posted by: "Harald Zechner"razamataz91107@yahoo.com
Date: Thu Mar 12, 2009 10:52 pm (PST)

Had a great talk with Brad Oxley today. The fairgrounds has finally approved his 15 week 2009 Speedway schedule and it will officially be released next week.

Here's a sneak look at season #41 that starts off with the Spring Classic on 5/9.

May 9 Spring Classic / Amateur Afternoon Racing (Y)
May 16 41st Season Opener / Freestyle Motocross Backflip!
May 30 Orange County Harley Davidson Night
June 6 AMA/USA Speedway National Championship Series Round 1
June 13 Kids Night (12 & under FREE)/ Amateur Afternoon Racing (Y)
June 20 Warren Russell Cup / Sidecars (Y)
June 27 Speedway / Motorcycle Demo Derby
TBA Speedway Fair Derby
TBA Orange County Fair FMX Invitational
Aug. 15 Jack Milne Cup / Sidecars / Amateur Afternoon Racing (Y)
Aug. 22 Orange County Harley Davidson Night!
Aug. 29 Mission Motorsports Night / Sidecars (Y)
Sept 12 Speedway / Amateur Afternoon Racing (Y)
Sept 19 41st United States National Speedway Championship
Sept 26 TBA

It's a great line up. I'm sure we're all ready for it.

One point of interest. Costa Mesa will run round one of the three AMA/USA Speedway National series events on 6/6. The last round of this series will be at Fast Fridays in Auburn Ca. on Friday September 18 one day before the United States National Speedway Championship at Costa Mesa. This will be a wonderful opportunity for our best riders to compete in back to back events for Americas top two titles. It will also be a great opportunity for those of us that watch these jockeys with two huge races in two days. Road trip.
There could be several good changes happening at Costa Mesa yet this season but I'll leave those announcements to International Speedway to (costamesaspeedway.net).

Don't forget to put the AMA/USA Speedway California State Long Track Championship at "The PAS" on 7/11 on your to do agenda. Long Track use to be a tradition when Ascot was in operation. Hopefully we can start that yearly tradition again at the PAS.


USA Speedway News and Views.
Posted by: "Harald Zechner"razamataz91107@yahoo.com
Date: Sun Feb 22, 2009 1:13 am (PST)

Voting has concluded for the four open Board positions at USA Speedway. Billy Hamill, Gary Davis have been elected as Individual Members and Bruce Stjernstrom along with Bill Cody were the elected Industry Members. All are four year terms. Bill Cody is the first Board member to ever be re elected and in fact this is USA Speedway first election. They will join Dave Joiner, Paul Flanders, Ryan Evans, Howie Zechner and AMA representative Ken Saillant on the nine person USA Speedway Board.

The Board will hold it's first meeting of 2009 this Sunday. A full schedule of agenda items are on the calendar and we are all looking forward to working with our new counterparts for the betterment of Speedway.

Now, we haven't been sitting on or hands since our very successful 2nd annual Speedway BBQ and Awards banquet last month. Here are some of the venues and events we are sanctioning in 2009. It's a work in progress and will grow and grow.

USA Speedway is proud to announce that for the third year International Speedway will run the first round of the AMA/USA Speedway National Championships Series at Costa Mesa. "It's a good series". I look forward to putting it on my lineup, Oxley told me. The series will continue with round 2 of the 3 round championship in Auburn, California at the Fast Fridays Motorcycle Speedway on July 10 and the conclusion of the series on October 2. Oxley will also return with the US National Championship some time in September or October for 2009

Also, for the third year Scotty Brown's AMA/USA Speedway Long Track National Championship will be run at fairgrounds in Canton Ohio on May 23. It is held during the Bike Days celebration and Scotty has really developed this race. He draws riders from all over the US and Canada. Hopefully this year one of our California hot shoes will bring home the AMA #1 plate.

California will also see a AMA/USA Speedway Long Track Championship at the PAS in Perris, California on July 11. Co-promoter Donnie Kazarian is planning and will soon break ground on a new track that will host the planed speedway event that Steve Evans and Howie Zechner hope to turn it into a annual speedway happening there. The championship will pay a $5,000 purse and we are looking at a possible Long Track national series. Zechner will also run a Speedway event at the PAS during the fair on Thursday October 15.

Dave Joiner's Fast Fridays Motorcycle Speedway along with Charlie Venegas's Golden Gate Speedway (Solono Country Fairgrounds) will once again run under the USA Speedway umbrella. Both participated in the $6700 points fund payout in 2008. Both promotions have already committed to the points fund and USA Speedway for 2009. Its the best thing going said Joiner. "It truly is the right direction for American Speedway, its riders, promotions and enthuses".

USA Speedway hopes to add the California State Speedway Championship to it's 2009 championship line up and are looking at other possible events that could bring championship purse money into the $50,000.00+ range. USA Speedway is proud of what it accomplished last year and with your continuing support plan to elevate this sport even more in 2009. We plan to make USA Speedway attractive for all promotions and we will be putting together the most comprehensive package possible for our riders, members and promotions. We believe our organization is the best around. We are proud of what we have accomplished and excited about what we are accomplishing.

Support USA Speedway.

Howie Zechner

USA Speedway News and Views.
Posted by: "Harald Zechner" razamataz91107@yahoo.com
Date: Sun Feb 22, 2009 11:10 pm (PST)

Was reminded by Ryan Evans today that this is the fourth AMA/USA Speedway National Series round Brad is running on June 6 and not the third like I reported last night. Thank you Ryan for the correction and thank you Brad Oxley for four years of continues USA Speedway support.

We had our first Board meeting with the new members today. Billy Hamill, Gary Davis and Bruce Stjernstrom are all pro's in their own different fields and bring some fresh ideas and new energy toward Americas largest Speedway organization. It was a pleasure working with them today. Much was accomplished. A complete official report will give more details but I will say I haven't seen the Board so energized and focused in awhile.

World Champion and Gumball Rally promoter Billy Hamill, Ryan Evans one of the most knowledgeable men is Speedway, one of Americas most successful Speedway promoters Dave Joiner, Bill Cody a living Speedway legend, Bruce Stjernstrom 20 + years at Kawasaki, 10 running Team Green, Stunt coordinator and former National rider Gary Davis, Paul Flanders co-owner of Flanders company and a member of the famous Flanders clan. This is one powerful and knowledgeable bunch of people I'm working with. This is one powerful and knowledgeable bunch of people your working with.

They all believe USA Speedway is the future of American Speedway. They put their time, their name, their reputation on it.

Take advantage of the horsepower this group and organization brings to the table. The time for division is past. We must move into the 21st century. We must have a unified body coordinating our sport if we are ever to compete for the large sponsorship and media attention this sport deserves.

To all my 380 fellow USA Speedway members thank you. You have put you money where your mouth is and shown you believe in the dream. Sorry you only got paid back with a efficient volunteer organization that sanctioned events paying more total purse dollars to it's riders than any other 2008 Speedway organization. That paid out $6200. in it's first year of points fund money and topped the year off with a successful second annual end of the year BBQ - Awards ceremony that was totally free and even invited those that didn't support this important organization with at least a $20. yearly membership. Proud to call you my brothers.

For those of you that aren't members what are you waiting for. Get involved make a deference. It's a $20. or $30. bill, not a marriage proposal.

Working together is an art. I'm still learning it myself. But it is what's needed.



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