America Searches for a King

| June 27, 2001

Speedway promoter Jason Bonsignore, owner of Champion Speedway in Owego, New York, has announced that his facility will host would could be the richest speedway motorcycle race in North America in 2001, the AMA King of U.S. Speedway Series. The two-round event is scheduled for July 21-22.

Champion, which recently underwent a major renovation, has long been considered the capital of the East Coast speedway scene. It has hosted the U.S. Open Speedway Championship for years, an event which has attracted top American talent, such as Bruce Penhall, Bobby Schwartz and Mike Bast. The King of U.S. Speedway Series is an all-new maquis event, pitting the top 12 riders from California against the top eight from the East. The event will be refereed by two-time U.S. National Champion Steve Lucero.

Practice for the event is scheduled for July 20, with round one cranking up at 8 p.m. on the 21st. The second round is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. on the 22nd. The series will also be televised in New York on Time-Warner Cable. Champion Speedway is located off exit 64 from New York State Rt. 17. For more information, call 607/687-7819.

Here is the rider lineup for the King of U.S. Speedway Series:

Gary Hicks, Corona, CA – Former Ascot Track Champion and U.S. #2

Josh Larsen, Monrovia, CA – Former World Team Champion and current American Final Champion

Brad Oxley, San Clemente, CA – Two-time U.S. National Champion (’87, ’99)

Shawn McConnell, Brea, CA – Three-time U.S. Pairs Champion

Mike Faria, Reno, NV – Three-time U.S. National Champion (’90, ’91, ’97)

Bobby Schwartz, Costa Mesa, CA – Two-time World Pairs Champion and two-time U.S. National Champion (’86, ’89)

Randy DiFrancesco, Bakersfield, CA – Bakersfield ICE Champion and U.S. Open finalist

Dukie Ermolenko, Cypress, CA – 2000 Southern California high points champion

Frank Watson, Canton, PA – Former Empire track champion and U.S. Open finalist

Ryan Fisher, Norco, CA – Three-time U.S. Junior Speedway Champion

George Lazor, Brockport, NY – Former East Coast, New York State and ICE National Champion

Craig Estelle, Windsor, NY – Former U.S. Open finalist

Bobby Hedden, Folsom, CA – 2000 Northern California high points champion

Gene Bonsignore, Rochester, NY – 1979, 2000 East Coast Points Champion

Jason Bonsignore, Rochester, NY – Current East Coast #3

John Cook, North Highlands, CA – Two-time World finalist, and former American Champion

Tom Sephton, Vestal, NY – North American Best Pairs Champion

Chris Manchester, Reno, NV – 1992 U.S. National Champion, 1996 Overseas Champion, 1998 U.S. Open Champion

Cam Rafferty, Binghamton, NY – North American Best Pairs Champion

Wildcard rider to be announced

By Freelance