2005 Ryan Evans Column
A VERY SPECIAL THANK YOU
November 15, 2005
I just wanted give thanks to everyone who helped to put on the AMA U.S. Under 21 National Championship. All of the sponsors, workers, friends, parents, and participants played a part in making sure that the event was a success. All of whom were directly and indirectly responsible for the event deserve recognition on this forum.
First of all, thanks to my "teammates" Steve Lucero, Wendy Lucero, and Carrie Hancock. I'm certain that I wouldn't have committed to this event had they not committed to helping me out. Although Wendy had to be elsewhere I know that the event was on her mind. Kylee Lucero filled in admirably in her mom's absence and I have to thank her as well.
Thanks also goes out to:
- John Aden for providing the facility and for preparing a fantastic race track.
- Dave Joiner who gave me advice and did an excellent job of announcing and helping to raise $400 for the winner of the Under 21 to supplement his trip to Europe.
- Richard Child for not only sponsoring the event, but also helping to sign riders in.
- Mike Reed for serving as flagman and doing his typically superb job.
- Rick Shafer, who drove from Las Vegas to attend the event only to be drafted into working in turn three as a flagman.
- Donny Odom for being the mastermind and the founder of the event and for also giving me his blessing and encouragement to take on the event this year.
- Dawn Facchini and Barb Hansen for their diligent work as scorekeepers.
- Lennie Bennick, who worked as pit steward and help keep the program flowing.
- Jennifer O'Neal who nobly sold tickets for the front gate.
- Missy Ackroyd for decorating the facility and making it look first-class.
- The Oxleys for giving me their podium and to Casey for hauling it to Victorville.
- Awards & Specialties for making the Randy Evans Perpetual Trophy such a spectacular sight and something my family is very proud of.
- Sargent Metal Fabrications and Specialized Coatings for making the beautiful trophies that the riders were drooling over the whole day.
- Chris Jones for the fantastic photos and for delivering the trophies.
- Mark Williams, Hugh Randolph, and Josh Larsen for doing an excellent job of covering the race for xtremespeedwayaction.com
The following sponsors were recognized in the program, but they need to be recognized on the forum as well. Without them, the event wouldn't have happened:
Dennis Fink Printing - Dennis & Jean Fink
McDaniel Realty - Tony & Dodie O'Neal
Gene the Dancing Machine - aka Johnny Sauter
McDonald Services Inc. - Richard Child
Cody Racing - Bill Cody
Woodland Speedway - So.Nor-Cal Promotions - Steve Stasiefski
Jimmy Vasser Chevrolet - Tom Mabry
NJK Leathers - Kelcey Gordon
Best Buy Containers - Trinon Cirello
A. Star RV & Automotive
TMG Racing - The Gomez Family
West Coast Speedway League - Steve Evans
Kiwi Covers - The Wells Family
Richards Racing - Joel Kath
Schlaman's Service - The Facchini Family
Iron Horse Racing - Keith Mullally & Billy Swaim
Berco Builders Inc. - Steve Martynse
Bobby Schwartz & Family
The Carden Family
Finish Line Photography
The Yarrow Family
Charlie Venegas & Family
Most of all, I want to thank my wife, Amanda, and my family for their support, understanding, and for their sacrifice while I focused time and energy on the event.
Thanks again to all,
THE 2005 SEASON ARRIVES
April 19, 2005
First of all, what do you think of the new-look SpeedwayBikes.com? I must congratulate R.C. Jones for a job well done. It took a lot of hours, time, trial and error to complete this task. Second, I have to welcome Steve Graham as a fellow columnist. I've had the pleasure of knowing Steve for the past several years and he is definitely a hardcore speedway fan. He will offer honest and insightful opinions to his column. If you haven't read his column yet, you should give it a look.
As I sit here on the eve of another season, the excitement is beginning to get overwhelming. At 7:30 tomorrow night the smell of methanol will be in the air and the decomposed granite will be flying. The 2005 season will begin where the 2004 season ended, at The Grand in Industry Hills.
The 2005 season begins with two weekly tracks in Southern California (Industry and Costa Mesa) with the prospects of a third track at the Perris Raceway and a fourth in Corona. Could the good ole' days of yesteryear be returning to Southern California? For the first time in over a decade, the future of speedway in this area is beginning to look bright. We're back to more than one track on the circuit and, more importantly, we're starting to see a crop of younger riders ready to step up and be the next generation of superstars.
While I am thinking of the dawn of the new season I also give thought to what has happened since a wheel was last turned in November. The biggest news was The Dream Team making their ground-breaking tour of Britain. A tremendous learning experience for a group of talented young riders who definitely did their country proud. Hats off must go to the riders as well as the parents and others involved. Hopefully, we will have another tour in 2006. The good news for Southern California is that six of those riders are locals, and a seventh, Chris Kerr, will be racing at Costa Mesa on a regular basis.
The offseason has also seen us officially throw our hat back into the Speedway World Cup ring on two fronts. We will be sending a team of riders to Daugavpils, Latvia in June to attempt to qualify for the SWC in August. Despite injuries to two riders, I do believe that we will make it back to the premier event. We've also entered the inaugural Under 21 World Cup as well. However, we haven't formally announced a team as of yet.
Injuries have hit two of our international stars, Billy "The Bullet" Hamill was hurt in England and Billy Janniro was hurt in Germany in the past month. I wish both riders a speedy recovery. You won't find two more charismatic and entertaining riders than those two.
That is all for now. Keep it sideways!