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Ryan Evans Report #2 on the 2000 Season

Ryan Evans' First Report on the 2000 Season
Ryan Evans' Second Report on the 2000 Season
Ryan Evans' Third Report on the 2000 Season
Ryan Evans' Fourth Report on the 2000 Season

First and foremost, the North American World Championship Qualifier is this Friday at Auburn. Should be an exciting race with Sam Ermolenko and John Cook coming from Europe to compete. Sam no doubt will be looking to repeat his 1998 performance instead of last year's. I will be making my way up to the Gold Country Fairgrounds to witness this event myself.

I'm not sure who will be going up from Southern California as of right now. Gary Hicks would certainly have been there, but his injury will keep him from competing. There are certainly some very capable riders that could make a good showing for themselves.

I would also like to wish Billy "The Bullet" Hamill a belated congradulations on his victory in the Czech Grand Prix. Billy had to take the long road through the Pre Main Event to reach the GP Final.

A note for all Greg Hancock fans, Greg's website has a new address. It's http://www.greghancock.com which should be simple enough to remember. Greg's page has been completely reconstructed and has been very well done.

Greg's website also reports that the Grand Prix will be aired in the United States on Speedvision. No mention on times and/or dates, though.

Speaking of the Grand Prix. I find it very interesting that a US corporation, Kentucky Fried Chicken, is a major sponsor of the Grand Prix. Could Benfield be planting the seeds for a USGP? In a recent Speedway Star, Greg mentioned that they are seriously discussing a GP here in the States.

I read on the Canada/USA Speedway Page that Marty Spellman is selling his equipment because he broke his neck at Pasco. Does anyone (Marty??) have details? There was never a mention of his injury in the race report.

A couple of weeks back, Larry Huffman interviewed Gary Ackroyd and asked him the technique and strategy involved in riding the outside. In my opinion, and the opinion of many others, Gary did an awesome job explaining the rider's thought process and the technique used in riding the outside. Gary explained it in words that the fans could understand without sounding remedial. Excellent job, Gary!

The extent of Gary Hicks' injuries are a broken collarbone and several broken ribs. He has been told to rest for six weeks, but Gary is aiming for four. Unfortunately, the Jack Milne Cup is three weeks away, so Gary won't be able to defend the championship named for his uncle.

The Los Angeles Times Orange County has been doing an excellent job in covering speedway this year. There has been a story on speedway every week in their Orange County Motor Sports section this season. The OCMS section appears every Friday and is written by Martin Henderson. You can read current and past speedway articles on the LA Times website at http://sports.latimes.com and then typing "speedway" in the Search section. New articles on the website also appear on Friday.

The Orange County Register has been doing its fair share of speedway coverage. The past two "Drivers of the Week" have been Shawn McConnell and Bobby Schwartz. I wish they could change "driver" to "rider" when it features speedway.

The current issue of Cycle News has a huge article on Dukie Ermolenko's Speedway Academy session with NASCAR executive Steve Petersen, NASCAR driver Wally Dallenbach, and supercross star Jeff Emig. Apparantly, the session had been planned for several months and Petersen is a big speedway fan. As I said before, these are the kind of connections that this sport needs to make. The Busch Grand National Series will be in Fontana in the Summer and CART will be here in November, let's get some of those people interested.

As you may have noticed in my report, Brian Thompson has switched numbers from #173 to #57.

There is now a trio of father-son combinations in Southern California. Support riders Phil (father) and Shawn (son) Harmatiuk; Support rider Mike Boyle and his son, junior rider, Justin; and First Division rider Doug Greyson and his son, Skyler.

Skyler Greyson's kevlars are a miniature version of the Team Jason Bonsignore Racing suits worn by Josh Larsen and Chris Manchester. This brings back memories of my junior days when many of the juniors had lookalike leathers of the pros: Greg Hancock-Bruce Penhall, Trinon Cirello and David Busby- Bobby Schwartz, Warren Wilson-John Sandona, Bobby Cody-Mike Bast, Jordan Duncan-Alan Christian, and Jason Chism-Dubb Ferrell.

The crowds at Costa Mesa have been very large this season despite some very chilly evenings. Hopefully, the Orange County Fair Board is paying attention and realizing how stupid they are for even considering not having speedway in the future. Remember to send letters to Becky Bailey, whose address is listed on the Costa Mesa website at ../tracks/calcosta.htm and let her know what you feel. Remember, it doesn't matter what part of the country we live in, we should support speedway EVERYWHERE!!!! 33 cents is not a large price to pay in support of our beloved sport.

Remember that Costa Mesa is closed this weekend for the Memorial Day Holiday. They will resume action the following Saturday, June 3 Orange County Harley Davidson/Buell Blowout which will feature the always popular Harley Races.

That's is all for now, I'll see you in Auburn on Friday Night!!!!!
Ryan Evans

Hi you guys just thought I would give you some other action going on in So Cal. Today marked the first of a three round series held at Maelys now taken over by Dukie Ermolenco,and Mark Adams (SPEEDWAY ACADEMY).The series is for support riders.There were 16 available spots and 14 of those 16 were taken up today.The riders rode 5 rounds with four guys in each heat giving these guys plenty of track time.Among those riders was junior rider Justin Boyle showing those guys he could run with the best of them.The winner of the event was Sean Mcdougal.

The only problem I felt was the heat witch was around 107 degrees.Like CM the series will resume after one week off for Memorial weekend.Future events will include a junior gumball rally.


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