AMA NATIONAL SPEEDWAY CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES GETS UNDER WAY
AMA NATIONAL SPEEDWAY CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES GETS UNDER WAY AUGUST 14
PICKERINGTON, OHIO - AMA Sports, in cooperation with Fast Fridays Motorcycle
Speedway and Arrowhead Speedway, has announced expansion of its National
Championship Speedway program.
The 2002 AMA National Speedway Championship - historically a season-ending,
one-day event - will adopt a tripleheader format, with two events in August and
the series finale in September.
The 2002 AMA National Championship Speedway Series will open on Wednesday
evening, August 14, at Arrowhead Speedway, located at the Orange Show
Fairgrounds in San Bernardino, California. Round two of the series will take
place 48 hours later, on Friday, August 16, at the Gold Country Fairground's
Fast Fridays Speedway in Auburn, California. The series finale will be staged
September 20 in Auburn, which for several seasons has hosted the AMA's premier
"We are delighted to be working with two premier Speedway venues to launch this
exciting new series," said AMA Vice President Bill Amick. "The traditional
sudden-death format of our championship is undeniably exciting, but the series
format will be fairer for the riders and also allows us to showcase their
talents in the sport's premier markets of Northern and Southern California.
"There have been discussions for the past several years about launching this
series," Amick added. "We'll kick it off this season in San Bernardino and
Auburn in cooperation with two excellent promoters, and the door is open to
growth in 2003."
Speedway, one of the oldest forms of motorcycle competition, features powerful,
methanol-burning dirt-track machines on short dirt ovals. The lightweight
machines have no brakes, which makes for spectacular slides as riders negotiate
the tight corners in frantic four-lap sprints.
Speedway is viewed as a niche motor sport in America, and there are only about
100 "first division" riders competing domestically. But the U.S. makes up in
quality what it lacks in quantity, and has an impressive record in international
competition. Since 1980, U.S. riders have won five Speedway World Championships.
Two of those champions, Californians Billy Hamill (1996) and Greg Hancock (1997)
will headline a stellar field for the 2002 AMA National Championship Speedway
Hancock and Hamill are among the world's elite Speedway competitors, and will
take time from their Grand Prix and league racing commitments in Europe to
return home for the AMA-sanctioned series. Invitations also have been issued to
a pair of exciting young American international riders, Billy Janniro and Ryan
Fisher, who are Hamill's teammates on the Coventry squad of the British Elite
The European-based contingent will be formidable, but those riders will have
their hands full with such home-based competitors as former national champions
Mike Faria, Bobby Schwartz and Chris Manchester.
Under a new format developed for the 2002 AMA Championships, 14 riders will be
seeded into a 16-rider field for the series opener. The final two positions,
plus two reserve positions, will be awarded to the top finishers in a "first
half" pre-qualifying program.
Once the field has been trimmed to 16 riders, there will be a series of 20
qualifying heats with four riders in each heat. Each rider will race five times
and will meet each of the other 15 riders once.
Points earned in the 20-race qualifying rounds will determine seeding into the
championship round, where the winner of the "A" main will be the overall event
winner. AMA National points will be awarded to all riders who qualify for the
championship round at each of the three AMA Nationals.
Announcement of the 14 seeded riders for the August 14 series opener will be
made in mid-July, and requests for entries to the pre-qualifying program of the
series opener will then be considered from any other First Division AMA riders.
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The American Motorcyclist Association, founded in 1924, is a non-profit
organization with more than a quarter of a million members. The Association's
purpose is to pursue, protect and promote the interests of motorcyclists, while
serving the needs of its members. For more information, visit the AMA website at
www.AMADirectlink.com, or call 1-800-AMA-JOIN.