Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1960's

Cycle News 1968 09 26

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THE MOTORCYCLE ENTHUSIAST'S WEEKLY NEWSPAPER VOLUME V NUMBER 35 FEATURING: Two AMA National Champion ship s Carl sbad Mot o-Cr oss Short Tr acking Here and Th ere Spok e Benders European Scrambl es AFM Vaca ValI ey Road Race Three Cla ss A Speedway Ev ents By Carol Sims Photos by Dennis Gr een e an d Jim Chlnl SAN JOSE, ou., Sept. 1 - With only 50 points separating the top I our Expert riders on the AMA Nati onal Champio nship circuit, more than the usu al amount of s uspens e accompani ed the running of the 2nd Annual 14-Mile National promoted by Bob Barkhimer on the Fa irgrou nds hal fmile dirt track at San Jo s e. Ca y Raybo rn held the season lead over defending Grand National Champion Gary Nixon (497-484), and Fred Nix was a mere ei ght markers ahead of Bart Markel (455-447). But a fat 53 poi nts would go to the San jos e winner and all the top contenders were on hand. Still, true spor tsmanship was evident; H-D r ider Rayborn even loaned Triumph ti ger Nixon an A&S ti re for his front whee l before the race. In ti me trials Markel's Ed W arrentuned Harley clocked the quic kest onela p tour at 29.2 1, with Nixon only 1/100th of a s econd behi nd. The n came three lO-manExpert heats . The fir s t thr ee finis hers tran sferr ed di r ec tly to the 14- mlle flna1; places 4, 5 an d 6 went to the s emi from which three r ider s would complete the 12- man Na tional fie ld . Markel zipped to fastest 100lap heat race time, working up fr om 4th place to take over the lead from Gene Romero (Triumph) on la p seve n. Third was Rayborn. Nixon came through for the next preliminary win ahead of Roger Rei man (H- D) an d Art Barcia (Velocette). Final heat went to Nixon' s Trium ph cohort, Chuc k Palmgren, who pushed his way from 3rd to beat out Harley- mounted newlywed, Mert Lawwili , and Nix (H- D), who was suffering fr om a bad cas e of the flu but com peting none the less . In the semi-final , Dan Haaby (H-D) gr abbed a quick lead an d s tretch ed i tout to the ri nisn, winding up In fr ont of Dusty Coppage (Triumph) and Ral ph September 26, 1968 WEST 25¢ White (BSA) for the last three transfer spots . Thus an all- Nati onal Number- lineup prepared to 'wag e war on the San Jos e oval which , despite attempts at proper track mai nte nance , was Its usual rough, dus ty low-gr oove self. Still , condi tions were the same for everyone . Markel Moves! Into the first turn they flew, Reiman In the lead, Palmgren right on his tail. But as the thundering pack approached turn two, Bart Markel made his move on the outside! Miraculously crea ting his own private high groove, Bart sweptpast the fr ont- r unners , s quared It off In mi dturn and dove Into a so li d lead, accompanied by the screams of spectator s who couldn' t beli eve their eyes . Mar kel's maneuve rs in that turn al one were wor th the price of adm tssion, displaying as they did the ulti ma te effor t of a true champion racer. Never again was the Fli nt Flash to be chall enged throughout the 28- 1ap gr ind, as he had bullt up a full s traighta way The man of the day at San Jo se - Bart Marke l. The Harley-Davidson mirac le worker from Michl ran was fas test overall qual· Ill er, winner 01 the faste st heat race, then took the leadIn spect acular fashion on lap one 01 the 14-Mlle National Championship final and stretch ed his lead to the Ilnal, lead by the fourth time around. But plenty of frantic action took place behind him. Reiman was ove rtaken for second by Palmgren on lap three, then Nixon moved by Roger to challenge his team mate and grab s econd place one round later. Soon after, both Romer o and Haaby got around Reiman, making It a tight four-way go for r unnerup spot, Not until lap 18 was Haaby abl e to pass Romer o, however, an d then he had the Trium ph teamwor k of Nixon and Palmgren to conte nd with. While Nixon went into the turns low, Palmgren would throw his machine sideways - taking up lots of r ac ing room and forcing Haaby to go wide or back off. (Continued on page 121 S0806 I! I JOJ!lI!:J 'lI:1u g :Inl puulnog q:lug :Iuol qlJON LLU S AUN J)) !)

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