Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1970's

Cycle News 1979 09 12

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

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Chandler takes three, Hill two at AMA Amateur TT National By Maureen Lee Photos by Dan MahonylWlzard Racing Photography GARDENA, CA, AUG. 25-26 The Lightweights M. C. hosted their half of the AMA Amateur/National Championship by throwing the TT at the legendary Ascot Park. Although heavily pressured to get things over and done with so the groups renting the track for the two evenings wouldn't get antsy, the club threw a terrific race. Every- 16 one involved knew what they were to do and where they were to do it and things went smoothly, considerably. aided by the professional talents of AMA Pro starter Al Mintz and his assistant. Shorty Seaborne. Unfortunately, track management wouldn't permit the half-mile section of the track to be used Saturday (sprint car racing at night) so District 57 scrambles steward Ed Carroll and his club laid out a real neat IT track in the infield, big enough for the little screamers running that day, whereon they went over the jump backwards. There was a dog-leg in the first section that parted quite a few riders from their mounts; riders not skillfull enough to move their body weight from left to right quickly. Tom Knight was the first- one to come adrift in the 50cc class but he was up and at 'em again and went on to win the main. One of the best rides we've seen in a long time was turned in by Greg Fraser from British Columbia. He fell right in the beginning scramble for position, and then proceeded in the few short laps to move on up through the pack by Washington'sJ.P. Simonsen.. on up by the gaggle from Stockton-Visalia of Ron and Bryan Knight, Frank Morris, and Allen Walton. Walton moved eventually into second. but right at the end, hard charging Fraser came flying up and took it away from him. Time didn't allow him to knock off front runner Tom Knight. Randy Turbett, from Peoria who'd won two classes at Porterville the week before, was chased home fmt in both . his heat and the 65cc 7-II main by Scottie Scherb from Texas. Behind them came Ron Wade from Illinois, and then the first Californian. Antone Mellow from Marina. The 85cc Stock 7-11 main had two restarts because of crashes; finally they got underway, with Pat Murray from Stafford, NY. making a perfect pass from the outside to the inside of tum one. right through the pack to third spot. Front runners Aaron Hill and Kurt Chandler never lost their first and second. but CraigJohnson and Joe Avila did shuffle fourth around. It was Oregon's tum in the 85cc Stock ll!-14 class, a group that naturally went faster because they were bigger. Stockton's Shawn Black took off with the lead but right on his rear wheel the whole time was Clay Clark from Oregon. Behind them Steven Hill going very well and got up to third only to have his bike slow down, dropping him back behind Mike Lawrence and Rod Gillis. Then zap, on the last lap Clark left it full on coming down the back chute and got by Black for the win. leaving his cheeri~g section almost prostrate with excitement. Again. Hill got the job done in the 85cc Modified 7-11 main, but not without considerable pressure from Kurt Chandler and Curtis Cannon. in maybe the best race of the day. Hill didn't lose his first but Chandler and Cannon were flat having at it while Dean Snell was going every which way including sideways to keep up contention with them. Showing the amount of talent on tap at Ascot Saturday. there were three number one plates in the 85cc Modified U-I4, a solid California lineup except for Richard Duncan from Snohomish, WA. The current National number one, Danny Moore from Carmel, had the tough luck to faD right when he was in contention in third place. while Doug Chandler and Roger Thompson settled out first. Chandler finally got away from Thompson. who in tum put space between himself and Chris Carr. In the lOOcc Schoolboy, Oregon's Dan Bennett was giving it the ride of his life when he sailed by Jim Toews going over the jump and then got by Vance Sherfield to end up fourth overall. Up front though, it was Doug Chandler again. then Chad Bettencourt and Chris Carr. all so equally matched they couldn't better their positions and track conditions by then made it important to show some consideration on the turns. Nastiest crash of the day happened to Roger Schollenberger in the 125cc Schoolboy heat when he went down in the pack and a rider with nowhere to go went right over with both wheels, but Roger walked away, though slowly and no doubt remembers his first time at Ascot by the bruises. Danny Moore won the main, while second place man Randy Green from Washington had to do some maneuvering around people to get his spot. Darren Hulbert got third and notably in fourth was Michael Murray all the way from New York. making his claim to fame and jumping past Drew Roberts in mid-air to do it. Trophy winners went home with beautiful tr0rhies courtesy of Yamaha Internationa, who went all out to support the Amateur races, while the participant pins from the Lightweights have to be quite the nicest we've ever seen in years of racing. Sunday got underway using the complete Ascot IT course, and right off the bat in the fmt race, the lOOcc Amateurs. had a red flag and a backrow start for Larry Babcock who thought he'd try out AI Mintz as staner. AI's action showed 'em that he wasn't to be messed with. Chris Carr won that heat with a big lead and took control again later in the day in the main. Richard Hager had second held down but the racing was between Oregon's Dan Bennett and Texan Ross Duncan. Bennett would get up alongside going through the eases but every lap Duncan was the master coming out oflhe twisty stuff. District 57's number one, Charles "Bud" Carroll, lived up to his name with a smooth win in the 125cc Amateur class. Porterville's Bob Land beat him in the heat but the main was a d.ifferent matter, and Land took second. Mearl Barnett went well for a while but slipped back behind Roger Shellenberger and Chris Carr. while Carr pushed third place Mike Garrison for all he was worth. ' There were only 12 entries for the 200cc class so they rode a heat and a main. Chad Bettencourt won both but not without a real fight from Roger Schellenberger from Texas. Roger pushed Chad hard and when Bettencourt bobbled in the esses, he took full advantage and slipped into first. Back came Bettencourt and regained the lead at the jump, with Dallas Babcock barely third over Richard Horton. Space won't allow full details of the 250cc wars in the heats and the semis. Doug Chandler went against national number one Mike Garrison, taking the lead early after a mad tangle around the first two turns. There's a tale in Jeff Springman, winner of the 560cc class. Last week. he came out of about a two year layoff, went to Porterville as an alternate and won there; this weekend, he did the very same thing. In the main Springman took the lead. then came Jerry Brandt and Jim Mahoney. Things happened: Darrell Thompson fell off and then Kenny Bunon grenaded his engine over the jump. After lots of people spent time kicking dirt over all the oil that extended from halfway over the jump into the next turn, away they went again, single fale start. Again, Jeff took charge, pulling away with the lead. while Chris Cannon flew up past people to end in third behind Mahoney. and Scott Saunders did the same to take fourth ahead ofJerry Brandy. National number one Rick Almeida didn't survive the tangle through turn one int he 500cc main; that class had more than its share of troubles including one of their semis being put back on the ready line to cool off and running the Open c1ass next. Notable was a ride by Pete Hames in his semi as he made a terrific attempt to make the main (he did) passing both Danny Moore and Tony Urias to do it. Urias lost his transfer by the simple fact of being heavier than Moore - Danny out-dragged him down the chutel In the main Mark Key got the lead early and pulled away with it. The track had developed its infamous blue groove and the Amateurs handled themselves commendably on it. Joe Mitchell took second, holding off Fred Bennett for a while, then Doug Chandler when he got by Bennett. Kreg Hunt from Oklahoma was right in the hunt for a while, in fourth spot. only to finally unload in the esses after a lap-after-lap battle with Chandler. The Open class was a screamer for the fans of Ronald Day and Randy Griffith as they swapped the lead around in a class with 24 entries. Some hopefuls like Dave Peters didn't ev= make it in when he got center punched in a semi, National number one, Michigan's Ray Garrett, made it in from a semi and got an eighth in the main. Matt Rohr and Randy Griffith treated the stands to some side by side jumps over the big Ascot jump, tben up came Ron Day to take the lead away from both of them and keep it, with Griffith takinlt' second by a hair over Rohr. Immlten/Peck led the lightweight hacks home while Whitaker/Maclean from across the seas in Avalon took second. Actually the team of Ketcham/ Ketcham was second after a hell of a battle with the 109 hack, but they disqualified themselves when the fray was over, moving Rahm/and Wyant into third. For the heavyweights. it was Fresno's hot duo of Butterfield/Hill with their BMW, with Sanner/Melillo taking second. We observed the ambulance crews taking more notice when the hacks came to the line, but they needn't have bothered, these guys know how to do it. • Results !iOc<: Q.ASS: 1. Tom Kn9tt lSuzI; 2. Grog _ lSuzl; 3. AIen W_lSuzI. 86cc Q.ASS lAGE 7-11~ I. Rondy T_lSuzl; 2. _ _ lV.....;3._W... lV...... 86cc STOCK Q.ASS lAGE 7-1 I ~ 1. Aoron Hit ~; 2. Kurt a.-~; 1 Croig.Johr-. lV...... 86cc STOCK Q.ASS CAGE 12·141: 1. CIIy CIorlt lV ; 2. SIwM1 _ ae-t; 1 MicIleoI ~ lV . lISa: MOO Q.ASS lAGE 7-1 I ~ 1. Aoron Hit ~. 2. Kurl a.-lV.....; 3. Cur1Ioe--lV...... ' 86cc MOO Q.ASS CAGE 12-141: 1. Doug a . ~: 2. Floaer 1lonpeon lV.....; 3. tmiI c.r lSuzl. lOll SCHOolBOv: 1. Doug a . - lV.....; 2. Chod _ l V.....; 1 ChriIc.rlSuzl. 125 SCHOOlBOY: 1. Donny - . lV_I; 2. Rondy Grew! lV_I; 3. ~ lV...... l00cc AM: 1. ChriI c.r ISuzl; 2. R_d Hoger lV_I; 3. _ aunc.n lV_I. 125 AM: 1. ClwIoo ConoII lV.....; 2. Robert l.8nd lV_I; 3. Mike GorriIan lV...... 200cc CLASS: 1. Chod _ lV.....; 2. Roger Schellenberger lVlml; 3. 0aIlB1lIIbcoc:k (Sull. 250cc CLASS: 1. Doug Chlndler IKawI; 2. Mike Ger

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