Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1970's

Cycle News 1979 09 19

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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..•fI1 EE AYSPECTAC • t ...::'I E E (Tape 1 of Series A) 0') 1""0') P""'"4 ~ 0') c 9. (Left to right) Norm Robinson. Mike Bast. Hank Bassett. Brian Bishop and Gene Woods show a little east-west friendship prior to the event. Bastedges Bassettin U.S. Open Speedway Championship By Peter Anthony Shell Mike Bast, winner of six national speedway titles in Speedway Racing Association competition. ventured eastward from his California home to beat the best in the East and Canada at Champion Speedway's U.S. Open Speedway Championship. Bast was enthusiastically received by the fans and said that he would be back next year to defend his crown. Easterner Hank Bassett split up the winner's circle as Californian Gene Woods placed third in the championship. The event was a two day program with 40 riders scheduled to ride. The top 20, after a 40 heat program Saturday, would qualify for Sunday's semis. Each rider rode four times in the scratch heats. Rivalries began to blossom as the first heat took the track. Jim Pierce and "Pistol" Pete Atwater blasted to wins in their first two heats. Gene Woods followed suit to equal their performance. "Mean" Gene Bonsignore and Ken Gehres closed out the day by winning in their third and fourth heats. Defending champ "Storm'n" Norman Robinson earned wins in his first and third rides. As an indication of things to come, both Bassett and Bast methodically took wins in all four of their heats. Bassett, the crowd favorite, earned second here in the first National in 1977. In 1978 he placed third behind Norm Robinson and Bobby Schwanz. Bast was decievingly fast and very nonchalant as he waved going down the straights indicating he was number one. As Sunday's starting time ap' proached so did the rain. After an hour and a half delay, the rain stop' ped and racing began. Canadian Gary Ford won the first heat followed by a very fast Gene Woods. Woods had raced seven straight days before making his trek east to champion. Warren Diem stole the lead from the master. Mike Bast, to take top honors in the second heat. Maely mounted, Brian Bishop. showed style and talent, but was plagued with problems including an early crash through the wall on Saturday. Norm Robinson worked for a pair of second places. He grabbed the lead from Jody Garris in the third round. Robinson had fallen a few weeks earlier and bruised his tail· bone. Coupling the injury with the bumpy track made his attempt to retain his crown a painful one. Bassett pulled off four more perfect wins. Diem's upset over Mike Bast gave him a one point advantage over Bast. With Bassett and Bast filling spots for the final, a run-off was needed to break a tie between four riders. "Rowdy" Rick Stone, Gene Woods and a flashy sixteen-year-old Lance King all had ten points. An outstanding effort by Ken Gehres with two wins and two seconds earned him ten points as well. Stone was riding with a brok~ leg fitted with a special cast to fit inside his foot. King grabbed the lead on the start, but Stone went outside in turn one. Stone nearly got past as King wheelied out oftum two. Ken Gehres slipped by Stone the second time around. In turn three, on the last lap, Woods bobbled. He regained his balance and motored past King to take a spot in the final along with King. Just prior to the first of fout final heats it started to rain. As the riders walked on to the track and crowd started chanting Bassett, Bassett in unison. Bassett said, "These people are crazy and I love it" Bassett rocketed into the lead down the back straight. Bast slid through the mud narrowly missing the wall in turn four. King went down. Bast passed Bassett on lap three and went on lowin. Bassett's bike drowned in the mud and would not start for the second heat. Pete Atwater loaned him a bike. The rain fell even harder as they lined up. This heat was all Bassett as he roosted Bast in rurns one and two. Bast got a face full. Gene Woods crashed in turn three. King finished third. The third heat was the height of this two man dual. Woods and King were out. Bast took the holeshot so the roles were reversed. Bassett got the roost and Bast got the win. At this point Bast was leading 8-7. To force a tie, Bassett had to win. The tension was high. Woods bent the ribbon on the first start. Next, the gate malfunctioned. Bassett and Bast raced a lap with Hank falling in the muddy [Urn four. Woods led at the restart with Hank second. Bassett went wide in turn four and let Bast by. Bast caught Woods before the checkered flag fell to prove he's still the champ.• -Reaults 1. Mike Bast Wawa) 1/21111; 2. Hank Bassett (Jawa) 2/1/213; 3. Gene Woods IJawa) 3/0/0/2; 4. Lance King !JawaI0l3l0/0. P""'"4 I-. V ..0 S V ..... See East-West Speedway All Star Teams battle to the last checkered flag. In your own front room, with friends, watch Michael Bast lead his Speedway Gladiators against Bruce Penhall and company in a team race that has yet to be equaled. One half hour with America's Best in Speedway, racing for a $12,000.00 purse with the winning team taking home the Lion's share. • • ~" ••• 0.... V tJ:) , %" Send Money Order payable to: Speedway Spectacular 6708 Lankershim Blvd. No. Hollywood. Calif. 91606 •• aa.aa.a.aa.aa •• aa •••• a•••••••••• Replacement parts are no problem al~ you have to do is make 'em. 1.000000000000000.000.0 •• 0000000 •• 000000.0 ••••••••• 0.000 MXL Products ride the winners' circle again Steve Morehead-Corky Keener-Jay Springsteen 1-2-3 at the Syracuse Mile National Hydron Incorporated PO Box 222-~ast Petersburg, PA 17520 15

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