Cycle News

Cycle News 2020 Issue 45 November 10

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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CN III ARCHIVES BY SCOTT ROUSSEAU T hroughout the heyday period of Southern California speed- way that unfolded during the late 1960s and all of the 1970s, the name Bast has always figured prominently in the sport. Thanks in large part to the seven U.S. National Speedway Champion- ship titles that Mike Bast won during his illustrious career, and much later when cousin Bart Bast returned the name to the U.S. National honor roll, the Bast family is amply qualified to be tabbed as the first family of American speedway. But neither Mike Bast nor Bart Bast was really the first fast Bast in speedway. Long overdue for such recognition, Steve Bast is the man who deserves it. And it isn't just an arbitrary accolade, either. After all, Bast was the first U.S. National Speedway Cham- pion in the sport. Before speedway, Steve Bast was just one of the hundreds of Novice Class C flat trackers who invaded Ascot Park on a weekly basis, but then promoter Dude Criswell hatched the scheme to promote Class A speedway at Whiteman Stadium in Pacoima. Steve and brother Mike Bast were among the first to step up. P110 SPEEDWAY'S FIRST FAST BAST ultimately provide Bast with a newfound love that would serve as his profession for nearly a decade, but also because it sort of kept him from getting into the kind of trouble that could possi- bly have sidetracked any poten- tial flat track career. "We only lived about 14 or 15 miles from there," Steve Bast re- calls. "Everybody heard that there were going to be some races going on there. So, my dad said, 'Let's go try it.'" The timing was definitely good, not just because speedway would Steve Bast won the first U.S. National Speedway Championship 1969. He won it again in 1974.

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