One of the most prestigious events in North America for speedway motorcycle racing, The US Open National Championships, is set to come to Champion Speedway in Owego, N.Y. on Sept. 6 and will feature some of best racers American Speedway has to offer.
This year’s Championship series will include two nights of racing on Sept. 5 and 6. The first round on Saturday evening, Sept. 5, is tentatively set for Action Park East in Greene, N.Y., pending approval. Round two, the Championship Finals, will be held at Champion Speedway in Owego on Sunday, Sept. 6. Should Action Park not be able to host Round One, both nights will move to Champion Speedway.
Local fans will have a lot to cheer about and the guest stars will have their hands full as the track promotion has a strong program of local riders at the moment. The top local favorites to win the Championship have to be Spencer Portararo of Maine, who leads this summer’s Points Championship; Endicott’s Adam Mittl, who is a 5-time track champion; Len McBride of Windsor, who has four track titles; and Mikey Buman of Binghamton, a former track champion.
Portararo, Mittl, McBride and Buman all have feature wins this season. Dave Oakden of Rochester is also near the top of the Points along with Jesse Diem of Johnson City and Dave Clark of Berkshire, and will all be tough customers.
A full program of local ATV pros will be planned as well. Local riders Bruce Stauder, Tony Hanbury, Dylan Hawk, Donnie Archibald, Tobey Relyea, Chris Merwin, Stoney Ray, and Brad Harrington should be just some of the top riders on hand.
Former East Coast Great, “Fast” Frank Watson of Canton, Pa. will serve as the event’s Grand Marshal.
Speedway motorcycles have absolutely no brakes, go from 0 to 60 mph in 3 seconds and slide totally sideways through the turns. They run on methanol and the sport attracts crowds of 20,00 plus for weekly meetings in Europe. There are only several pockets of speedway in the U.S. and New York is recognized as one of the best, second only to California.
The ATV action starts at 4 p.m. Saturday in Greene and Speedway gets underway at 7 p.m. On Sept. 6 at Champion Speedway, ATV racing starts at 3 p.m. and Speedway at 6 p.m.
Champion Speedway is located at the end of Route 434 in Owego on Old Narrows Road. Support Class racing and Juniors will be included both nights. Monday, Sept. 7 at noon, could serve as a rain date. More information can be found by calling (585) 739-9612 or online at www.eastcoastspeedway.com or www.speedwaybikes.com.