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On the Fast Track

This is the loudest Best Bet we’ve had in a while. On Saturday night, Speedway motorcycle racing returns to the big Ventura Raceway oval for the first time in four years. Speedway racing features motorcycles that accelerate from 0 to 60 m.p.h. in less than 60 seconds and have no brakes. No kidding!

Saturday’s race will feature only First Division riders in an all-scratch-racing championship format. Headlining the show will be the current national champion, the one and only “Flyin’ Mike” Faria--all-time Ventura Raceway winner with 53 Main Event victories. Faria is also a three-time Ventura track champion and, along with Kelly Moran, won the U. S. Best Pairs title in 1984.

Also on the 16-rider program will be Bobby (Boogaloo) Schwartz, a multi-winner of the national championship and the 1980 Ventura track champion who rose to speedway stardom back in the team racing days of 1975 with the Ventura Sharks.

Speedway began at the Ventura Raceway on June 15, 1971, and ran yearly until April 14, 1987. Mike Bast won the first-ever Main Event; Faria won the last one.

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Speedway bikes are 185-pound, alcohol-burning machines that only turn left, or crash, often both. Also on the program are the New Zealand side cars, which only turn right.

Ventura Raceway is at the Ventura County Fairgrounds. Gates open at 6:30 p.m., with the first race at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $4 for children ages 7 to 15, free for children under 7. For information, call 656-1122.


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