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This is a basic item compiled in regard to league racing in the USA. Besides the information I have collated there was a more successful but sadly short lived league competition in California in the early 1970s which I briefly make note of. I would be delighted to learn more about this venture.

This is the basic information I have collated, possibly it needs corrections and updates:

Further information into USA league racing brings to light this information from an American newspaper about a competition on the East Coast in 1937 mainly centred on the famous Tri-City Speedway in New Jersey. It reads: “The match is the third partido event of the season and is the last all-star battle in the eastern circuit. After tonight's events the star sprinters will be scattered

“The Jimmy Gibb-Crocky Rawding pairing as rival captains continues a rivalry as old as the Eastern League. Last season, Jimmy led the the Tri-City Eagles to the league championship replacing Rawding's Paterson trio as the pennant winners.”

Team racing in the USA was also staged in 1972 between teams called Costa Mesa Lions. Bakersfield Bandits, Ventura Chargers, Irwindale Eagles, Costa Mesa Lions and Bakersfield Bandits.

There was a further attempt when a league operated in 1976. The teams were LA Sprockets based at Irwindale, Costa Mesa Eagles, Bakersfield Bandits, San Bernardion Sizzlers and Ventura Sharks. Bert Harkins from Scotland was among riders in the league, as were Jim Fishback, Dennis Sigalos, Mike Bast, Bobby Schwartz, Rick Woods and Bruce Penhall.

The 1976 USA league championship was won by Bakersfield Bandits.

Further research shows that there was no league racing in California in 1949, but a series of team matches took place Lincoln Park in September. Teams were six-a-side and met in 12 heat matches. The Lincoln Park track was in Mission Road, Los Angeles.

The teams involved were Lincoln Park Monarchs, Los Angeles Lions, Pasadena Jets, Glendale Ghosts and Culver City Stars. The average attendances were 3,000.

The Monarchs captain was Ernie Roccio, who later rode in the UK for Wimbledon and who died in accident at West Ham in 1952.

The Jets were captained by Chuck Basney who was recognised as being the best team rider in the matches.

There were plans to turn the team competition into a league for the 1950 season but this never materialised.

The only full team line-up known is Glendale Ghosts: Bob Blair, Dan Bishop, 'Bud' Hogan, Pete Feuerhelm, Ed Kretz Jnr and Bobby Turner.

John Hyam writes about
League Racing in the USA

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