Pacific Coast’s First A.M.A Sanctioned Race

Restrictions Lifted-Flag Drops

By Unknown, Photography by Unknown

From the August 1945 issue of Motorcyclist Magazine

Note: Just before going to press this report reached us and we are very pleased to be able to give our readers the results of the first official American Motorcycle Association sanctioned race. Unfortunately time did not permit us to run pictures of this FIRST event; we hope, however, that with a little mental work our readers will be able to supply the smell of castor oil and dirt track, the sounds of motors and the noise of the crowd. Ed.

San Diego, Calif., August 26. The first sanctioned American Motorcycle Association postwar race was held at Lakeside Park in this city today, promoted by R.J. Cross in connection with the San Diego Motorcycle Club. On somewhat short notice an eight event program was arranged and twenty-one entries signed up. Officiating for the A.M.A. in this event were Referee Royal F. Carroll, Starter Stan Irons and Master Checker Frank McCartney.

With perfect Southern California weather, an excellent quarter-mile track consisting of two left turns, one right and an extremely large loop in the back stretch with no straightaway, gave the crowd of over fifteen hundred more than their money’s worth. In the First Event, Harry Pelton, Jr. rode inside position and with Ed Kretz running about two feet behind Pelton almost from the start, the contest became a two man race that had the crowd on its feet from the drop of the flag. Pelton won, and at the end of the eight events was proven to have established the fastest time of the day, 4 min. 21 sec. Final results: 1st, Harry Pelton, Jr. JAP 30:50; 2nd, Ed Kretz, Indian 45; 3rd, Glen Campbell, Indian 45 and 4th, Dick Milligan, Crocker 61.

The second heat race brought out some newcomers since war to the Southern California racing contingent, and many names that will be big news in the near future. Results: 1st, Louis Camou, Indian 45; 2nd, Oscar Sherman, H-D 45; 3rd, Chuck Basney, H-D 45 and 4th Jack Lindsay, H-D 45. Time 4 min. 33 sec.

The third ten lap heat race was won by Floyd Emde, Indian 45; 2nd, Ernie Roccio, Indian 45; 3rd, Pat Patterson, H-D 45 and 4th, J.M. Tribilcock, H-D 45. Time: 4 min. 22 3/10 sec.

In the fourth event action a little hotter than usual began right from the start with all riders in close formation on the first turn. In the back stretch Jack Bailey and Fred Traylor went down together, Traylor recovering and off again but Bailey out for the race. Further on Ben Campanale and Ronny Kilwiler were fighting it out for first place with the result that in the last lap Campanale pulled away and maintained his position to win the event. Results: 1st, Ben Campanale, H-D 45; 2nd, Ronny Kilwiler, Indian 45; 3rd, Fred Traylor, Indian 45. Time: 4 min. 26 5/10 sec.

The fifth event, three lap trophy dash with the four winners of the heat races fighting it out became fast competition with Floyd Emde capturing the lead on the first turn and managing to maintain his position for the entire event. Results: 1st, Floyd Emde, Indian 45; 2nd, Ben Campanale, H-D 45; 3rd, Harry Pelton, Jr., 30.50 JAP and 4th, Louis Camou, Indian 45. Time: 1 min. 16 sec.

The sixth event proved to be the most interesting event of the day. A ten lap relay race, two man team with the teams entered as follows: Oscar Sherman and Dick Milligan, H-D 45; Floyd Emde and Ed Kretz, Indian 45; Jack Lindsay and C.D. Morris, H-D 45; Chuck Basney and J.M. Tribilcock, H-D 74; Louis Camou and Ernest Roccio, Indian 45. Of the teams, Emde and Kretz gave the smoothest performance of teamwork and took first place; Camou and Roccio taking second place. Time: 4 min. 48 3/10 sec.

The seventh race, a fifteen lap Consolation Race, was a constantly changing lead with each lap. Riders began falling out in the fifth lap and of the ten riders starting, six finished. Results: 1st, Dick Milligan, Crocker 61; 2nd, Jack Bailey, Indian 45; 3rd, Jack Lindsay, H -D 45 and 4th, Pat Patterson, H-D 45. Time: 4 min. 39 3/10 sec.

The twenty lap main event brought out thirteen riders and brought the program to an excellent wind-up. At the first turn Pelton and Kretz fell but started again. Meanwhile Emde took the lead which he held for the first three laps. Campanale began his surge forward in the fourth lap which he held to the finish, not however, without some very close following by Emde. In the meantime Pelton fell out as did Roccio and Milligan. Camou got the black flag due to brake and footboard dragging. Results: 1st, Ben Campanale, H-D 45; 2nd, Floyd Emde, Indian 45; 3rd, Ronny Kilwiler, Indian 45; 4th, Ed Kretz, Indian 45 and 5th, Pat Patterson, H-D 45. Time: 8 min. 53 sec.

The first official postwar A.M.A. race was very successful and officials, riders and the public were more than pleased. To be able to hold a race on as short notice as this one was is something in itself, but to have the first race a smoothly running affair after almost four years of inactivity is even more noteworthy.

Vallejo To Hold Four-Star Meet

A four-star half-mile race, promoted by Jack Hocker and sponsored by the Navy City MC (AMA sanction 908) will be held at Dixon Fairgrounds, Vallejo, California, on Sunday, September 23rd. The Dixon dirt track is reported to be outstandingly good, and all the great, the near-great and the future great of motordom are expected to attend.

Atlanta Holds First Post V-J Race

The report of Atlanta’s first post V-J meet, a one-mile flat track race held on September 2nd, reached the office of The Motorcyclist too late to be included in this issue. A full account will appear in October.

Who actually held the first post-war A.M.A. sanctioned meet looks like a close draw.

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