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National Speedway Championship schedule confirmed

-- Initial 12 Rider Invitations Issued -- PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- AMA Sports has confirmed the schedule for the 2004 AMA National Championship Speedway Series Presented by Progressive Insurance, and has issued an initial 12 invitations to the ...

-- Initial 12 Rider Invitations Issued --

PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- AMA Sports has confirmed the schedule for the 2004 AMA National Championship Speedway Series Presented by Progressive Insurance, and has issued an initial 12 invitations to the exclusive championship.

The three-round series will open with a doubleheader weekend August 6-7 at Fast Fridays Speedway in Auburn, California, and Wheel 2 Wheel Raceway in Victorville, California. The series finale will be in Auburn on September 24.

The exclusive series is limited to American Division 1 Speedway riders, US riders competing overseas, and foreign nationals who regularly compete in AMA Speedway. Twelve riders have earned automatic bids based on 2003 qualifying criteria, and 10 more will compete at the invitation of AMA Sports.

Fast Fridays Speedway is a longtime venue for AMA-sanctioned Speedway competition and is located just off Interstate 80 at the Gold Country Fairgrounds, north of Sacramento in the picturesque Northern California community of Auburn.

Wheel 2 Wheel Raceway is gearing up to host its first AMA National. The track is located just off Interstate 15 at the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds, northeast of Los Angeles in the High Desert community of Victorville.

Greg Hancock, the 1997 World Speedway Champion and sole American rider contesting the 2004 FIM Grand Prix Series, is the reigning champion of AMA Speedway racing. He will lead a strong contingent of European-based American riders who will take on the top names in domestic Speedway in the 2004 AMA series.

The dozen riders automatically qualified are:

Greg Hancock: Defending AMA National Champion and 1997 World Champion, a California native now racing out of Stockholm, Sweden

Ryan Fisher: Past AMA Junior National Champion and runner-up to Hancock in the 2003 AMA National Championship, currently based in Oxford, England

Billy Janniro: AMA's No. 3 rider in 2003, based in Coventry, England

Billy Hamill: Former AMA and World Champion, based in Sweden

Mike Faria: Former AMA Champion from Reno, Nevada

Bobby Hedden: 2003 AMA high-point Northern California rider

Scott Brant: 2003 AMA high-point Southern California rider

Cam Rafferty: 2003 AMA high-point Eastern States rider

Chris Manchester (a past AMA National Champion), Bart Bast, Charlie Venegas and Eddie Castro: Qualified based on their 2003 AMA National rankings.

"AMA Sports is excited about our 2004 national lineup," said the AMA's Bill Amick. "We will again have an extraordinary international field of riders, ranging from seasoned veterans to several young riders just beginning to make their mark on the world speedway scene."

Veteran Speedway promoter Dave Joiner is the principal officer of Fast Fridays Speedway, which will organize all three rounds of the 2004 AMA National Championship Speedway Series Presented by Progressive Insurance.

Southern California-based RAZ Video will work in cooperation with Fast Fridays on promotion of the new event in Victorville.

For more information, contact Fast Fridays Speedway at (530) 878-7223 or visit www.FastFridays.com.

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