I raced at Carrell speedway half mile, the predecessor to Ascot in 51 & 52 when I was 17 & 18. Ascot was built when the 110 freeway went through the middle of Carrell speedway - I heard that Ascot used the hard clay surface from Carrell. Now Ascot is apparently a storage lot. It went the way of Lincoln Park and Culver City 1/4 mile tracks, as well as Box Springs (Riverside) TT and Anza park. Did I miss any? I rode a BSA Gold Star (completely stock) my first year, then switched to Harley. I was lousy and too careful. I think I was not strong enough at 5'9" and 124 pounds. I always wished I was able to try a Triumph, which was about 100 pounds lighter than the K-Model. Looks like I'll never know.
By the way, my best lap my first year was 25.65 on my stock BSA. Chuck Basney did 23.14 the same night. This was about 10 mph faster than me. I was not timed on the K-Model the next year due to too many entrants (about 100 every Friday night), so I don't know if I improved.
It was dangerous. One or two deaths per year on average. Maybe that was why I didn't try too hard on flat track but went all out in scrambles and other off-road stuff. My wife used to enjoy races, but finally refused to go. She said that every time she saw a race, she thought of the people we knew that had been killed.
I raced at Carrell speedway half mile flat track in 1951 & 52 - the clay track surface was used at Ascot after the 110 freeway was built through Carrell. I also ran Riverside Box Springs TT and Anza Riverside TT as well as Lincoln Park 1/4 mile and Culver City 1/4 mile. There used to be a lot of tracks around LA. A point-to-point hare & hound was run through Monterey Park around 1949 or 50 - it was about 50 miles and only crossed two streets (Atlantic and Garfield Blvds). Also, Monterey Park sponsored a TT race around that time and Ed Kretz won. Lincoln Park was used for speedway racing after WW II until about '51 and I saw some guys like Manuel Trujillo there when I was a teen ager. I believe the Milne brothers and Lammy Lamereaux may have put in an appearance, but I don't remember seeing them. We also ran Scrambles at Lincoln Park, Rolling Hills, and Tarzana. I don't think those days are coming back any time soon.
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