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Cycle Champion Shobert Seeks First Ascot Victory

September 14, 1986

Although Bubba Shobert has already wrapped up the 1986 Camel Pro championship, clinching his second straight championship Sept. 7 at Syracuse, there is still one feat that has eluded the 24-year-old Carmel Valley, Calif., rider--winning on Ascot Park's fast half mile.

Shobert will get another shot at it Saturday night when the Gardena track holds its 28th national program. With a $30,000 purse up for grabs, Shobert will shooting for the top prize of $5,095.

Shobert came close last year in the 20-lap race, finishing second to winner Ronnie Jones. Both are Honda riders.

Until this season, a second in a half-mile national would have been an oustanding performance for Shobert, who had been regarded as a specialist on the one-mile ovals.

Shobert holds the most lifetime wins on the mile tracks with 18, two more that Ricky Graham of Seaside, Calif., but lately Shobert has become a force on the smaller tracks, too.

When he won his first half-mile race last April at Phoenix, it completed a "grand slam"--winning on all five types of tracks (short track, half-mile, mile, TT and road courses) used in American Motorcyclist Assn. competition.

It also made Shobert only the third rider in the 32 year history of AMA competition to achieve the slam. The other two, Dick Mann and Kenny Roberts, are retired.

To date, Shobert has eight national wins in 1986, five on the mile tracks and three on half miles. His eight victories also ties the single season record set by Joe Leonard in 1954.

After Saturday night's $30,000 the tourning riders will travel to Sacramento on Sept. 27 for a mile race on the Cal Expo State Fairgrounds that will wind up the 22-event Came Pro season for dirt-track riders.

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