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U.S. Speedway Championship : Oxley Is Declared the Winner After Ott Falls

October 04, 1987|TOM HAMILTON | Times Staff Writer

Speedway motorcyclist Brad Oxley realized a dream Saturday night when he won the U.S. Championships, but the magic moment will be debated for some time.

Oxley was crowned the champion at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa before 8,253 fans when he was declared the winner by referee Irwin Moon during a runoff with Bobby Ott. Ott fell between Turns 3 and 4 on the first of four scheduled laps.

The riders were tied with 14 points following five heat races and a four-lap runoff was to be the tiebreaker. Ott won the coin flip and chose the pole position. Oxley had to start from the fourth position, a spot that no rider had been able to win from in 20 previous races.

Ott took the lead in the runoff, but he lost control on the 190-yard oval and fell. Oxley was immediately declared the winner, much to the dismay of the sellout crowd.

"I'm glad I didn't win the championship because the fans know who the real champion is," Ott said. "The deck was stacked against me before I ever went out for the runoff. That was the promoter's kid."

Oxley is the 28-year old son of Costa Mesa promoter Harry Oxley, who revived the sport in 1969.

The elder Oxley did not agree with Ott.

"That was the most courageous call I've ever seen a referee make," he said. "This is the proudest day of my life."

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