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Oct 10, 2001

AMA Kills Willow Springs National For 2002, Cites Lack Of TV

Copyright 2001, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>AMA Pro Racing CEO Scott Hollingsworth has declined to sell a Superbike National sanction to Willow Springs International Raceway for 2002, citing a lack of available TV time.<BR><BR>The racetrack had planned to hold a Superbike National in September, 2002.<BR><BR>The track's September 13-16 race this year was postponed following the September 11 terrorist attacks, and later cancelled when AMA and track officials could not agree on a rescheduling date.<BR><BR>According to sources close to the 2002 negotiations, Hollingsworth said that the AMA has lined up TV coverage of 10 Superbike races for 2002, leaving no room for Willow Springs on the schedule.<BR><BR>There will be an AMA National held in 2002 at California Speedway in Fontana, California, about 100 highway miles from Willow Springs, near the location of the now-defunct Ontario Motor Speedway.<BR><BR>Reached by phone October 10 and asked if there is a limit to how many AMA Nationals can be televised, Speedvision Productions President Dan Murphy said that his company has a contract with the AMA to cover 10 National races, with a set budget. Additional races could be covered, but the AMA or an individual race promoter would have to pick up the substantial bill.<BR><BR>"Plus," Murphy said, "In my personal opinion, four races in the state of California is too many. You have too many races in one area and you start cannibalizing, and it's not fair to promoters who have worked hard to establish their event."<BR><BR>Besides producing TV coverage of AMA events for Speedvision, Murphy's company promotes the combined AMA/World Superbike event at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, California, usually held in July.<BR><BR>Other AMA Nationals are scheduled at Sonoma, California's Sears Point International Raceway in May and at California Speedway.