United States national speedway team

The United States national speedway team are an international speedway team from the United States who compete in the annual major international speedway competition, the Speedway World Cup. They are managed by Lance King, who finished third in the 1984 World Final and the current captain is triple and current (2014) World Champion Greg Hancock. The team is governed by the American Motorcyclist Association.

USA
Flag of the United States.svg
Team managerLance King
Team captainRicky Wells
Nation colorWhite
SWC Wins5 (1982, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1998)
Squad
World Championships
Team (SWC) 5 4 7
Pairs 3 2 3
Individual (SGP) 8 5 11

After Jack Milne and his brother Cordy had finished first and third at the 1937 World Final (with another American Wilbur Lamoreaux finishing second), the USA went into the speedway wilderness until the early 1970s when international riders such as World Champions Barry Briggs and Ivan Mauger from New Zealand began visiting the Costa Mesa Speedway in Los Angeles. After World War II, Scott Autrey's appearance in the 1976 World Final in Poland was the first American appearance since Ernie Roccio had finished 15th in 1951.

Autrey, who in the mid-1970s had campaigned hard and successfully to have American riders included in the Speedway World Championship, signalled an American resurgence in speedway and was soon followed by others such as 1981 and 1982 World Champion Bruce Penhall, brothers Kelly and Shawn Moran, Bobby "Boogaloo" Schwartz, Dennis Sigalos, Lance King, 1993 World Champion Sam Ermolenko, Rick Miller, 1996 World Champion Billy Hamill, and current World Champion Greg Hancock all going on to be regarded as some of the world's best speedway riders.

Speedway World CupEdit

The USA national speedway team has won the Speedway World Team Cup on five occasions, including their first win in 1982 which gave the USA the "Triple Crown" of speedway by winning the Individual, World Pairs and World Team Cup in the same year (the WTC was actually the first victory of the three). The USA were a major force in the early 1990s, winning 3 out of 4 tournaments. Key riding members of the title wins include Billy Hamill (4 wins), Sam Ermolenko and Greg Hancock (both 3 wins). The cup has eluded the USA since 1998 and the team has become weaker due to the retirements of Sam Ermolenko and Billy Hamill, and a lack of recognised experienced riders in Europe.

The Finals of both the 1985 and 1988 World Team Cups were held at the Veterans Memorial Stadium in Long Beach, California. In the 41-year history of the WTC, these were the only times that the Finals were held outside of Great Britain or Europe.

Year Venue Standings (Pts) USA Riders and Pts
1982  
London
White City Stadium
1.   USA (37)
2.   Denmark (24)
3.   West Germany (18)
4.   Czechoslovakia (17)
Kelly Moran 10
Bruce Penhall 10
Bobby Schwartz 9
Shawn Moran 8
Scott Autrey 0
1990  
Pardubice
Svítkov Stadion
1.   USA (37)
2.   England (34)
3.   Denmark (30)
4.   Czechoslovakia (19)
Kelly Moran 12
Sam Ermolenko 11
Shawn Moran 10
Billy Hamill 4
Rick Miller 0
1992  
Kumla
Kumla Speedway
1.   USA (39)
2.   Denmark (33)
3.   England (31)
4.   Sweden (17)
Greg Hancock 11
Sam Ermolenko 10
Billy Hamill 10
Ronnie Correy 5
Bobby Ott 3
1993  
Coventry
Brandon Stadium
1.   USA (40)
2.   Denmark (38)
3.   Sweden (28)
4.   England (14)
Sam Ermolenko 11
Bobby Ott 11
Billy Hamill 10
Greg Hancock 10
Josh Larsen -
1998  
Vojens
Vojens Speedway Center
1.   USA (28)
2.   Sweden (24)
3.   Denmark (23)
4.   Poland (17)
5.   Germany (14)
6.   Czech Republic (14)
7.   Hungary (6)
Billy Hamill 16+1
Greg Hancock 12+5
Sam Ermolenko -
Key:
+1,2... - bonus points gained by finishing behind teammate
+1j,+2j... - extra points gained in joker ride

HonoursEdit

World ChampionshipsEdit

Competitions Total Gold medals Silver medals Bronze medals
Total Years Total Years Total Years
Team
World Cup
(1960-2000)
(since 2001)
16 5 1982, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1998 4 1980, 1985, 1986, 1988 7 1983, 1984, 1987, 1991, 1995, 1999, 2000
Team U-21 (since 2005) 0 0 0 0
Pairs (1970-1993) 8 3 1981, 1982, 1992 2 1986, 1993 3 1985, 1987, 1988
Intercontinental (1975-2001) 0
Individual
Grand Prix
(1936-1994)
(since 1995)
24 8 1937, 1981, 1982, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2011, 2014 5 1937, 1938, 1997, 2000, 2006 11 1937, 1938, 1978, 1982, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1995, 1996, 2004, 2012
Individual U-21 (since 1977) 4 2 1979, 1981 0 2 1980, 1984
Total medals: 52 Gold: 18 Silver: 11 Bronze: 23

* Shawn Moran was stripped of his 1990 Individual World Championship Silver Medal by the FIM after a failed drug test.

TitlesEdit

Preceded by
  Denmark
World Champions
1982 (1st title)
Succeeded by
  Denmark
Preceded by
  ENG
World Champions
1990 (2nd title)
Succeeded by
  Denmark
Preceded by
  Denmark
World Champions
1992 (3rd title)
1993 (4th title)
Succeeded by
  Sweden
Preceded by
  Denmark
World Champions
1998 (5th title)
Succeeded by
  Australia

Notable American ridersEdit

John cook