Joe Jones of Costa Mesa, CA, and Johnny Glover of San Clemente, CA are members of a Speedway sidecar racing team and they have been invited to represent the U.S.A. in the Oceania International Speedway Sidecar Championship taking place at Olympic Park Speedway in Mildura, Victoria, Australia on Nov 23, 2013. The 2013 Oceania International Speedway Sidecar Individual Championship is where sixteen of the best sidecar teams from all over the world race 20 heats bar-to-bar to see who will win the world championship.
Ivan Golding with Motorcycle Australia invited Jones and Glover to race in Australia after seeing how the team has made the sport of Speedway sidecar racing grow in the United States. The team, piloted by Speedway veteran Joe Jones, has won the U.S. National Championships seven consecutive times and they are the current national champion. With the lead the team will have in points by the end of the current 2013 season, they will mostly likely collect yet another championship title.
“All we have to do is find a way to show people in person what we can do and they will want to see more,” said Joe Jones, who has been around Speedway since he was a kid, as he sold programs for the sidecar races at the age of ten. He and Glover have been working day and night to prepare for the upcoming trip to Australia. “After weeks of planning to see if it was doable as far as a place to stay, a truck to get around in and getting the time off work, here we are,” Jones said.
Because sidecar racing is not only dangerous, but can get expensive and time consuming, the sport is much larger in Australia than in the USA. During the 2013 season, up to 36 sidecar teams participated in races both on the east and west coasts in Australia compared to the mere 26 sidecar teams who competed in United States. In Australia, the tracks are a lot larger than the small ovals of U.S. based tracks and as a result, the speeds are higher making it much more entertaining for spectators. “It’s hard to get people to buy a sidecar here and put all the money and time into it,” Jones says. “I feel that the sport of sidecar racing can be very large in the USA with the help of a large sponsor to take it to the next level.”
According to Jones and Glover, the best part of sidecar racing is the camaraderie and support racers show for one another. “We will race and hit each other on the track,” Jones says. “But when race night is over, we all help one another load up. We are one big, happy family.”
Jones has always been the first to help all the teams with bike set-up and parts, and he will take the time to show other racers how to read the race tracks and make sure their bike is race ready before even touching his own sidecar. Jones and Glover never hesitate to help a team in need and to insure that sidecar racing is the best it can possibly be.
But it is Jones and Glover who need help this time to make it to the championship in Australia to race alongside the world’s best sidecar teams. They need to raise $9,500 to cover the purchase of their one-piece suits, room and board, tires, airfare, FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme ) fees i.e. track license, FIM license and international insurance and transportation for their sidecar. If you’d like to donate to help Jones and Glover represent the U.S. in Australia, contact Joe Jones at email@example.com. If you’d like to find out more about local sidecar racing in and around Los Angeles, click here.
“The last three weeks has been crazy,” Joe Jones said. “It’s taking lot of work to make this happen.” Jones says he hopes to make some contacts and make it so other teams can come back to Australia in 2014 to race. “I’m learning a lot,” says Jones, excited. “This is my first time going out of the country to wear the Red, White and Blue with pride!”