I'm from Exeter in Devon and I have been doing cycle speedway for 10 years now... I'm 17 yrs old atm. If you have any questions about this I will be more than happy to answer them for you.
Yes this sport does really heavily on you being able to get out of the gate in front.. but then it's all about taking the right line into the bend, coming out tight enough to block opposing riders 'cutting back' and overtaking you up the inside.
If you wanna have a chat about it in more detail, just add me on msn. firstname.lastname@example.org