U.S. National Championship Qualifier Round #4 - San Bernardino, CA, USA - August 9
Tyson Burmeister, Chris Kerr, and Novratil all entered the A Final with perfect scores and were joined by "Fast" Eddie Castro who won a five-rider runoff to get there. Novratil had first choice of starting position and picked gate four. Kerr then chose gate one. Burmeister selected gate two which left gate three to Castro.
Novratil made the best start while his competitors were left to chase after him. Novratil seemed to have the race sewn up when Kerr slid off on the third lap with Castro laying his bike down to miss him. The red flag came out and a restart was ordered with Kerr banished to the pits.
Burmeister led the second attempt at the start but Novratil was determined to finish what he started on the first try. He hounded Burmeister for two laps then used a brilliant cutback maneuver to take the lead exiting turn four. Burmeister tried to pay the teenager back but his effort went unrewarded. Novratil was first to the checkered flag, Burmeister had to settle for second, Castro finished third, and Kerr was credited with fourth.
The top 14 riders from the Qualifier Series would join two competitors from the East Coast Qualifier, current National Champion Billy Hamill, and three wild card riders in the 45th Monster Energy United States National Championship at Costa Mesa in October.
After four rounds Tyson Talkington and Danny Faria were tied for the fourteenth and final guaranteed spot in the Nationals. The two competed in the runoff after the A Final to determine who would fill that spot. Talkington led all four laps of a closely-contested battle to earn the spot.
Novratil opened the evening with a win over Aaron Fox. Max Ruml scored a close victory over "Battling" Buck Blair in the second heat. Former National Champion "Flyin" Mike Faria beat Castro. Burmeister was victorious in the fourth heat. Tim Gomez passed Bobby "Boogaloo" Schwartz to win event five. Kerr beat former Junior National Champion Jason Ramirez in his first race ever at Pirate Speedway. Gino Manzares ended round one with a victory.
Kerr started round two by earning his second straight win. Manzares made it two wins in a row by beating Gomez. Fox beat Russell Green for his first win. Blair defeated Brad Sauer in the next heat. Novratil beat Mike Faria for his second consecutive victory. Burmeister narrowly held off Ruml for his second win. Castro used the outside to pass and defeat Schwartz to finish the second round.
Mike Faria began the final round of heats with his second win. Burmeister booked his place in the A Final by beating Russell Green. Novratil put himself into the A Final with a win over Schwartz. Kerr's narrow defeat of Ruml earned him a place in the A Final. Castro defeated Manzares in event 28 to derail his hopes of qualifying directly to the A Final. Fox won the penultimate heat. Blair defeated Gomez in the final heat to force a five-rider runoff for the sole remaining spot in the A Final.
Rocco Scopellite won a runoff to get himself into the D Final.
Castro swept around the outside and ran away from his four competitor to get into the A Final. Fox, Manzares, Blair, and Mike Faria going to the B Final.
Scopellite was leading the D Final when Danny Faria fell while in second and brought out the red flag. The fall would cost Danny Faria dearly. A second or third place would have put him into the National field instead of the runoff that ultimately put Talkington into the field instead of himself. Scopellite was leading the restart but Sauer passed him on the last lap to steal the victory.
Schwartz led the C Final from start to finish for the victory. Ruml finished second, Gomez was third, and Green finished fourth.
Fox, needing to win the B Final to tie Billy Janniro at the top of the overall Series standings, saw his hopes disappear when he touched the tapes and was excluded. Manzares made the best start and never looked back en route to victory. Mike Faria was second and Blair finished third.
Qualifier Series Final Points
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