USA World Cup team manager Billy Hamill takes the narrowest of points leads over rival Billy Janniro going into Friday's final round of the 2013 AMA Series at Auburn, but it was his two protégés Gino Manzares and Max Ruml who stole the show with first and 2nd at Victorville.
Despite the sometimes difficult track conditions in the daytime event, the large crowd on hand was thoroughly entertained with some fabulous racing. The 2nd of the 3 round AMA Series once more used the Speedway Grand Prix format which produced high drama throughout. Billy Janniro lead home State Champion Charlie Venegas in heat 1 to extend his unbeaten series run to eight races. Hamill answered back with victory over Tyson Burmeister in heat 2. Heat 3 produced more position changes than your typical entire British league match. Mike Faria led Buck Blair before a mistake let Max Ruml into the lead and track favorite Eddie Castro into 2nd. Blair got 2nd spot back on the line. The first round was completed with Aaron Fox putting points pressure on Manzares by leading his rival home.
Heat 5 saw Burmeister lead home Castro, who made a trademark outside pass on Manzares, who was now under pressure on 3 points. Hamill lead his protégé Ruml home ahead of Fox and Venegas in heat 6. Jason Ramirez made a stunning outside pass on Mike Faria to win heat 7, with Janniro having to also use the outside to get by Blair to win 8. Round 3 began with Hamill going 3 for 3, defeating Faria. Heat 10 saw Burmeister move onto 8 points with victory over a hard working Bryce Starks and Blair, with Venegas in trouble having run a 2nd last place in a row. Fox took his 2nd win of the day ahead of Tommy Hedden, who suddenly found his groove in 11. Heat 12 was another stunner - Janniro led but Ruml found more grip on the inside, and made a pass that stuck and brought the crowd to its feet. Meantime Manzares was 3rd and needing a rally to make the semi finals.
Heat 13 saw Ramirez score his 2nd win of the day from Fox in a re run race after Fox and Blair tangled in turn 3 of lap one. Blair received medical attention and did not take his last two rides. Heat 14 saw Venegas lead Manzares before Charlie's bike stalled momentarily which was enough for Gino to take a much needed win. Bryan Yarrow, on just two from his first three burst to life and was never troubled in his win over Ruml and Burmeister. Heat 16 saw the battle of the Billy's, Janniro got the gate and restored his 3 point series lead over Hamill. The final round of heats saw Ruml lead home Tyson Talkington in 17, giving him 13 of 15. Next up Venegas made late claim for a semi final spot, leading home Yarrow. Hamill beat a close challenging Manzares in 19, whilst Mike Faria produced a vintage ride to beat Janniro, Burmeister and Fox in 20.
This led to the semi finals - 4 riders tied on 7 for the last two spots and the count back rule eliminated Faria (defeated by Venegas in heats) and Yarrow (less 2nd places) per the Supplementary rules. Ramirez, the only rider to get two wins, was the leader of the pack. Semi 1 saw a real upset on the cards with Hamill leading from Ramirez. Both riders were pulling away before Ramirez hit the fence on the back straight of lap two and had a hard fall. Despite being okay, Ramirez was excluded. Hamill gated again in the re run with Manzares defeating Burmeister for the last spot. Semi 2 was another upset - Ruml got his now almost expected win but it was Venegas who also out gated Janniro and left a stunned championship leader eliminated, with Fox 4th.
The Big Final saw Manzares out of 1 and Ruml from 4 out gate their professor Hamill. The track by now was very blue grooved and despite the fact all three were very close, it was AMA Long Track National Champion Manzares who led home Ruml in one of the biggest upsets of the season.
In Support of the Main Show were four other classes. Dave Troutt won both Support Class heats but it was Steve 'Beachball' Brown who led home Jeremy Dunn in the final. Nick Dion defeated Kayle LeoGrande in the trophy dash for Division 1 riders who did not qualify for the main show. The Juniors raced for the Nick Varner Memorial Trophies to honor their former colleague who passed away in 2011 from injuries sustained after a Motocross crash. Broc Nicol won his two heats and the Final. Dillon Ruml won the other heat. In the 150 class 2 trophies were awarded as riders were mixed from their divisions. Sebastian Palmese won the final as well as heat 1, Sara Cords, who won heat 2 and was 2nd in the final got the 2nd Division trophy.
This was the first and only Speedway race of 2013 at Victorville and first Speedway only race since the AMA National Series last visited in 2004. The track plays host to 14 Speedway Sprint Car races this year and occasionally runs Sidecars. The AMA National Series concludes on Friday September 27th at Fast Fridays Speedway in Auburn with the title still very open.
Results - AMA NATIONAL SERIES ROUND 2
8. Bryan Yarrow................0 1 1 3 2..........7
Semi 1: Hamill, Manzares, Burmeister, Ramirez fell exc
AMA SERIES POINTS AFTER ROUND 2 OF 3 (Top 8 Automatically Qualify for 2014)
1 Billy Hamill - 36
Steve Evans email@example.com
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