Best Pairs at Perris
Perris Raceway April 12, 2014
By: Steve Evans firstname.lastname@example.org
America's got talent is the message sent out from the second and final race of the winter series held at Perris Raceway, but whilst Max Ruml and Broc Nicol were worthy winners, the depth of future prospects runs much deeper than the headline making duo.
Eight two man teams were entered in the competition. Once more the UK sized track adopted a European race format. All races scored 4,3,2,0, a format that essentially rewards consistency and decides a tied heat in favor of riders who place 2nd and 3rd. Each team would race four different opponents during qualifying, with the top 4 teams going through to sudden death semi finals and finals.
Heat 1 saw the expected 7-2 maximum for hot favorites Ruml and Nicol, though Dan Faria was remarkably close throughout as the teenage pair gave a seemingly choreographed example of text book side by side team racing. Heat 2 had another maximum, this time Austin Novratil and Russell Green over Steve Russell. Heat 3 saw Rocco Scopellite miss the gate and get filled in with dirt, keeping him at the back. Team mate Travis Henderson was the victor with Mitch Pierson and Dryden Gayle getting the better of the points with 2nd and third. Round 1 was completed with Buck Blair and experienced team mate Brad Sauer leading home Norcal's Dave Fonts for another maximum.
Heat 5 saw Ruml and Nicol score their second maximum. Buck Blair, initially in second place, tried to slow Nicol to let team mate Sauer into the mix but in turn he was passed by the teenage sensation and could not make up the ground. Novratil and Green also scored their second maximum to remain joint leaders on 14 points, with Henderson in third place. Steve Russell and team mate Dalton Leedy both put in inspired rides to score a maximum in heat 7 over Fonts and team mate Colton Duncan. The round concluded with Faria winning heat 8, from Mitch Pierson with Faria's team mate Jamison Dilkey in 3rd.
Ruml and Nicol made it a maximum 3 times over in heat 9 with Leedy the third placed rider. Novratil could not take his place in heat 10, a cracked frame ruling him out. Russell Green brought in Buck Blair as rider replacement, and their maximum over Pierson and Gayle keep the Green team joint 1st. Scopellite finally got over a slow start with victory in heat 11, team mate Henderson following home for the 7-2 over Pierson and Dryden Gayle. The third round concluded with Another Blair and Sauer maximum, Faria was third with team mate Dilkey crashing hard on turn 4 of lap 3, the race being stopped and awarded.
The fourth round saw a battle of attrition entering in. Heat 13 had the Ruml and Nicol team ahead again before Nicol hit trouble and coming down in a spectacular crash that also got Scopellite tangled in. Nicol was excluded and the maximum run was over. Ruml won the restart with Henderson 2nd and the somewhat shaken up Scopellite in third. Heat 14 saw a first turn collision with Sauer and Russell, Russell himself taking an R/R ride to team with Green. Russell did not make the restart which Blair won from Green, Sauer falling and remounting for two valuable points. Heat 15 saw an astonishing ride from Colton Duncan. After three lasts he led all way before losing control on turn 4 of lap 4 and hitting the fence. This gave team mate Fonts the win, Pierson in 2nd and Gayle third. The final heat saw a fine win for Dalton Leedy. Russell Green, taking a ride for Steve Russell, came 2nd with Dan Faria third.
The semi final stage saw two qualified teams shorthanded. Green drafted in Faria as his new partner, whilst Henderson joined forces with Leedy.
Semi final 1 had Blair and the impressive Brad Sauer score a 7-2 maximum to eliminate Faria and Green. As expected, it was business as usual for Nicol and Ruml in semi 2, as they led home Henderson and Leedy.
The stage was set for the grand final and the enthusiastic crowd got their money's worth. Blair made it into turn 1 first but the young pair of Ruml and Nicol knew that carefully keeping Sauer at the back would secure victory. They once more formed a synchronized riding pattern, letting Blair go away for the win. Sauer, in a very impressive performance, was not intimidated and gave solid chase and kept the teenagers on their toes for a fine but deserved win. All four riders rightfully took several parade laps after and ended the short two event winter series season with a typical USA wheelie show.
Four other divisions raced in fine support. Three Pairs in the Support Class rode a round robin of three qualifying heats. The top team on points, Chris Wiggins and Brad Moreau, went straight to the final. A maximum from the very fast and steady Braden Sauer, recording his third win, and Lewis Hughes in the LCQ over Steve Brown and Rick Howard put them into the final. However in the Main event Sauer missed the gate and Wiggins led. Sauer was able to move from last to 2nd, but Moreau's third place gave he and Wiggins a 6-3 race advantage and victory.
Four 250cc riders put on four excellent races. The result was the same in each, but their was much passing and changing of position. So, whilst Dillon Ruml scored a 4 ride maximum, the team of Kurtis Hamill and Gage Geist team rode, sharing 2nd and 3rd each time and edged Ruml and Michael Wells 20-16.
The 150cc class rode handicap style four times. National Champion Sebastian Palmese won each of the races, with Sara Cords 2nd and Sam Hagon third. Hagon also had several match races against lone Pee Wee Cole Ayers.
The event once more showed itself as a great venue and addition to the USA Speedway circuit. The AMA sanctioned Clubman event saw 9 riders aged under 21 on 500cc bikes, with another eight riders in the various youth divisions. Given the success and popularity of these races with the rider and fans who attended, despite the very short notice of the events, it is quite likely more races will be held at the venue Team USA uses for winter testing during the 2014/2015 off season.
BEST PAIRS - QUALIFYING POINTS
Max Ruml 15+1 (maximum), Broc Nicol 10+2 = 25
Russell Green 13+2, Austin Novratil 7+1, R/R 4 = 24,
Buck Blair 14, Brad Sauer 8+2 = 22,
Steve Russell 6, Dalton Leedy 9+1, R/R 3+1 = 18.
Travis Henderson 12+1, Rocco Scopellite 6+1 =18
Mitch Pierson 9, Dryden Gayle 6+1 = 15
Dan Faria 10, Jamison Dilkey 2 = 12
Dave Fonts 10, Colton Duncan 0 = 10
39 Buck Blair
100 Broc Nicol
5 Max Ruml
21 Brad Sauer
SUPPORT PAIRS QUALIFYING POINTS
Brad Moreau 7, Chris Wiggins 5+2 = 12
Braden Sauer 8, Lewis Hughes 2 = 10
Steve Brown 5, Rick Howard 0 = 5
239 Chris Wiggins
217 Braden Sauer
153 Brad Moreau
244 Lewis Hughes
250 cc PAIRS POINTS
Kurtis Hamill 11+1, Gage Geist 9+3 = 20
Dillon Ruml 16, Michael Wells 0
1 Dillon Ruml
10 Gage Geist,
104 Kurtis Hamill
214 Michael Wells
150cc Mini (Results of al heats + Main)
1 Sebastian Palmese (40)
14 Sara Cords (20)
350 Sam Hagon (0)
16 Cole Ayers