MAX RUML AND KURTIS HAMILL STAR AT PERRIS OPENER
TURKEY CLASSIC RESULTS AND REPORT, PERRIS RACEWAY, CA, 21 NOV 15
Team USA kicked off its 2016 World Cup preparation campaign with a fantastic display from its emerging young talent at the Winter Season opener at Perris Raceway, CA, on 21 November.
The pre Thanksgiving 'Turkey Classic' ran with the traditional Handicap and Scratch US race format. World Cup rider Max Ruml winning the Scratch side of the show, though it was Kurtis Hamill who was the talking point of the evening, not only winning the Handicap Main, but putting in several displays in a career best night. This was all the more impressive after young Hamill missed the bulk of the US Summer season through injury, but lost time was made up.
The Handicap Heats kicked off the evening. Heat 1 saw Russell Green charge to victory from the 40 yard line, with 30 yarders Braydan Galvin and Gage Geist in second and third. Austin Novratil from 50 yards took 4th. Heat two saw a magnificent win from Dillon Ruml from the 50 yard line. Somehow he was past three riders within the first half lap. Kurtis Hamill from the 30 came 2nd followed by Rick Richards (10) and Dryden Gayle (20). The third and final heat saw Max Ruml come from the 50 to overcome and pass Dalton Leedy off of the 20 to win. Tyson Talkington (40) was third with last qualifying spot going to Rick Valdez off 20.
Semi Final number 1 once more saw Dillon Ruml overcome the entire 6 man field to win from 50. Gage Geist off of 30 yards was second, with Russell Green coming in third to make the final spot for the Main. Semi Final #2 saw Kurtis Hamill off of 30 take the win with Max Ruml (50) unable to snatch victory. Dalton Leedy from 20 yards did his job to clinch third.
A consolation race for the four riders eliminated from the heat round ride. Mike Dalbey made a couple of impressive passes to win from 20 yards. Robbie Sauer, after several years out came 2nd, also from 20.
The Main event featured five of the rising talented teenagers. Dalton Leedy made fine use of his 20 yard starting position as he confidently took the lead. Kurtis Hamill was in hot pursuit whilst surprisingly the Ruml brothers and Green did not make a fast enough impression to move into winning contention. Leedy held his line, Hamill edged closer and it stayed this way through the white flag. Entering turn 3 of the last of 5 laps, Hamill was closing in on Leedy and made an inside move which forced Leedy slightly wide. They ran to the finish together but Hamill's momentum was enough to secure victory. Leedy was second and Dillon Ruml made it up to third.
The Scratch heats had all of the expected winners on paper. Max Ruml led Geist home in heat 1, Green beat Leedy in heat 2, Dillon Ruml headed home Kurtis Hamill in 3 and Novratil was followed by Talkington qualified in 4.
The semi finals was where the excitement began. Max Ruml won semi 1 but it was Kurtis Hamill, who pulled off an astonishing inside pass on the experienced Talkington who got the crowd on their feet. Semi 2 saw Gage Geist pull out a stunning start and he was never headed. Novratil was second whilst Dillon Ruml tried everything he could to get by from 3rd, but to no avail. Mike Dalbey and Braydan Galvin won the consolation races for riders eliminated in the heats.
The Main event saw Max Ruml pull off a lightning fast gate and quickly assume a lead that would not be relinquished. Kurtis Hamill again was making the moves, finding a way past Novratil for second. Geist, who also impressed all night, especially as he was riding through illness, was a very respectable fourth.
Division Two was won by veteran Rudy Laurer, who also won both heats. Division Three saw Cameron Beck making his long trip from Northern California worthwhile with Main event victory as well as an earlier heat. Other heats wins went to Wade Whitcomb, Steve Brown and Thomas Rishton, with Greg Willis winning the Last Chance race.
Sara Cords showed the boys who is boss with three hard fought victories in all 250cc Junior races. 150cc Mini Division 1 saw Lightning Luke Whitcomb pull off a lightning gate and fast ride to win the Main in style. Slater Lightcap won both heats. Glenn Geist won all there 150 Mini Division 2 races. Cole Ayers won the Pee Main and a heat, Travis Horn taking the other heat. The Sidecar class saw former National Champions Bryan Motis and Cody Brant win all three events.
It was definitely an event which showed the growing tidal wave of young American talent. It is quite clear from this showing that Team USA boss Billy Hamill will face a welcome problem of competition for Team USA SWC places sooner than he himself even perhaps anticipated.
The next race at Perris is just two weeks away on December 5th. It will be the first round of the Winter League Team racing. There will also be races for all Youth and Pee Wee classes.
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