September 19, 2015 - Ventura Raceway, California, by Steve Evans
The 'endless summer' wrapped up at Ventura with Speedway bikes taking up 32 heats of the show which also featured Flat Track racing.
Division 1 two 16 year olds leading the way, impressing with their big track skills. Kurtis Hamill was very fast and steady and took two of the three heats but a bad gate and infield excursion cost him in the final, with Gage Geist winning, after also taking the second heat. Seventeen year old Dryden Gayle was much on the pace and placed second in the final.
The Vintage class had 9 entries – Gage Geist was in a class of his own, adding the vintage title to Division 1. There was much close racing in this division including a race to the line in the Main for 2nd, where Dan Waller pipped Malcolm Roe.
Ron Davis won the Support Class Main. Sebastian Palmese won all four 250 races including a last lap pass on Sara Cords in heat 2. Palmese looked very fast and comfortable on the big track. Dakota Shockley won all 4 150 races, held on a smaller infield track, but the main was the race of the night, a photo finish after he and Luke Whitcomb traded the lead multiple times.
The highlight of the evening however was what was meant to be a parade lap by Eddie Castro (who is mid intensive cancer treatments) ahead of the vintage Main event which turned into 3 laps at full speed! Given the regard Eddie is held with American Speedway, this was quite an exhilarating and emotional moment for all in attendance.
This was the final of 5 events held at Ventura this year. Four of the events ran combined with Flat Track, with the AMA National Championship Round 2 being the highlight. Given the steady growth and increased popularity of the other events, it is likely Ventura will continue to grow for Speedway in 2016, which is good news, given the tracks similarity to European venues.
Heat Winners – Geist (3), D Waller (2), Mistretta (1)
Heat winners – Shockley (3)
Heats: Hudson / Pitt (2), Jones / Summers (2), Kinne / Catone (2)
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