3 September 2016, Santa Maria Raceway, California
MAX RUML DOMINATES AT SANTA MARIA FINALE
Max Ruml continued his fantastic run of form with an emphatic victory to add the 2016 Santa Maria Track Championship to his growing resume.
Though only four riders entered the Division 1 program, each was a potential winner in a wide open program. Ruml was joined by his brother Dillon, July Ventura winner Eddie Castro, and Gage Geist, who won top prize at the last Santa Maria event. The riders met 6 times, with points determining the winner To add to the mix, Rounds 3 and 5 were handicapped with top in points so far off of 30 yards, 2nd 20 and so on, with the finale counting as double points.
Max won round 1 from Castro and Dillon, Dillon taking round 2 from Castro and Max, putting all three on four points to Geist's 0 so far. Round 3 saw the Ruml's collide in a spot of first bend bunching. Dillon complained of a sore knee and with the AMA National finale looming and the 17 year old younger sibling, an impressive third in the standings, sensibly took the rest of the night off. In the re run, Max and Castro came from the 20 yard line with Ruml senior securing the win from Geist,. Round 4 saw Max Ruml win again from Castro but a Handicapped Round 5 saw the duo in an epic battle, with Castro attempting to hold off Ruml until a dramatic pass saw off Castro's last hope to close the gap. A Max Ruml win in the finale gave him 19 out of 21 points and with 5 wins, he was the undisputed Champion.
Robbie Sauer recovered from a slow start to win his second heat and the Support Main from fellow Bakersfield resident Rick Pearce, racing his first speedway event in 17 years! Hayley Perrault hit the tapes but came through to third in the final. The other heats went to Mike Lane, Kenny Hansen and Perrault. Lane was awarded his win after being caught in the wreckage of a fall from William McCloskey, but needed medical attention and withdrew from the rest of the meeting.
The expected vintage duel between Dan Waller and Malcolm Roe did not disappoint. Roe got the lead in the Main event but Waller found a way by after the two were literally locked together for almost three laps of intense but fair battle. Heats went to Waller (two) & Steve Nutter with Roe winning the LCQ.
250 Juniors saw Michael Wells continue his recent form with a Main event win, as well as taking heat 1. Kyle Cunningham and debutante Sterling Martin won the other heats. In the 150s Sterling Martin won both heats but brother Alex took the Main.
The Sidecars put on a great show with 9 teams and 7 races. Joe Jones and Dave German were victors with a pass on Robert and Jon Curry to secure the win. Both mentioned teams won a heat each, James Kinne and Dana Catone won two heats before fading in the Main, Bryan Motis and Cody Brant won a heat and the B Main.
The event concluded a 3 event 2016 season at Santa Maria. Rider entries increased and all events had good crowds. Plans are in place to expand to four events in 2017 including hopefully bringing AMA National Championship Speedway to the long established Central California Motorsports venue. Promoter Mike Kappemeyer and his team are excited about the future of motorcycle races at the 300 yard FIM sized track.
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