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AMA Vintage Grand Champions crowned

July 14, 2014

By Jim Witters and James Holter

Three riders repeated as AMA Vintage Grand Champions at BikeBandit.com AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, featuring Indian Motorcycle at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course near Lexington, Ohio, on July 11-13.

Todd Narduzzi, 48, of Wadsworth, Ohio, took the AMA Track Racing Vintage Grand Champion title. Narduzzi also won the award in 2011.

Quinn Wentzel, 20, of Canfield, Ohio, won the AMA Off-Road Vintage Grand Championship, while Jeff Fredette, 56, of Beecher, Ill., claimed AMA Off-Road Senior Vintage Grand Champion honors. Both Wentzel and Fredette successfully defended the titles that they also won in 2013.

Narduzzi won two road racing national championships contested on Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and placed fourth in the dirt-track program held at Ashland County Fairgrounds.

“It’s always a challenge to put together a solid weekend,” Narduzzi says. “I don’t get much time to practice on dirt. Road racing is my true passion.

“It was a perfect weekend on the road course.”

Todd Narduzzi won two road-racing titles during the AMA Vintage Grand Championships. (Photo: David Stanoszek)

In off-road, the trials program was the deciding discipline in each award.

Wentzel, a nationally ranked trials rider in modern competition, was third in Vintage Grand Championship points behind Trevor Kline and John Frackelton following the motocross and harescrambles events.

“Last year was really fun, and I just wanted to come back and defend (my title), and I did,” Wentzel said. “We had some issues in the harescrambles. I didn’t finish as well as I hoped because the bike broke, and because of that, I ended up riding a bike that I didn’t plan on in motocross.”

As often happens in vintage competition, Quinn and his dad Bob Wentzel had to improvise.

“So, I switched from Open A to 250 A in motocross and raced my dad’s 250, and then we bought a 125 a couple minutes before the race so I could do two classes,” Wentzel said. “The 125 was a ripper. I was winning that class but derailed a chain. I then came back in the 250 race and finished second in each moto. At that point, my best finishes were a third and a second, and Trevor had two firsts, so I knew what I had to do for trials.”

And that was essentially ace the program, which Wentzel did, finishing with zero penalty points.

Quinn Wentzel had some bad luck in harescrambles and motocross, but came back to win by virtue of his perfect day in trials. (Photo: David Patton)

For his part, Fredette was locked in a three-way tie with David Smeal and Elmar Kruza heading into the trials portion of the competition. Fredette won by edging both riders in his third and fourth loop during the trials program.

“(The close competition) makes it more fun,” Fredette said. “It was the same a couple years ago when Gary Roach and I came down to (trials)…and I had to do the last loop with four (penalty points), and I did a four. It’s kind of cool. It’s old bikes. You never know what’s going to happen with old stuff.”

Jeff Fredette was in a three-way tie for AMA Off-Road Senior Vintage Grand Championship honors before the trials competition. (Photo: David Patton)

The AMA Track Racing Vintage Grand Champion is the rider who earns the most combined points in eligible road-race and dirt-track classes during the AMA Vintage Grand Championships.

The AMA Off-Road Vintage Grand Champion is the rider who earns the most combined points in eligible vintage motocross, harescrambles and trials classes during the event.

The AMA Off-Road Senior Vintage Grand Champion is the rider who earns the most combined points in senior classes in the vintage motocross, harescrambles and trials disciplines.

Todd Narduzzi. (Photo: Halley Miller)

Quinn Wentzel. (Photo: David Patton)

Jeff Fredette. (Photo: David Patton)