AMA Speedway National Championship round three, AMA/FIM Junior Silver Cup rock Industry Racing
August 14, 2014
In what was arguably the biggest weekend of the 2014 Industry Racing season, The Grand Arena played host to two marquee events last Saturday and Sunday. The third round of the AMA Speedway National Championship served as a showcase of the best professional talent in America and was accompanied the second annual AMA/FIM Junior Speedway Silver Cup Championship, which provided a glimpse into the bright future of the sport in this country.
When all was said and done, Billy “The Kid” Janniro took the checkered flag on Saturday night to extend his points lead in the National Championship standings, while a trio of budding speedway stars earned the most coveted wins of their young careers on Sunday afternoon at the Silver Cup. A total of three classes of competition took to the track at the most prestigious junior speedway event in the U.S., with Dillon Ruml winning the 250cc Junior Speedway title, Sterling Martin emerging victorious in 150cc 1st Division Mini Speedway and Keelan Venegas earning the 150cc 2nd Division Mini Speedway crown.
The weekend festivities began with the penultimate round of the 4-race AMA Speedway National Championship, as a strong crowd welcomed the top 16 riders in America to The Grand Arena. The GP format produced incredible racing all night long, but it was clear that the path to victory would go directly through Janniro.
The four time and defending AMA National Champion took one step closer to a fifth title with as close to a perfect night as he could ask for. Janniro won every one of his Heats, as well as the Semi, before dominating the Main Event to compile a maximum point tally for the evening with 21 points.
Perhaps the most impressive moment of the night for Janniro came in Heat 16, when he showcased his willingness to push the limit for a shot at victory. As the tapes rose, both Max Ruml and Charlie Venegas got the jump on Janniro and came onto the backstretch side-by-side battling for the lead. Undeterred, Janniro chose to split the duo and go three wide, carrying more speed into the corner and gaining enough traction to assume control of the race. It ultimately offered a sneak peek of what the fans would see later in the Main Event.
The final four riders who punched their ticket to the Main Event were Janniro, Venegas, Ruml and Bart Bast. While Janniro’s journey to the final race was a convincing one, Venegas was no slouch either, collecting 16 points along the way versus Janniro’s 18 points. Bast wasn’t much further behind in earning 15 points, while Ruml had the toughest path to the Main Event, overcoming zero points in his first Heat to earn 12 and solidify his spot in the culminating race of the evening.
Janniro took advantage of his pole position in gate selection to take control of the Main Event immediately, and relied on his patented outside line at Industry Racing to run a torrid pace that allowed him to maintain a multiple bike length advantage over the field en route to a wire-to-wire win. Venegas rode his way to a solid runner-up effort while Ruml and Bast rounded out the final four.
AMA National Main Event – Round 3
- #1 Billy Janniro (21 points)
- #43 Charlie Venegas (18 points)
- #308 Max Ruml (13 points)
- #87 Bart Bast (15 points)
Janniro’s perfect score vaulted him to an even 60 points in the AMA Speedway National Championship standings, extending his margin over Ruml to 16 points with one round remaining. The young rising star is now the only rider mathematically eligible to surpass Janniro for the 2014 national title.
AMA Speedway National Championship Standings (After 3 of 4 Rounds)
- #1 Billy Janniro – 60 points
- #308 Max Ruml – 44 points
- #87 Bart Bast – 35 points
- #43 Charlie Venegas – 33 points
- #39 Buck Blair – 32 points
The fourth and final round of the AMA Speedway National Championship will commence on Saturday, September 19, from Auburn, California.
After a groundbreaking inaugural event one year ago, the AMA/FIM Junior Speedway Silver Cup Championship was highly anticipated in its second year. Despite having just one year under its belt, the Silver Cup has already established itself as the most prestigious junior speedway event in the U.S., thanks to a full day of competition showcasing just the best and brightest young riders in American Speedway.
With three classes scheduled to compete throughout Sunday afternoon, 29 total riders were ready to pick up where their professional counterparts left off on Saturday night. The 250cc Junior Speedway division was arguably the showcase group with a large contingent of riders ready to make their jump into the pro ranks next season. Competitors like Dillon Ruml, Gage Geist, Braydan Galvin, Kurtis Hamill and reigning Silver Cup Champion Luke Becker were considered favorites amongst a field of nine entries.
The pair of 150cc Mini Speedway classes were also highly awaited thanks to the incredible competition that regularly takes place with these young riders. The 1st Division featured a special guest appearance from British contender Sam Hagon, of the Hagon Shocks empire, who made the trip stateside for the second straight year. Highlighting this group of 11 riders were Industry Racing stalwarts Tristan Britt, Jake Isaac and Slater Lightcap, along with the talented Martin brothers of Sterling and Alex, in addition to defending event champion Sebastian Palmese.
With the graduation of last year’s winner Sterling Martin into the 1st Division, the 2nd Division field became a wide-open battle for the vacant title. A total of nine riders entered the competition, with budding rivals Keelan Venegas and Luke Whitcomb serving as two of the focal points.
The 250cc field was narrowed down to a final four of Ruml, Becker, Hamill and Galvin for the Main Event, and proved to be perhaps the wildest race of the entire weekend. A total of three different restarts were needed following multiple incidents involving both Becker and Galvin. Neither rider was able to find consistency for the final four laps and were ultimately excluded from the action as a result, pitting Ruml and Hamill in a head-to-head battle for the trophy. Ruml got the jump on Hamill in the final restart and went on to lead all four laps to take the title he desperately wanted a year ago.
250cc Junior Speedway Main Event
- #1 Dillon Ruml
- #104 Kurtis Hamill
- #45 Braydan Galvin
- #12 Luke Becker
The four riders battling for the championship in the 150cc 1st Division were all considered contenders for victory with Palmese, S. Martin, A. Martin and Lightcap filling the gates. Sterling Martin was first to the corner, with Lightcap second and Palmese in third. Martin was able to quickly establish a gap while Palmese struggled to get around Lightcap early on. Once Palmese made the move for second he was able to close to within a couple bike lengths of Martin out front, but ran out of laps. With his 2nd Division win the year prior, Martin became the first rider to post multiple victories at the Silver Cup and is the only junior competitor with two titles to his credit at the event.
150cc 1st Division Mini Speedway Main Event
- #31 Sterling Martin
- #1 Sebastian Palmese
- #28 Slater Lightcap
- #30 Alex Martin
The 2nd Division Main Event featured Venegas, Whitcomb, Cameron Krezman and Dakota Shockley in its final four. The edge went to Krezman early and he appeared to have the race in hand, only to suffer engine failure on the final lap. His misfortune proved to be Venegas’ benefit, as the son of legendary pro Charlie Venegas took over the top spot with Whitcomb hot on his rear wheel. The two riders entered the final corner with Whitcomb looking to gain an edge on the inside. They crossed the line virtually side-by-side with Venegas holding on for the biggest win of his young career.
150cc 2nd Division Mini Speedway Main Event
- #43 Keelan Venegas
- #27 Luke Whitcomb
- #419 Dakota Shockley
- #26 Cameron Krezman
The 2014 Industry Racing season continues Wednesday, August 20, for the second-to-last night of action this summer. The facility will present the “Fox & Hound Hunt,” in which “foxes” (women) will receive FREE admission, while “Hounds” (men) will be given a $1 off all adult beverages. For more details check out the Industry Racing Facebook page.
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