Story by Steve Evans
Photos by Rob Hargraves
VENTURA, CA, OCT. 4, 2014
Team USA World Cup star and AMA National number-three Max Ruml scored a faultless four-ride maximum at Ventura Raceway on October 4, but his Vikings team went down, 54-45, to the superior Aces.
This late addition to the U.S. Speedway season proved to be very popular with the riders and fans in attendance at this event, which was a double-billed show with flat-track races.
Each team featured eight riders with four 500cc laydown riders and four Vintage-bike riders per team. Each rider raced four times in the 16-heat program.
Austin Novratil was second, behind Ruml, in three of the heat races, but he was unlucky when leading his third race and then suffered a flat tire.
Rocco Scopellite had a mixed night, with two very impressive wins and two last-place finishes.
Dillon Ruml scored nine points in his West Coast 500cc debut, including two wins.
Eddie Castro scored a steady 6+2 at his local track, where he is still a huge fan favorite.
For the Vintage riders, Dan Waller was unbeaten, with 12 points and four wins.
Malcolm Roe, a Manchester native and Belle Vue Speedway fan, scored three wins and 11 points for the Aces.
Pat Smith, also an Ace, ended with 9+1.
The Aces held a 15-9 lead after heat four, and went up to 10 points after heat six.
Max Ruml got a double-point win for the Vikings in heat eight to make the gap seven points.
After heat 12, the Vikings pulled back to 40-35 down, and a 4-2 in heat 13 left the gap at 3. But a 5-1 and 4-2 in heats 14 and 15 pulled the lead back to nine points, which stayed with a 3-3 in the final race, as Max Ruml led home Novratil, Castro and Scopellite.
Results: October 4, 2014
OVERALL: 1. Vikings (45) – (500cc) Max Ruml (15), Rocco Scopellite (6), Ron Davis (0), Bruce Marteney (5), (Vintage) Bob Waller (5+1), Dan Waller (12), Mike Novratil (0), Dave Tice (0), Ron Bankow (2); 2. Aces (54) – (500cc) Austin Novratil (6), Eddie Castro (6+2), Dillon Ruml (9), Mike Lane (4+1); (Vintage) John Vandermeulen (6+3), Malcolm Roe (11), Pat Smith (9+1), Dave Smith (3+2).