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Nicol Takes First AMA National Series Win at Santa Maria

| 7 August 2017 7:21 pm

AMA National Championship Speedway Series
Round 2: Santa Maria Raceway

Story by Steve Evans
Photos by Scott Sheldon
SANTA MARIA, CA, July 29, 2017

Broc Nicol continued where he left off after his impressive Speedway World Cup campaign by winning round two of the AMA National Championship Speedway Series at Santa Maria.

Broc Nicol emerged victorious from the second round of the AMA National Championship Speedway Series.

Broc Nicol emerged victorious from the second round of the AMA National Championship Speedway Series.

Heat Races
The heats began with Austin Novratil, who had previously put on some fantastic displays at the Central California track, leading home series leader Luke Becker and Nicol in heat one.

Austin Novratil (7) won the opening heat race of the evening.

Austin Novratil (7) won the opening heat race of the evening.

Gino Manzares made a fantastic gate and an outside charge in turns one and two to lead home Max Ruml in heat two.

Billy Janniro, who was three points down going into round two, immediately cut the gap to two points by winning heat three, ahead of Gage Geist and Aaron Fox.

Gage Geist took a quick soil sample.

Gage Geist took a quick soil sample.

Aaron Fox (46) at speed at Santa Maria Raceway.

Aaron Fox (46) at speed at Santa Maria Raceway.

Eddie Castro made use of the outside starting spot to win heat four, ahead of Dan Faria.

Heat five saw Max Ruml lead home Novratil and Castro.

Becker made a charge from the back to win heat six, ahead of Geist.

Luke Becker (22) won the sixth heat race.

Luke Becker (22) won the sixth heat race.

Janniro responded with a heat-seven win, over Russell Green.

Nicol showed signs of what was to come with a heat-eight victory, over Manzares.

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Janniro won heat nine, ahead of Novratil, which meant that Janniro was now the only unbeaten rider on the day.

Becker responded to maintain his series lead with a victory over Max Ruml in heat 10.

Manzares moved up to eight points with a heat-11 victory, over Tommy Hedden.

Tommy Hedden (40) in action.

Tommy Hedden (40) in action.

Nicol was the heat-12 winner. Geist once more impressed everyone with his third second-place finish of the night, moving him up to six points and already a step away from the semifinals.

Novratil got back to his winning ways and now had a very good 10-point haul so far with a heat-13 victory, ahead of Dillon Ruml.

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Heat 14 brought out the big guns. Janniro once more came home ahead of the rest, with Manzares in second and Becker in third. This meant that the seven-time champion had now taken over the series lead.

Max Ruml was the winner of heat 15, with Geist again getting the job done in second place.

Max Ruml (5) won heat 15.

Max Ruml (5) won heat 15.

Nicol won his third straight heat race in heat 16, ahead of Dan Faria.

Dan Faria (105) at speed.

Dan Faria (105) at speed.

Getting down to the final round of heats, it was Manzares who was victorious in heat 17, ahead of Novratil.

Dillon Ruml – after a slow night, by his current standards – pulled out a crucial win, over Becker, in heat 18, which secured him a spot in a semifinal.

Dillon Ruml (111) took the win in heat 18.

Dillon Ruml (111) took the win in heat 18.

Castro, after a lull in rounds two through four, ended on a high note in heat 19 with a victory, over Green.

Heat 20 was another battle of the giants, with Janniro ending the heats perfectly with a win, over Max Ruml and Broc Nicol.

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Semifinals
Semifinal number one saw Janniro win his sixth straight race, ahead of Becker and Dillon Ruml. Novratil, after a fantastic night, was excluded after falling at the exit of turn two.

Billy Janniro (1) was six for six on the evening after the first semi.

Billy Janniro (1) was six for six on the evening after the first semi.

The second semifinal saw Manzares fall in the same spot that Novratil had, and he was excluded. Nicol won the restart, ahead of Becker, and Geist ended his best-ever National performance, in third.

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Main Event
Janniro was leading the main and it looked like he was headed to another perfect National night when disaster stuck for Becker in turn four: His bike lifted, and the young star fell from the bike. It was later revealed that Becker had suffered a broken ankle in that crash.

The restart saw Nicol make a stunning start, and after a couple of laps Janniro giving chase, it was clear there would be a new winner on this night. Max Ruml was running in third place but fell in turn three and was excluded for leaving the track boundary.

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Also featured during the evening was Division Two, Division Three, Vintage and Sidecar action.

Blake Borello impressed in his big-track debut by winning Division Two. Up until then, Sean McDougal was unbeaten in the heats; he came in fourth, behind runner-up Hayley Perrault and third-place finisher Rick Shafer.

Rick Shafer (17) and Hayley Perrault (right) duel in Division Two action.

Rick Shafer (17) and Hayley Perrault (right) duel in Division Two action.

Kevin Fiore won Division Three.

Dan Waller won the Vintage class. The second Vintage heat was an epic duel between Waller and his friend and rival Malcolm Roe.

Malcolm Roe (180) fought valiantly, but his buddy Dan Waller topped the Vintage class.

Malcolm Roe (180) fought valiantly, but his buddy Dan Waller topped the Vintage class.

Dillon Osborne & Ashley Gibbons won the Sidecar contest.

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A big crowd with many new fans turned out for the event. Grand marshal Phil Collins from local-area Grove Beach was received with huge cheers from the fans and led a rider parade on his Weslake.

Conditions were tricky, but the track owners, speedway crew and a number of riders are already working hard together to improve this for future events and the 2018 AMA Series round.

The AMA National Championship Series will now move to Industry Racing on August 12, with the FIM Youth Silver Cup the next day.

Bike action at Santa Maria will resume on August 26 with the CFTA Flat Track Series. Vintage, Clubman Speedway and Sidecars will also be featured.

Santa Maria Raceway
Santa Maria, California
Results: July 29, 2017 (Round 2)

AMA NATIONAL SPEEDWAY MAIN: 1. Broc Nicol (17 points); 2. Billy Janniro (20); 3. Max Ruml (fell, excluded) (14 points); 4. Luke Becker (fell, excluded) (13 points).

AMA NATIONAL SPEEDWAY POINTS (after heat racing): Gino Manzares (13); Austin Novratil (12); Dillon Ruml (9); Gage Geist (9); Eddie Castro (7); Russell Green (6); Dan Faria (6); Tommy Hedden (4); Tyson Talkington (3); Robbie Sauer (1); Aaron Fox (1); Hayley Perrault (0); Reserves: Blake Borello (1); Rick Shafer (1); River McDougall (0).

AMA NATIONAL SPEEDWAY POINTS STANDINGS (after 2 rounds): 1. Billy Janniro (36); 2. Luke Becker (32); 3. Max Ruml (30); 4. TIE Broc Nicol (24)/ Gino Manzares (24); 6. Dillon Ruml (21); 7. Austin Novratil (20); 8. Eddie Castro (19); 9. Gage Geist (15); 10. TIE Ryan Fisher (11)/ Russell Green (11); 12. Dan Faria (10); 13. Aaron Fox (9); 14. Tommy Hedden (4); 15. Robbie Sauer (3); 16 TIE Hayley Perrault (1)/ Blake Borello (1)/ Rick Shafer (1).

SUPPORT CLASS MAIN: 1. Blake Borello; 2. Hayley Perrault; 3. Rick Shafer; 4. Sean McDougall; 5. River McDougall.

SUPPORT CLASS LCQ: 1. Hayley Perrault; 2. Michael Wells; 3. Will McCloskey.

DIVISION 3 MAIN: 1. Kevin Fiore; 2. Peter Pecorilla; 3. Ray Holt; 4. Dennis Osmer.

VINTAGE: 1. Dan Waller; 2. Malcolm Roe; 3. Ken Thiebaud; 4. Bob Waller.

SIDECARS: 1. Dillon Osborne/ Ashley Gibbons; 2. Bryan Motis/ John Bach; 3. James Kinne/ Lori Curry; 4. Robert Curry/ Lauren Suerez.

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Category: National, Regional, Speedway, Vintage, Vintage Speedway

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