Saddlemen

Becker Sends a Message to British Speedway Bosses, Aces and Eagles Triumph!

| 12 February 2018 2:08 pm

USA Speedway Team Racing Series
Round 2: Perris Raceway

Story by Steve Evans
Photos by Rob Hargraves
PERRIS, CA, FEB. 3, 2018

Luke Becker ended a week of heartbreak by sending a clear message that the British Speedway Management Committee got it wrong by posting a sensational 14+1 paid maximum at Perris Speedway on February 3. Simply put, in a very deep lineup, Becker was simply in a different zone on a night that saw the Aces and the Eagles secure victories that would set both teams up for a March title decider.

Luke Becker, Billy Janniro and Max Ruml in action at the second round of the USA Speedway Team Racing Series.

Luke Becker, Billy Janniro and Max Ruml in action at the second round of the USA Speedway Team Racing Series.

Match 1: Vikings 33, Eagles 38
The Perris Eagles continued their dream season by defeating the Ventura Vikings to remain unbeaten after two matches.

The Eagles started with a victory by Billy Janniro in heat one and built up to a six-point lead with a Chet Kohler-Rick Shafter 5-1tally in heat two.

Kurtis Hamill led a 4-2 score for the Vikings with a comfortable win in heat three.

After a tied heat four,0 the Vikings leveled it up with a 5-1 from Aaron Fox and Dillon Ruml in heat five.

Pat Litt and Redmond Bohannon in Match One.

Pat Litt and Redmond Bohannon in Match One.

Robbie Sauer and Kohler, however, hit back with an Eagles maximum in heat six.

From that point, the Eagles steadily built a five-point lead through heat 11.

The Vikings had one last rally in heat 12, in which Will McCloskey gated and teammate Dillon Ruml slowed down the action to help keep Redmond Bohannon and Michael Wells at the back.

Michael Wells, Kurtis Hamill, Harold Hartke and Rick Shafer skirmish at Perris Raceway.

Michael Wells, Kurtis Hamill, Harold Hartke and Rick Shafer skirmish at Perris Raceway.

The final four heats, however, saw the Eagles ease back ahead with a deserved five-point win. Janniro led the way for the Eagles with 13, but it was the 6 and 7 rides of Kohler and Shafter, with 6+2 points each, that provided exceptional backup. The power of Dillon Ruml, Kurtis Hamill and Aaron Fox was tops for the Vikings, but it was not enough to reel in the deep Eagles

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Match 2: Aces 48, Heathens 37
The Aces used their top-end power to overcome the Heathens and secure a comfortable victory. Nine heat-race wins and only three last-place finishes made for quite an impressive statistic as they roared into contention to defend their title.

The early parts of proceedings, however, were quite close. After the Aces edged an early two-point lead, a heat-three 5-1 for the Heathens, after Aces leader Rudy Laurer fell in the last turn, put the Heathens two up.

The powerhouse twosome of Luke Becker and Tyson Burmeister hit back with a heat-six 5-1, but Matt King and Rohn Zellner did the same in heat eight to once more put the Heathens ahead.

Tyson Burmeister, Luke Becker and Russell Green duel in Match Two.

Tyson Burmeister, Luke Becker and Russell Green duel in Match Two.

A second-half collapse, however, saw the Aces outscore their rivals, 25 to 13, to win by 11 clear points overall. Becker was sublime with a perfect 14+1, but teammate Burmeister supported well with three wins and 12 points. Colton Hicks scored a super-impressive eight points, including two wins, with reserve rider Mike Lane chipping in 6+1.

The Heathens lacked consistency; even number-one rider Max Ruml had an up-and-down night by his usual high standards. Jeremy Estes was unbeaten in three rides, but it was a tough night at the office for Phil Harmatiuk’s team, who now go to the race for the bronze against the Vikings.

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The top scorer from positions one and five on each team rode in the final team race, also dubbed the main event. Becker got a fast gate from gate one and was gone and away, winning by a distance. Meanwhile, there was furious action early on among the rest, with a very close first lap. Janniro made a poor start but worked his way past both Ruml brothers and around the outside for second. Max beat Dillon for third in a battle of brothers.

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Support Classes
The supporting cast of divisions served up some exceptional racing. Brad Moreau went unbeaten in the Support class, winning two heats and the main. Mike Miller took two heat wins, with Ron Davis winning the last-chance qualifier.

Sebastian Palmese was undefeated in the 250cc Junior class, including a win in his second heat from a Handicapped start. Jake Isaac was the runner-up. Slater Lightcap, who was very fast for his first 250cc race, was third.

Jake Isaac (16) leads Sebastian Palmese (1) in 250cc Junior action.

Jake Isaac (16) leads Sebastian Palmese (1) in 250cc Junior action.

Wilbur Hancock produced his best performance of the season so far, winning both of his heats and the 150cc main event. Travis Horn and Justin Almon were also heat-race winners.

Jose Navarette (48), Justin Almon (7), Owen Williams (04, left) and Travis Horn (25) scramble for the 150cc Juniors victory.

Jose Navarette (48), Justin Almon (7), Owen Williams (04, left) and Travis Horn (25) scramble for the 150cc Juniors victory.

Ryder Schultz and Dakota Black each won a Pee Wee heat, with Schultz topping the main event.

The Hooligans came back for the second event in a row, once more running Handicap-style racing. Joey Robinson won the main event, ahead of Dominic Parrillo and Robert Bush.

The Hooligans were in the house!

The Hooligans were in the house!

Joey Robinson (55) was the top Hooligan on the evening.

Joey Robinson (55) was the top Hooligan on the evening.

Once again, a huge crowd was on hand, and with newcomers in the stands, as the track’s extensive local promotion and advertising paid off.

There will now be a break in the action until March 24, when the Team Racing finals will be staged. The Eagles will race against the Aces for the title, while the Vikings and the Heathens will compete for the bronze medal and wooden spoon.

Perris Raceway
Perris, California
Results: February 3, 2018 (Round 2)

MATCH 1: 1. Eagles (38) – Billy Janniro 13 (5), Chet Kohler 6+2 (3), Rick Shafer 6+2 (3), Robbie Sauer 5 (3), Michael Wells 4 (4), Redmond Bohannon 2 (4), Pat Litt 2 (4); 1. Vikings (33) – Dillon Ruml 12 (6), Kurtis Hamill 9 (4) Aaron Fox 7+3 (6), Will McCloskey 4+1 (4), Harold Hartke 1 (3), Mike Miller 1 (3), R/R for Doug Nicol.

MATCH 2: 1. Aces (48) – Luke Becker 14+1 (5), Tyson Burmeister 12 (5), Colton Hicks 8+1 (4), Mike Lane 6+1 (3), Hayley Perrault 4 (3), Rudy Laurer 3 (3), Joey Donaldson 1+1 (3); 2. Heathens (37) – Jeremy Estes 9 (3), Max Ruml 7 (5), Matt King 5+1 (3), Rohn Zellner 5+1 (3), Russell Green 5 (5), Chance Grove 5 (4), Lawrence McNutt 1+1 (3).

TEAM SPEEDWAY LEAGUE TABLE: 1. Eagles (2 wins); 2. Aces (1 win, 1 tie); 3. Vikings (1 tie, one loss); 4. Heathens (2 losses).

DIVISION 1 MAIN: 1. Luke Becker; 2. Billy Janniro; 3. Max Ruml; 4. Dillon Ruml.

SUPPORT: 1. Brad Moreau; 2. Mike Miller; 3. Lawrence McNutt; 4. Ron Davis; 5. Steve Brown.

250 JR: 1. Sebastian Palmese; 2. Jake Isaac; 3. Slater Lightcap.

150 MINI: 1. Wilbur Hancock; 2. Travis Horn; 3. Justin Almon; 4. Owen Williams; 5. Jose Navarette (20); 6. Cole Ayers; 7. Bill Hancock (20).

PEE WEE: 1. Ryder Schultz; 2. Dakota Black; 3. Max Rose; 4. Shane Smith; 5. Dayton Anderson.

HOOLIGAN: 1. Joey Robinson; 2. Dominic Parrillo; 3. Robert Bush.

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