Billy Hamill and Under 21 National Champion "Mad" Max Ruml both entered the Jack Milne Cup Main Event with perfect scores so a draw was needed to determine who had first gate choice. Max Ruml won the draw and quickly chose gate one. Billy Hamill then defied conventional wisdom and selected gate three. Former Junior National Champion Jason Ramirez was delighted to pick gate two. 57 year old former World Pairs Champion Bobby "Boogaloo" Schwartz took gate five which left gate four to "Battling" Buck Blair.
Billy Hamill exploded into the lead when the tapes went up and led the field through turn one. Max Ruml was on the inside with Blair using the outside as the two battled for second. Max Ruml's line proved to be superior and he secured second. The 17 year old set his sights on the leader but he had the race under control. Billy Hamill led all the way to the checkered flag, Max Ruml held on to second, Blair finished third, Jason Ramirez was fourth, and Schwartz finished fifth.
Billy Hamill's victory marks the first time a former World Champion has won the trophy that honors the 1937 World Speedway Champion. Milne's victory at the hallowed ground of the original Wembley Stadium also made him the first American to win a world championship in any motorsport. Milne impact on American speedway is immeasurable because was one of the founders of Costa Mesa Speedway in 1969 and his Co-Promoter alongside Harry Oxley was instrumental in the success and longevity of the venue.
Tyson Burmeister kicked off the evening with a victory over Shawn "Mad Dog" McConnell. Hamill began his evening by beating Steve Russell in event two. Max Ruml defeated former National Champion "Flyin" Mike Faria in event three. Jason Ramirez finished the first round with his first victory of the evening.
Austin Novratil came in as a reserve and won the opening race of the second round. Broc Nicol got the jump on Billy Hamill and Burmeister but both racers indoctrinated him into First Division by getting past the 16 year old with Billy Hamill using the ample supply of outside dirt to earn his second victory. Blair was leading event 14 when a crash brought out the red flag. Blair was sent to the penalty line for the restart. Max Ruml was the benefactor as he won the restart for his second straight victory. Schwartz thrilled the crowd with a win to end round two.
Faria began the final round of heats by defeating McConnell. Billy Hamill remained perfect with a win over Blair. Max Ruml beat Tyson Talkington to match Billy Hamill's perfect score. Jason Ramirez beat Michael Raines in the final heat for his second win.
Four racers competed in a runoff to fill the final two spots in the semis. Raines touched the tapes and was relegated to the penalty line. Russell Green fell in turn one and it left an obvious finish with Novratil taking the win and Talkington taking second to progress into the semis.
Burmeister led the first semi into turn one but the red light came on. An unsatisfactory start was declared and he was sent to the penalty line. Max Ruml and Schwartz were side-by-side on the restart through turn one. Max Ruml surged ahead of the man who is 40 years his senior but Schwartz slotted in behind the teenager and both moved on to the main. Billy Hamill left little doubt about the result of the second semi as he cruised into the main event with Jason Ramirez getting second to join him.
Blair won the Last Chance to take the last slot in the main event. McConnell finished second, Talkington was third, and Faria finished fourth.
Ryan Tovatt led from start to finish and won the Support Main Event. Travis Henderson, returning after several years away from speedway, finished second, John Stunkard was third, Geoff Herkner finished fourth, and Bruce Marteney was fifth.
An action-packed Sidecar Main Event began with all four teams entering turn one in tight formation. Bryan Motis and Josh Bennett emerged from the pack with the lead but that didn't stop the frantic happenings behind them. The battle for second was furious with National Champions Joe Jones and Johnny Glover swapping places with Chris Jones and Nathan McFadden as well as Dual Anderson and Robert Dent. The three teams traded positions multiple times. Motis and Bennett were first to the finish line with Joe Jones and Glover eventually getting second, Chris Jones and McFadden finished third, and Anderson and Dent were fourth.
The Jack Milne Cup was the first event on the calendar for International Speedway's 46th season of speedway at the Orange County Fairgrounds. The crowd was treated to some excellent racing on a great race track prepared by Brad Oxley that had plenty of dirt that produced some outside passing. The next event is this Saturday and is the 46th Season Opener. All divisions of speedway, junior speedway, and pee wees will be on the program.
First Division Heat Scoring123T
Past Jack Milne Cup Winners
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