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Perris Raceway
Lawrence McNutt made the trip from up North

Perris Raceway
Kyle Cunningham also made the long trip down.


Perris Raceway

1205 Burton Road
Perris, California

Perris Raceway January 16, 2016
By: Steve Evans dreamteamspeedway@sbcglobal.net

Results from Perris and are Continued Below...

  RC Jones Photos  
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Team Motorsports Junkie's line up. Dillon Ruml and Gage Geist Austin Novratil leads Dalton Leedy
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Charles Ermolenko makes a rare appearance. Steve Brown and Bentley Barrett Dakota Shockley and Andrew Russell
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Rick Valdez fights for the lead. Heather and Heather Who? What? Where did they go?
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250cc Juniors battle.   Jose Navarrete and Kristian Daniel Jr.
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Jonni Jade and Steve Brown battle. Beep Beep, Luke Becker moves Austin Novratil over a little. Dalton Leedy holding off Max Ruml.
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  Lil French Girl as the Live Stream Reporter. Luke Becker takes the 1st race of 2016.


16 year old sensation Luke Becker was victorious for the second meeting in a row when he scorched to victory in the 2016 Winter Olympique at Perris Speedway, California, on January 16th.

The event mirrored one of the most long standing and prestigious events in British Speedway, using a full 16 rider, 20 heat World Championship format with the added twist of handicapping being employed from each riders second heats onwards. Unlike traditional American Handicap racing, the starting handicaps changed throughout the program, with riders starting spots in each heat determined by their finishing position in their previous race – a win putting you off 30 yards next time out, 2nd place 20 yards, 3rd place from 10 yards and a 4th from the tapes.

The first round of heats had all riders starting from the tapes. Heat 1 saw Gage Geist get a superb gate to lead Dillon Ruml. Ruml mounted a serious challenge but had a mechanical failure, giving second to David Clark. Heat two had experienced Dream Team rider Austin Novratil lead Dalton Leedy. Leedy, showing much improved speed, mounted a serious challenge for the lead before a fall ended his threat. USA World Cup rider Max Ruml led home Rick Richards with ease to win heat 3. Luke Becker left the rest in his wake with a stunningly fast four laps to win heat 4 from Kurtis Hamill.

In round two the handicapping began. Kurtis Hamill came from 20 yards to win heat 5 from Richards. Dalton Leedy won heat 6 from the gate with Rick Valdez an impressive second. Heat 7 saw Becker pass the entire field within a lap to win from former British League rider Charles Ermolenko. Heat 8 had Dillon Ruml from the 0 win from his brother Max, who was all the way back on the 30.

Round three and heat 9 kicked off with New York's Clark winning from the 0, Leedy moving up to second from 30 yards. Heat 10 pitched Max Ruml and Becker, Ruml ending Becker's perfect score so far as the two raced away from the rest. Novratil, after a retirement in his previous race, won from the 0 with Geist in second. Kurtis Hamill came from the 30 to win heat 12, with Dillon Ruml in second and Ermolenko third. After three rounds Becker, Hamill and Max Ruml were tied on 8 points for the lead.

Max Ruml came from 30 yards back to pass the entire field to win heat 13. Hamill joined him on 11 points with his second win in a row from 30, leading home Novratil. Geist won heat 15 and passed the entire field from 20 yards. Becker joined Hamill and Max Ruml on 11 points with a win from Dillon Ruml in heat 16.

The final round of heats would determine the four riders for the Main event – no semi finals or last chance races were programmed, so all was at stake. Novratil moved onto 11 points and qualification for the Main winning heat 17. Becker chased Novratil from 10 yards behind but disaster struck when he fell in pursuit. His 11 points still put him in he final but he still suffered some by ending up with last gate pick in the big race. Heat 18 saw the ever improving Richards get a win over Ermolenko. Heat 19 had Hamill and Max Ruml both already qualified for the final but essentially racing for gate choice in the Main. Both came from 30 yards and Hamill stunned all in attendance with his fourth straight win a row, despite the handicap. Dillon Ruml passed the field to win heat 20, but like Geist, his 10 points left him just one short of the Main.

The final saw Hamill out of gate 1 get the best start but with Becker close by. Becker went hard around the outside in turns one and two to emerge in front. Hamill kept Becker in his sights but never quite got close enough to challenge for the win. Max Ruml and Novratil battled for third until Ruml's engine gave up entering lap three. It was once more a night to relish as the young pack of riders stepped up a rung or two on the ladder to their bright futures.

Whilst the 21 First Division races were the main show, several other classes produced exceptional racing. Divisions two and three employed Olympique style handicapping in their second round heats. Division two heats went to Brad Moreau and Bentley Barrett, with the handicapped round two wins going to Barrett and Ron Davis. Steve Brown won the last chance whilst Barrett capped off a perfect night with the Main Event.

Division three saw Pam Bennett win heat 1, with the handicap heat won by Don Nermarnik. Wade Whitcomb pulled off a fine pass on Bennett to win the Main.

250cc Juniors had 7 entrants. Three heats were staged with each rider sitting one out and the top 3 going to the Main and rest to a Last Chance. Two heats went to Sebastian Palmese with Jake Isaac winning the other and both going straight to the Main. Michael Wells won the Last Chance from NorCal's Kyle Cunningham. Palmese won the Main from Cunningham.

The 150 Mini Class had 6 riders with handicapping being employed in all races. Gavin Geist stunned the field with a big victory in heat 1. Both heat 2 and the Main were won by a very impressive Slater Lightcap winning from the 30 yard line.

The 50cc Pee Wee Class also had 6 riders and used Handicapping. The racing was fantastic with Cole Ayers and Travis Horn winning a heat each, Ayers taking the Main. The new 'Super Pee Wee' Class, a bridge between the 50cc and 150 Mini Class saw Tanner Richey win all races with Travis Horn close in pursuit.

The Sidecars had 6 entrants and ran the same format at the 250s. Bryan Motis and Cody Brant won both of their heats, the other going to Joe Jones and Tom Summers, who also won the LCQ and Main – a mechanical failure in their first outing left them to win the hard way.

Pee Wee Levi Leutz, who's father (Wayne Leutz) and former rider passed away last week, received a standing ovation as he led the riders out for the Olympique Main event with a chequered flag parade lap. Hayley Perrault, not yet cleared to race after injury in Ventura last July, won an exhibition match race against visiting UK rider Niall Strudwick.

The event opened 2016 for California Speedway, which enjoys all round racing, albeit with less frequent events right now in what is essentially the off season. Perris runs its next event in 3 weeks on February 6th with Round 2 of the Winter Team Racing League.

22 Luke Becker
140 Kurtis Hamill
7 Austin Novratil
5 Max Ruml (ret)

Heat Points
Kurtis Hamill 14, Max Ruml 13, Austin Novratil 11, Luke Becker 11, Dillon Ruml 10, Gage Geist 10, David Clark 9, Rick Richards 8, Dalton Leedy 6, Charles Ermolenko 6, Rick Valdez 5, Dryden Gayle 5, Rohn Zellner 4, Niall Strudwick 4, Mike Fuson 3, Harold Hartke 1.

246 Bentley Barrett
163 Ron Davis
275 Lawrence McNutt
153 Brad Moreau
211 Steve Brown

Last Chance
211 Steve Brown
220 Tom Bryant
266 Jonni Jade (non starter)

227 Wade Whitcomb
351 Pam Bennett
109 Don Nermarnik
215 Greg Willis
277 Thomas Rishton

18 Sebastian Palmese
35 Kyle Cunningham
214 Michael Wells
16 Jake Isaac

Last Chance
214 Michael Wells
35 Kyle Cunningham
28 Aidan McNutt
8 Skylar Schnakenberg
14 Sara Cords (non starter)

28 Slater Lightcap (30)
419 Dakota Shockley (20)
27 Luke Whitcomb (30)
5 Rachel Schnakenberg (0)
33 Gavin Geist (0)
96 Andrew Russell (10)

16 Cole Ayers (50)
25 Travis Horn (60)
46 Kristian Daniel Jr. (0)
3 Levi Leutz (0)
74 Kensei Matsudaira (0)
48 Jose Navarrete (30) fell

13 Tanner Richey
25 Travis Horn
18 Sebastian Palmese
419 Dakota Shockley
3 Levi Leutz
320 Riley Hull

LCQ Sidecars
7x Joe Jones / Tom Summers
101 Kevin Holman / Josh Bennett
33 Rick Garcia / Adam Duckett
21 Heather Rowe / Heather Gledhill (non starter)

7x Joe Jones / Tom Summers
2 Bryan Motis / Cody Brant
14 Jeff Rowe / Johnny Glover
101 Kevin Holman / Josh Bennett

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