The Monster Energy U.S. Speedway National Championship Caps off in Costa Mesa, CA
American Speedway warmly welcomed Monster Energy as the title sponsor of its 44th annual championship night, as it resulted in Speedways’s biggest purse in history–$11,000. 20 points-paying heats ran every four minutes to whittle down who would race in the main event. Heats are just four laps, so it’s fast-paced and unforgiving of errors. At night’s end, Carlsbad, California’s Billy Hamill took his third championship. While his night started poorly, Hamill went on to win his remaining heat races and LCQ to reserve the fourth and final transfer position. In the main event, Hamill positioned himself behind reigning back-to-back U.S. National Speedway Championship winner Billy Janniro, who secured the number one seed following the heat races. On Lap 2, Janniro experienced similar bike problems as Hamill coming out of Turn 2 with a chain derailment, which allowed Hamill to slip by and stay out front for the final two laps to claim his third U.S. National Speedway Championship victory.
“Breaking down in the lead (in the first heat) was pretty devastating,” said Hamill. “We had to go out there, regroup, and keep a cool head. I was able to win the remainder of the heats and then I got into a runoff for the last spot. I thought I could do it and I felt good, but then I just got blindsided there. I had to really pick myself up after that, but I just never threw the towel in. Seeing my kid win his first heat at Costa Mesa gave me a little boost, because I wanted to share the moment with him. We were unlucky at the beginning of the night (and) Janniro was running a real defensive line because he thought I was coming up the inside, and I was there. His chain came off and I don’t know how I avoided him. I don’t know what they call that, poetic justice or something like that, but we’ll take it.”
The U.S. National Speedway Championship also showcased the future of the sport, including newly-crowned Junior National Champion Broc Nicol. Junior races filled out the night with competition that featured PW 50s, 140cc bikes, and 250cc bikes.
If you haven’t been to a Speedway event, you are sorely missing out. Not only is the racing outstanding, but there are undoubtably homemade leather racing suits and custom bikes, and of course, beer gardens. Check out some snaps from Saturday night’s action below…
Speedway Main Event Results
1. Billy Hamill
2. Jimmy Fishback
3. Bryan Yarrow
4. Billy Janniro