American Speedway  

2011 Nick Varner
Gino Manzares
Perris Raceway April 30, 2016
RC Jones Photo

2011 Nick Varner

2016 California Results Page

Perris Raceway

1205 Burton Road
Perris, California

AMA Speedway National Championship Series - Qualifying Round
Perris Raceway April 30, 2016
By: Steve Evans dreamteamspeedway@sbcglobal.net
Photos by RC Jones and Paul Flanders

Results from Perris and are Continued Below...

  Photos by RC Jones  
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Steve Evens holding the riders meeting. Tech Inspector Paul Flanders. Paul Flanders checks Ryan Bast's ride.
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Gino Manzares has his entourage inspect his bike. Referee Danny Hull is astonished that Mike Faria would say that! Robert Hargraves showing off a new toy.
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Kurtis Hamill holds the inside against Mike Faria and Ricky Richards. Austin Novratil leads Bryce Starks. My good friend Dorcey Wingo forgot to duck. Gage Geist and Dave Clark battle.
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Slater Lightcap leads Gavin Geist. Jose Navarrete and Levi Leutz race. Wilbur Hancock holds the line against Rachel Schnakenberg.
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Dave Clark works hard against Gage Geist. Dave Clark, Ryan Bast and Ricky Richards. Bryce Starks and Dalton Leedy.
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Bryce Starks and Robbie Sauer. Samuel Ramirez vs Ricky Richards. Rachel Schnakenberg and Riley Hull.
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Division Two Heat. Austin Novratil against Gino Manzares. Sebastian Palmese.

  Photos by Paul Flanders  
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Bill Hancock gets ready to push off grandson Wilbur Hancock for his 150cc Division 2 main winning ride.

Austin Novratil gets interviewed just before the final race of the night.

Max Ruml, who has already qualified to be in the nationals, was pit man for event winner Gino Manzares.

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Bad luck struck for Bryce Starks as he just missed out by a couple of points of qualifying.

Gage Geist stands tall, both figuratively and literally, by qualifying with his third place finish for the evening.

A heartbreaking result for these guys as Dalton Leedy narrowly missed out of earning the final qualifying position for the nationals. He'll make a great replacement as the first reserve rider, if called upon.

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Youngsters Kristian Daniel, Levi Leutz, and Jose Navarrete took the first three places in the Pee Wees. 

Credit goes to racer Rick Valdez (center) for inspiring promoter Steve Evans to organize this year's qualifier race, making for national ride spots to be determined in a current year, head-to-head competition.

Former and still sometimes racers Michael Novratil, Brad Pappalardo, Shaun Harmatiuk and Philip Harmatiuk have been reaching for the moon lately, as they all work for Space-X, a leading company in aerospace development.


Gino Manzares returned to action with an exclamation point, claiming 6 wins out of 6 to win the AMA National Championship Qualifying Round at Perris Raceway, California, on April 30th.

Manzares, in his first race in over 6 months, was simply too hot for the rest of the field, his main competition coming from Austin Novratil, who continued his impressive run of form with a very well earned second place.

The event mirrored an FIM World Championship Qualifying format – 16 riders, 20 heats with 6 full time series places and 8 reserve rankings up for grabs. It is the first time in years that such an event has been staged in the US and provides a better system than the previous nominations for the final Series placings. The 6 qualifiers are to join last years top 8 (seeded in), whilst each staging promoter in the 4 round GP style main series can nominate or stage pre event run offs for two wild cards.

Kurtis Hamill led home 59 year old veteran Mike Faria in Heat 1. Heat two saw Manzares roar away to a win, with Ryan Bast impressively keeping Dalton Leedy behind him in second. Novratil won event 3 from Bryce Starks. Heat 4 saw the first drama of the night, Dave Clark and Dryden Gayle surprisingly led Gage Geist, until Gayle went wide and hit the fence coming our of turn 4. An ankle injury, later determined not to be a break, ended his night early. Clark in the restart was behind Geist but fell and was excluded.

Round two saw a big Heat 5, Novratil gaining his second win with Hamill making a poor start and dropping to third with Geist the sandwich. Hamill closed in and was in a photo finish for second, but Geist got the nod. Starks led home Leedy in Heat 6, with Manzares winning heat 7 whilst Faria got another second place. Clark, once more showing amazing speed, was the winner of heat 8 from Bast.

Heat 9 saw disaster for Hamill as he was excluded for a tape infringement. Leedy took full advantage and confidently romped home to win ahead of PJ Byrne. Clark crashed hard and demolished a section of the fence whilst in second place, a hand injury ending his night early. Rick Valdez led home Robbie Sauer to put his first points on the board in heat 10. Heat 11 had Novratil leading home the steady Faria, who's experience had him strategically putting points on the board. Manzares defeated Geist and Starks in heat 12.

Manzares made it four out of four, leading home Hamill in Heat 13. Geist moved onto 10 points and qualification by winning heat 14 ahead of Bast. Faria won heat 15 over Valdez after Starks bike failed to start and he was excluded under the two minute rule, a costly exclusion for the ultra talented NorCal rider. Novratil won his fourth in heat 16 with Leedy in second.

Heat 17 was essentially a showdown with the riders in positions 6th – 8th and it controversially lived up to its billing. Ryan Bast prior to the heat had 7 points, with Hamill and Starks both on 6 and ruing earlier exclusions. The first running saw Hamill lock and spin on lap one with Starks collecting him and catapulting into the wall at high-speed. The referee ordered a complete restart which Bast confidently won, effectively earning him a series spot on 10 points. Hamill in second and Starks, on a borrowed bike, third both looking unsteady in the aftermath of the big crash. Heat 18 pitched the two undefeated riders, Novratil getting the faster start but Manzares dived under him hard into turn 3, forcing Novratil wide and securing the win. Heat 19 saw Geist notch his third in an impressive night, but there was drama behind. Rookie Samuel Ramirez out trapped Leedy and then confidently passed Faria. Faria moved onto 10 points and qualification, whilst the consistent Leedy's first last place of the night put him into a run off with Hamill for the last qualified spot. Rick Richards, after a slow night by recent standards, secured a confident win in heat 20 with Valdez in second place.

The run off for 6th was a tense affair, Hamill making the gate and having a safe enough gap throughout to gain the final spot in the 2016 series, with Leedy being first qualified reserve.

The top 4 scorers, already qualified for the AMA Series, contested a Main Event for top 4 placings on the night. Effectively the riders finished in their points order, with Manzares going 6 for 6 with Novratil and Geist, on a career best night, second and third.

The 2015-16 season finale also featured other Divisions is Support. Division two saw two heat wins from Rohn Zellner and one from Harold Hartke. Hartke won the Last Chance and also the Main Event.

Veteran Tom Bryant fought off impressive rookie Chet Kohler to win both Third Division Heats and the Main Event.

Sebastian Palmese did his expected three ride clean sweep in 250cc Junior. Dakota Shockley and Gavin Geist each won a 150 Mini Division 1 Heat, with Slater Lightcap victorious in the Main. Andrew Russell won both 150 Mini Division 2 Heats, with Wilbur Hancock winning the Main Event. Levi Leutz and Jose Navarrete each won a Pee Wee 50 Heat, Navarrete also taking the Main. Super Pee Wees heats were both won by Travis Horn with Tanner Richey winning the Final.

The event saw the conclusion of a 7 event Winter and Spring Series. Pending sound issues being solved there are plans to repeat this with the first racing occurring mid to late November.

1. Gino Manzares 15+3 (Jawa)
2. Austin Novratil 14+2 (GM)
3. Gage Geist 13+1 (Jawa)
4. Mike Faria 10+0 (Jawa)
5. Ryan Bast 10 (Jawa)
6. Kurtis Hamill 8+3 (GM) (all 6 qualify for 2016 Series).
7. Dalton Leedy 8+2 (GM)
8. Rick Valdez 7 (GM)
9. Bryce Starks 7 (GM)
10. Rick Richards 5 (GM)
11. Samuel Ramirez 5 (Jawa)
12. Robbie Sauer 4 (GM)
13. PJ Byrne 4 (Jawa)
14. David Clark 3 (Jawa) (all 8 qualify as reserves and replacement riders, in order of ranking)
15. Joey Donaldson (reserve) 2
16. Rohn Zellner (reserve) 2
17. Harold Hartke (reserve) 1
18. Brad Sauer 0 (GM)
19. Dryden Gayle 0. (GM)

290 Harold Hartke
246 Bentley Barrett
118 Rohn Zellner
141 Mike Lane

Last Chance
290 Harold Hartke
246 Bentley Barrett
153 Brad Moreau
131 David Lynch
37 Joey Donaldson (non starter)

220 Tom Bryant
202 Chet Kohler
211 Steve Brown
252 Brian Lehman
215 Greg Willis

18 Sebastian Palmese
14 Sara Cords
214 Michael Wells
8 Skylar Schnakenberg

28 Slater Lightcap
419 Dakota Shockley
33 Gavin Geist (ret)

117 Wilbur Hancock
96 Andrew Russell
5 Rachel Schnakenberg
48 Jose Navarrete

48 Jose Navarrete
46 Kristian Daniel Jnr
3 Levi Leutz
74 Kensei Matsudaira

13 Tanner Richey
25 Travis Horn
28 Slater Lightcap
419 Dakota Shockley
320 Riley Hull
46 Kristian Daniel Jnr
48 Jose Navarrete

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