- June 18th

Becker Wins Bakersfield Harley Night in Sensational Homecoming

Luke Becker wasted no time returning the track in California with an unbeaten 6 ride run at Kern County Raceway Bakersfield on November 6th. After a stellar European campaign, including a 21 point in September’s Speedway of Nations Semi Final in Latvia, Becker was simply at a new level in his racing debut at the new California short banked track.

The Division 1 program featured 16 riders in an all scratch racing format. Three rounds of heats qualified 8 of the field for semifinals.

Becker in his heats was untroubled by his opponents, looking fast and sharp all night long. Gino Manzares, who won in his last outing at the track in June, was also on a maximum after his 3 initial rides. Blake Borello and Rheten, two of America’s fastest rising stars, each scored 8. Dillon Ruml, also on his US return, was next on 7 points. Alex Martin scored another impressive 6 heat points whilst Russell Green struggled somewhat also with 6, though his last heat with Manzares (a groomsman at his upcoming wedding, no less), was a well fought classic. The final semi final spot went to Louie Mersaroli, who has had a breakout season in Northern California.

Semi final 1 had Manzares leading home Borello (who is simply at a new level since his recent Speedway of Nations debut) with Green & Martin missing the cut. Becker matched Manzares in the unbeaten stakes, winning semi 2, with Rheten Todd making his first division 1 Main debut in second place with second defeat of the night over Ruml. Mersaroli came home in 4th.

The Main event was a hugely anticipated race with Becker and Manzares as favorites. Both made great starts but Becker’s was slightly better and a daring drive around the outside of turns one and two put the Wolves rider firmly into the lead. Manzares slotted into second with Borello in third and Todd 4th. Positions remained close but the stayed same through the rest of race as Becker made a triumph return home.

Becker was also in action the ‘Red White and Blue Helmet’ Match race challenge, taking on defending champion Russell Green. Green would permanently keep the helmet if he won, the reward for three successive wins in the series. The race was a best of three over 2 laps per race. Race 1 was an epic, both riders’ side by side for a lap and half before Becker edged ahead going into turn 3 for the win. Round 2 saw Becker get the best start and comfortably hold off Green to become the new champion.

Division 1 had a total of 16 races in the packed 46 race program. The expanded program was largely due to 4 added classes for Vintage / Upright bikes, sponsored by fan and enthusiast John Dubry. A total of 17 entries competed in the various classes. Mike Jaudon, out of Colorado, took a clean sweep in the aged 50+ class, taking both heats and the Main Event. 8 riders entered the 60+ class, with Dan Waller and David Pieper (also of CO) winning both their heats and semifinals. 70 year old Bob Waller won the Last Chance race but it was his brother Dan who came back to win the Main. The top 50+ and 60+ riders then qualified for an Open Class Final, with the 50+ riders handicapped 20 yards. Jaudon charged from the 20 yard line to the front but fell on the last lap, giving David Pieper the win from Pat Litt.

Fast Eddie Castro won the Pro Vintage Class Main event after Rheten Todd won the heat. Fred Cook, son of former World Finalist John ‘Cowboy’ Cook, took Division 2 whilst local rider Isaiah Canales swept Division 3. Levi Leutz won both junior heats and was leading the Main until an engine failure ended his race, rival Jose Navarrete duly obliged to take the win.

Jackson Joiner was once again the Pee Wee winner, whilst Sterling Martin swept the Flat Track class. Clayton Williams won the Street Harley class.

The event was another success, the seventh speedway event at the new California track which a year ago was not even yet conceived as a speedway venue. 2020 racing at KCRO rounds out with an all-day event on December 18th, featuring Speedway, Flat Track and Festive Fun!

Results:

Division 1 Main
22 Luke Becker
24 Gino Manzares
27 Blake Borello
399 Rheten Todd

Semi Final 1: Manzares, Borello, Russell Green, Alex Martin
Semi Final 2: Becker, Rheten Todd, Dillon Ruml, Louie Mersaroli.

Heat Points: Becker 9, Manzares 9, Borello 8, Rh Todd 8, Ruml 7, Martin 6, Green 6, Mersaroli 4, Rees Todd 4, Michael Wells 3, Eddie Castro 3, Brad Sauer 2, Robbie Sauer 2, Sara Cords 1, Mark Fillebrown 0, Greg Moore 0.

Division 2 Main
94 Fred Cook
108 Bobby Richards
138n Jason Lundberg
127 David Perry did not start

Division 3 Main
106 Isaiah Canales
365 Dean Newnham
292 Mike Newnham
100 Samuel Richardson
206 Paul Baldwin

Pro Vintage Main
14 Eddie Castro
173 Rees Todd
30 Alex Martin

Open Vintage Main
3c David Pieper
28 Pat Litt (20)
240 Dan Waller
163 Ron Davis
12c Mike Jaudon fell

50+ Vintage Main
12c Mike Jaudon
28 Pat Litt
108 Bobby Richards
138 Jim Sanders

60+ Vintage Main
240 Dan Waller
3c David Pieper
163 Ron Davis
180 Malcolm Roe
27 Bob Waller

60+ Last Chance
27 Bob Waller
11c Kenny Pieper (retired)

Junior Speedway
48 Jose Navarrete
203 Darren Armbruster
123 Catherine Moore
226 Levi Leutz (engine failure)

Pee Wee Main
26 Jackson Joiner
87 Maverick Wren
27 Ryder Goodman
819 Charlie Absher
02 Axle Absher
38 Jayden Rice

Flat Track Main
31 Sterling Martin
95 Clayton Williams
30 Alex Martin

Street Harleys
Winner: 1776 Clayton Williams