America’s newest speedway track wrapped up the 12 month 2021 speedway season with Luke Becker coming out on top in the Christmas themed ‘Moto Festivel’ at Kern County Raceway Park, Bakersfield, on 18th December 2021. Becker was unbeaten in his five races in the main show, but Max Ruml won the $1,000 Invitational Last Man Out Challenge.
After some very un-California midweek rain and a subsequent lack of sunshine, the track was much heavier than normal despite a sterling effort from the track staff. It certainly showed the riders who had raced in Britain as the likes of Becker, Broc Nicol and the Ruml brothers were mostly a step above the rest.
12 riders took part in the Division 1 program, racing 3 heats each and qualifying 8 for the semifinals. Becker was the only unbeaten rider from the heats, with both Ruml’s on 8 and Broc Nicol on 7. Blake Borello and Dan Faria (Faria, son of legendary Mike) both had a trio of second places to transfer to the semis on 6 points. Faria kept Broc Nicol behind him in a sensational round 3 ride and the Northern California rider has taken a clear liking to the KCRP track. Alex Martin and Rheten Todd were a ways behind with three points each but it was enough to see them qualify.
Semi final 1 had Becker ease home ahead of Nicol with Faria in third and Rheten Todd sent to the B Main. Dillon Ruml scored his third straight win in semi two over North American champ brother Max. Borello and Martin were eliminated.
Veteran Eddie Castro made a daring pass on Brad Sauer in the C Final. The move also gave Rees Todd an opportunity to take second off of Sauer. In the B Final Borello moved inside of Faria on lap two to take the win, ahead of Rheten Todd and Martin.
Becker made another superb start in the main with Nicol emerging ahead of the rest of the pack on the back straight. Max Ruml was surprisingly at the back but made an excellent outside to inside switchback at the end of lap three to pass brother Dillon for third. Becker was not troubled out front and took his second win in a row at the track. 1981/1982 World Champion Bruce Penhall added late sponsorship to the prize fund for the Main Event.
Thanks to generous sponsors Mike Helm and John Dubry, there was an extra race for invited riders ahead of the semi finals in the form of a Last Man Out Challenge that paid $1,000 in total prize monies. The invited riders were Becker, Nicol and the Ruml brothers. Dillon Ruml was the first rider eliminated in the initial one lap dash, with Nicol missing out in the second. Becker had won the previous two legs but came back to race Max Ruml in the final two lap dash. Ruml pulled off an outstanding start and was clearly ahead coming out of turn 2. From that point he was comfortable enough to claim the win.
Aside from Division 1, there was a fine supporting cast of classes. After Sean McDougall took both heats, Robert Curry got an outstanding start to take the Main in Division 2. Division Three had a similar pattern with Dean Newnham taking the final after Samuel Richardson won both heats. Multitalented figure eight car and bike racer Ron Davis won all Vintage Speedway races. Juniors were mixed with 250cc and 150cc riders. Darren Armbruster won the 250 class on his debut; Hudson Jones took the 150’s. Young Flat track star Kage Tadman made his junior speedway debut and made Armbruster work for his win! Jackson joiner swept the Rod Lake 50cc kids’ class.
The race rounded out a busy season for the promoters, who, combined with events at Perris, Ventura and Santa Maria promoted 23 races and multiple practice sessions over the course of the year. Though the Christmas and New Year gives everyone a much needed breather, the 2022 season starts Jan 15 at Perris with KCRP Bakersfield staging a race a week later on the 22nd.
Division 1 Main
22 Luke Becker
98 Broc Nicol
1 Max Ruml
3 Dillon Ruml
27 Blake Borello
105 Daniel Faria
399 Rheten Todd
30 Alex Martin
14 Eddie Castro
173 Rees Todd
21 Brad Sauer
144 Sara Cords
Heat Points: Becker 9, D Ruml 8, M Ruml 8, Nicol 7, Borello 6, Faria 6, Martin 3, Rh Todd 3, Castro 1, Re Todd 1, Sauer 1, Cords 0.
Heat 1: M Ruml, Faria, Martin fell, Cords exc 2 mins
Heat 2: Becker, Borello, Castro (tapes, 20 yards), Re Todd,
Heat 3: Nicol, D Ruml, Rh Todd, Sauer
Heat 4: D Ruml, M Ruml, Martin, Castro.
Heat 5: Becker, Faria, Rh Todd, Re Todd.
Heat 6: Nicol, Borello, Sauer, Cords
Heat 7: M Ruml, Borello, Rh Todd, Sauer
Heat 8: Becker, Martin, Rh Todd, Cords.
Heat 9: D Ruml, Faria, Nicol, Castro
Semi 1: Becker, Nicol, Faria, Rh Todd
Semi 2: D Ruml, M Ruml, Borello, Martin.
Mike Helm / John Dubry Last Man Out
1 Max Ruml
22 Luke Becker
98 Broc Nicol
3 Dillon Ruml
Division 2 Main
3n Robert Curry
243 Sean McDougall
106 Isaiah Canales
Division 3 Main
365 Dean Newnham
100 Samuel Richardson
292 Mike Newnham
395 Nelson Soto
163 Ron Davis
180 Malcolm Roe
88 Wade Boyd
138 Jim Sanders
203 Darren Armbruster (50) – 250
28 Kage Tadman (50) – 250
15 Hudson Jones – 150cc winner
1 Joe Jones / Tom Summers – 12
357 Ace Kale / Thomas Yergler – 7
31 Robert / Lori Curry – 6
88 Wade Boyd / Eric Lindauer – 3
07 Kevin Kale / Mike North – 2
Rod Lake 50’s
26 Jackson Joiner
15 Hudson Jones
02 Axle Absher
314 Benjamin Benson
819 Charlie Absher
126 Ryder Faria
717 Joanna Benson