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2021 Team USA Speedway of Nations team member Blake Borello continued his solid rise in American Speedway by winning his first ever Main Event at Kern County Raceway, Bakersfield, on 16th April 2022

Borello and several of his peers realized they had a sudden golden chance to claim a victory after the previously unbeaten Max Ruml ground to a halt with engine problems in his semi-final. Ruml was the only unbeaten rider at this stage, an astounding feat for the National Champion as the meeting was run using the Olympique earned handicapping race format.

14 riders competed in three heats each to qualify 8 riders for the semi-final stage. After the heats with the handicapping system serving up some tremendous action, it was on to the business end of the meeting. Semifinal 1 had local star Randy DiFrancesco penalized for a starting infringement at first time of asking. Ruml led the restart comfortably until his rare machine failure, which put Borello to the front. Rees Todd followed closely behind for second place and his second consecutive Main appearance. DiFrancesco off of a 20-yard penalty was third.

Semi final 2 had another rising star, Rheten Todd, a raw rookie at the start of the Covid pandemic, getting a superb start to take the win. Behind, Alex Martin, winner in March, and Russell Green were locked in close combat for second, with Martin coming eventually out in top. Qualified rider Charles Ermolenko did not make the race having experienced bike trouble after his third heat.

So, the stage was set for the Main Event, Martin being the only winner of a scratch main event previously. Borello was fastest out of the blocks whilst Martin jockeyed for position with the Todd brothers behinf. Martin eventually made it clearly into second and set after Borello. A couple of brave late lunges got Martin close but Borello held his nerve and rode a great line to take a deserved win. Rees won the battle of the Todd brothers, placing third for the second event in a row.

Outside of the Main program, there were two other Division 1 races. The top 4 points scorers from the raced in a Last Man Out Challenge thanks to a generous sponsorship from Johnny Claus racing. Two one lap dashes eliminated firstly Green and then Rees Todd, to set up a mouthwatering two lap match race between Ruml and Martin. Ruml got a great start and was comfortable for the entire race.
The non-qualifiers for the semifinals raced in a 6-man handicapped Trophy Dash. Michael Wells, who had a rough time with bike issues in the heats bounced back to get a consolation win.

Division Two had five entries. The racing was competitive, Lawrence McNutt winning the Main and heat 1, with Ron Davis taking heat 2. Division 3 had 9 entries, heat wins going to Jim ‘Smackdown’ Sanders (2), Chris Popanz and Isaiah Canales. Tony Rutledge took the B Main, with Dean Newnham coming from behind to pass Sanders to win the Main.

The Junior class had 6 riders, Ryder Schultz as the only 150cc rider was awarded the class win. Charlie Trana was superb to take two heat wins with Jose Navarrete taking the other. Nick Hohlbein saved his best for last, victorious in both Last Chance and Main, the final had an epic 3 ½ lap side by side tussle with Trana.

A Harley night would not be complete without Harley races. Shawn McConnel took victory in the Hooligan class with Kris Villanueva victorious in the street bike class.

The Division 1 Main Event of the evening was dedicated to legendary speedway journalist Nigel Pearson who passed away suddenly the day before the event. Pearson was hugely admired by American Speedway fans and riders with his coverage of the Grand Prix and league racing.


Division 1 Main Event, dedicated to Nigel Pearson.
27 Blake Borello
30 Alex Martin
173 Rees Todd
399 Rheten Todd

Semi 1: Borello, Re Todd, Randy DiFrancesco, Max Ruml engine failure
Semi 2: Rh Todd, Martin, Russell Green, Charles Ermolenko did not start

Heat points: Ruml 9, Green 8, Martin 8, Rees Todd 7, Borello 7, Rheten Todd 6, Ermolenko 5, DiFrancesco 4, Brad Sauer 4, Justin Almon 3, Robbie Sauer 2, Jonny Oak den 1, Michael Wells 1, Sammy Tetrault (res) 1, Greg Moore 0, Lawrence McNutt (res) 1.

Johnny Claus 24 Last Man Out Challenge
5 Ruml
30 Martin
173 Re Todd
321 Green

Trophy Dash
214 Wells (10)
17 R Sauer (20)
251 Moore (10)
137 Almon (20)
21 B Sauer (30)
309 Oakden (30) retired

Division 2 Main
275 Lawrence McNutt
153 Brad Moreau
106 Isaiah Canales
163 Ron Davis
242 Sammy Tetrault

Division 3 Main
365 Dean Newnham
138 Jim Sanders
292 Michael Newnham
351 Chris Popanz
106 Isaiah Canales Fell, remounted

Division 3 B Main
113 Tony Rutledge
177 Mark Hitchcock
206 Paul Baldwin
349 Dan Eddy

Junior Main
29 Nick Hohlbein
66 Charlie Trana
48 Jose Navarrete
226 Levi Leutz (nonstarter)

Last Chance
29 Nick Holhbein
226 Levi Leutz
123 Catherine Moore
22 Ryder Schultz (150cc winner)