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After a very wet winter and a March racing postponement, speedway returned to Kern County Raceway Bakersfield, CA on April 1st, with Broc Nicol being the victor in the third staging of the ‘King of Kern.’ Track conditions were slicker than the usual deeper dirt multi line track with recent weather being a factor.

The Division 1 program had lots of star power and featured 16 riders. The format was 3 rounds of heats to qualify 8 of the field for the semifinals, with the additional twist of pre-determined handicapping in round 2. Louie Mersaroli was the only unbeaten rider in the heats, taking 3 impressive victories. He started off with a brilliant win over 11 time AMA National Champion Billy Janniro in heat 1 and then held off Max Ruml, who started 10 yards behind him, in the handicap round. Max Ruml and Broc Nicol both won their scratch heats but got second place in the handicap round to end on 8. Team USA young guns Slater Lightcap and Alex Martin were the next qualifiers on 7 points. They both won in the handicap round off of the 20 yard line, but had to each get by two riders to do so. Billy Janniro was consistent with three second places to be the 6th qualifier, whilst Dillon Ruml and Russell Green each made the cut with 5 points each.

The non-qualifiers scored three points or less each but a notable shout out goes to young Justin Almon who won his handicap heat, keeping both Lightcap and Dillon Ruml behind him in a very smooth 4 laps.

The points scored meant that the ‘on the paper main’ of both Ruml’s, Nicol and Janniro was actually a semi-final, one which saw Max Ruml win from Broc Nicol to transfer both to the A Main. The second semi final saw a superb ride from Lightcap to take the win over Mersaroli with Martin’s bike not getting off the line.
All 16 riders came back for Main events based off of points and each one provided a great race. Michael Wells came from the back to win the D Final. Greg Moore went down hard in the C final when battling with Brad Sauer for the lead but he was able to restart and take victory. Dillon Ruml had his best race of the night to win the B Final.

The A Final saw Max Ruml get a great start with Nicol right behind him and Lightcap third. The battle ended at the end of lap two when Ruml’s bike failed and Nicol took a lead that would not be challenged. Both Lightcap, a reserve rider for Team USA in its February Test Match and Mersaroli came second and third in outstanding showings.

The other divisions gave their share of entertainment. Junior rider Levi Leutz was promoted into Division 2 for the night and won all three of his races including a sensational inside pass to take the Main. Catherine Moore won Division 3 for the second event in a row. Dan Waller won all Vintage Speedway races. The Sidecar Division was meant to be a 5 team round robin, but bike attrition ruled out two teams with Wade Boyd & Eric Lindauer coming out on top over Ace Kale & Thomas Yergler on head-to-head meetings.

Speedway returns to the impressive KCRP track June 24th for the second staging of the Digger Helm AMA National Championship Round. Flat Track will race 5 weeks before on May 20th.

Division 1 A Main
98 Broc Nicol
28 Slater Lightcap
188 Louie Mersaroli
5 Max Ruml engine failure

B Main
3 Dillon Ruml
321 Russell Green
1 Billy Janniro
30 Alex Martin

C Main
251 Greg Moore
68 Chance Grove
137 Justin Almon
21 Brad Sauer (penalty line)

D Main
214 Michael Wells
168 Mark Fillebrown
123 Jordan Vanderham (fell)
182 Rudy Laurer (non starter)

Division 2 Main
226 Levi Leutz
123 Jordan Vanderham
106 Isaiah Canales
182 Rudy Laurer non starter

Division 3 Main
123N Catherine Moore
113 Tony Rutledge
115 Dylan McNulty
108 Bobby Richards

Vintage Main
240 Dan Waller
115 Tom Settlemire
27 Bob Waller
108 Bobby Richards

88 Wade Boyd / Eric Lindauer 10 (beat 357 2 out of 3)
357 Ace Kale / Thomas Yergler 10
07 Kevin Kale / Tracey Gallagher 7
1 Robert Lori Curry did not ride
47 Jason Fritze / Noel Guillelmino did not ride.