- June 18th

Lightcap takes a wild ride to sensational AMA National Under 21 title win, Trana takes Youth Crown!

Sixteen year old Slater Lightcap was the sensational winner of the 2021 AMA Under 21 National Speedway Championship at Perris Raceway on Saturday November 13th. Lightcap was only in his fifth 500cc event having stepped up from the junior ranks mid-season. He had just 17 competitive prior heats on the 500 and only 11 in First Division.

The achievement was even more remarkable following a heavy first turn bunching incident in his first heat, where he and three other riders went down. Lightcap’s bike wss damaged beyond immediate repair having gone through the turn one and two crashwall. With no back up bike It looked like an early end to Lightcap’s evening until Division 1 rider Mark Fillebrown offered Lihis own machine to the young rookie for the rest of the evening. Lightcap quipped at the end of the evening, “I believe the engine in that bike is older than me but it did the job.”

This year’s format for the Under 21 crown in the US featured 12 entrants. Each rider raced four heats, with a start from each gate. The top two point scorers would move straight to the Sudden death final with riders scored 3rd to 6th in a Semi Final.

Red hot favorite for the event was Team USA Speedway of Nations rider Blake Borello, who, despite getting only one competitive race in the Latvia team semifinal, has noticeably stepped up his performance following his international adventure. Indeed, in the heats, Borello scored a maximum 12 points and despite having to come from behind once, was not really troubled. Lightcap scored 11 and was the second automatic final qualifier, his only defeat was to Borello in round 2. Anthony Dion was consistent and quick, notching up 10 points as the third qualifier, with Alex Martin, another 16 year old fresh of the 250’s next with 9. Timmy Dion rode a best ever performance at Perris to come through the heats with 8 points. The final spot in the latter part of the program went to Jonathon Oakden on 5, who, with his brother, Dalton, came all the way from New York State for the race. There were close calls below the top 6, including for Wilbur Hancock and Sara Cords, who had costly exclusions and Michael Wells, who withdrew after the first race carnage involving Lightcap, with a mild concussion.

The first staging of the Semi Final had Timmy Dion fall while going too deep looking for a first line in turns one and two. He was excluded from the restart which his brother Anthony won from a close charging Alex Martin, both riders making it to the final with Jonathon Oakden third.

In the first attempt to stage the final and title decider, Borello clipped Dion going into turn 1 which in turn caused a domino effect into Martin with all three riders hitting the deck. The referee ordered a complete restart. At the second time of asking, Lightcap made a sensational start from the inside, with Borello in contrast, last going into turn 1. Martin went around Dion for second coming out of turn 2 as Dion hit a sudden mechanical issue which abruptly ended his final. Borello quickly regrouped and steamed under Martin going into the third turn and quickly set about chasing Lightcap. Borello literally threw everything he had at Lightcap, getting close on a couple of occasions but Lightcap held his cool as they entered the final lap. A last turn inside lunge put both riders close but Lightcap had the advantage and racing line and crossed the finishing punching the air with a hugely disappointed Borello in second and Martin in third.

The co-headline event was the Youth Long Track Nationals. The 150 Mini Speedway class unfortunately did not have sufficient entries to be dubbed a National this time around. The 250cc class had five entries and ran on a round robin format, 5 total heats each rider sitting out one and the points determining the winner. It was visiting rider Charlie Trana from Northern California who came out on top with 11 points, one more than the fast rising local star Levi Leutz on 10. Trans beat Leutz in two out of their three meetings, which ultimately decided the title destination. Multi-talented road racer Owen Williams secured third place.

Elsewhere, there was the usual cast of other Divisions. Five entrants partook in the Division 1 “over 21 class” which featured a mixed format of races. Veteran Eddie Castro took the first heat and the Main Event. Rees Todd won the Handicap race with brother Rheten taking the Last Man Out. Mike Miller (2), Brad Moreau and Tyler Moszer all took heats in the Support Class. It was however veteran rider Rudy Laurer who took another Main Event win. Tom Bryant was awarded as Division 3 winner for being the highest placed D3 rider in the mixed Support Class.

Darren Armbruster won all three 150cc Mini Speedway races. Jackson Joiner won the Open 50cc class, Morgan Myers won the Pee Wee Division. Colt Foster did the double taking both the Flat Track and Run What You Brung classes.

This was the third staging of the Under 21 and Youth Long Track Nationals since Perris revived the much missed event in 2019. The California speedway scene has a long one month break until its next event, the AMA FIM North America Final which qualifies riders for the 2022 Speedway Grand Prix Qualifiers in Europe next Spring.

Results

AMA UNDER 21 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP:

Heat Scores: Blake Borello 12, Slater Lightcap 11, Anthony Dion 10, Alex Martin 9, Timmy Dion 8, Jonathon Oakden 5, Dalton Oakden 4, Wilbur Hancock 4, Sara Cords 3, Greg Moore 3, Andrew Russell 2, Michael Wells 0.

Heats
1: Borello, Martin, Hancock, Moore.
2: Cords, J Oakden, D Oakden, Russell
3: Lightcap, A Dion, T Dion, Wells (2 minutes). Re run.
4: A Dion, Martin, J Oakden
5: Borello, Lightcap, D Oakden, Russell
6: T Dion, Hancock, Moore fell remounted, Cords fell excluded. Re Run.
7: Borello, Martin, Russell
8: Lightcap, Moore, J Oakden, D Oakden.
9: A Dion, T Dion, Hancock, Cords
10: Martin, D Oakden, Hancock fell excluded. Re Run.
11: Lightcap, T Dion, Russell, Moore fell remounted.
12: Borello, A Dion, J Oakden.

Semi Final (Re Run)
16 Anthony Dion
30 Alex Martin
309 Jonathon Oakden
217 Timmy Dion fell, excluded.

Final
228 Slater Lightcap
27 Blake Borello
30 Alex Martin
16 Anthony Dion (engine failure)

AMA 250cc Youth Long Track National
Points:
66 Charlie Trana 11
226 Levi Leutz 10
04 Owen Williams 5
48 Jose Navarrete 2
123 Catherine Moore 2

1: Leutz, Williams, Moore, Navarrete fell excluded re run.
2: Trana, Leutz, Williams, Moore.
3: Trana, Navarrete, Williams, Moore.
4: Trana, Leutz, Williams, Navarrete fell excluded re run.
5: Leutz, Trana, Moore, Navarrete.

Division 1 Over 21s
Heat: Castro, Rees Todd, Rheten Todd, Miller, Fillebrown ret.
Handicap: Rees Todd (20), Castro (30), Miller (0)
Last Man Out: Rhet Todd, Ree Todd, Miller (excluded)

Main
14 Eddie Castro
173 Rees Todd
399 Rheten Todd

Support Main
182 Rudy Laurer
327 Tyler Moszer
153 Brad Moreau
111 David Newsham
71 Mike Miller (nonstarter)

Consi
220 Tom Bryant (D3)
163 Ron Davis (Vintage)
103 Brent Smith
328 Wade Weaver (D3)
113 Tony Rutledge (D3)(nonstarter)

150 Mini Speedway
203 Darren Armbruster (40)
22 Ryder Schultz (10)

Open 50cc
26 Jackson Joiner
28 Thomas Chavira
69 Rey Resendez
5 Brandon Soto

Pee Wee 50cc
175 Morgan Myers
769 Rey Resendez
50 Jackson Spinuzzi
175x Maddux Myers
45 Karl Hancock
55 Bradley Wyrick
3x Owen Ferris
100 Isla Ferris

Flat Track
84 Colt Foster
23 Nick Garcia
31 Sterling Martin
45 Michael Diffenbaugh
6 Joe Steffen
956 Michael Resendez
54 Elliot Iverson
54 Matt Fostr
419 Michael Lopez
73 Don Jensen
34 Andrew Myers
63 Johnny Custom

Hooligan / Run What You Brung
84 Colt Foster
23 Nick Garcia
45 Michael Diffenbaugh
31 Sterling Martin
54 Elliot Iverson
419 Michael Lopez
54 Matt Foster
63 Johnny Custom
34 Andrew Myers

(left to right) Blake Borello, Slater Lightcap, Alex Martin
(left to right) Levi Leutz, Charlie Trana, Owen Williams