An invite-only group of 28 amateur racers participated in the AMA/FIM United States Youth Speedway Silver Cup Championship at Industry Racing in the City of Industry, Calif., on August 16-17. The two-day event was the first standalone amateur speedway event held in the United States in many years.
The event, sanctioned by the AMA and FIM, is the first step in providing youth speedway racers in America with a structured foundation at the amateur level. The ultimate goal is to increase the number of amateur speedway racers and to develop talent that will eventually succeed professionally in the U.S. and abroad.
Youth racers between the ages of 8 and 15 from Southern California, Northern California, as well as one English native, went through a similar process that their idols in the Monster Energy Speedway Grand Prix experience. Competitors went through a tech inspection prior to taking to the track for practice on Friday while the championship itself, comprised of three divisions, was staged on Saturday.
Luke Becker, a 14-year-old from San Ramon, Calif., was victorious in the Junior 250cc Speedway Division. Sebastian Palmese, 10, from Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., won the Mini 150cc Speedway First Division Championship. Eight-year-old Sterling Martin from Salinas, Calif., won the Mini 150cc Speedway Second Division Championship. Each division had four rounds of heats with the top four point scorers in each division competing in a Final to determine the division’s overall winner.
Youth speedway races in America are typically blended into professional speedway events. This event, hosted by Industry Racing promoters Carol Perez and Kelly Inman, allowed the youth competitors to be the sole focus of a major speedway event and provided them with a true championship experience similar to Loretta Lynn’s Amateur National Motocross Championship. In a future story, we’ll profile the founders of this series, take a look around the machines, and highlight some of these up-and-coming talents you should look out for in the future.
Mini 150cc Second Division:
1. Sterling Martin (8 years old – Salinas, CA)
2. Logan Hedden (9 years old – Folsom, CA)
3. Sam Hagon (8 years old – London, England)
Mini 150cc First Division:
1. Sebastian Palmese (10 years old – Rancho Santa Margarita, CA)
2. Courtney Crone (12 years old – Corona, CA)
3. Maverick Molloy (11 years old – Chino Hills, CA)
Junior 250cc Division:
1. Luke Becker (14 years old – San Ramon, CA)
2. Broc Nicol (15 years old – Lomita, CA)
3. Kurtis Hamill (14 years old – Carlsbad, CA)