Billy “The Bullet” Hamill grabbed a piece of history before a standing room only crowd at Arrowhead Motor Speedway in San Bernardino, California, when he flew to the win in the A Final at the first round of the inaugural AMA National Championship Speedway Series last night.
The 31-year-old Hamill from Monrovia, California, who is the reigning AMA National Speedway Champion, and a former World Champion, made his way to the main event of the evening by posting a maximum score of 15 points in the five rounds of racing leading up to the Finals. He then rocketed from his starting position in gate two and cut four perfect laps on his CWF/Parts Unlimited-backed GM, defeating fellow Europe-based Americans Billy Janniro and Greg Hancock, and fan favorite Eddie Castro of Ojai, California, en route to the win.
“It was a great night for me,” Hamill said. “We were on all night. We made perfect starts from every gate position, so for the A Final, I just figured that I’d take gate two and see what happened. It worked out for me.”
The win means that Hamill now leads the points standings in the three-race series, which continues with round two at Fast Fridays Speedway on the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn, California, on Friday, August 16. Hamill is expected to be at all three rounds.
“I think this series is going to be good for the sport of speedway, and I’m really happy to see that it has such tremendous support from the AMA,” Hamill said.
Arrowhead Motor Speedway
San Bernardino, California
Results: August 14, 2002 (Round 1 of 3)
A FINAL: 1. Billy Hamill; 2. Billy Janniro; 3. Greg Hancock; 4. Eddie Castro.
B FINAL: 1. Scott Brant; 2. Chris Manchester; 3. Ryan Fisher; 4. Mike Faria.
C FINAL: 1. Gary Hicks; 2. Josh Larsen; 3. Bart Bast; 4. Tommy Hedden.
D FINAL: 1. Bobby Schwartz; 2. Eric Carrillo; 3. Randy DiFrancesco; 4. Bobby Hedden.
AMA NATIONAL C’SHIP SPEEDWAY SERIES POINTS STANDINGS (After 1 of 3 rounds): 1. Billy Hamill (20/1 win); 2. Billy Janniro (18); 3. Greg Hancock (16); 4. Eddie Castro (14); 5. Scott Brant (12); 6. Chris Manchester (11); 7. Ryan Fisher (10); 8. Mike Faria (9); 9. Gary Hicks (8); 10. Josh Larsen (7); 11. Bart Bast (6); 12. Tommy Hedden (5); 13. Bobby Schwartz (4); 14. Eric Carrillo (3); 15. Randy DiFrancesco (2); 16. Bobby Hedden (1).
Round 2: Auburn, California, August 16
Round 3: Auburn, California, September 20