Monster Energy World Speedway Invitational
A crowd of approximately 5,500 spectators gathered at the Grand Arena in the City of Industry on Saturday night to witness 16 of the world's elite speedway racers compete in the inaugural Monster Energy World Speedway Invitational.
Five of the top 10 ranked riders in the world, including number three ranked and Costa Mesa's own Greg Hancock, joined the 2012 USA National Champion Billy Hamill for 20 heat races leading up to the semi finals and main event. The American riders may have had a home field advantage over the international field in that USA tracks are much shorter than the international tracks. The result was that the main event was stacked with an all American field leaving the international riders on the sidelines to watch the local boys battle it out for the championship. In the end, California's Billy Janniro stood on top of the podium followed by Orange County residents Hancock and Ricky Wells with Billy Hamill finishing the night in fourth place.
Speedway bikes have a single speed, no brakes and 500cc motors that run on methanol fuel. They can go from zero to 60 in under 3 seconds and races consist of four riders at a time in four lap heats. The result is fast paced racing with lots of thrills and spills. Local tracks can be found in Costa Mesa, City of Industry, San Bernardino and Victorville with the season beginning in April and running through the summer.