Familiar Faces Find Success at AMA Youth Speedway and Sidecar National Championships
September 2, 2021
By Keaton Maisano
Fast Fridays Motorcycle Speedway was the site of redemption and repetition Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021.
With three different national championships up for grabs in the opening week of the Saturday night racing events at the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn, Calif., Nick Hohlbein repeated as national champion in the Youth 150cc division, and Joe Jones won his second AMA Speedway Sidecar National Championship — this time with teammate Tom Summers. While Hohlbein and Jones returned atop the podium, Alex Martin avenged his runner-up finish in 2020 with his first AMA 250cc Youth National Championship.
Martin secured 8-of-9 points en route to the final race, surrendering his only point to Slater Lightcap. With a competitive set of heats, the final stage was set with Martin, Lightcap and Charlie Trana all possessing 8 points.
“There was a lot of pressure on me all season long,” Martin said. “I had to go all out; you have to bump elbows if you want to be national champion.”
Martin, who fell to Wilbur Hancock in 2020, edged out Trana and Lightcap to secure the top spot Saturday. Finishing third and fourth in 2020, Trana and Lightcap claimed second and third in the 2021 AMA 250cc Youth National Championship.
After the event was canceled in 2020, the AMA Speedway Sidecar National Championship made its return to Fast Friday’s Motorcycle Speedway. The AMA sanctioned the competition in 2019 — an event won by Jones and Josh Flammia. Jones took advantage of his chance to repeat Saturday as he and Summers rode to the podium in undefeated fashion.
Trailing behind the duo in second place was the tandem of Dillon Osborne and Jamie Morabito. Smylie Kinne and Josh Bustos, who earned 9 points as a team in the 2019 AMA Speedway Sidecar National Championship, took third.
In his final year in the Youth 150cc division, 12-year-old Hohlbein made his final impression on the competition by defending his 2020 title in dominant fashion. Hohlbein finished first in all three heats before winning the final race, while Darren Armbruster secured second — his best finish in three years at the event.
“I have been working four years … and it feels better than last year,” Hohlbein said. “I am so happy to go out on top.”