AMA Vintage Grand Champions Awarded at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days
Chris Spoonogle, Lightning Weppler take home special recognitions
PICKERINGTON, Ohio (Aug. 9, 2022) — As the festivities began to wind down on the final day of 2022 AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days presented by Royal Enfield, which ran July 22-24 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, the event’s most prestigious honors — the AMA Vintage Grand Champion and the AMA Senior Vintage Grand Champion — were awarded.
Chris Spoonogle, a 27-year-old rider from Ballston Spa, N.Y., was named the AMA Vintage Grand Champion, while 62-year-old Lightning Weppler of Tippecanoe, Ohio, earned the title of AMA Senior Vintage Grand Champion.
The awards are decided based on competition in the AMA Vintage Grand Championship, which runs in conjunction with AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days. The racing includes motocross, hare scrambles, roadracing and trials. Class winners in these disciplines earn AMA amateur national championships in their class. The event also features a round of the AMA Vintage Flat Track National Championship Series.
The AMA Vintage Grand Championship crowns the AMA Vintage Grand Champion and the AMA Senior Vintage Grand Champion, special recognitions determined by the cumulative points earned across three vintage off-road events: hare scrambles, trials and motocross.
Spoonogle entered the final day of racing deadlocked with multiple-time winner Quinn Wentzel for the right to be named AMA Vintage Grand Champion. With the title on the line, Spoonogle edged out Wentzel by 6 points in the vintage trials competition and became an AMA Vintage Grand Champion for a second time, his first coming in 2019.
“Coming in, we definitely put in the time, and this is our goal, to come in and do this,” Spoonogle said. “My dad won it last year for the senior class, and I wanted to come back and follow it up again after I did it in 2019 to make sure it wasn’t a fluke.”
In the competition to be the AMA Senior Vintage Grand Champion, Weppler entered the vintage trials portion with a healthy lead over the field. After mustering his way through 24 tests on Sunday, Weppler became AMA Senior Vintage Grand Champion for the first time in his racing career.
“It was survival mode,” Weppler said on the final day of racing. “I went out there and rode, I guess, to the best of my ability, but I did not expect this. I was just out there having fun.”
For more information about the AMA Vintage Grand Championships and AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, go to https://vintagemotorcycledays.com/page/racing/.
To ensure you stay up to date on the 2023 event, sign up for the AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days newsletter, follow the official event Facebook page, follow the AMA VMD Instagram page and stay tuned to VintageMotorcycleDays.com.