Seven national champions crowned Sunday at Barber

AMA Racing Awards winners also announced at 2019 AMA Road Race Grand Championship

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Chris Bettis was among seven riders who claimed eight AMA National No. 1 plates Sunday as the 2019 AMA Road Race Grand Championship came to a close.

The national amateur road racing championship featured 129 entries who took to Barber Motorsports Park’s road course during the two-day event.

Bettis, of Lawrenceville, Ga., was Sunday’s top performer, taking top honors in the AMA 1000 Superbike Novice and AMA 1000 Superstock Novice classes.

Chris Bettis. Photo by Brian J. Nelson

He said his participation in Thursday’s WERA Motorcycle Roadracing Inc./N2 Track Days endurance race helped him earn the victories.

He rode a Ducati 1199S in the endurance race and found better racing lines around the track as he  figured out how to manage the Ducati’s power. He also was happy to win the championships with his father, Michael Bettis, in attendance.

The only other rider to win two AMA National Championships at the event was Will Ray. After winning the AMA 600 Superstock Novice title on Saturday, Ray claimed the AMA 600 Superbike Novice title Sunday.

The Etowan, Tenn., resident said he was nervous about racing in the rain Saturday, because he had never raced a 600cc motorcycle in wet conditions. He ended up enjoying the wet conditions and demonstrated on Sunday that he could win rain or shine. He plans to compete in 600cc expert classes in 2020.

Will Ray. Photo by Brian J. Nelson

Other riders to win AMA National Championships Sunday included Ryan Jones of Winchester, Va.; Daniel Kinard of Bentonville, Ark.; Nicole Karamichael of Hoover, Ala.; Vasiliy Zhulin of New York, N.Y.; and 2018 AMA Vet/Senior Road Racer of the Year Greg Melka of Tampa, Fla.

Ray also was named the 2019 AMA Novice Road Racer of the Year.

Other riders to win AMA Racing Awards included Nicky Hayden AMA Road Race Horizon Award winner Blake Davis, AMA Vet/Senior Road Racer of the Year Charles Ivey and AMA Youth Road Racer of the Year Eli Banish.

Sunday’s races took place on a mostly dry race track under cloudy skies with temperatures in the 60s.

2019 AMA Road Race Grand Championship Sunday Results

AMA 1000 Superbike Expert

  1. Ryan Jones, Winchester, Va.
  2. Vasiliy Zhulin, New York, N.Y.
  3. Michael Hilton, Murfreesboro, Tenn.

AMA 1000 Superbike Novice

  1. Chris Bettis, Lawrenceville, Ga.
  2. Rogerio Sabino, Roswell, Ga.
  3. Bo Bin, South El Monte, Calif.

AMA 300 Superstock Expert

  1. Daniel Kinard, Bentonville, Ark.
  2. Heather Trees, Marengo, Ohio
  3. Keith Buras, Ball Ground, Ga.

AMA 300 Superstock Novice

  1. Nicole Karamichael, Hoover, Ala.
  2. Eli Banish, Burlington, Ky.
  3. Scott Campbell, Paducah, Ky.

AMA 1000 Superstock Expert

  1. Vasiliy Zhulin, New York, N.Y.
  2. Gary Virgin, Evansville, Ind.
  3. Jeremy Kolewski, Jackson, Miss.

AMA 1000 Superstock Novice

  1. Chris Bettis, Lawrenceville, Ga.
  2. David Shadduck, Boiling Springs, Ga.
  3. Edwin Cosme, Raleigh, N.C.

AMA 600 Superbike Expert

  1. Greg Melka, Tampa, Fla.
  2. Charles Ivey, Augusta, Ga.
  3. Connor Funk, Glendale, Calif.

AMA 600 Superbike Novice

  1. Will Ray, Etowan, Tenn.
  2. T. Christopher Jackman, Fayetteville, Ga.
  3. Nathan Seethaler, Raleigh, N.C.