“This event pitted America’s top youth speedway talent against one another to put on an amazing show for fans,” said AMA Track Racing Manager Ken Saillant. “Many youth national champions have gone on to compete in international events, such as the Speedway World Cup, later in their careers. Congratulations to Sebastian Palmese and Sterling Martin on their national championships.”
Palmese (right), 12, of Mission Viejo, Calif., finished second in the 2015 250cc competition and charged hard for the win this year. He and last year’s 250cc champion, Colton Hicks, battled for the title down to the final race.
“It was a very exciting race to be in, and it was an honor to win against so many prestigious American riders who have held the title in the past,” Palmese said. “I wouldn’t be able to win it without all my sponsors, including my dad and Randy Eason, with Alarmco Integrated Solutions, that helped me get where I am.”
Palmese also said he had fractured his wrist two weeks before the race and was hesitant about riding.
“I was very excited just to ride, let alone to take the victory,” said Palmese, who won the 150cc title in 2014 and 2015. “I am happy to race many more AMA championships in the future.”
Eleven-year-old Sterling Martin of Salinas, Calif., defended his 2015 150cc national championship.
“It’s been my dream ever since I was little kid,” said Martin, who has been racing for five years. “I used to watch all kinds of speedway racing and think, ‘That’s what I want to do.’ And, finally, my dream came true.”
Martin plans to race in the 250cc class next year.
“I want to win the championship, and I want to go to Europe and win the [FIM Speedway] Gold Cup,” Martin said.
Martin had a long list of people to thank.
“I’d like to thank Arai, Motion Pro, Doug Chandler, Bubba Shobert, Blatnik Excavating, Don Chapin Company, Billy Hamill, EKS Brand googles, mom and dad and my twin brother Alex,” he said.
2016 AMA 250cc Youth National Speedway Championship Results
- Sebastian Palmese
- Michael Wells
- Colton Hicks
- Jake Isaac
- Cameron Krezman
- Kyle Cunningham
- Dylan Wagner
- Anthony Dion
- Landon Norton
- Sara Cords
- Sterling Martin
- Slater Lightcap
- Enzo Sorani
- Alex Martin
- Sammy Waddill
- Luke Whitcomb
- Glenn Geist
- Travis Horn
- Charlie Trana
- Keelan Venegas