Speedway motorcycles are all about sideways action.
The bikes are simple, and haven't changed a ton over the last few decades. But they get around the oval in a hurry.
There are riders in the sport who have been doing this for upwards of 30 years, like Shawn McConnel (in the back here), Mike Faria, Bobby Schwartz, and more.
Some things aren't so different between MX and Speedway.
But the gear is definitely different. We saw a lot of Troy Lee Designs gear, some regular leathers, and more fabric-style riding suits than we'd see in the past.
One thing the sport really does right is in allowing the fans to get close enough to meet the riders before the races. They all walk around the oval, and fans can say hi, grab a quick photo, or high-five their favorite rider.
If we're not mistaken, Tyson Burmeister used to race MX.
For the National Championships, the riders ran through a series of five qualifiers each. A win was worth three points, a second place finish two, and one for a third. Fourth in a heat would score you with zero.
The inside boot is equipped with a steel shoe, and it seemed a lot of guys would use a much lighter/smaller boot on the inside foot.
How tight is the action? There are three guys in this shot.
There were also some pee-wee, mini, and 250 classes for the up-and-coming riders. This little guy's bike started out as a Suzuki 50, and a friend of his built a custom mini-speedway frame.
The wrist strap, that's a dead-man switch to kill the bike's engine if they get loose.
Billy Hamill had one multiple National titles and a World Speedway title, and his son, Kurtis, took the 250 main event.
Jimmy and Jim Fishback, eyeing up the starting line before the main event. Jim was a wildman in his day, riding off-road, MX, and speedway.
Billy Janniro had taken the last two National Championship titles, and got the jump at the start of the final. For a while it looked like he was on his way to a third one in a row.
Unfortunately for Janniro, he tossed a chain and coasted to a stop halfway through the final. That meant Billy Hamill scored a third National title.
Father and son winning on the same high? How cool is that?
Check out the size of the sprocket in the rear...and the tossed chain that cost Billy Janniro a third consecutive title.
The top three celebrates. Billy Hamill (1st), Jimmy Fishback (left, 2nd), and Bryan Yarrow (3rd)