Ingalls chases dream overseas

Foresthill motorcycle racer who once thrilled Fast Fridays crowds finding success in Europe
By: Ray Hacke, Journal Sports Writer
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To reach the pinnacle of his sport, Kenny Ingalls has become quite the world traveler. When he hasn’t been providing thrills to local motorcycle racing fans at Auburn’s Fast Fridays Motorcycle Speedway over the past three years, the Foresthill resident has been racing in various parts of Europe – the United Kingdom in particular – as a member of the USA Dream Team. The squad is comprised of top U.S. riders who hope to land jobs with leading racing teams in a region where the sport is wildly popular, the paychecks are bigger and the competition is the best the world has to offer. “It gives us an opportunity to get our foot in the door over there and maybe get an offer from a team,” Ingalls said. Ingalls actually got an offer across the pond from the Redcar Bears, a team that competes in Middlesbrough, England. Ingalls had to turn it down, however. “What they offered would leave me struggling,” he said. “If I had an equipment failure or needed a ride to the track, I wouldn’t have anything that would get me where I needed to go. What they offered was really basic – it wouldn’t have been enough.” Still, Ingalls isn’t giving up on his dream of riding overseas. He plans to head back to England in April to ride in a few more races with the Dream Team, and in May he’ll compete in the second round of the Federation Internationale de Motorcyclisme Speedway World Cup in Italy. Ingalls has shown he can compete with some of the world’s top riders. Last fall with the Dream Team, while riding a borrowed bike, he managed to win 13 straight heats before crashing on the 14th when another rider cut him off as he was attempting to take the lead. He followed up that performance by scoring a combined 13 points in a series of three invitational races against elite riders. Riders were awarded three points for a first-place finish, two for second, and one for third – and Ingalls hadn’t been expected to score even one point going in. Ingalls’ pursuit of a racing job in Europe doesn’t mean he won’t be competing for his hometown fans this season. He plans to ride in as many races as he can at Fast Fridays as well as in Vallejo. He’ll also compete in Southern California and other parts of the United States. “I want to get as much exposure time on the bike as I can,” Ingalls said. The 22-year-old is hopeful that he’ll land a contract to compete for a major European racing team in 2011. “I want to go wherever the best competition is,” he said. “To be the best you’ve got to race the best. “I’ll go with any team that wants to give me a good offer and get behind me. I’ll offer them good racing.”