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Dillon Ruml saved his best move for the final lap and shocked leader Billy Janniro. His sudden strike electrified spectators at Industry Speedway Saturday. After trying to pass Janniro on the outside each lap and being crowded towards the wall, Ruml cut sharply to his left on lap 3 leaving turn four. Janniro moved up to block another outside attempt as Ruml swiftly crossed behind Janniro's mount and beat him to the first turn inside line on the final lap. He then held off Janniro's determined bid to regain the lead.

Ruml, 19, now from Garden Grove, won his first AMA California State Speedway Championship aboard his No. 3 500cc Jawa. He beat Janniro, the tough five-time California State Speedway Champion and eight-time AMA National Speedway Champion, by by one length. Nor Cal's Janniro, 38, rode the No. 1 Scopellite-owned GM-powered bike based in So Cal. It was the 43th running of the California title event.

Janniro had been the only rider Saturday to enter the feature with a perfect score on the eighth-mile dirt track inside the Grand Arena at the Industry Hills Expo Center. He won all five of his heat race rounds after starting from all four lanes. Then he won the first semi-final and again led every lap over Max Ruml, who rode Lewis Hughes' No. 5 GM, during the final night of the 2018 Industry racing season.

As high-point rider for the night, Janniro again selected the inside lane for the main event. Aaron Fox, the 30-year old second semi-final main winner over D. Ruml, chose the outside lane. That left the middle lanes for the Ruml brothers. Dillon started from the second lane with his brother Max, 21, to his right for the 10:06 pm start.

FEATURE: When the gate lifted, Janniro exploded into the first turn and had the lead on the inside in a tight pack. With Dillon, Max and Fox close to his back wheel. All riders except Dillon used GM engines. High-riding Dillon's Jawa was half a length in back of Janniro each lap. Janniro occupied race track space on the outside to thwart Dillon.

Then Dillon, the Industry first-time track season champion, “juked” the leader and used the inside to pass the reigning champion for the victory. He saved his greatest pass of the season for the final lap and for the biggest stakes. It was Dillon's sixth feature triumph at Industry this season and it came after he missed the final Wednesday night race three nights earlier following the extraction of two teeth.

The 750 spectators present watched Ruml's memorable pass in amazement. They stood in unison, clapped and cheered at the bold, decisive pass by the four-year professional. Fans at home watching live on the internet undoubtedly had the same reaction. Track announcer Bruce Flanders said on the mic, “That's a main event to remember.”

Afterwards, the feature riders did wheelies on the track. The victory celebration took place in front of the grandstand on a podium placed on the track at the start/finish line. Winner Dillon, Janniro and Max, who all used Arai helmets, received large trophies and champagne bottles to spray onlookers. Then the traditional cascade of confetti was shot from a cannon onto the gathering.

Dillon and his brother Max (the 2016 champion) now are the second brothers to win the California State Speedway Championship. Northern California-based brothers Steve and Mike Bast each won five championships from 1969-1979. Dillon became the 19th different champion since the event started in 1968. No events were run from 1998 through 2005. The event was revived in 2006 at Industry Speedway and has run the last 13 years at Industry. That makes 41 events run to date.


The 250cc and mini 150cc junior divisions also raced for top three trophies and state titles in both junior divisions. Seven 250cc riders and five 150cc juniors raced in a pair of heats, a 250cc consolation race, plus main events in both junior divisions.

In another upset, Landon Norton, 14, from Citrus Heights, led all four laps in the 250cc feature. He defeated Jake Isaac, 16, from Whittier, by half a length. Three-time AMA 250cc National Champion, Sebastian Palmese, 15, was a bit slower out of the gate and ran a close third all the way. Nor Cal's Cameron Krezman, 15, trailed Palmese by two lengths.

In the Sunday afternoon, August 12 AMA/FIM Silver Cup Championship event held for the sixth season at Industry Speedway, the same three riders finished in the top three positions. Palmese won with Norton second and Isaac third on the podium steps. Alex Martin, the 250cc consolation race winner, led all four laps. Greg Moore and Luke Whitcomb followed.

The 150cc main event started all five riders from the starting gate. Owen Williams, 11, led every lap and defeated Justin Almon, 12, by four lengths. Nick Holbein, 9, was five lengths back. Colton Nelson, 11, who won the AMA/FIM Silver Cup finale August 12 at Industry fell in turn two on the opening lap. He made the complete restart, but had to start from the 20-yard line and finished fourth. Levi Leutz, 9, pulled into the infield with a mechanical problem on the first lap.


Following five rounds of heat races (20 of the 32 events run Saturday), Janniro's 15 points topped the chart. Other top eight riders who qualified for the two-four rider semi-finals were: D. Ruml and Fox (tied at 13 points), M. Ruml (12), Russell Green (10), Bobby Schwartz and Tim Gomez (tied for P. 6 with 8 points), and high school junior Colton Hicks, 16, (7 points).

Other riders and point totals were: 6 points-Blake Borello, Jimmy Fishback III, and Jason Ramirez; 5-points-Tommy Hedden; 4-points-Bob Hicks; 3-points-Austin Novratil, who won his first heat and had an engine failure that ended his night early; 2-points-Chance Grove and Michael Wells; 0-points-reserves Eloy Medellin and Dave Hancock, who both raced in heats. Novratil, enjoying his best season at Industry, said after winning his first round heat that the engine had a vibration. He said he thought the crankshaft was out of balance.


Ten riders won the 20 first division heat races. Janniro won five, Fox four, D. Ruml three, and M. Ruml two. Winners of one heat race were: Borello, Green, C. Hicks, Novratil, Ramirez, and Schwartz. The 250cc heat winners were Norton and Palmese, who also won the two semi-final races. The 150cc two heat races both went to Williams, the feature winner as well.


The printed program listed the California State Speedway Championship year by year from the start in 1968. There are now 43 championship seasons and 19 different winners of the state title. They are: 

> Six titles – Steve Bast (1969-72 & 74-75), Mike Bast (1973,76-79 & 83).

> Five titles - Billy Janniro (2010-17).

> Four titles – Steve Lucero (1985-96), Mike Faria (1987-94), Charlie Venegas (1997-2013).

> Two titles – Bobby Schwartz (1984 & 91).

> Single title winners: Sonny Nutter (1968); Alan Christian (1980); Bruce Penhall (1981); Lance King (1982); Bobby Ott (1986); Sam Ermolenko (1988); Chris Manchester (1993); Josh Larsen (2006); Ricky Wells (2009); Billy Hamill (2015); Max Ruml (2016), and Dillon Ruml (2018).


> Charlie Venegas was one of the 16 first division riders entered in the 2018 California State Speedway Championship. However, his mother was hospitalized in Vallejo and he traveled to the Bay Area to see her and take care of everything.

> Dillon Ruml started racing speedway bikes in the junior division in 2008. He moved up to 500cc first division in 2015. His championships to date are: 2012 & 2014 Junior 250cc California State Champion; 2014 Junior 250 AMA/FIM Silver Cup Champion; AMA Youth Speedway National Champion 2013-14; 2018 AMA Best Pair Speedway National Champion, and 2018 AMA California State Speedway Champion.

> Industry PA announcer Bruce Flanders said this year marked his 50th year of involvement with speedway racing. He started as the first track announcer at Costa Mesa Speedway. He even raced speedway bikes for four years in D-2 at Costa Mesa and D-1 at Victorville. Bruce then expanded use of his golden voice for radio and television work.

Bruce has been the Industry Speedway track announcer each year from the start in 2003 under four promotional groups. He has been the track PA announcer at the Long Beach Grand Prix street race each year since 1975, at Gardena's Ascot Park for years starting in 1977, at Perris Auto Speedway from 1996-98, and at Irwindale Speedway from 1999-2017.

> Two of the 500cc D-1 riders who have to be considered among the most improved riders this season are Tim Gomez, 29, and Roseville resident Russell Green, 27. Long-time Industry fans remember when then So Cal resident Green started in speedway racing as a junior rider on “Rhonda the Honda”, an obsolete bike donated to him.

> Tommy Hedden, (No. 40) from Auburn, came to Industry August 25 with a newly-built throwback “upright bike” and a “22” that have not be ridden on a state championship night for about 20 years.

> Travis Horn, 10, was in the pits with his left arm still in a sling after his third turn fall earlier in the month. He watched and supported his fellow 250cc riders. He won the 150cc Juniors 2018 AMA National Championship on July 13 at Fast Fridays Speedway in Auburn.

> The 50/50 drawing total was a season-high $2,038. The spectator/winner received $1,019, with an equal amount distributed to the top four finishers in the D-1 feature. Hard-working 50/50 ticket sellers Andrea and Mattie deserve kudos for their hard work each week.

> This year starter Tom Fox was the surprised recipient of an appreciation award from competitors. It was a helmet autographed by all riders. Racing Director Kelly Inman made the presentation at the starting line during an intermission for track prep after each round.

> Jeff Cowans, Facilities Director at IHEC, had a half-page message in the free to spectators and competitors eight-page printed program. He thanked all staff members by name for their continuing contributions towards making Industry Speedway a success. Speedway at The Grand Racing Director Inman also had a half-page thanks to all who made the 2018 season a success.