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Dillon Ruml, 18, won his second AMA 500cc first division main event Wednesday at Industry Speedway in the Grand Arena. He also won at the eighth-mile indoor dirt track during week three on June 14 aboard his No. 3 Jawa. This week he won all five of his racing events and led every lap in doing so.

Week eight of 14 in the 2017 Industry season at the Industry Hills Expo Center attracted 840 persons through the front gate and almost 200 more in the pits. It was the annual “Speedway Legends & Heroes Night” as well as the annual “Haddick's Classic Car Night” presented by Haddick's Towing (City of Industry). Haddick's employees inside the front gate distributed paper ballots to incoming fans. They voted for their favorite classic vehicles among 21 contestants parked inside the front gate and behind the grandstand.

Speedway racing legends and heroes from past decades sat at three long tables in the courtyard and signed autographs, posed for photos, and talked to fans from 6:45 to 7:30 pm, when racing started. The printed race program, given free to spectators each week, had 14-pages and individual photos of 40 past speedway riders.

Program cover-boy Bobby “Boogaloo” Schwartz, 60, was busy in the pits preparing to race in the second heat of the 44 races run during the busy schedule. Legend Shawn “Mad Dog” McConnell also was in the program but he also was in the pits preparing to race his 500cc Jawa as usual. He made the main event, proving he is still competitive at age 58.

Sixteen 500cc D-1 riders, including “un-retired” veterans Jimmy Fishback, 36, and Tyson Burmeister, 33, raced three rounds of heats for points. Ruml was the only perfect rider with three victories in his three heats for the maximum nine points. Aaron Fox and Broc Nicol, the AMA National Championship second round winner July 29 at Santa Maria Speedway, tied with eight points for second place. Four riders tied with six points. It took five points to make one of two semi-final races for the eight high-point riders.

The pair of semi-final races (events 33-34) produced flag-to-flag triumphs for Ruml over McConnell in the first semi and for Nicol over Fox in the second race. Tim Gomez and Burmeister (a DNF with an electrical problem) were third and fourth in the first semi. Fishback and Gino Manzares (lap 1 fall) were P. 3-4 in the second semi. Manzares led every lap of the consy over Fishback and Gomez. Burmeister was a non-starter because of his engine problem.

FEATURE: The D-1 finale started at 10:18 pm with Ruml, Fox, McConnell and Nicol arrayed in that order from inside to the crash-wall. Ruml shot into the lead when the green light flashed and the starting gate lifted. It was a tight two by two pack for several laps. Fox pressured him all four laps and trailed by a length at the finish.

Nicol was third, one length behind Fox. P. 4 McConnell slowed leaving turn four and finished five lengths in back of Nicol. Afterwards, the top three riders took celebratory laps on their back tires on the straights.

MISHAPS: Max Ruml, 20, started from pole position in the first heat at 7:37 and on the first lap ended his race night. The three-time Industry 2017 feature winner crashed hard into the wall leaving the fourth turn on lap 1. He was stunned and remained on the track briefly. He walked to the pits without injury, but his GM bike was damaged too severely to race. He did not have a backup bike so he watched from the pits as his brother excelled. Max even walked to the Grand Arena popular on-site restaurant for food.

The track was dry and uncharacteristically dusty and treacherous early. Upper 90s mid-day temperature and high humidity adversely affected the eastern San Gabriel Valley track surface. It was 88 degrees at 6 pm and still 82 and humid when racing concluded. That contributed to five falls during the first ten heats. Officials brought out the tractor earlier than planned to re-grade the surface and water it via hoses from the infield. That eliminated the dust and brought the track back to its usual racy condition.

During round three, much improved D-1 rider Gage Geist, 18, fell in the fourth turn and slid shoulder first into the plywood wall at the front straight. He remained on the ground. Track EMTs attended to his shoulder injury for about five minutes. Geist, with his leathers lowered to his waist, walked to the pits. He later went to a hospital for X-rays for a possible broken clavicle.

SIDECARS: Seven 1,000cc sidecar teams raced two rounds of heats for points. The top three teams in points advanced directly to their feature (event 42) A four-team last chance qualifier (LCQ) race sent only the winner to the main event. That was lane two starting Jeff Rowe and swing-man Josh Bennett, who led all four laps.

The sidecar feature became a flag-to-flag victory ride for outside starting paraplegic driver Bryan Motis and swinger Johnny Bach on a Yamaha R1. It was their first Industry victory this season. Joe Jones/Tom Summers, the four-time Industry winning team this season, was a challenging second. Dillon Osborne/Ashley Gibbons placed third. The No. 1965 rig of Rowe/Bennett was fourth.

SUPPORT DIVISIONS: Eight 500cc D-2 (intermediate skill level) and eight D-3 (newer riders) raced two rounds of heats for points. The four highest point scorers in each division raced in two support mains. Rudy Laurer, 60, won his second D-2 main at Industry this year after leading every lap from lane three on his Jawa 897. July 12 D-2 winner Chet Kohler was a close second. Michael Wells, 16, was third and Bruce Marteney fourth.

Kevin Fife, a 47-year old carpenter, won a D-3 feature for the second time this season. He started his Jawa 888 short stroke from pole position and led every lap. George Yates, Kevin Fiore, and Steve “Beach-ball” Brown finished in P. 2-4 respectively.

JUNIORS: The 250cc class had only two riders present. Jake Isaac, 15, won both heat races and the main event over Sara Cords, 17. She reportedly will be racing a 500cc bike soon.

The three rider field of experienced 150cc riders became a two rider main event after Luke Whitcomb, 11, blew his engine in heat one at the starting gate. Slater Lightcap, 11, started 60-yards from the gate in each race. He chased gate starter Travis Horn, 9, until the late laps in 5-lap heats and the main before passing early leader Horn in all three races.

The second division 150cc main for newer riders was a 5-lap winning ride for Gordon Teuber III, 11, from Rancho Palos Verdes. It was only his fifth ride on a 150cc after racing only once on a pee-wee 50cc bike in 2014. Andrew Russell, Owen Williams, Levi Leutz, and Jose Navarette finished second through fifth respectively.

PEE-WEES: The 50cc pee-wees (riders aged 4-8) had two females—second year Dakota Black, 5, and rookie Penny Hall, 4. Black had won her first heat race over two closing boys. Hall, on the final lap, was contacted by the battling lead duo. She fell entering turn one, was stunned, and slow to rise. She walked to the pits with her dad.

Black led the first three laps of the main and finished second to four-time pee-wee winner Ken Matsudaira's Suzuki 50. Connor Salazar and Strydrr Uebersetzig finished third and fourth, with non-finisher Hall fifth.


There will be no racing at Industry Speedway Wednesday, August 9. Teams are preparing for the Saturday, August 12 Industry Speedway third round of four for the 2017 AMA National Championship. The annual AMA/FIM Junior Speedway Silver Cup Championship at Industry will be the following afternoon, August 13 with free grandstand admission.

Round one of the AMA National Championship was June 24 at Ventura Raceway. Luke Becker, 18, won. Round two July 29 in Santa Maria went to Broc Nicol over 2017 point leader/reigning champion Billy Janniro, 36. Third and fourth place riders Max Ruml and Luke Becker fell and were excluded. Becker reportedly broke an ankle and missed the August 2 Industry race. The fourth and final round will be September 16 at Fast Fridays Speedway in Auburn.

Comeback riders: The return to speedway racing by Jimmy Fishback (No. 25) and Tyson Burmeister (No. 26) was impressive. Both riders last raced speedway in 2014. Fishback, who tried off-road truck racing in 2015, raced his bike once in 2016 at the Industry season finale. This week Jimmy won his first round heat and scored 3, 2, 1 (6) total points. Burmeister's three heats produced in order 1, 2 and 3 points (6) for advancement a semi-final. They just missed main event starts on their comeback rides.

Midget and sprint car competitors present at Industry August 2 were: drivers J. J. Ercse, Shane Scully, Jerome Rodela, Courtney Crone and her dad Jack. Midget/sprint car owner Gary Hansen, also attended with friend Mike Konle. Gary said he still owns five Maxim No. 70 sprints and midgets that his race winning son, Garrett, drove until he was injured seriously a decade ago. Gary said Garrett has been concentrating on business, but he is getting the itch to race again.

Classic Car top three in spectator balloting: The top three in fans voting received P. 1-2-3 silver trophies from Haddick's Towing. Winner was the pearl cherry color 1950 Ford F-1 pickup truck. Second was the post-WW II Metro cream & red color Snap-on Tools step-up van. Third place went to a black 1932 Ford two-seat bucket roadster with a chromed De Soto hemi-engine.

Speedway Legends & Heroes: The 43 speedway legends/heroes honored and present were: Jan Ballard, Pam “Pinky” Bennett (No. 351), Jim Buchanan, Tommy Burba, Tom Cirello, Terry “Ike” Clanton, Bill Cody, (No. 41), Scott Daloisio, Mike Dwyer, Stu Egli (No. 197), Bryce Eikelberger, Ryan Evans, Mike Faria (No. 9), Bruce Flanders, Dean Foreman, Dave Galvin (No. 10), Gene Gene “the Dancin' Machine”, Tim Gewecke, (No. 17-1982-87), Dennis Gildehaus, David Hancock, Bobby Hardison, Larry Huffman, Bobbi Hunter (No. 280-1976-91), Kelly Inman (No. 131-1982-89), Mike Konle, Steve Lucero (No. 18 & No. 1), Mike Mazzacane, Shawn McConnell (No 6), Billy Meister, Ricky Miller, Rob Morrison, Doug Nicol (No. 98), Sonny Nutter, Bruce Penhall, Preston Petty, Victor Robledo, Bobby “Boogaloo” Schwartz (No. 11), Dave Sims, Scott Sivadge, Sammy Tanner (No. 7), Bob Tocco, Pat “Tumbleweed” Walton, and Dean York.

Still active in speedway: Bennett, Faria, McConnell and Schwartz are active speedway riders. Inman is Industry Speedway Racing Director. Evans is the pit steward, Galvin is a past referee; Lucero is the present on-track referee, Nicol runs the pit for his son Doug, Cody runs his speedway parts store, Daloisio, Clanton, Flanders, and Huffman are active track announcers, and Tanner, 78, is the western distributor for Arai helmets.

Tanner was called the “Flyin' Flea”during his speedway and AMA Flat Track racing days in the 1950-60 decades. He has been named grand marshal for the 2017 AMA Flat Track season finale at Perris Auto Speedway on Saturday, October 7. The Southern California Fair Board is promoting the high-purse inaugural event at The PAS. AMA flat track racing has not competed at a So Cal non-fairgrounds site since annual races at the half-mile clay Ascot Park in Gardena closed after the 1990 season.