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DILLON RUML WINS INDUSTRY SPEEDWAY

DILLON RUML WINS INDUSTRY SPEEDWAY
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It was “national flag day” Wednesday. Dillon Ruml received the checkered flag first that night in the AMA first division feature at Industry Speedway. The 500cc Jawa rider became the third different main event winner in three races at Industry this season. About 900 persons watched the younger Ruml brother record his first main event victory in two years at the Grand Arena indoor track at the Industry Hills Expo Center. He won a handicapped D-1 feature at Industry on June 3, 2015.

With second lane choice based on his eight points earned during three rounds of heat races, Dillon, 18, selected lane two. Brother Max, 20, had a perfect nine points after winning his three heats. As first to select a starting position, Max picked lane three after checking the slick track surface following a day with temperature in the high 80s. Gino Manzares had the inside lane and Aaron Fox was left with the far outside spot next to the wall.

When the starting tapes lifted at 9:44 pm Manzares raced into the lead at the first turn. D. Ruml shot past Manzares on the outside as they exited the second turn and led the first lap over Manzares, M. Ruml and Fox. The tight pack remained unchanged to lap 3 when M. Ruml slowed to fourth place with a deflating back tire.

D. Ruml extended his lead to six lengths on the final lap over Manzares, who won the Costa Mesa feature Saturday, June 10. After passing slowing M. Ruml on lap 3, Fox finished one length out of second position. Max coasted across the finish line fourth with his back tire flat. The loss of air came “after heat buildup from the slick track” according to his mechanic.

Two scratch semi-final races sent P. 1-2 finishers from each race into the main event. Manzares used the outside groove to lead all four laps over inside lane starter M. Ruml. Gage Geist was a close third. Austin Novratil dropped out from turn two on the first lap with an engine problem.

D. Ruml started the second semi from the inside lane and led lane two starter Fox all four laps. Broc Nicol was the only other rider who won all three of his heats and scored a perfect nine points. On the opening lap break from the gate, Nicol (from the outside lane) found himself outside Fox at turn two. He battled for second on the outside all four laps but fell a length short of the final transfer to the feature. Nicol will be flying to Europe Sunday to race in Europe for a month.

Bob Hicks, from Auburn, finished fourth after compiling five points and tying fellow Nor Cal rider Luke Becker, a recent high school graduate. Hicks received the eighth and final ticket to the feature based upon the tie-breaker system fourth provision--head-to-head finish. Hicks finished second and Becker third when they met in the first round (event four of 43).

The D-1 consolation race (event 42) had three starters after Novratil scratched with an engine problem. Nicol started outside and led all four laps. Rapidly improving contender Geist, 17, was a close second with Hicks third. Novratil's engine woes kept him from starting the consy for the second week in a row. He won the handicap main event and finished fourth in the scratch main in Auburn on June 9.

Seven 1,000cc sidecars raced two rounds of heats for points to determine the top three teams who went directly to the feature (event 41). A sidecar last chance qualifier (LCQ) sent only the winning team to the main. That was No. 1965 driven by Jeff Rowe with swinger Josh Bennett on board the sidecar. Second place went to the “two Heathers team” of driver Heather Rowe and swinger Heather Bennett.

The sidecar feature went to driver Joe Jones and swinger Dave German, who was in his final race before hanging up his leathers and helmet and retiring from racing. They led every lap and took a celebratory victory lap to cheers from the grandstand. Dillon Osborne/Blake Kroncite (No. 64) finished second, with the LCQ race winners J. Rowe/J/ Bennettt third. Bryan Motis/Johnny Bach spun out to the infield on lap 2.

SUPPORT DIVISIONS: The 500cc D-2 main was a gift victory for Eloy Medellin, who led only lap 4 from turn four to the finish line. Inside starter Harold Hartke led the first three laps easily and had an insurmountable lead over Medellin. Then he suddenly slid to the ground in the fourth turn with the checkered flag waving. Rick Valdez and David Lynch followed Medellin. Hartke rose quickly and pushed his bike to the pits.

The D-3 main event for newer 500cc riders was a flag-to-flag victory for newcomer Mike Miller (No. 323). Kevin Fike and George Yates followed. Brent Smith, the June 7 winner, was second on the final lap when he hit the wall leaving the second corner and fell. He rose quickly but was a non-finisher.

JUNIORS: The three-rider 250cc junior division victory went to Carson Hicks, 15, from Auburn. The son of D-1 rider Bob Hicks, led every lap. Michael Wells was second and Sebastian Palmese third after running a close second to lap 3. Hicks and Palmese split the heat race victories.

A seven-rider, 5-lap 150cc race had a handicapped start based upon experience/skill level. Slater Lightcap, from 40-yards in back of the starting gate, took the lead on lap 3 and won easily. Levi Leutz, from the starting gate, led two laps and placed second. P 3-7 were: Jose Navarette, Andrew Russell, Luke Whitcomb, Cole Ayers and Gordon Teuber III.

The speedway 50cc pee-wee class winner was Ken Matsuidaira, 6, on a Honda 50. He led all four laps and collected his initial first place trophy. Connor Salazar won one of two heats and finished a close second. Improving Dakota Black, 6, was third in all three pee-wee races but she finished on the lead lap all night for the first time. All three riders are second year pee-wees at Industry.

PIT NOTES: There were 14 D-1, ten D-2 and eight D-3 500cc riders, plus three 250cc, seven 150cc and three 50cc pee-wees. ... Luke Whitcomb, 11, returned to racing this week and won a heat. He said he did not stay overnight at an Anaheim hospital after leaving Industry early last week because of stomach pain. His dad Wade “the Rev” raced his 500cc bike in D-3 this week.

Attendees this week included USAC-CRA 410 sprint car driver Brody Roa and his father, former driver Brett Roa. AMA 1960s-70s flat track star Sammy Tanner, now 78 spoke to them. Sammy is an active Arai helmet dealer in the Inland Empire. The Roa team just returned from two successful USAC National Sprint Car races (June 2-3) in the Midwest. They will return for USAC's Indiana Sprint Week, seven races at seven speedways from July 7-15.

The Army-brown and pink lettered No. 21 sidecar raced by the two Heathers had Sidecars USA (Facebook) and Demented Designs OC, plus “the Heathers” lettered on the sidecar. There were three different sidecar 1,000cc engines in use. The Heathers No. 21 was powered by a 1996 Kawasaki police motorcycle engine that came from a funeral escort motorcycle in Arizona. Other sidecar engines were: Yamaha R1s in Nos. 1 and 4, and Suzuki engines in the No. 44, 64, 1965, and 13 (that will be changed to No. 11 soon).

Dave German, 30, competed June 14 for the final time as a swinger. The Lake Forest (Orange County) resident and his wife Sarah are expecting their first child on September 26 so he decided to retire from racing. He went out in style by leading every lap in both heats and the main event with driver Joe Jones. His replacement in the No. 1 rig will be Tom Summers, who was hurt seriously in a sidecar crash at Ventura last season. Tom returned and raced June 7 at Industry with driver Jones and they also won. Tom was in the pits June 14 helping the Jones/German team. Sidecars will race next at Fast Fridays Speedway in Auburn.

Industry PA announcer Bruce Flanders was absent June 14 from the announcing booth above start/finish and next to the two scorers. Ike Clanton, the long-time Costa Mesa Speedway announcer, subbed for Bruce on the mic. Bruce has seldom if ever missed announcing at Industry since speedway bikes debuted at The Grand Arena in 2003.

Clanton interviewed June 7 Industry D-1 winner Max Ruml in the announcing booth. Max said he started racing motocross at age 4. He began racing speedway bikes in 2009. He credited Billy Hamill for being his early mentor. Max revealed his initial big victory as a Junior was the first Monster Energy Invitational at Industry (12/29/2012). Despite living in Huntington Beach, Max said he never got into surfing much although he and friend Austin Novratil and brother Dillon went to the beach. He said they all help each other at the track. “My full-time job now and working on bikes keep me busy.”

Max said talented young speedway riders Seb Palmese, Colton Hicks, Luke Whitcomb and Slater Lightcap are future 500cc stars. Ike asked him about his plans to race in Europe. Max answered, “It is a long-term goal, but learning the trade here in the US is the most important thing to me now.” Max said he is still learning from established speedway veterans such as Bobby Schwartz, Charlie Venegas, Shawn McConnell, and Billy Janniro.”