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Max Ruml Wins Speedway Bike Gumball Rally

Max Ruml Wins Speedway Bike Gumball Rally


Industry, CA., Feb. 25 – Max Ruml, the 2016 Industry Speedway track champion and California State Speedway Champion, capped a near perfect night of speedway bike racing Saturday by leading all four laps of the feature at the Industry Hills Expo Center. The event attracted 45 speedway 500cc pro riders from throughout the state in three divisions. Fourteen riders journeyed south from their homes in the northern half of California.

The popular “gumball event” was held for the third consecutive year at Industry Speedway on the eighth-mile dirt surface of the Grand Arena. There was no gumball event during 2014. Industry Speedway welcomed the event and it has grown annually in riders and enthusiasm. It attracted 684 persons through the front gate and about 200 more in the pit area. The final race of the annual pre-season opening night was a thrilling three-way battle for the coveted huge gumball machine trophy that goes to the “Gumball Rally” winner.

HISTORY: Gumball Rally races were held from 2011-2013 at Pirate Speedway in San Bernardino on the grounds of the Orange Show Fairgrounds. Past adult gumball scratch feature winners were speedway US National and World Speedway Champion Billy Hamill (2012-13) and Speedway World Champion Greg Hancock (2011). Youth or kids gumball races were held on the same program.

Ruml, a 19-year old Huntington Beach resident and star professional speedway racer, started from the outside lane next to the crash-wall on his 500cc GM. He shot into the lead on the first lap with an outside pass of pole starter/national champion Billy Janniro exiting the second turn. At the same time, lane two starter Gino Manzares raced past Janniro on the inside leaving turn two. The three pros battled closely to the final lap when Ruml opened a four-length lead that he held to the finish.

Gumball Rally 2015-16 champion Janniro took second place from Manzares with a determined move to the inside entering the third turn on the final lap. Janniro, 36, edged Manzares, 23, by a length. Speedway 2016 Under 21 National Champion Luke Becker, 17, started from lane three and placed fourth, three lengths in back of Manzares. Racers were in mid-season form and had fans looking forward to the Industry point-season opener on Wednesday, May 31.

The 2017 adult gumball rally had 20 first division 500cc riders racing for event points in four rounds of heats (20 races). They also ran a last chance race from which only the winner advanced to the main event. Sixteen second division (intermediate level) riders raced two rounds of heats and a main event. Nine third division (beginning level) also raced two rounds of heats and a feature.

SIDECARS: Eight 1,000cc sidecar teams raced four heats and a main event in their usual clockwise direction. Driver Joe Jones and sidecar “swinger” Dave German led all the way on a Suzuki in the feature. The Dillon Osborne/Johnny Bach team finished second. P.3 was paraplegic driver Bryan Motis and his sidecar working passenger Charlie Davis who provided counter-balance in the turns. Fourth went to Kevin Holman/Matt Fishman.

The D-2 feature went to lane four starter Mike Bloom, 56, from Aliso Viejo. He led every lap. NorCal's Nick Dion, from Grass Valley, started from lane two and placed second. Pole starter Harold Hartke took third, with lane three starter/college coed Hayley Perrault, 19, fourth and lane five starter David Lynch fifth.

D-3: The third division main went to Nor Cal's Aaron Sorani, from Grass Valley, on his No. 233N. He led the first two laps, bobbled briefly in the east turn, and lost the lead on lap 3 to Fred Armenta. Sorani raced back to the lead on lap 4 and won narrowly over newcomer Armenta. Industry D-3 2016 champion Steve “Beach-ball” Brown placed third. Industry 2016 D-3 point champion Brent Smith was third on lap 3 when he fell. He remounted quickly, but finished fourth.

The three high-point heat race riders--Janniro and M. Ruml with 11 points plus Manzares with 10--went directly to the feature (race 42 of the night). A first division “last chance” race had Austin Novratil (10 points), Becker (9), plus rising speedway stars Dillon Ruml and Broc Nicol tied at 8-points. They raced in event 37 for one transfer position to the feature. Becker led all four laps and edged Nicol and Ruml. Novratil dropped out from P. 4 on lap 3.

The sidecars consolation race (event 38) went to the race-long leader team of Jeff Rowe/David Dent. Robert Curry/Johnny Glover finished second. Smylie Kinne/Josh Bennett and Adam Duckett/M. Fishman followed.

Track announcer Bruce Flanders told the crowd prior to event 37 that D-1 racer Bob Hicks, from Auburn, had suffered a broken arm when he crashed in his round one heat race (event 3). His radial and ulna bones were broken in the mishap. Hicks, 52, remained at the speedway to assist his son Colton, 14, the next afternoon in the “Kids Gumball Rally” event for junior 250cc and 150cc riders and 50cc pee-wee riders.

HEAT WINS: The first division had 20 heats and ten riders (half the field) won at least one heat. The following riders won three of their four races--Janniro, M. Ruml, and Becker. Two heat winners were: D. Ruml, Nicol, Novratil, and Manzares. Winners of one heat were: Gage Geist, Kurtis Hamill and Aaron Fox.

The second division eight heat races went to eight different riders, so no riders scored more than 5-points via the usual 3-2-1-0 heat race scoring system. D-3 ran four heats with scoring from 4 to 0 and three riders won them. Fred Armenta won both of his heats and tallied a perfect score of 8. Brent Smith and Aaron Sorani each won a heat.

POINT SCORING: The three divisions had the following point scores:

D-1: (20 riders)

11 points – Billy Janniro, Max Ruml

10 - Austin Novratil, Gino Manzares

9 - Luke Becker

8 - Dillon Ruml, Broc Nicol, Aaron Fox

7 - Gage Geist

6 - Kurtis Hamill, Tyson Talkington

5 - Tommy Heddon, Ryan Bast

4 - Neil Facchini

3 - Shaun Harmatiuk, David Fonts

2 - Brad Sauer, Eddie Marsalla, Steve Bowen

0 - Bob Hicks.


D-2: (16 riders)

5 points - David Lynch, Hayley Perrault, Nick Dion, Mike Bloom, Harold Hartke

4 - Jeremy Estes, Rudy Laurer

3 - Matt King, Will McClosksey, Lawrence McNutt

2 - Joey Donaldson, Ron Davis

1 - Damon Barry, Cameron Beck

0 - Brad Moreau, Kenny Hansen.


D-3: (9 riders)

8 points - Fred Armenta

7 - Brent Smith

6 - Aaron Sorani, Steve Brown

5 - George Yates

4 - Dennis Osmer

2 - Greg Willis

1 - Mac Henderson, Chad Williams.