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Dillon Ruml, 19, did it again in speedway racing Wednesday night at Industry Speedway on his 500cc Jawa. The Huntington Beach resident won the first division feature for the fourth time during week eight of the 14 week season. Ruml executed a spectacular outside pass exiting turn two to vault from third to first on lap 2 of the feature. He defeated two prior Industry 2018 feature winners.

The D-1 main event from inside to outside had Jimmy Fishback on pole with Tim Gomez alongside. Aaron Fox occupied lane three with Ruml on the outside next to the crash-wall. When the light turned green and the starting gate shot upwards, Fox charged deep into the first turn, forcing Ruml even higher. Fishback, Fox and Ruml came out of the second corner in a tight pack and completed the first lap in that order.

With a pair of talented 2018 Industry winners to his inside, outside running Ruml came off turn two at high speed on lap 2. He passed both Fox and leader Fishback in a swift strike on the backstretch. Ruml stayed on the outside, led the final three laps and won by two lengths over Fishback. Fox trailed the runner-up by three lengths at the checkers. Gomez was 15 lengths back after slowing in the final two corners.

Fans called the race the best feature this season. The D-1 field of only nine riders, including two D-2 riders, was the lowest ever at Industry dating back to 2003. The spectator count through the front gate and in the pits was just under 500 onlookers, lowest at Industry. Some riders are having engines rebuilt and some are saving their equipment for upcoming AMA Speedway National Championship round three July 28 at Santa Maria Speedway and round four on August 11 at Industry.

SEMI-FINALS: Ruml again won all three of his heats for the maximum nine points. He started on pole and led every lap in the first semi-final event. Gate three starter Gomez finished second to also qualify for the main event. Joe Donaldson and Chet Kohler placed third and fourth. Fox launched from the inside lane in the second semi-final and beat lane two starter Fishback. Bobby Schwartz and Eloy Medellin followed.

“Boogaloo” Schwartz, 61, led every lap of the D-1 consolation race. He scored two points in his first heat and dropped out of his second heat when his carburetor failed. He did not start his third heat, but with a short field in D-1 he qualified for one of the two semi-final races for the eight high-point riders. Steve Martin, father of junior rider Alex Martin, pits near Schwartz. He loaned a carburetor to grateful Schwartz, who ran third in a semi-final and then led all four laps of the consy. D-2 riders Kohler and Medellin followed with Donaldson fourth. .

SIDECARS: Four 1,000cc sidecar teams raced clockwise a pair of heats and main event. Bryan Motis/Blake Cronkrite took the lead on lap 3 and won heat one. Joe Jones/Tom Summers took heat two. The feature went to Dillon Osborne/Ashley Gibbons over the father/son team of Ace and Kevin Kale after the Jones/Summers team was excluded.

On the original start, “swinger” Cronkrite tumbled out of the sidecar entering turn one on the first lap. He remained prone and motionless for several minutes as ambulance EMTs attended to him. The shaken sidecar “swinger” eventually got to his feet and walked to the pits. His team did not restart the feature and finished fourth.

SUPPORT DIVISIONS: A six-rider 500cc D-2 field had a handicapped start. Mike Miller led the final three laps for the victory. Brent Smith, Bruce Marteney, Ron Davis, Carl Gazafy and David Lynch were second through sixth.

The 500cc D-3 for newer riders also had six starters for a five lap race and a handicapped starting grid. Ten-yard line starters Kevin Fiore and Auburn high school senior Dakota VanderBroeder won the two heats. Fiore led two laps of the feature and dropped out to the infield. Vanderbroeder, 17, led the final three laps on her No. 160 Jawa for her second consecutive D-3 victory in her second Industry race night.

When racing concluded, Vanderbroeder visited with speedway legend Schwartz and posed for photos with him. Twenty yard line starters Steve Brown, David Newsham, Dennis Osmer finished second through fourth, with gate starter Greg Willis fifth. Fiore did not restart.

JUNIORS: Sebastian Palmese, the 2018 AMA 250cc National Champion, led every lap in the 250cc 4-lap feature. Jake Isaac, Alex Martin, and Luke Whitcomb followed. Slater Lightcap was second when he fell in turn four on lap 2 and exited to the infield.

Levi Leutz started ten-yards from the gate and led all five laps in the 150cc main, which had a handicapped starting grid. AMA 150cc 2018 national champ Travis Horn came from the 40-yard stripe and almost caught Leutz on the final lap. Jose Navarette (from 10-yards), Owen Williams (from the 30), and Gordon Teuber III (from the 10) followed in P. 3-5.


   > Week eight was the annual Bruce Flanders Ugly Hawaiian Shirt Contest. About 15 persons were selected for final judging at 9:00 pm by grandstand spectators. They lined up on the main concourse and cheers narrowed the field to the final three. Each received an engraved silver trophy.

WINNERS: P. 1 – Greg Giles, of El Monte, who has a ZZ Top look-alike white beard; P. 2 – Larry Hayes, of Covina, who sits in a wheelchair each week in front of PA announcer Flanders and the scorers. P. 3 – Crystal Osmer, of Whittier, who is the daughter of 500cc D-3 rider Dennis Osmer (No. 303). All three winners told me they attend Industry racing every week.

   > Usual Industry pit steward Ryan Evans was not present this week. He was in Europe (probably catching speedway bike racing action with So Cal riders racing in Europe). Veteran 500cc rider and 2017 Industry D-3 champion Kevin Fife, 48, from Upland, filled in as steward. He races the No. 311 Jawa 888 short stroke and works as a carpenter at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park. He said he has performed pit steward duties in the past for promoter Steve Evans at Ventura, Santa Maria and Perris Raceway.

   > The newest sidecar team of Ace Kale and his son Kevin also race 750cc NMRA three-quarter midgets with roll-cages. They were among nine drivers who raced Sat. July 21 at the semi-banked third-mile clay Santa Maria Speedway. Kevin (No. 07) started second, led every lap and won his first ever 20-lap TQ feature. His father Ace (No. 7) started in row three and finished second for the best Kale team result after four years of TQ competition. Ace owns five TQ midgets and had three of them racing July 21.

  > Sammy Tanner, 79-year old AMA Grand National flat track racing star on a No. 7 Triumph in the 1950-60s, is an active Arai helmets distributor from his Fontana business. He attends Industry races each week. Sammy served as the AMA Speedway bike grand marshal July 21 at the fifth-mile Ventura Raceway. Eddie Castro (No. 14) won both 500cc D-1 heats and main event. Runner-up Doug Nicol came out of retirement and rode one of son Broc's No. 4 bikes. Robbie Sauer (No. 17) came from Bakersfield to place third.

  > Another rider from Auburn this week was was 500cc D-1 rider Tyler Warren (No. 25N). He drove south in his 1989 Toyota pickup truck with a stick shift and no air conditioning. A friend accompanied him, but he did not know how to drive a stick shift so Tyler did all the driving. A drive home from Industry right after the race was to avoid daytime heat. Tyler said many Nor Cal speedway fans have viewing parties to watch Industry races live via the internet.

Tyler, 23, is the father of two youngsters and does paving work. He dropped out on lap 1 in his first heat and again in his second heat. His GM motor blew while he was in second position. He did not have a backup bike and scratched from his third heat because of the blown engine. Warren has raced since 2006, primarily in Auburn. He has raced at Industry in the Gumball Rally, but this week was his first Wednesday night race.

   > Industry Racing Director Kelly Inman said speedway champion Billy Janniro has booked airline flights to race at Industry during August. Kelly said Chris Manchester also might compete at Industry this year. “There is an international speedway event at Industry in the works”, according to Kelly, “and Polish speedway star Bartosz Zmarzlik wants to race at Industry.”

   > The ongoing So Cal heat wave had high 90s temps during mid-day. It was 91 degrees outside the Grand Arena (a covered building with open sides on a hill overlooking the East San Gabriel Valley). It was still 77 degrees at 10:25 pm. There were 29 races this week from 7:30 to 9:56 pm.

   > Next week (Wed, August 1) will be the popular Speedway Legends and Heroes Night. Many retired riders will be present to sign autographs and reminiscence about the good old days. All divisions will race as usual.