The Grand Industry Hills Expo Center
City of Industry, California
2008 Season Opener
May 7, 2008 - Industry Speedway
By: Ryan Evans
Most of the preceding conversation focused on the new promotion, but former National Champion Charlie “The Edge” Venegas made sure that the results were status quo with a Scratch Main victory at Industry Speedway’s 2008 Season Opener.
Buck Blair, who entered the main event with a perfect score, got the best start and led into turn one. Venegas, who owns more victories in the track’s history, made a wide path through the first corner and stayed on the outside on the back straight. Blair stuck to the inside in turn three, but Venegas used the ample supply of dirt on the outside and swept into the lead at the end of the first lap. Blair chased Venegas for two laps and got within striking distance on the final lap, but Venegas protected his lead to the finish. Jimmy Fishback finished third, Shawn McConnell was fourth, and John Marquez finished fifth in his first Scratch Main.
Shawn “Mad Dog” McConnell began the heats with a victory over Marquez and Bobby Schwartz. Nate Perkins handed Venegas his only defeat. Fishback excited the crowd by using the outside to pass Neil Facchini for his first win. Blair defeated Tim Gomez to complete the opening round.
The second round started with Blair getting his second straight victory ahead of Facchini. The next event had to be restarted after McConnell and Gomez came together in turn one. Robbie Sauer led the restart, but Mcconnell stalked him for two laps before sneaking up the inside for the lead and his second win. Venegas scored a resounding victory over Marquez in event 23. Fishback beat Schwartz to end round two.
The final round began with two restarts after Marvin Sonnier, then Fishback each brought out red flags. Marquez led the third attempt for three laps before Fishback made a desperate attempt for the lead, bumped Sauer, then brought Marquez and himself down. Marquez was awarded the victory.
Blair beat Greg Ayers to remain undefeated. Schwartz thrilled the crowd with a victory over McConnell in event 32. Venegas ended the heats with his second win.
Two riders received two-minute exclusions in the Third Division Main Event, leaving just two competitors on the track. Brad Moreau led Matt Davis before falling in turn four, which handed the victory to Davis.
Austin Novratil dominated the Youth First Division Main Event en route to victory. Gino Manzares was second, Brad Pappalardo finished third, and Joey Holt was fourth.
Rocco Scopellite led the Youth Second Division Main Event before Samuel Ramirez dived underneath him entering turn three. Scopellite valiantly fought back and chased Ramirez, but his challenge came up short. Ramirez was the winner, Scopellite finished second, Eloy Medellin III was third, Elijah Harrison-Hicks finished fourth, and Cameron Delby was fifth.
Dean Cameron led all four laps to take home the Pee Wee Main Event. Gabriel Manzares finished second and Brandon Denton was third.
A couple of lengthy delays caused by races being restarted multiple times and riders receiving medical attention caused the event to go past curfew. Although no rider was seriously injured, the unfortunate result was the cancellation of the Scratch Semis, Last Chance Heat, Second Division Main Event, and the Sidecar Main Event.
The fifth speedway season at the Industry Hills Expo Center began with a new promotion headed by Jeffrey Immediato and two-time World Champion Bruce Penhall. During intermission Penhall was interviewed by legendary announcer Bruce Flanders and spoke of his excitement about being involved in speedway promotion. The spectators were treated to a video of his classic victory over Ole Olsen in the 1981 World Final at Wembley Stadium. Penhall spoke of the future plans for Industry Speedway and the need to develop younger riders, specifically the Youth Division, and gave glowing praise to the facility itself, which boasts a roof, a high-tech sound system, and a four-sided scoreboard with video screens. Motorcycle dignitaries in attendance included Preston Petty, Dick Miller, and Dennis Sigalos.
Sidecar Main Event (cancelled due to curfew)
1 - Joe Jones/Jimmy Olsen
4 - Brian Motis/Loren Thurston
13 - Scott Driggers/Sean Driggers
31 - Tommy Thornton/Steven Bumpus
Pee Wee Main Event
99 - Dean Cameron
4 - Gabriel Manzares
Youth Second Division Main Event
22 - Samuel Ramirez
9 - Rocco Scopellite
178 - Eloy Medellin III
3 - Elijah Harrison-Hicks
33 - Cameron Delby
Youth First Division Main Event
8 - Austin Novratil
21 - Gino Manzares
611 - Brad Pappalardo
4 - Joey Holt (fell)
Third Division Consolation 186 - Tim McGrath
157 - Tony DeAlmeida
310 - John Weller
124 - Paul Thornton
Third Division Main Event (awarded)
301 - Matt Davis
153 - Brad Moreau (fell)
158 - Ron Mongenel (two-minute exclusion)
312 - Charlie Ousley (two-minute exclusion)
Second Division Consolation
163 - Rohn Zellner
177 - Steve Bowen
202 - J.C. Masters
150 - Damon Barry
Second Division Main Event (cancelled due to curfew)
182 - Rudy Laurer
321 - Russell Green
117 - Billy Braden
147 - Rick Farron
First Division Scoring 1 2 3 T
6 - Shawn McConnell 3 3 2 8
11 - Bobby Schwartz 1 2 3 6
13 - Nate Perkins 3 1 F 4
17 - Robbie Sauer 1 2 1 4
21 - Brad Sauer 1 0 1 2
25 - Jimmy Fishback 3 3 2 8
30 - Tim Gomez 2 F 2 4
39 - Buck Blair 3 3 3 9
41 - John Marquez 2 2 3 7
43 - Charlie Venegas 2 3 3 8
52 - Marvin Sonnier 1 1 0 2
55 - Travis Henderson 0 1 0 1
86 - Neil Facchini 2 2 1 5
99 - Greg Ayers F 1 2 3
110 - Jon Stasiefski 0 0 1 1
232 - Allen Doss 0 0 0 0
Race Results 10: McConnell, Marquez, Schwartz, Doss
11: Perkins, Venegas, R.Sauer, Henderson
12: Fishback, Facchini, Sonnier, Stasiefski (tape penalty)
13: Blair, Gomez, B.Sauer, Ayers (fell)
21: Blair, Facchini, Henderson, Doss
22: (restarted) McConnell, R.Sauer, Sonnier, Gomez (fell)
23: Venegas, Marquez, Ayers, Stasiefski
24: Fishback, Schwartz, Perkins, B.Sauer
30: (restarted twice) (awarded) Marquez, Fishback (penalty line), R.Sauer, Sonnier (penalty line)
31: Blair, Ayers, Stasiefski, Perkins (fell)
32: Schwartz, McConnell, Facchini, Doss
33: Venegas, Gomez, B.Sauer, Henderson
**Semis and Last Chance cancelled due to curfew, top 5 scorers
transferred directly to the Scratch Main**
Scratch Main Event
43 - Charlie Venegas
39 - Buck Blair
25 - Jimmy Fishback
6 - Shawn McConnell
41 - John Marquez (fell, remounted)