Perris Auto Speedway
"The PAS" Lake Perris Fairgrounds
California State Speedway Long Track Championship
July 11, 2009 - The PAS
By: Ryan Evans
National Champion Billy “The Kid” Janniro added another title to his mantle by capturing the California State Speedway Long Track Championship presented by Justice Brothers at Perris Auto Speedway.
Gary Hicks entered the six-rider Final undefeated, thus earning the first choice, and selected gate five. Janniro then chose gate one. Next, Ricky Wells picked gate two. Jason Ramirez selected gate three, followed by Tommy Hedden picking gate four, which left Jimmy Fishback with gate six.
The first time the tapes went up in the Final the field thundered into turn one in a tight group, but Ramirez went down and when it became apparent that he wouldn't get up quickly, the red lights came on. The former Youth National Champion was down for several minutes, but eventually got up and would restart. However, he would do so by starting from the penalty line.
Hicks was off the line first in the restart and led the field into turn one. Hedden went down in turn one, but the green light stayed on. Janniro quickly went on the attack and chased the leader down the back straight and into turn three. Janniro found more traction on the exit of turn four and roared underneath Hicks for the lead at the close of lap one. Hicks wasn’t about to let Janniro ride off into the night without a fight and stayed within striking distance. Behind them Fishback was under fire for third from Wells and eventually succumbed to the National Under 21 Champion’s pressure. Hicks fought valiantly to regain the lead, but it was to no avail. Janniro was first to the checkered flag, Hicks had to settle for second, Wells finished third, Fishback was fourth, Ramirez finished fifth, and Hedden was credited with sixth.
The California Long Track Championship, sanctioned by AMA Racing and USA Speedway, was the first speedway event held at the facility since 1996 and greeted by a healthy-sized and enthusiastic crowd. The event was a group consisting of PAS promoter Don Kazarian in coordination with speedway promoters Harald “Howie” Zechner and Steve Evans. The races were held on the 440-yard track and attracted many top riders from all over California who were eager to perform on a European-sized track. The track announcer was the familiar voice of Scott Daloisio, who was a speedway announcer, photographer, and journalist for many years.
Janniro kicked off the first of three rounds of heats with a blistering victory ahead of Hedden and Tim Gomez. Greg Ayers led the second heat for a lap before Wells flew by to take the lead and the victory. Hicks headed Fishback from start to finish in the third heat. Tyson Burmeister ended the first round with a victory over former National Champion “Flyin” Mike Faria.
The second round began with another Janniro victory, this time entertaining the crowd by doing wheelies in front of Fishback, who finished second. Ramirez scored an impressive victory over Wells and Gomez in event nine. Hicks earned his second straight win by beating McConnell and Ayers. Shaun Harmatiuk finished round two by holding off Hedden for the victory.
Janniro started the final round with an apparent victory, but broke a chain 100 yards from the finish, which allowed Ramirez to steal the win at the line. Hedden led the next heat for two laps before Wells charged past for the lead and the victory. Hicks made it three for three by beating Gomez and “Fast” Eddie Castro in event 17. Justin Boyle closed out the heats by passing Faria for the lead and the win. Harmatiuk defeated Burmeister and Jon Stasiefski in a runoff for the final spot in the semis.
Hicks remained undefeated with a start-to-finish victory in the first semi. Ramirez and Hedden joined him in the Final by finishing second and third, respectively. Faria got the best start in the second semi, but Janniro went by for the lead on the back straight with Wells and Fishback following suit. Janniro led to the finish, with Wells and Fishback transferring to the Final as well.
Faria led the Consolation for two laps before Gomez took over the lead. Gomez led the rest of the way to take the victory. Castro finished second, Ayers was third, and Faria finished fourth.
Gino Manzares, who just graduated to the professional ranks from the Youth Division this year, won his heat, his semi, and then topped his evening off by winning the Second Division Main Event in impressive fashion. Philip Harmatiuk finished second, Brad Moreau was third, Drew Coats finished fourth, Rohn Zellner was fifth, Victoria Hubbert finished sixth, and David Fonts was seventh.
Northern California’s Rick Fehrman had a dominant evening by winning all his races, including the Third Division Main Event, by wide margins. Tim McGrath finished second, Mike Wiley was third, Gene Stone finished fourth, Paul Thornton was fifth, and Rick Huspek finished sixth.
Joe Jones and Jimmy Olsen brought the crowd to its feet by leading the first three laps and then holding off a last-lap charge from Dave Alexander and Matt Davis to win the Sidecar
Main Event. Gerard Jackson and Dave German finished third and Sean Driggers and Missy Driggers finished fourth.
The overall success of the California State Long Track Championship prompted the announcement that another speedway event will be held at Perris Auto Speedway on Thursday, October 15. It will take place during the annual Southern California Fair. The enthusiasm also led to strong consideration of adding more speedway events to their calendar in 2010 as well.
Sidecar Main Event
1 - Joe Jones/Jimmy Olsen
22 - Dave Alexander/Matt Davis
66 - Gerard Jackson/Dave German
23 - Shawn Driggers/Missy Driggers
Third Division Main Event
240n - Rick Fehrman
186 - Tim McGrath
101 - Mike Wiley
231 - Gene Stone
124 - Paul Thornton
226 - Rick Huspek
Second Division Main Event
221 - Gino Manzares
149 - Philip Harmatiuk
153 - Brad Moreau
195 - Drew Coates
163 - Rohn Zellner
00 - Victoria Hubbert
322n - David Fonts
First Division Heat Scoring 1 2 3 T
1 – Billy Janniro 5 5 4 14
3 – Gary Hicks 5 5 5 15
6 – Shawn McConnell F 4 Fn 4
9 – Mike Faria 4 F 4 8
11 – Bobby Schwartz 1 0 1 2
14 – Eddie Castro 3 2 3 8
17 – Robbie Sauer 3 1 2 6
18 – Justin Boyle 2 3 5 10
21 – Brad Sauer 2 1 2 5
25 – Jimmy Fishback 4 4 3 11
30 – Tim Gomez 3 3 4 10
40 – Tommy Hedden 4 4 4 12
41 – John Marquez 1 2 1 4
43 – Charlie Venegas E - - 0
66 – Jason Ramirez 3 5 5 13
93 – J.T. Mabry 1 - - 1
99 – Greg Ayers 4 3 3 10
110 – Jon Stasiefski 1 3 3 7
139 – Shaun Harmatiuk 2 5 F 7
184 – Tyson Burmeister 5 X 2 7
321 – Russell Green 2 2 1 5
1: Janniro, Hedden, Gomez, Boyle, Stasiefski
2: Wells, Ayers, Ramirez, Harmatiuk, Mabry, Venegas (engine failure)
3: Hicks, Fishback, R.Sauer, Green, Schwartz
4: Burmeister, Faria, Castro, B.Sauer, Marquez, McConnell (fell)
8: Janniro, Fishback, Boyle, Burmeister (excluded)
9: Ramirez, Wells, Gomez, Castro, R.Sauer, Schwartz
10: Hicks, McConnell, Ayers, Green, B.Sauer
11: Harmatiuk, Hedden, Stasiefski, Marquez, Faria (fell)
15: (restarted) Ramirez, Janniro, Stasiefski, Harmatiuk (fell), McConnell (fell, non starter)
16: Wells, Hedden, Fishback, Burmeister, Green
17: Hicks, Gomez, Castro, B.Sauer, Marquez
18: Boyle, Faria, Ayers, R.Sauer, Schwartz
Runoff: Harmatiuk, Burmeister, Stasiefski
Semi #1: Hicks, Ramirez, Hedden, Gomez, Ayers, Harmatiuk (fell)
Semi #2: Janniro, Wells, Fishback, Castro, Faria, Boyle
First Division Consolation
30 - Tim Gomez
14 - Eddie Castro
99 - Greg Ayers
9 - Mike Faria
18 - Justin Boyle (non starter)
139 - Shaun Harmatiuk (non starter)
Long Track Championship Final (restarted)
1 - Billy Janniro
3 - Gary Hicks
142 - Ricky Wells
25 - Jimmy Fishback
66 - Jason Ramirez (penalty line)
40 - Tommy Hedden (fell)