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2009 Perris Speedway
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Perris Raceway
Perris, California

2009 Gumball Rally
April 26, 2009 - Perris Raceway
By: Ryan Evans

Junior National Champion Brad Pappalardo ended his junior speedway career on the highest of notes by winning the 2009 Gumball Rally at Perris Raceway.

Pappalardo scored nine points in his four races to claim the championship. Gino Manzares scored eight points to finish second overall, Austin Novratil scored seven points to finish third overall, and Tanner Kane was fourth overall. The four competitors battled in four races with each rider starting from each gate position once.

Pappalardo struck first by romping to victory ahead of Novratil in the first race. Pappalardo made the start again in the second race, but Novratil was able to get by for the victory while Pappalardo went too wide and allowed Manzares to steal second. In the third race Pappalardo trapped from the outside and took his second win with Manzares finishing second and Novratil in third.

Pappalardo entered the final race one point ahead of Novratil and two points in front of Manzares. With the scores being so close, a bevy of scenarios could play themselves out. Pappalardo and Manzares gated together and entered turn one wheel-to-wheel. The two riders remained next to each other on the back straight with neither one backing down as they entered turn three. They completed the first lap in lockstep while Novratil trailed behind. The tight battle continued throughout lap two before Manzares pulled ahead on the third lap. Pappalardo, knowing he only needed to beat Novratil to secure the championship, settled into second. Manzares won the race to earn second overall, but it was Pappalardo who was celebrating as he crossed the line knowing he had just added a much beloved gumball machine to his trophy case. Pappalardo will turn 16 years old in June, thus making the Gumball Rally his final race as in the junior division.

River McDougall and Rocco Scopellite both entered the Second Division Main Event undefeated and unwilling to allow that to change. When the tapes went up they were shoulder-to-shoulder and remained that way throughout lap one. Scopellite was able to surge ahead on the second lap and left McDougall to fend off Joey Holt for second. Scopellite was flawless the rest of the way and was first to the checkered flag. McDougall held on to second, Holt finished third, and Samuel Ramirez was fourth.

Ramirez began the Second Division heat with a win over Major Davis. Scopellite got his first win by defeating Holt. McDougall ended round one by beating Maxwell Ruml.

Scopellite started round two with a win over Ramirez. McDougall beat Nicky Reimer for his second victory. Holt finished the second round with a win over Maxwell Ruml.

Scopellite opened the final round of heats with his third win to remain perfect. Reimer beat Hayley Perrault for his first win the next heat. McDougall was penalized in the final heat, but charged from the back and aggressively moved Holt off the inside line to take the lead and his third consecutive win.

Kurtis Hamill won the first consolation race with Perrault finishing second, Dillon Ruml getting third, and Erika Lyons coming in fourth. Maxwell Ruml won the other consolation with Reimer finishing second, Davis getting third, and Collin Sage finishing fourth.

Reimer won two of his four heats to win the First Division Pee Wee division. Hamill was second overall, Justin Hansen finished third overall, Anthony Reed was fourth overall, and Matthew Duffy was fifth overall.

Duffy won all for heats to take the Second Division Pee Wee title. Gino Scopellite finished second overall, Justin Krips was third overall, Keelan Venegas finished fourth overall, and Courtney Crane was fifth overall.

Shonny McConnell continued to be the queen of the track by winning the First Division Powderpuff Championship for the third straight year. Margi Hamill was second overall, Cassi Novratil finished third overall, Debbie Cullen was fourth overall, and Lyons finished fifth overall.

Emalee Pappalardo matched her brother’s success and celebrated her tenth birthday in grand style by winning the Second Division Powderpuff Championship. Kylie Ayers was second overall, Anissa Venegas finished third overall, Kylee Evans was fourth overall, and Cassandra Medellin finished fifth overall.

Current National Champion Billy “The Kid” Janniro began the Team Challenge by blazing to victory over Jimmy Fishback. Drew Coats beat Josh Abbott in the next race. Janniro stormed to another victory and his teammate, John Marquez finished second to make it a 5-1 for the Vikings. Tyson Burmeister beat Nate Perkins in a drawn heat to end the first round with the Vikings leading the Aces 14 to 10.

The Aces began the second round with Fishback and Russell Green teaming for a 5-1 to knot the score at 15. Perkins led the next race for two laps before Janniro came from behind to catch and pass the leader to lead a thrilling 4-2 heat win to give the Vikings a two-point lead. Neil Facchini beat Tyson Burmeister and Dale Facchini finished third as the brothers combined for a 4-2 Aces heat win to tie the score again. Former Junior National Champion Matt Becker won the final race of the second round, but the drawn heat meant the score was tied at 24.

Perkins began the third round with his first win, but Marquez and Abbott finished second and third and kept the score tied. Northern California duo Janniro and Becker combined for a Vikings 5-1 over the Facchini brothers with Janniro thoroughly entertaining everyone by riding along the boards most of the race. Fishback and Green struck back with an Aces 5-1 in the next race to tie the score at 33. Neil Facchini and Kyle Hicks combined on a 4-2 heat to give the Aces their first lead of the match.

Fishback got the best start in the thirteenth team heat while Janniro was mired at the back. Janniro was not going to disappoint the public as he charged inside and outside through the field and finally caught Fishback and took the lead. Janniro’s effort earned the Vikings a 4-2 heat advantage and himself a much-deserved ovation from everyone. The final regular heat was restarted twice and only had two finishers with Marquez beating Dale Facchini to give the Vikings a 42-41 lead heading into the nominated heat.

Janniro and Becker represented the Vikings in the nominated heat with Fishback and Green coming out for the Aces. Fishback got the best start and led Becker while Janniro, who missed the start, tried to make the outside work. Janniro got alongside his partner and even pulled into second, but could find enough traction to catch the leader. Fishback remained on the inside line, but Janniro was no longer finding the outside to be as fruitful as it had earlier in the day and began to go backward and eventually found himself behind the field. Fishback was the heat winner with Becker in second. Green was third which clinched the match for the Aces.

The Gumball Rally was originally scheduled in February, but the event was rained out. The two-month delay didn’t put a damper on the event as the fans were treated to excellent racing and the excellent support from individuals and companies allowed for the distribution of many free products to the competitors. Among the spectators were 2007 World Hillclimb Champion Robie Peterson, a major supporter of the event, and freestyle motocross legend Mike Metzger. The event’s growth has led it to become one of the major annual events on the speedway calendar.


Team Challenge

Vikings			1	2	3	4	5	6	T
1 – Billy Janniro		3	3	3	3	3	0	15
2 – Matt Becker			R	1	1	3	2	2	9
3 – Rider Replacement
4 – John Marquez		2’	0	2	2	3		9+1
5 – Tyson Burmeister		3	2	F	1			6
6 – Josh Abbott			2	0	1’	1	N		4+1
7 – Victoria Hubbert		1	0	0	0			1

Aces				1	2	3	4	5	6	T
1 – Jimmy Fishback		2	2’	3	2	3		12+1
2 – Russell Green		1’	3	2	2	1		9+1
3 – Neil Facchini		R	3	0	3			6
4 – Dale Facchini		1	1	1	2			5
5 – Nate Perkins		2	2	3	F			7
6 – Kyle Hicks			0	0	0	1			1
7 – Drew Coats			3	1’	1’	F			5+1

Second Division Powderpuff Overall Results
611 – Emalee Pappalardo
 99 – Kylie Ayers
 43 – Anissa Venegas
  8 – Kylee Evans
178 – Cassandra Medellin

First Division Powderpuff Overall Results
  6 – Shonny McConnell
199 – Margi Hamill
288 – Cassi Novratil
109 – Debbie Cullen
 77 – Erika Lyons
178 – Amanda Ramirez
 99 – Teresa Ayers
186 – Ally McGrath

Second Division Pee Wee Overall Results
116 – Matthew Duffy
  7 – Gino Scopellite
 24 – Justin Krips
 43 – Keelan Venegas
  7 – Courtney Crane
  5 – Dane Inman
 34 – Dakota Shockley

First Division Pee Wee Overall Results
 41 – Nicky Reimer
104 – Kurtis Hamill
991 – Justin Hassan
319 – Anthony Reed
116 – Matthew Duffy
  7 – Garrett Reed
 22 – Dean Carden

Second Division Junior Heat Scoring	1	2	3	T
  0 – Hayley Perrault			0	0	2	2
  4 – Joey Holt				2	3	2	7
  5 – River McDougall			3	3	3	9
  9 – Rocco Scopellite			3	3	3	9
 22 – Samuel Ramirez			3	2	1	6
 41 – Nicky Reimer			1	2	3	6
 77 – Erika Lyons			1	0	0	1
104 – Kurtis Hamill			R	1	1	2
111 – Dillon Ruml			0	0	0	0
308 – Collin Sage			1	1	1	3
356 – Maxwell Ruml			2	2	2	6
999 – Major Davis			2	1	F	3

Second Division Junior Consolation
104 – Kurtis Hamill
  0 – Hayley Perrault
111 – Dillon Ruml
 77 – Erika Lyons		(retired)

Second Division Junior Consolation
356 – Maxwell Ruml
 41 – Nicky Reimer
999 – Major Davis
308 – Collin Sage

Second Division Junior Main Event
  9 – Rocco Scopellite
  5 – River McDougall
  4 – Joey Holt
 22 – Samuel Ramirez

First Division Juniors Overall	1	2	3	4	T
  1 – Brad Pappalardo			3	1	3	2	9
  8 – Austin Novratil			2	3	1	1	7
 21 – Gino Manzares			1	2	2	3	8
 95 – Tanner Kane			0	N	0	0	0
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