The Grand Industry Hills Expo Center
City of Industry, California
A View of Legends of Speedway
August 18, 2010 - Industry Speedway
Article and Photos By: Dorcey Wingo
Another hot night in SoCal, just the right atmosphere for the Legends of Speedway to return to The Grand Arena in the bustling City of Industry.
Bruce Flanders was busy dusting off the mental rust as he welcomed one astute former Speedway Hall of Famer after another.
There I did it. I started a sentence and ended it with the same word.
There's probably some cardinal rule of English I have just broken, much like the "rule" which says motor vehicles must have brakes. In the brain of a true die hard Speedway fanatic, brakes do not freakin' exist. And that goes for eight hundred pound sidecars, too. Nitrous oxide is /good/; brakes are /bad/.
Wednesday night was dominated by a plethora of Rule Breakers, and I was proud to photograph them, which ain't easy. After all, they wear elaborate disguises and they go as fast as they can, perhaps to keep from being recognized as the Chiropractors, electrical contractors, and fathers of big university PhD's that they are. Precisely *why* they twist throttles on expensive, foreign made, overpowered, alcoholic motorcycles is a point in much debate. I just hope they keep doing it, because my couch would otherwise take a pounding on Wednesday night.
While the Legends lined up to entertain the crowd during the evening, former National Champion Charlie Venegas [#43] returned to Industry with a big smile, greeting this photographer with a "V" for victory, long before the tapes were stretched across the starting gate.
Venegas would have his hands full this Wednesday night. The track started off kind of bouncy and tacky and about the only change in the surface throughout the night was a blue groove coming to bear on the lumpy surface. This, despite a trip or two around the oval with the groomer, which gave us all some valuable time to hit the beer/soda garden. [Javier keeps 'em on ice, just for us!]
One of the noisier rides of the evening was between First Division Riders Eddie Castro [#14] and Gary Hicks, Jr [#3] racing around the oval on ancient JAPs, which sported "tires older than Bruce Flanders," if that is to be believed!
Another rider who has been in England returned to SoCal recently, namely young Gino Manzares. Gino rode well for being away so long and riding on a tricky surface. I captured his clutch start in the setting sun, minutes before race time.
John Marquez [#41] had perhaps his best night of racing ever by winning his first heat over a feisty Shawn McConnell [#6]. Marquez has been selected to the October Penhall Museum Team, racing in England; this win should go a long way in confidence building.
Fast Eddie Castro won the Last Chance race in convincing fashion to make the Scratch Main Event. The race had to be restarted after Tyson Burmeister [#26] took out McConnell in turn one of the second lap. Strangely enough, he was not penalized on the restart.
Burmeister had to back off trying to pass McConnell in turn two of the restart, giving Castro the third slot. At the checkered flag, it was Venegas first, followed by McConnell, Castro, Burmeister and "Battling Buck" Blair, [#39] whose new radical haircut had everyone talking.
Castro and Hicks on the fabulous J.A.P.'s
Gino Manzares warms up
Marques beats McConnell
Photos By Dorcey Wingo