Laidlaw's Harley-Davidson Night - City of Industry, CA, USA - August 15
Former World Champion Billy "The Bullet" Hamill made a thrilling last-corner pass to win the main event on Laidlaw's Harley Davidson Night at Industry Racing.
Hamill had first choice of starting position and surprisingly picked gate two and former National Champion Charlie "The Edge" Venegas chose gate one without hesitation. Venegas made a better start and held the lead through the first corner. Hamill tried to get inside the leader as they entered turn three but Venegas closed the door on him and led after lap one. Hamill found more traction exiting turn two the second time and got close enough to show his front wheel but Venegas was unmoved by that threat. Hamill remained close and tried the same thing on lap three but had the same result. The two competitors took the white flag and Hamill switched his attack to the outside in turns one and two. Venegas drifted wide to pinch Hamill's outside sweep as they exited turn two the final time. Hamill sharply turned back and charged up the inside of Venegas to snatch the lead in stunning fashion entering turn three. Venegas went very wide, lost all momentum, and any chance of countering the attack. Hamill took the checkered flag underneath a raucous ovation from the crowd, Venegas recovered enough to get second, Aaron Fox finished third, and Tyson Burmeister was fourth.
Hamill kicked off the heats with a win over Shawn "Mad Dog" McConnell. Burmeister beat John Marquez in heat two. Austin Novratil passed Buck Blair to win the third heat. Venegas ended the first round with a win.
McConnell beat Marquez to start the second round. Blair beat Venegas in the next heat. Hamill defeated Burmeister for his second victory. Fox beat "Fast" Eddie Castro to end round two.
Hamill started the final round by beating Venegas to remain perfect. Novratil beat Tyson Talkington for his second victory. Fox beat Bobby "Boogaloo" Schwartz for his second straight win. Burmeister ended the heats by defeating Blair for his second win.
Venegas and Burmeister finished one-two in the first semi and transferred to the main. Hamill won the second semi for his fourth victory with Fox finishing second to join him in the main.
McConnell and Marquez were side-by-side in the Consolation before Blair went around both of them on the back straight. Blair raced into the horizon with the victory. McConnell finished second and Marquez was third.
Mike Salyer led the Second Division Main Event at the outset. Danny Baker put pressure on Salyer and took the lead at the end of the first lap. Baker never looked back from there and went on to victory. Salyer held on to second, Carl Gazafy was third, and Eloy Medellin finished fourth.
Maverick Molloy led the Youth 200cc Main Event through lap one. Courtney Crone was planted on Molloy's back wheel and hoping for a mistake. Molloy and Crone were still battling for the lead when Braydan Galvin went around both of them simultaneously with a sweep around the outside of them. Galvin raced away uncontested the rest of the way. Crone finished second, Molloy was third, and Michael Wells was fourth.
The next event at Industry Racing will have all divisions of speedway and will include the sidecars for the final time this season. The following week the venue will conclude its 2012 season when it hosts the 37th annual California State Championship.
Second Division Main Event
HAMILL BEATS VENEGAS IN THRILLING INDUSTRY SPEEDWAY CYCLE MAIN – By Tim Kennedy
Industry, CA., Aug. 15 -- "What a race." That was the immediate comment over the PA microphone by announcer Bruce Flanders Wednesday night at the Industry Hills Expo Center Grand Arena. More than 1,000 spectators agreed heartily and buzzed with excitement while applauding both riders for their amazing 4-lap race and thrilling finish. Two-time Speedway Cycle World Champion Hamill proved his talent again on his No. 104 500cc JAWA motorcycle. The Carlsbad resident picked lane two, but lost the hole shot dash to the first turn to Industry Speedway all-time feature winner Charlie Venegas, the lane one starter. Hamill charged after Venegas and his persistence paid off with his eighth victory at Industry this season in 13 main events (including nights with both scratch and handicap features).
On the final lap Hamill was half a length in back of Venegas. He went to the outside in turn two to build speed and shot past Venegas on the inside at the end of the backstretch and through the third turn. Their cycles did not make contact. Venegas said their leathers rubbed during Hamill's quick move that was reminiscent of a sprint car "slide job" pass. Hamill held his inside line to the checkered flag and won by a length in the most exciting last lap this year. The feature was race 36 on a busy racing program known as Laidlaw's Harley-Davidson Night. Aaron Fox and Tyson Burmeister, both in their 20s, finished third and fourth respectively. Hamill and Venegas won the two semi-final races to earn feature berths. Buck Blair won the Division 1 consolation race.
Danny Baker, of Covina, led all four laps of the 500cc Division 2 main for intermediate-level riders. Steve Howard, a 53-year old Castro Valley resident, made his second Industry Speedway appearance and first in 12 months. He led all four laps and won the Division 3 (entry level) feature on his 500cc JAWA for his first career main event victory anywhere. Max Ruml, 15, won the five rider Youth Division 250cc main over Broc Nicol. Braydan Galvin, 14, started 70-yards from the starting gate via an experience level handicap for the Youth 200cc feature. Female rider Courtney Crone, 11, led the initial two laps before Galvin passed her and won the 5-lap race.
Four pee-wee division (ages 4-10) riders rode 50cc mini cycles and also excited fans during their four lap feature. Whittier resident Jake Isaac, 10, returned from a month vacation in Michigan and led the final two laps for his first winner's trophy this season. "Lightning" Luke Whitcomb, 6, cemented his popularity with fans by charging to a closing second place on the final lap. In his haste to pass Isaac before the finish line, Whitcomb fell in the fourth turn. He rose quickly and pushed his cycle across the finish line (as auto racers Norm Batten and Dan Gurney did many decades ago). Whitcomb almost beat the third place rider, but he settled for fourth as fans stood and erupted in applause for the colorful, competitive youngster. He fell but wouldn't quit until he and his cycle crossed the finish line.
The annual Harley Night at Industry had a pre-racing parade of all street-legal Harley-Davidson motorcycles present. Seven of the riders actually raced in a four lap heat race. A rider known as "Blue Haired Dude" barely won the heat over Joe "the Horny Guy" Pape, of Culver City. He wears a helmet with Viking-like horns protruding from each side. All seven riders finished on the lead lap. The same seven Harley riders started their main event (race 34). Two riders collided and fell together as they approached the third turn. They were uninjured, but their Harleys were sidelined. "Horny Guy" Pape led all four laps and beat "Blue Haired Dude" by a mere length.
However, crashing wasn't finished yet. Pape slowed and reached for the waiting checkered flag from starter Mike Reed to begin his victory lap. At the same time, runner-up "Blue Haired Dude' did a celebratory wheelie on his back wheel right behind Pape near the finish line. Their cycles collided and both riders fell to the ground amid their downed cycles. They were stunned but uninjured. Pape's winning Harley had to be trucked home. "It's my fifth trophy victory here," Pape said. A special event was a Laidlaw Harley-Davidson of Baldwin Park employees challenge race. Five helmeted riders participated and all finished on the lead lap without incident.
Two USAC Ford Focus-powered midgets made special demo runs on the small dirt track inside the modern 4,000+ seat Grand Arena. Wally Pankratz drove his blue No. 37 midget and Billy Hamill went from two to four wheels for his first time. Hamill drove Wally's orange No. 32 midget and quickly became proficient after seven solo hot laps before the first of three track preparation intermissions. Hamill and Pankratz later ran seven laps at speed in an "Australian pursuit race" with Hamill taking the green flag a straightaway in front of Pankratz. Hamill led the first six laps as Pankratz closed ground on him. Then Hamill drifted high in the second corner and Pankratz passed him on the inside and won the exhibition on the final lap.
Pankratz, the 2000 USAC Western States Midget Series champion, now operates a race car driving school at various speedways of students' choice. He offers introductory instruction with his FF midgets and 16 laps at speed for a fee of $400. For $1,600 he provides a full-day of instruction and unlimited laps for serious students who might be interested in racing in an organized series. Sprint car and midget drivers present this week included CRA veteran Steve Howard, Dwight Cheney and past USAC Western Midget Champion Jerome Rodela, with his 2-year old daughter Kendall, a motorcycle racing fan.
Next week, round 12 of the 13 Wednesday nights Industry Speedway season, will feature all divisions, including the extreme sidecars racers. The August 29 season finale will be the annual California State Speedway Cycle Championship with 20 D-1 heat races for championship determining points. The ninth Industry Speedway cycle racing season since 2004 has averaged 1,200+, with a high of 1,900 spectators opening night, for 7:30 to 10:00 p.m. action-packed racing.
|www.speedwaybikes.com - All rights reserved.|