Former National Champion Charlie "The Edge" Venegas can finally claim a main-event victory at National Orange Show Events Center after winning the Ken Maely Cup at Inland Motorcycle Speedway in San Bernardino.
"Battling" Buck Blair was first off the starting line in the Ken Maely Cup Main Event but Venegas was first as the field exited turn two and he had Tyson Burmeister in close pursuit. Burmeister gained ground on the leader by using the outside line. Venegas took a look back at the end of lap one to see where Burmeister was and wisely began using the ample cushion to maintain his lead. It proved to be the fastest way around the track and Burmeister couldn't get close enough to pose a serious threat. Venegas was first to the checkered flag, Burmeister had to settle for second, previously unbeaten Jimmy "Little Animal" Fishback finished third, Blair was fourth, and Aaron Fox finished fifth.
Venegas has called San Bernardino home for nearly two decades, but has only raced at the NOSEC a few times even though he promoted events at the facility from 2000 to 2002. He began his speedway career after the original IMS moved its promotion to Glen Helen so he never competed on that track either. His Ken Maely Cup victory makes for a landmark victory in his career and one that he certainly hopes isn't his last at IMS either.
Tim Gomez kicked off the heats with an easy victory. Blair led the second heat for two laps before a mechanical failure handed the lead and win to Fishback. Fox gave Venegas what turned out to be his only defeat of the evening in heat three. Burmeister ended round one with a win over Tyson Talkington.
Burmeister started round two by beating "Fast" Eddie Castro for his second straight victory. Steve Russell led the next heat for over two laps before Fishback used the outside to take the lead and his second win. Blair beat Fox in event 15. Venegas defeated Neil Facchini for his first win to end the second round.
Talkington began the last round by beating Steve Russell. Fishback chased Fox for three laps and stormed around the outside and remained perfect with another win. Shawn "Mad Dog" McConnell beat Castro in Event 27. Venegas closed out the heats by defeating Blair.
Venegas and Blair had a great side-by-side battle in the first semi before the Venegas surged ahead for the win with Blair following him into the main event. Fishback easily won the second semi while Burmeister overcame a 20 yard penalty in just two laps to take second and the transfer to the main event. Fox won the Last Chance to fill the final spot in the main.
J.D. Myerscough calmly held off every challenge that Kayle LeoGrande could muster and won the Second Division Main Event. Mike Salyer finished third, Mike Wiley was fourth, Tim McGrath finished fifth, and Kip McClain was sixth.
Stephen Simrak led the Third Division Main Event until Jake Hansen passed him on the outside for the lead as they exited turn four. Hansen was still leading on the last lap when a crash brought out the red flag. The referee awarded Hansen his first main event victory, Steve Howard was second, Simrak was third, J.C. Masters was fourth, Phill Santolucito was fifth, and Ron Davis was credited with sixth.
Courtney Crone led the Youth 200cc Main Event, but Sebastian Palmese challenged her at the end of the first lap. They entered turn one wheel-to-wheel but had Braydan Galvin, who began 60 yards back, breathing down their necks. Galvin made a daring move to split the duo coming out of turn two and snatched the lead. Galvin raced off into the horizon and cruised to victory. Palmese finished second, Crone was third, and Michael Wells finished fourth.
The Sidecar Main Event began with Joe Jones and Johnny Glover and Dylan Beard and Crystal Beard engaged in a side-by-side battle for the lead on the first lap. Jones and Glover used the inside line to their advantage and secured the lead at the end of lap one. They never looked back from there and went on to victory. The Beards settled for second, Kevin Brown and Nick Hertrick finished third, and Rod Requejo and Gene Stone were fourth.
The Ken Maely Cup honors the legendary man who not only made the metal skidshoes worn by hundreds of speedway and flat track racers, but also provided a practice track and was dedicated to the sport of speedway. Many American superstars honed their skills on the track at Maely's Ranch in Corona, California. The AMA Hall of Fame member passed away in 2003.
The next event at IMS is Harley Night and will include the ever-popular street-legal Harley Races.
Second Division Main Event (restarted)
First Division Heat Scoring123T
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