Bruce Flanders Ugly Hawaiian Shirt Night - Industry Racing, CA, USA - July 17
Charlie "The Edge" Venegas vanquished his competition for the second week in a row on Bruce Flanders Ugly Hawaiian Shirt Night at Industry Racing.
Venegas was first off the starting line with "Battling" Buck Blair and Aaron Fox handlebar-to-handlebar behind him as they rounded turn one. Former Under 21 National Champion Austin Novratil cutback underneath them and they were three abreast exiting turn two. Venegas led at the end of lap one while Fox emerged from the war behind him in second place. Fox set his sights on the leader but couldn't close enough ground to pose a serious threat. Venegas was first to the checkered flag, Fox settled for second, Novratil was third, and Blair finished fourth.
Novratil kicked off the heats by blistering the track to a win over Blair. Fox defeated Shawn "Mad Dog" McConnell in the second heat. Venegas finished round one by defeating Tim Gomez.
Michael Raines started round two by beating Blair. Venegas beat former Junior National Champion Jason Ramirez in the next heat. The first attempt to run event 12 ended with Gomez lifting and hitting the wall. The bike was bent but fortunately Gomez was able to walk off the track. Novratil powered to a win over Fox in the restart to end the second round.
Fox beat Ramirez to open the final round of heats but Raines fell behind them and suffered a suspected broken collarbone. McConnell scored a win ahead of Novratil in event 19. Blair used the outside to pass and defeat Venegas to end the heats with his first win.
Venegas and Fox finished one-two in the first semi to book their places in the main event. Blair won the second semi with Novratil getting second to join him in the main.
Carl Gazafy made the best start in the Second Division Main Event and led the entire distance to take home the victory. Brad "Ironman" Moreau was second, Kevin "Rip" Fife finished third, and Chris Jones was fourth.
Wade Whitcomb led from start to finish and collected the victory in the Third Division Main Event. Pam "Pinky" Bennett, competing for the first time this season and second time in three decades, finished second, Steve "Beach Ball" Brown was third, Tony DeAlmeida finished fourth, Rick Howard was fifth, and Rick Carlisle finished sixth.
Dalton Leedy led the Junior 250 Main Event into turn one but Junior National Champion Broc Nicol swept around the outside and took the lead on the back straight. Nicol never looked back from there and pulled away for the win. Leedy finished second, Hayley Perrault was third, and Michael Wells finished fourth.
Sebastian Palmese led from start to finish en route to victory in the Mini 150 First Division Main Event. Courtney Crone finished second, Maverick Molloy was third, and Gino Scopellite was credited with fourth.
Andrew Russell led the Pee Wee Main Event for two laps before Carson Calvo took over the lead. Calvo's turn at the front ended when he fell in turn four. Russell reassumed the lead and never let it go again. Jason Palmese Jr. finished second, Ryder Tovatt was third, Luke Whitcomb finished fourth, Walker Calvo was fifth, and Nicholas Mejia finished sixth.
Jimmy Fishback wasn't competing but did offer something to four riders to compete for. He challenged four riders to race four laps backwards around the track. Raines led for three laps with Fox right on his back tire. Fox tried to pass him as they took the white flag but things got physical and Raines retained the lead. The two clashed again in the next corner and Fox went down. Raines went on to victory, Gomez took second, Ramirez was third, and Fox was credited with fourth.
Two Ford Focus Midgets took to the track during in an exhibition. One driver was Wally Pankratz while the other was Crone. The young lady showed that she is just as adept at getting around the track with four wheels as she is with two.
The event, which included an "Ugliest Hawaiian Shirt" contest, was conceived last year and honors Industry Racing's track announcer Bruce Flanders who is a motorsports announcing icon. In addition to speedway, Flanders has announced many types of motor sports throughout the world for decades. He has been the official track announcer at the facility since speedway began and has been track announcer at one time or another at nearly every facility that has hosted speedway in Southern California.
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