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Billy Janniro

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Carol Perez


Industry Racing

The Grand Industry Hills Expo Center
City of Industry, California

2017 Connor Penhall Memorial Cup
May 31, 2017 - Industry Racing
Thanks to Ryan Evans and Tim Kennedy
Photos by Dorcey Wingo Photos and RC Jones

Connor Penhall Memorial Cup - May 31 - Industry Racing, CA, USA

National Champion Billy “The Kid” Janniro opened Industry Racing’s regular season with a victory and remaining the only rider to win the Connor Penhall Memorial Cup.
Janniro entered the Final with first choice of starting position and, after a brief observation of gate four, decided on gate one. Luke “Little Missile” Becker quickly snapped up gate four. Austin Novratil chose gate two which left the dreaded gate three to Dillon Ruml.

Janniro was first off the starting line when the tapes went up but slid up the race track in the first bend to block any attempt of an outside run from his competitors. This left the door open on the inside and Novratil tried to barge through the opening. Janniro daringly pulled it down as they entered turn three and Novratil used all his skill to avoid hitting the leader. Janniro remained in front and Novratil’s efforts to avoid him cost him second place. It was Dillon Ruml’s turn to chase the leader but all of his efforts would prove fruitless. Janniro was first to the checkered flag, Dillon Ruml was second, Novratil finished third, and Becker was fourth.

Janniro’s victory earned him the coveted trophy, a custom painted Troy Lee Designs helmet painted by Troy Lee himself, mounted on a stand. He has won the event all three years that it has been staged.

Becker kicked off the evening with a victory over Novratil. Dillon Ruml was victorious in event two ahead of Broc Nicol, who returned from Europe to compete in the event. Janniro won event three with Gage Geist finishing second. The first round concluded with a fantastic battle between Aaron Fox and Max Ruml, with the latter getting a narrow victory at the finish line.

Max Ruml started the second round by defeating Nicol. Becker earned his second straight victory ahead of Gage Geist. Novratil used the outside to pass Gino Manzares and scored his first win. Janniro finished round two with a win over Tim Gomez.

Manzares began round three by holding off Fox the win in what would be his last race of the evening after experiencing a mechanical issue after the race’s conclusion. Janniro beat Nicol for his third victory in a row. Novratil defeated Gomez for his second win of the night. Max Ruml held off his brother to complete the third round with a win.

Dillon Ruml opened round four by getting the drop on Janniro but the veteran powered around the outside for the lead and his fourth victory. Max Ruml matched Janniro’s four victories by defeating Becker in the very next race. Novratil beat Fox for his third straight victory. Rick Richards, who was scoreless after three rounds, scored a victory over Bob Hicks to finish the fourth round.

Entering the final round of heats Janniro and Max Ruml each had a perfect 12 points; Novratil was one point back at 11; Becker had nine points; Dillon Ruml was eight points; Broc Nicol and Aaron Fox had seven points apiece; Tim Gomez had six points.

Gomez, making competitive return after several years, started the final round with an impressive win to get himself into the semis. Becker kept Dillon Ruml and Fox at bay in event 28 for his third win.

The penultimate heat brought the three top scorers to the tapes. All three were safely in to the semis but gate choice and momentum were on the line. The three-rider showdown was reduced to two when Max Ruml touched the tapes and was excluded. Novratil led Janniro to turn one but had his work cut out for him if he wanted to maintain the lead. Janniro threw everything at the former Under 21 National Champion, trying the inside line as well as the cushion, but the leader never wavered. Novratil held off Janniro and received a raucous ovation from the appreciative spectators.

Nicol beat Richards in the final heat.

Becker made a great start from gate four and used the outside to take the lead in the first semi. Novratil could only settle in to second and both racers moved on to the Final. Janniro was the early leader in the second semi with the Ruml Brothers close behind. Max Ruml tried an inside assault while Dillon was using the outside. Max couldn’t find a way past Janniro and his focus on the front allowed Dillon to sweep around him to steal second at the finish line.

Former Junior National Champion Colton Hicks was victorious over current Junior National Champion Sebastian Palmese in the Junior 250 Main Event. Jake Isaac was third and Michael Wells finished fourth.

Enzo Sorani won his heat and semi then completed his perfect evening with a victory in the Mini 150 Main Event. Slater Lightcap was second, Luke Whitcomb finished third, and Glenn Geist was fourth.

Gavin Geist was victorious in the Pee Wee Main Event with Owen Williams coming in second, Conner Salazar was third, Ken Matsudaira finished fourth, and Dakota Black was fifth.

The Connor Penhall Memorial Cup honors a young man who, while working in a freeway construction zone five years ago, was tragically killed by a drunk driver. In addition to putting on a spectacular show, the event is also a tool to discourage drunk driving and raise awareness of safe driving near construction zones.

In three short years the event has grown in to one of the biggest events in American Speedway in prestige and the purse. The Grand Marshall for the event was legendary American Speedway racer Mike Bast. Unfortunately, Bast became ill several days before the event and was unable to attend the event in person. The event attracted a large crowd for the first event of the facility’s 14th regular season of speedway.


Pee Wee Main Event
6 – Gavin Geist
04 – Owen Williams
5 – Conner Salazar
74 – Ken Matsudaira
503 – Dakota Black

Mini 150 Consolation
45n – Colton Nelson 0
116 – Cole Ayers 0
9 – Levi Leutz 0
48 – Jose Navarrete 20
96 – Andrew Russell 0
42 – Czane Dunbar 20

Mini 150 Main Event
22n – Enzo Sorani
2 – Slater Lightcap
27 – Luke Whitcomb
33 – Glenn Geist

Junior 250 Consolation
14 – Sara Cords
115 – Landon Norton
51n – Greg Moore
14n – Dylan Wagner
35n – Kyle Cunningham

Junior 250 Main Event
24n – Colton Hicks
1 – Sebastian Palmese
16 – Jake Isaac
214 – Michael Wells

CPMC Scoring 1 2 3 4 5 T S F T
1 – Billy Janniro 3 3 3 3 2 14 3 3 20
3 – Dillon Ruml 3 1 2 2 2 10 2 2 14
4 – Broc Nicol 2 2 2 1 3 10 1 - 11
5 – Max Ruml 3 3 3 3 T 12 1 - 13
7 – Austin Novratil 2 3 3 3 3 14 2 1 17
10 – Gage Geist 2 2 1 0 2 7 - - 7
21 – Brad Sauer 0 0 1 0 1 2 - - 2
22n – Luke Becker 3 3 1 2 3 12 3 0 15
24 – Gino Manzares F 2 3 - - 5 - - 5
30 – Tim Gomez 1 2 2 1 3 9 0 - 9
41 – Kurtis Hamill 1 1 1 1 1 5 - - 5
46 – Aaron Fox 2 1 2 2 1 8 0 - 8
139 – Shaun Harmatiuk M 0 0 0 - 0 - - 0
199 – Samuel Ramirez 0 1 0 1 1 3 - - 3
345 – Ricky Richards 0 0 0 3 2 5 - - 5
808n – Bob Hicks 1 0 0 2 0 3 - - 3
293 – Rick Valdez (R) 1 0 0 - - 1 - - 1
22 – Mike Bloom (R) 0 0 - - - 0 - - 0

Race Results
1: Becker, Novratil, Hamill, Richards
2: D. Ruml, Nicol, Gomez, Ramirez
3: Janniro, Geist, Valdez, Manzares (fell), Harmatiuk (two-minute exclusion)
4: M. Ruml, Fox, Hicks, Sauer (fell, remounted)
8: M. Ruml, Nicol, Hamill, Harmatiuk
9: Becker, Geist, Ramirez, Sauer
10: Novratil, Manzares, D. Ruml, Hicks
11: Janniro, Gomez, Fox, Richards
14: Manzares, Fox, Hamill, Ramirez
15: Janniro, Nicol, Becker, Hicks
16: Novratil, Gomez, Sauer, Harmatiuk
17: M. Ruml, D. Ruml, Geist, Richards (fell, remounted)
21: Janniro, D. Ruml, Hamill, Sauer
22: M. Ruml, Becker, Gomez, Bloom
23: Novratil, Fox, Nicol, Geist
24: Richards, Hicks, Ramirez, Harmatiuk
27: Gomez, Geist, Hamill, Hicks
28: Becker, D. Ruml, Fox, Valdez
29: Novratil, Janniro, Ramirez, Bloom, M. Ruml (tape penalty)
30: Nicol, Richards, Sauer, Valdez

Semi-Final #1
22n – Luke Becker
7 – Austin Novratil
4 – Broc Nicol
30 – Tim Gomez

Semi-Final #2
1 – Billy Janniro
3 – Dillon Ruml
5 – Max Ruml
46 – Aaron Fox

Connor Penhall Memorial Cup Final
1 – Billy Janniro
3 – Dillon Ruml
7 – Austin Novratil
22n – Luke Becker

Ryan Evans

Results from Industry Racing and are Continued Below...

  RC Jones Photos  
Industry Racing Industry Racing Industry Racing
Spiderman Mike Bloom (L) Austin Novratil (R) Dillon Ruml (L) Colton Hicks (R) Sebastian Palmese
Industry Racing Industry Racing Industry Racing
The master leads his flock. Billy Janniro, Dillon Ruml and Max Ruml. (L) Billy Janniro (R) Austin Novratil (L) Kyle Cunningham (R) Michael Wells
Industry Racing Industry Racing Industry Racing
(L) Sara Cords (R) Sebastian Palmese (L) Aaron Fox (R) Broc Nicol (L) Billy Janniro (R) Dillon Ruml
Industry Racing Industry Racing Industry Racing
Cole Ayers and Sara Cords Conner Salazar and Kelly Inman Hailey with Bruce Penhall
Industry Racing Industry Racing Industry Racing
Steve Lucero, Tom Fox and Industry Crew Clanton, Bruce and Kelly Clanton, Bruce and Kelly
Industry Racing Industry Racing Industry Racing
Colton Hicks Billy Janniro Kelly Inman with Holly Martin

  Dorcey Wingo Photos  
Industry Racing Industry Racing Industry Racing
Bruce Penhall and Kelly Inman Bruce Penhall with Clark Oden and Kelly Inman Trophy - Helmet for CPMC Winner
Industry Racing Industry Racing Industry Racing
Pee Wee Main Event winner Gavin Geist Pee Wee Main Event Pee Wee Owen Williams
Industry Racing Industry Racing Industry Racing
Pee Wee Main Event winner Gavin Geist 150cc Glenn Geist 250cc Main Event, 2nd start
Industry Racing Industry Racing Industry Racing
250cc Main Event winner Colton Hicks

500cc Event 4, Fox and Hicks in the lead

500cc Event 4 - Aaron Fox and Max Ruml
Industry Racing Industry Racing Industry Racing
500cc Event 8 action - Harmatiuk and Nicol 500cc Event 29 action, Novratil beats Janniro 500cc Gage Geist
Industry Racing Industry Racing Industry Racing
500cc Tim Gomez 500cc Bob Hicks and Broc Nicol Bob Hicks
Industry Racing Industry Racing Industry Racing
500cc Broc Nicol and Aaron Fox 500cc Austin Novratil 500cc Max Ruml and Luke Becker
Industry Racing Industry Racing Industry Racing
500cc Ruml, Max and Luke Becker 500cc Dillon Ruml 500cc Ricky Richards
Industry Racing Industry Racing Industry Racing
500cc Semi Final 1, Novratil in the lead. 500cc Semi Final 2 action Billy J and Max 500cc Ruml, Dillon, Max Ruml and Luke Becker in the Main.

By Tim Kennedy

Industry, CA., May 31 – AMA Speedway racing superstar/reigning National and California champion Billy Janniro, 36, did it again. The Nor Cal-based ace won the third annual Connor Penhall Memorial Cup Wednesday night at Industry Speedway for the third time. He rode his 500cc Jawa to victory after starting from the inside lane and leading all four laps. He defeated the runner-up by four lengths on the eighth-mile dirt track in The Grand Arena at the Industry Hills Expo Center. Officials ran 38 races between 7:40 and 10:05 pm. More than 1,200 spectators entered through the front gate and about 200 more watched from the pits.

The Penhall Memorial honors the memory of late speedway bike racer Connor Penhall, the youngest son of 1980-81 US National and 1981-82 World Speedway Champion Bruce Penhall. Connor lost his life in a tragic incident during April 2012 on the westbound I-10 Freeway near the 605 Freeway. He was working as a Cal-Trans contractor on a night-time construction project. An intoxicated driver drove through cone barriers at an estimated 60 mph and stuck Connor, tossing him 60 to75 feet and killing him instantly.

Each year individual and corporate sponsors add money to the racing event honoring Connor. The announced purse this year surpassed $12,000. Troy Lee, owner of Troy Lee Designs, racing artist/helmet painter for major racing stars, again donated one of his colorful painted helmets to the Penhall Memorial Cup winner. This year the black/green/gold helmet had a big No. 1 on the side as it sat on display in a plexi-glass container. Janniro uses that number on his Jawa and won the third coveted Troy Lee helmet for his growing trophy collection.

Austin Novratil, 22, from Huntington Beach, was the only rider able to defeat Janniro all night. He did so in the final round of heat races. However, he could not catch Janniro in the feature. Dillon Ruml, 18, trailed Novratil by one length. Nor Cal rider Luke Becker, 18, finished fourth, two lengths in back of Ruml.

There were five rounds of heat races for the 16 500cc Division 1 riders and two reserves, who both were able to start heats as alternates. Janniro and Novratil tied for high-point honors at 14 points based on the usual 3, 2, 1, 0 scoring system. Both riders won four races and placed second in another heat. Max Ruml, 20, and Becker tied for third place at 12 points. Dillon Ruml and Broc Nicol, 19, tied for fifth place with 10-points. Tim Gomez (9 points) and Aaron Fox (8 points) completed the field of eight riders for the two semi-final races. The top two finishers in each semi advanced to the main event.

Becker started from the outside lane and led all four laps in the first semi (event 34) to outrun pole starter Novratil, Nicol and Gomez. Janniro started the second semi (event 35) on the inside and beat the Ruml brothers. Lane three starter D. Ruml tried to pass his older brother Max, the lane two starter, on the outside all four laps. Dillon pulled off a spectacular pass on the outside from turn four to the finish line with the checkered flag waving. Scorers agreed Dillon had taken the final transfer to the feature by inches. Outside lane starter Fox was a close fourth all the way.

JUNIORS: Nine 250cc and ten 150cc junior riders from throughout California raced in two heats plus Consi and semi races. AMA 250cc Youth 2015 National Champion Colton Hicks, from Auburn, launched from lane one and led all the way in the 250 main. The 15-year old came to Industry with his father Bob, who raced and scored three points in the 500cc D-1 class. So Cal riders Sebastian Palmese, Jake Isaac and Michael Wells trailed in the 250 main.

Enzo Sorani, 11, from Grass Valley, took the lead on lap two from Huntington Beach resident Slater Lightcap, 11, and beat him to the checkered flag waved by starter Tom Fox. Luke Whitcomb, 11, and Glenn Geist, 11, followed in P. 3-4 respectively.

The younger set (riders ages 5 to 8) raced 50cc bikes and are called pee-wees. Five of the tykes raced two heats and a main event with all five racing. Gavin Geist, the youngest of three racing Geist's at age 6, led all four laps in the main aboard his Yamaha 50cc. He defeated double heat race winner Owen Williams.

EXCITING RACES: Most exciting races of the night included the Ruml brothers battle for the final feature berth. Another was Nicol's outside-running, high-wire-balancing act on his bucking No. 4 trying to pass Novratil for second spot in his semi-final. The fifth round (event 29) race by Novratil to barely beat pressing Janniro brought fans to their feet; they cheered loudly at the checker after Novratil's gutty ride to beat the master rider.

Nine riders won the 20 D-1 heat races. Four-time winners were: Janniro, Novratil and M. Ruml; triple winner Becker, plus solo winners D. Ruml, Nicol, Gomez, Gino Manzares and Rick Richards. M. Ruml had four victories in four races, but in round five his front wheel touched the starting line tape prematurely for an automatic disqualification. He was replaced on the starting line by reserve rider Mike Bloom. Reserve Rick Valdez also raced in two heats and scored one point.

PIT NOTES: Mike Bast, 64, was the 2017 Penhall Memorial Cup Grand Marshal. The seven-time US Speedway National Champion (1971-79), US Open Champion (1979), American Final Champion (1977) and California State Champion (1973-83) was unable to attend because of illness. .Mike is a long-time friend and fellow speedway bike racer with Bruce Penhall, a speedway legend now a young-looking age 60. As an actor Bruce portrayed a CHP officer on the 1970s TV show--CHiPS.

A photo and salute to the late Carol Perez, IHEC General Manager, and major supporter of speedway bike racing, was in the 12-page color program given free to all fans and competitors. ... Industry Speedway Racing Director Kelly Inman was honored as “a friend of AMA racing and for bringing young riders into the ranks”. The presentation took place at the starting line during an intermission for track re-grooming. Inman said, “Thanks, but I think this award belongs to Carol Perez and all the Industry Hills staff.”

The May 31 Industry printed program contained two pages with 29 color photos of Connor as a youth and junior speedway rider, plus many with the Penhall family. Bruce, his wife Laurie, sons Devin and Ryan and daughter McKenzie were shown in various informal settings. ... Bruce brought a display that he keeps in his office to honor his son Connor and placed it on display inside The Grand main entrance. It included Connor's No. 81 junior speedway bike, his No. 81 racing leathers, and his colorful helmet.

Bruce told me the Toyota RV4 driver whose alcohol-impaired night-time driving cost Connor his life, has had his day in court. The then 37-year old Asian driver from Arcadia tried to flee the scene after hitting and instantly killing Connor. He tried to plead innocent, but was found guilty of drunk driving and vehicular manslaughter. He is now serving a 15-year sentence in state prison. He was working in the US for years as an illegal alien. When he is paroled eventually he will be deported back to his native Japan.

Janniro, wearing new colorful yellow and red Jawa leathers, told me prior to racing that he drove south from home solo and brought one of his Nor Cal Jawa bikes. He also keeps a Jawa in So Cal. Billy said he has won two of the three Friday night features at Fast Fridays Motorcycle Speedway in Auburn and Becker won the other.

Charlie Venegas was present in the pits May 31 but was not racing. He said he fell last week racing in Auburn and suffered a broken left clavicle. Charlie's son Keelan, 13, also scratched from racing because it was his eighth grade graduation party/dance. ... Mike Miller sang the National Anthem as usual from the infield following “rider parade” introductions from the pits to the infield.

D-1 racer Ricky Wells (Huntington Beach) has been racing speedway for years in Europe. His mother sells pit passes at the Industry pit gate each week. She said Ricky is racing this season for the Edinburgh (Scotland) Monarchs. ... Junior 150cc rider Travis Horn, a 9-year old frequent winner on his No. 25, was present in the pits May 31 but did not race. He decided to concentrate on motorcycle road racing. His mother Gina prints the speedway bike racing programs.

Broc Nicol returned for the May 31 Industry Speedway opener from racing in Europe. He raced in Poland, Germany and Italy (Broc scored three points) in the Under 21 Championship won by Aussie Jack Holden. Broc's dad Doug, a veteran 500cc D-1 rider, related the info in the Industry pits May 31. Doug said he pits for Luke Becker when Luke's dad is not present. Broc gets $500 airfares to make returning to the USA reasonable financially. His racing base is Sweden.

Broc has busy months on his 2017 racing agenda. He will race in the first of four US National rounds Saturday, June 17 at Ventura Raceway. He will fly June 18 to London to race next. He will race in Europe from June 18 to July 27. Then he will return home to race in the second US National round Saturday, July 29 at Santa Maria Speedway. Broc's ultimate goal is to race for the Speedway Bike World Championship.

Doug revealed that Great Britain citizen Martin Hagon, from London, has lived in Santa Margarita and operated his Hagon speedway bike business in Carlsbad for years. However, he is closing his successful business and returning to England. Why? He has been unable to get US government permission to bring his wife and children to the US to live as residents. They have only been allowed visitor visas and returned to London after each visit. Martin's son, Sam, 12, has raced a Hagon 140cc junior speedway bike (No. 350) in California from 2013-16.

Wednesday nights June 7 and 14 at Industry Speedway will feature extreme sidecar racing and all regular speedway bike divisions, including D-2 and D-3, plus juniors and pee-wees.


Quick Results from the Connor Penhall Memorial Cup.

Ryan Evans


Pee Wee Main Event
6 - Gavin Geist
04 - Owen Williams
5 - Conner Salazar
74 - Ken Matsudaira
503 - Dakota Black

Mini 150 Main Event
22n - Enzo Sorani
2 - Slater Lightcap
27 - Luke Whitcomb
33 - Glenn Geist

Junior 250 Main Event
24n - Colton Hicks
1 - Sebastian Palmese
16 - Jake Isaac
214 - Michael Wells

Connor Penhall Memorial Cup Semi 1
22n - Luke Becker
7 - Austin Novratil
4 - Broc Nicol
30 - Tim Gomez

Connor Penhall Memorial Cup Semi 2
1 - Billy Janniro
3 - Dillon Ruml
5 - Max Ruml
46 - Aaron Fox

Connor Penhall Memorial Cup Final
1 - Billy Janniro
3 - Dillon Ruml
7 - Austin Novratil
22n - Luke Becker

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