INDUSTRY, California — Billy Janniro, of Rancho Cordova, came south Wednesday to race in the Industry Speedway at the Industry Hills Expo Center Grand Arena season finale--the 37th running of the California State Speedway Championship. Riders raced for more than $5,000. The 32-year old 2011 Speedway Cycle National Champion won his third consecutive title in the prestigious event aboard his No. 1 GM 500cc motorcycle. He led all four laps over his close friend Charlie “the Edge” Venegas, of San Bernardino. An estimated 3,000 spectators attended the seventh consecutive California State Championship title race at Industry Speedway. It was the largest fan turnout in nine years of cycle racing in Industry.
Following four rounds of heat racing for all 20-Division 1 riders, the three highest point riders advanced directly to the main event. Venegas, 45, scored a perfect 12 points by winning all four of his heats. Janniro had 11 points for three victories and a second place. Jimmy Fishback, the 31-year old 2011 Industry Speedway track champion, had 10-points for three wins and a third place in his four heats. He was returning to competition at Industry after missing months because of crash injuries earlier this season. Tommy Hedden, from Auburn, also scored 10-points, but he lost the tie-breaker and had to race in a “Last Chance” race from which only the winner advanced to the four-rider feature.
Riders in positions four through seven in addition to Hedden were Murrieta resident Tyson Burmeister (9-points), Carson City, NV rider Mike Faria (8-points), and Aaron Fox (7-points). Fox, from Menifee, won a tie-breaker over Buck Blair, who also had 7-points. Burmeister, 28, led all four laps to secure the final feature berth by out-dueling Faria. Hedden was in third position on lap 3 when he slid to the ground in the third turn, remounted and finished behind Fox.
Main event riders had lane choice by their point ranking. High-point Venegas selected the inside lane one. Next, Janniro picked the outside lane four. Fishback chose the second lane and Burmeister took the remaining third lane. When the starting gate lifted Janniro won the close race to the first turn on the outside with Venegas racing side by side with him out of the second turn. Janniro prevailed and Venegas slotted into second place. He pressured Janniro all four laps before settling for the second place trophy, about seven yards in back of the winner. Third place Fishback was three yards behind Venegas. Fourth place Burmeister trailed Fishback by ten yards. In round two (race 14) Venegas beat Janniro by leading every lap after starting from the outside lane and Janniro on the inside lane in a reverse result of their main event finishing positions.
Janniro earned an estimated $1,000 for his victory plus bonus money for his heat race victories. The top three riders accepted large trophies on a special “Industry Speedway Winner's Circle” podium erected on the front straightaway. A red carpet on the track led to the podium steps. The top three riders posed for the largest contingent of photographers all season. Then they sprayed champagne onto many well-wishers who joined them in the infield for the awards ceremonies. Following the most successful season at Industry, the top three finishers posed on the podium with Carol Perez, Industry Hills Expo Center Operations Manager, and Kelly Inman, Industry Speedway Racing Director. They doused former racer Inman with champagne.
Nine-time 2012 Industry Speedway feature winner Billy Hamill was not present for the title race because he was competing in a road racing event this week at Miller Motorsports Park in Toole, Utah. Hamill raced evenly with Janniro in the 36th California State Speedway Championship until they collided on the third lap in the third turn and fell along with another rider. By rule that race ended with Janniro declared the winner. The race was not restarted because more than 50% had been completed and it was past the 10 pm curfew.
OTHER MAIN EVENTS: Twelve support division riders (from Divisions 2 and 3) participated in two rounds of heats for points (also scored 3, 2, 1, 0). An Invitational main for the four highest point riders followed. Geoff Herkner, 34, won both of his heats, earning the maximum six points. He tied double heat race winner Kayle Leo Grande. Herkner, a six-year speedway cycle veteran from Reche Canyon (near Loma Linda), led all four laps for his first feature victory at Industry. During event 17 for support riders, Troy McConnell, son of D-1 rider Shawn McConnell, fell hard in the first turn on lap 1 and reportedly suffered a dislocated shoulder. After several minutes on the ground, he was able to walk to the pits.
Five Youth Division 250cc riders each ran three rounds of heat races for points (4, 3, 2, 1, 0). Dillon Ruml, 13, led all four laps in the feature and defeated Broc Nicol, older brother and frequent winner Max Ruml, 15, and Hayley Perrault, 15. Dalton Leedy, fell on lap 3. Nine Youth Division 200cc riders each raced in two rounds of heat races for points (4, 3, 2, 1, 0). Young lady Courtney Crone, 11, and Michael Wells, each won a heat race. Braydan Galvin, 15, won both of his heats. A Youth 200cc consolation race for the P. 5-9 riders in points went to Dylan Smith, who led laps 2-4. Sterling Martin, from Salinas, led the first lap on his No. 31 and finished second on his first night of racing at Industry. His fraternal twin brother Adam, age 7, placed third on his No. 30. Galvin led all four laps of the 200cc feature for the four high-point riders. He received a large trophy. Wells, Maverick Molloy and Crone followed him across the finish line.
Riders in all divisions started races from the starting gate and starting handicaps by different yard lines from the starting gate for more experienced riders were not used this week. Pee-wee and sidecar divisions did not compete. The 39 event racing card ran from 7:30 to 10:00 pm in front of an enthusiastic and knowledgeable speedway cycle audience. Industry Hills Expo Center management announced that a special fan appreciation one night of racing will be held Saturday, December 29, 2012 at Industry Speedway.
Wednesday night speedway cycle tenth season, 13-week Industry Speedway race dates were announced in the free printed race program given to fans as they entered. The schedule will be similar to the 2012 season. The first date will be May 29 for all divisions. The 13th and final race date on August 28 will be the 38th running of the California State Championship. July 3 will be dark because of the July 4 holiday. Past California State Speedway Championship winners at Industry Speedway have been: 2006 – Josh Larsen; 2007-08 – Venegas; 2009 – Ricky Wells; 2010-11-12 – Janniro.