Industry Racing Ugly Hawaiian Shirt Night, Take 2: The Edge Outlasts Young Rivals to Secure Second Industry Victory
Bruce Flanders Ugly Hawaiian Shirt Night: Industry Hills Expo Center Grand Arena
Courtesy of Industry Racing
Photos by Craig Hashey
CITY OF INDUSTRY, CA, JULY 16, 2014
Industry Racing picked up where it left off inside the Grand Arena on Wednesday for Night Seven of the 2014 season. Accompanied by live classic rock music with LP4, the evening presented “Bruce Flanders Ugly Hawaiian Shirt Night.” With many perfect examples of ugliness on hand, a select few lucky spectators went home with a fitting trophy and a pair of tickets to upcoming events.
With the Sidecar Division sitting idle, all eyes focused on two-wheel excitement, highlighted by a Scratch main event that, in the absence of both Billy Janniro and Billy Hamill, showcased some great talent and new rivalries. There was no lack of speed, thrills and close racing in all divisions, as crashes and restarts only added to the wild night of action.
A talented group of racers filled the Scratch main event, despite the absence of Janniro and Hamill, and featured a captivating mix of veteran experience and youthful exuberance. The line-up consisted of 26-year veteran Charlie Venegas on the inside, sophomore rider Max Ruml in gate two, sixth-year racer Tyson Burmeister in gate three, and fourth-year rider Austin Novratil on the outside. This would be Ruml’s last race at Industry before heading overseas to compete.
However, before the race began, Venegas left for the pits, only to come back after having made some adjustments to his motorcycle. Those changes paid off, as it was Venegas who led the pack into turn one and through the opening lap. Novratil and Ruml battled for second, with Ruml initially taking the position and losing his skitch plate. Soon after, Novratil returned the favor.
Venegas was able to carry his stellar start all the way to the finish to take the overall for the evening. Behind him, the running order stayed the same coming into the checkers, with Novratil placing second, Ruml third and Burmeister fourth.
The next-to-last ride of the night showcased the racers who had been edged out of the Scratch main event, as they were given the opportunity to contend for the Scratch consolation prize. Eddie Castro started on the inside gate and got the jump once the tapes rose. Following Castro’s early advantage, Broc Nicol soon made his way forward and fought with Castro for every inch of available dirt. He soon passed Castro and fended off a counter move, taking over the lead. As they came to the white flag, their battle continued, but Nicol held off Castro all the way to the finish, boasting his third victory in the Scratch consolation this season.
Harold Hartke was starting on the far outside in the Second Division main event, facing off against Ron Davis, Carl Gazafy and Bruce Marteney. At the rise of the tapes, Gazafy got the jump, while Hartke powered around the outside to challenge for the lead.
After Harkte made the pass and began to check out, the battle for second heated up. As the white flag came out, Hartke had established half-a-straightaway between himelf and the rest of the group, and he won the main event for the first time this season. Marteney continued to fight and ultimately moved through the traffic to finish as the runner-up, leaving Davis in third and Gazafy in fourth.
The Third Division main event saw multiple riders go down. In the first turn, Greg Willis went down but had time to get back on his motorcycle and rejoin the race. Soon after, George Yates made a mistake that resulted in a dismount, followed by Dave Ruby’s washing out and almost causing a pile-up. All this action allowed Wade Whitcomb to assume the lead and move on to his first main-event win of the year.
The fastest youngsters were on hand for the Junior 250 Division main event. Former winners Dillon Ruml and Gage Geist battled for the early lead, with the rest of the pack following closely. A mistake caused Ruml to go down, leading to Samuel Ramirez laying down his bike to avoid a collision. The race went to red, and the racers reassembled at the starting gate. Due to his incident, Ruml was excluded from the restart.
As the tape rose again, Geist gained the edge over his competitors. Braydan Galvin had another great start and challenged Geist for his second straight win, but as the race continued, the racers spread out over the track and finished with no additional passes being made. Geist maintained the first spot for his second win, with Galvin in second and Ramirez in third.
On hand for the Mini 150 First Division main event was Charlie Trana, making the trip down from Northern California to join the action at Industry Racing. After earning his way into the main event, Slater Lightcap was absent from the final race due to a blown engine, leaving only two racers to battle for the win.
When the tapes rose, Jake Isaac got the jump to take the lead, and he quickly pulled away from Trana. Coming to the white flag, Isaac held a commanding lead, and he held on for the final lap to take the win.
Only three racers were on hand for the Mini 150cc Second Division main event. Keelan Venegas gained the early advantage. However, Luke Whitcomb gained ground on Venegas up the inside and was able to make the pass for the top spot. Shortly thereafter, Venegas went down and pulled off, allowing the race to stay green. This gave Whitcomb a large lead over Andrew Russell en route to his first win of the season.
With a full gate of motorcycles, the Pee Wee main event made for a busy starting line, featuring eight riders. As all the young racers launched out of the gate when the tapes rose, it was Gordon Teuber who was first to react, and he took the early lead. Teuber was able to hold off multiple-time winner Travis Horn, who eagerly followed, looking for a place to pass.
After quickly encountering lapped riders, Dustin Stagg inserted himself into the lead trio and then took advantage of the congested traffic to slip his way past the two front-runners and secure his first win.
[For more from this event, including race coverage and results, please see “Venegas Wins Second Speedway Main at Industry” by Tim Kennedy… Editor]