Saddlemen

Fox Outruns ’em All at Industry Speedway!

| 13 July 2015 3:28 pm

Industry Racing
Haddick’s Towing Classic Car Night at the Industry Hills Expo Center

Story by Tim Kennedy
Photos by Dorcey Wingo
CITY OF INDUSTRY, CA, JULY 8, 2015

Aaron Fox, a 27-year-old who’s been a speedway racer since 2010, outran all other competitors in the Division One Scratch main event on his number-46 500cc GM/Stuha on Wednesday at Industry Speedway. The Menifee, California, resident started from the outside lane next to the wall in a four-rider field and led all four laps. He won by five bikelengths in front of about 850 spectators during week seven in the 12th season of motorcycle racing at the Industry Hills Expo Center’s Grand Arena.

Several first-time winners took victory laps with the checkered flag during the evening.

Aaron Fox, off the injured list and back on top of the podium!

Aaron Fox, off the injured list and back on top of the podium!

Fox was returning to racing after skipping the July 1 Industry event because of a leg injury. He incurred that injury at Ventura Raceway on June 27 during round two of the AMA National Championship Series. Fox won a pair of D-1 features on June 13 and 20 at Costa Mesa Speedway. His first D-1 victory at Industry added to his three triumphs in San Bernardino (one in 2011 and two in 2013).

Fox spent 2014 racing in Europe as a member of the Edinburgh Monarchs team in the British Racing League. His riding has improved noticeably with the increased competition he faced in Europe. The six-year speedway veteran is a second-generation speedway racer; his father, Robert, raced sidecars from 1988 to 1992.

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During the heat races, Fox scored eight points, with a pair of victories and a second-place finish. Max Ruml, 18, won all three of his heats and earned the maximum nine points. Both riders won semifinal races to transfer to the feature.

Since he was leading by one point, Ruml had first lane choice, and he selected the pole. Next, Fox took lane four. D-1 rookie Dillon Ruml, 16, with seven points, had third choice; he took lane two, next to his brother. Shawn McConnell, who finished second to Max in the second semifinal, had the remaining lane three.

The First Division main event featured (from left to right) Aaron Fox, Shawn McConnell, Dillon Ruml and Max Ruml.

The First Division main event featured (from left to right) Aaron Fox, Shawn McConnell, Dillon Ruml and Max Ruml.

When the starting gate lifted at 9:41 p.m., Max Ruml and Fox converged at the front from the inside and outside lanes. They rubbed elbows and exited turn two even, before the outside-running Fox assumed the lead on the back stretch. Max and Dillon waged a close duel a few bikelengths back for all four laps to the checkered flag, and they finished in that order. McConnell remained close and finished three bikelengths in back of the Ruml brothers.

In Scratch main-event action, Dillon Ruml (111, foreground) engaged in another drag race with his big brother Max Ruml (5) for second place.

In Scratch main-event action, Dillon Ruml (111, foreground) engaged in another drag race with his big brother Max Ruml (5) for second place.

Buck Blair, coming from lane four, also led all four laps of the Division One consi for the third- and fourth-place finishers from the two semis. Pole starter Broc Nicol and Russell Green finished second and third, respectively. Tyson Talkington, who was also returning after a week of recuperation, followed; he’d injured an ankle at Ventura Raceway on June 27.

The Division One consolation race launches off the line! Buck Blair (far left) went wire to wire.

The Division One consolation race launches off the line! Buck Blair (far left) went wire to wire.

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Seven 1,000cc sidecar teams raced, with the four highest teams in points advancing to the feature, which is run in a clockwise direction.

The Sidecar main event is about to get under way.

The Sidecar main event is about to get under way.

Pole starters Joe Jones & his sidecar “swing man” Tom Summers led the main event all the way. Bryan Motis & his “swinger” Josh Bennett took second on lap two and stayed there. Northern California’s Robert Curry used David Dent in his sidecar for the first heat and then rookie Dana Catone (from the number-101 sidecar) in the other two races; they finished third. Jeff Rowe & rider Ashley Gibbons dropped out on lap three.

Joe Jones & Tom Summers celebrate their victory in the Sidecar main.

Joe Jones & Tom Summers celebrate their victory in the Sidecar main.

James Kinne & Dent won the three-team consolation event.

The Sidecar consi is ready to rumble!

The Sidecar consi is ready to rumble!

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The 500cc Division Two field had 14 riders, even after three usual D-2 riders –Eloy Medellin, Rick Richards and Rudy Laurer – moved up to Division One this week [see “Pit Notes” below… Editor] to complete the 16-rider D-1 field. Charlie Venegas was entered on Wednesday, but he was absent because of an injury incurred the previous Friday.

D-2 riders raced two rounds of heats and scored points. A four-rider run-off was necessary, as added race 30A, to determine who would earn the final two starting spots in the D-2 feature. High-points riders Nathan Siegel and David Lynch awaited the outcome of the run-off.

Mike Wiley led the first two laps. Then Robert Curry made an outside pass exiting the second turn on lap three and led the final two laps. On the final lap, third-place rider Rick Valdez made an inside attempt to take second from Wiley, but they collided and Wiley fell. Valdez and Harold Hartke crossed the finish line second and third, respectively. Referee Steve Lucero quickly excluded Valdez for having caused the crash. That put Wiley back in second – and in the D-2 finale.

The Division Two main event, lined up and ready to roll.

The Division Two main event, lined up and ready to roll.

The Division Two feature was a thriller. Lynch led the first three laps. Then Curry (who was also doing double-duty on the evening as a sidecar driver) went to the outside on the final lap. He made a “high, wide and handsome” pass in turn four and edged Lynch as they battled for their first Industry Speedway victory trophy. Siegel and Wiley placed third and fourth, respectively.

Robert Curry (31) sweeps wide in turn three to beat David Lynch (131) to the flag.

Robert Curry (31) sweeps wide in turn three to beat David Lynch (131) to the flag.

Robert Curry (31) won the Second Division main and also placed third in the Sidecar main!

Robert Curry (31) won the Second Division main and also placed third in the Sidecar main!

No Division Three 500cc events were run this week.

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The Junior Division 250cc field had five riders present. Frequent winner Sebastian Palmese, 11, started 50 yards from the starting gate in all three of his races, two heats and the feature. He won heat two near the end. Sara Cords, from the gate, won the first heat after leading all five laps.

The Junior 250cc main event gets under way.

The Junior 250cc main event gets under way.

The 250cc main had Cords and rookie James Blair at the gate, Jake Isaac and Michael Wells at the 10-yard line, and Palmese 50 yards back. Cords, a 15-year-old high school sophomore, led all five laps for her first-ever Industry main-event victory. Palmese finished a closing second, with Isaac, Wells and Blair in position two through five, respectively.

Sebastian Palmese placed second after coming all the way from the 50-yard line.

Sebastian Palmese placed second after coming all the way from the 50-yard line.

Sara Cords, looking good while going fast!

Sara Cords, looking good while going fast!

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The Junior Mini 150cc main event rockets off the start.

The Junior Mini 150cc main event rockets off the start.

The Junior Mini 150cc feature started with six riders – three from the 10-yard line, two (Sterling’s twin brother, Alex Martin, and Lightcap) from the 30, and Sterling Martin from the 40.

Sterling Martin (31, right) chases after Slater Lightcap (28, left).

Sterling Martin (31, right) chases after Slater Lightcap (28, left).

“Speedway Charlie” Trana, 8, from Folsom, California, led the first four laps. Then the close duel between Lightcap and Sterling Martin caught up to Trana. Lightcap made an exciting inside pass of Trana at the finish line for the victory. Sterling Martin was a close third. Luke Whitcomb, Alex Martin and Dakota Shockley were fourth through sixth, respectively.

Slater Lightcap (28) wins the 150cc main from the 30-yard line.

Slater Lightcap (28) wins the 150cc main from the 30-yard line.

Two 150cc heats were thrillers, with Slater Lightcap, 9, passing Sterling Martin, 10, on the inside at the finish line.

The Mini 150cc consi had Skylar Schnakenberg, 16, and her sister Rachel, 9, alongside Andrew Russell. Skylar led all four laps for her first Industry victory. Russell was a close second and Rachel was third.

The Mini 150cc consolation race is staged and ready to go.

The Mini 150cc consolation race is staged and ready to go.

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Five Pee Wee riders on 50cc Honda and Yamaha bikes raced a pair of four-lap heats, which were won by Levi Leutz and Cole Ayers, both age 6. Frequent Pee Wee winner Travis Horn, 7, had to start each race 50 yards from the gate; he finished third in both heats.

Levi Leutz (3) and Richard Stephens (706) skirmish in Pee Wee action.

Levi Leutz (3) and Richard Stephens (706) skirmish in Pee Wee action.

The main event saw Ayers out front for two laps, but he fell in turn four – without injury – while leading on lap two. Leutz led lap three. Horn took the lead on lap four and proceeded to beat Leutz to the finish line. Richard Stephens, 8, and Connor Salazar, 7, followed.

Travis Horn (25) once again grabbed the bull by the… er, well, horns… and won another Pee Wee main from the 50-yard line!

Travis Horn (25) once again grabbed the bull by the… er, well, horns… and won another Pee Wee main from the 50-yard line!

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Pit Notes
Missing at Industry this week were D-1 riders Billy Janniro, Charlie Venegas and Brad Sauer. Brad’s son Braden, 18, took a hard fall and tumble on the back stretch in the D-2 feature the previous Wednesday. He had numbness in both legs, but feeling came back in one leg before he was taken by ambulance to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, where he spent two days under the care of a neurologist. He returned home to Bakersfield, California, after two days with numbness still in one leg. He will receive medical treatment in his hometown. Reportedly, he suffered a similar injury last year that resulted in leg numbness, but he eventually returned to good health.

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Wednesday was the annual Haddick’s Towing Classic Car Night at Industry Speedway. Headquartered in Industry on Valley Boulevard and in South Whittier, Haddick’s (since 1928!) is an original and continuing Industry Speedway sponsor. Many classic cars and pickup trucks were lined up together inside the front gate in the courtyard. Each had an entry number on the windshield. Voting by spectators determined the best-in-show top three. Track PA announcer Bruce Flanders announced the top three in voting.

The winning car was a 1955 Chevrolet Bel-Air in GM chrome-illusion gold-, purple- and green-tinted paint. Carol Tachdjian has owned the classic car for 12 years. Second place went to a 1966 Ford Mustang owned by Ben See. Third place went to a 1967 Corvette owned by Ben Edlund.

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It took five points to make the Division One semifinals this week. The three D-2 riders who officially moved up to D-1 races this week all scored points: Rudy Laurer garnered three, Rick Richards earned two and Eloy Medellin got one. Scoring no points were Joe Donaldson and Braydan Galvin, who fell in all three of his heat races.

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Among the spectators in the grandstands was USAC Midget owner/driver Jerome Rodela from El Monte, California, and one of his daughters. Fans from Irwindale Speedway and Perris Auto Speedway also attended the midweek two-wheel racing action.

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Industry Speedway track preparer Jose Salazar has been off work on disability for weeks. His relative Ivan Salazar is working on the track each week, driving the tractor and dragging the track surface. Pee Wee rider Connor Salazar, who hails from the City of Industry, is from the same extended family.

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Racing 42 events this week lasted from 7:30 to 9:43 p.m., making this the earliest finish this season.

Industry Speedway racing next Wednesday, July 15, will be the annual Laidlaw’s (of Baldwin Park) Harley-Davidson Night. All racing divisions will be in action.

Industry Hills Expo Center
City of Industry, California
Results: July 8, 2015

SIDECAR MAIN: 1. Joe Jones/ Tom Summers; 2. Bryan Motis/ Josh Bennett; 3. Robert Curry/ David Dent; 4. Jeff Rowe/ Ashley Gibbons (retired).

PEE WEE MAIN: 1. Travis Horn (50); 2. Levi Leutz (0); 3. Richard Stephens (0); 4. Conner Salazar (0); 5. Cole Ayers (0) (fell).

MINI 150 MAIN: 1. Slater Lightcap (30); 2. Charlie Trana (10); 3. Sterling Martin (40); 4. Luke Whitcomb (10); 5. Alex Martin (30); 6. Dakota Shockley (10).

JR 250 MAIN: 1. Sara Cords (0); 2. Sebastian Palmese (50); 3. Jake Isaac (10); 4. Michael Wells (10); 5. James Blair (0).

DIVISION 2 MAIN: 1. Robert Curry; 2. David Lynch; 3. Nathan Siegel; 4. Mike Wiley.

SCRATCH CONSOLATION: 1. Buck Blair; 2. Broc Nicol; 3. Russell Green; 4. Tyson Talkington.

SCRATCH MAIN: 1. Aaron Fox; 2. Max Ruml; 3. Dillon Ruml; 4. Shawn McConnell.

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