Impact Canopy

Fox Runs Away from Three Teenagers at Industry!

| 19 July 2015 8:36 pm

Industry Racing
Laidlaw Harley-Davidson Night: Industry Hills Expo Center

Story by Tim Kennedy
Photos by Dorcey Wingo
CITY OF INDUSTRY, CA, JULY 15, 2015

Aaron Fox, 27, ran away from three impressive teenage challengers on his 500cc GM/ Stuha during the weekly Wednesday night speedway main event at Industry Racing. It was the annual Laidlaw Harley-Davidson Night at the track in the Grand Arena of the Industry Hills Expo Center, and about 1,200 spectators witnessed his second consecutive feature victory in a field of 16 First Division riders.

Aaron Fox, looking unbeatable on a Wednesday night at Industry!

Aaron Fox, looking unbeatable on a Wednesday night at Industry!

A total of 43 speedway races were run, despite a 15-minute track-lighting blackout shortly that occurred after 8 p.m.

It was Laidlaw Harley Night at the Grand Arena, and former Industry promoter Freddie Orosco wasn’t gonna miss it!

It was Laidlaw Harley Night at the Grand Arena, and former Industry promoter Freddie Orosco wasn’t gonna miss it!

Fox, who hails from Menifee, California, was perfection personified this week. He led every lap in all five of his races. He won all three of his four-lap heat races, plus the second semifinal, over 16-year-old Division One rookie Dillon Ruml. Broc Nicol, 17, won the first semifinal, over Max Ruml, 18, to set the four-rider feature field.

“Mad Max” Ruml leads the pack around turn one.

“Mad Max” Ruml leads the pack around turn one.

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(From left to right) Max Ruml, Dillon Ruml, Broc Nicol and Aaron Fox launch off the line in the Scratch main event.

(From left to right) Max Ruml, Dillon Ruml, Broc Nicol and Aaron Fox launch off the line in the Scratch main event.

When the starting gate shot upward in the feature, Fox launched from the inside lane and led the first lap over lane-two starter Nicol, lane-three starter Dillon Ruml and outside starter Max Ruml. They ran in that order for all four circuits of the oval. Fox won by five bikelengths over Nicol, who had three bikelengths on Dillon. Max trailed his younger brother by one bikelength.

Dillon Ruml (111) chases Broc Nicol (4) for second place in the Division One main.

Dillon Ruml (111) chases Broc Nicol (4) for second place in the Division One main.

Broc Nicol would take second in the Scratch main.

Broc Nicol would take second in the Scratch main.

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The third- and fourth-place finishers in the two semifinals ran a four-lap consolation race that immediately preceded the main event. Shawn McConnell led all four laps, over a pressing Charlie Venegas. Buck Blair and Rocco Scopellite trailed in third and fourth, respectively.

The Scratch consi gets under way.

The Scratch consi gets under way.

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Scopellite won a two-rider run-off race after he and Gage Geist tied at four points for eighth in the points after three rounds of heats. Geist did a highside fall on the first lap in turn two and briefly brought out the red flag; that gave the victory to Scopellite.

Charlie Venegas (43) feels the heat from Gage Geist in turn one.

Charlie Venegas (43) feels the heat from Gage Geist in turn one.

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Mike Wiley (left) and Ben Barrett (246) navigate turn one in Second Division action.

Mike Wiley (left) and Ben Barrett (246) navigate turn one in Second Division action.

The 500cc Second Division field had 15 riders present, and they raced two rounds of heats for points. In the first D-2 heat, three riders fell hard (one in turn one and two at turn two). All three riders remained on the ground for several minutes. Lewis Hughes walked away from turn one, but he was sidelined for the night.

One of the downed riders in the second turn was Hayley Perrault, who started racing 50cc Pee Wee bikes nine years ago and celebrated her 18th birthday on July 1 at Industry. Perrault and Nathan Siegel returned from their falls to make the restart. Perrault finished second, and she also finished second in her other heat to make the D-2 main.

The Second Division main event is gridded and ready to go.

The Second Division main event is gridded and ready to go.

In the Division Two main, Perrault started from the inside lane and ran four fast laps perfectly on her Jawa lay-down to win her first Industry 500cc main event of 2015! She also won a D-2 Industry main last July and four 500cc mains at other speedways. In this race, veterans Rudy Laurer, Ron Davis and Mike Lane followed.

Rudy Laurer took second in the Second Division main…

Rudy Laurer took second in the Second Division main…

…but it was Hayley Perrault (170) who took home the Division Two main-event trophy.

…but it was Hayley Perrault (170) who took home the Division Two main-event trophy.

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The 500cc Division Three class – for newer riders and those returning to racing – had 10 riders. They each ran a heat race and one of the two semifinals, from which the top two finishers in each semi advanced to the feature. Chris Wiggins and Steve “Beach Ball” Brown won the two semis.

In the D-3 feature, Wiggins, 32, started from the outside lane and led all four laps, over Brown, George Yates and Greg Willis.

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In 250cc action, Colton Hicks (24N) and Sebastian Palmese (18, right) skirmish in turn two.

In 250cc action, Colton Hicks (24N) and Sebastian Palmese (18, right) skirmish in turn two.

The Junior 250cc main featured all six of the 250cc riders who were present. Jake Isaac, 12, led all three laps of the race, which had been shortened by two laps because of a red flag. A fast-closing Sebastian Palmese, 11, started 50 yards from the starting gate and earned second.

In the 250cc main event, Colton Hicks went down in turn three, and Jake Isaac (left) managed to avoid hitting him.

In the 250cc main event, Colton Hicks went down in turn three, and Jake Isaac (left) managed to avoid hitting him.

The red flag flew following a lap-four, third-corner crash that involved visiting Auburn resident Colton Hicks, 13, and Michael Wells, 14. Both fell; Wells remained prone for several minutes before he got up and walked back to the pits. Referee Steve Lucero excluded Hicks, son of D-1 racer Bob Hicks, as the cause of the crash, and gave Wells third place. The race was not resumed, as it was more than 50-percent complete, and because of time constraints. James Blair and Sara Cords finished in fourth and fifth, respectively.

Sebastian Palmese (foreground) was runner-up after starting from the 50-yard line.

Sebastian Palmese (foreground) was runner-up after starting from the 50-yard line.

Jake Isaac (16) won the 250cc main event after starting from the 10-yard line.

Jake Isaac (16) won the 250cc main event after starting from the 10-yard line.

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In Mini 150cc action, Slater Lightcap (left) and Luke Whitcomb (right) race around turn two.

In Mini 150cc action, Slater Lightcap (left) and Luke Whitcomb (right) race around turn two.

There were six riders in the Mini 150cc main event.

There were six riders in the Mini 150cc main event.

Nine-year-old Slater Lightcap, who is now a four-time winner at Industry in 2015, won the Mini 150cc main event after starting 50 yards from the gate. He led laps three through five and beat Luke Whitcomb, 9, Dakota Shockley, 10, Keelan Venegas, 11, and sisters Skylar and Rachel Schnakenberg, who are 16 and 9, respectively.

Luke Whitcomb scored second place in the 150cc main.

Luke Whitcomb scored second place in the 150cc main.

Slater Lightcap (28) is on a winning spree on his 150.

Slater Lightcap (28) is on a winning spree on his 150.

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The Pee Wee main event also featured six riders.

The Pee Wee main event also featured six riders.

The 50cc Pee Wee main event was an upset victory for Cole Ayers, a 9-year-old racer from Moreno Valley, California. He edged a fast-closing Travis Horn, who starts all of his races with a 50-yard handicap because of his success. The 7-year-old Horn has now won six of the eight Pee Wee mains this season at Industry.

Cole Ayers (16) gets the jump on fellow racer Levi Leutz (3).

Cole Ayers (16) gets the jump on fellow racer Levi Leutz (3).

Following Ayers and Horn home were Levi Leutz, 6, Richard Stephens, 9, Conner Salazar, 7, and the event’s youngest rider, Gavin Dryfka, 4. The tiniest Pee Wee rider is the stepbrother of riders Gage Geist (who contests Division One) and Glenn Geist (a 9-year-old Mini 150cc racer).

Cole Ayers (16) beat Travis Horn (25) to the checkered flag in the Pee Wee main event.

Cole Ayers (16) beat Travis Horn (25) to the checkered flag in the Pee Wee main event.

Cole Ayers (16) took the checkers in the Pee Wee main event.

Cole Ayers (16) took the checkers in the Pee Wee main event.

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Some Harley action on Laidlaw’s Harley Night…

Some Harley action on Laidlaw’s Harley Night…

Extra Races
Riders on street-legal Harley-Davidson motorcycles raced a pair of heat races with four riders each and then a crowded eight-rider field in the main event. In one of the heat races, two Harley riders fell in the second turn, without injury.

The Harley main event gets under way.

The Harley main event gets under way.

Troy Hoff, 33, who hails from Westminster California, led every lap on his number-one Harley 88-cubic-inch Dyno FXD. Ed Subia from Orange, California, finished second on his number-84 Harley 1200cc Sportster. Chris Wiggins, who won the Division Three feature, also rode his street-legal Harley to victory in his bracket H-D main while wearing his leathers with the number 239 on his back.

Troy Hoff (01) celebrates his victory in style.

Troy Hoff (01) celebrates his victory in style.

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Industry Racing also conducted the annual heat race and main event for employees of season-long sponsor Laidlaw’s Harley-Davidson in Baldwin Park. All seven employees started from the gate on similar motorcycles that carried numbers one through seven. Chris Garcia, number six, was announced as the winner of the heat and main event in flag-to-flag runs.

Event 32 was a heat race for employees of Laidlaw’s Harley-Davidson, the sponsor of the evening’s festivities.

Event 32 was a heat race for employees of Laidlaw’s Harley-Davidson, the sponsor of the evening’s festivities.

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Broc Nicol (left) is about to get stood up by Tyson Talkington (48).

Broc Nicol (left) is about to get stood up by Tyson Talkington (48).

Pit Notes
Brad Sauer of Bakersfield, California, and his son Brayden, who was injured on July 1 in a fall at Industry, came south on July 15 to L.A. County’s USC Medical Center to see a neurologist. Brayden, 18, still has no feeling in his right leg; he was in the Industry pits, in a wheelchair. He was in midpack on the back stretch on the initial lap of the July 1 Division Two main when a rider turned left and hit Brayden’s front wheel. That sent him tumbling down the track. He had no feeling in both legs and lay prone for 20 minutes. An ambulance took him to USC Med Center, where he underwent tests for two days. Feeling returned to his left leg before he left the track. Brad loaded his number-21 Jawa and Brayden’s number-217 mount in his truck and followed the ambulance to the hospital. He spent two days with his son there, and then Brad and his wife drove Brayden home several days after his accident.

Brad, 46, and Brayden hoped to see a neurologist on July 15 and get additional information. They were not successful and asked for Brayden’s medical record, which will be mailed to them. Brad said they will seek medical treatment closer to their home in Bakersfield. Brad said that Brayden had similar leg numbness last year after a crash, and that it took him four months to recover.

Brad brought along his speedway bike and raced three heats but did not make a semifinal. Brayden watched the races from the wheelchair section near the scoring-and-announcing area above the starting line.

Brayden impressively won the June 24 D-2 500cc feature at Industry. He also won his July 1 heat race easily and was a solid bet to win his second consecutive D-2 main before his crash. He is a good friend of the Ruml brothers and Nicol, who all showed great concern for him on July 1 and greeted him in the pits two weeks later. Everyone wishes the popular Sauer a speedy recovery.

Bob Hicks and Shawn McConnell have Rocco Scopellite (126, center) in a bind.

Bob Hicks and Shawn McConnell have Rocco Scopellite (126, center) in a bind.

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Tyson Talkington (48) and Rocco Scopellite (126) in action.

Tyson Talkington (48) and Rocco Scopellite (126) in action.

Charlie “The Edge” Venegas and his 11-year-old son Keelan “Li’l Edge” Venegas were absent from Industry on July 8. Charlie’s and Broc Nicol’s bikes made contact at a race in Auburn, California, and Charlie fell. He received a shoulder injury that is taking some time to heal. Both father and son raced at Industry on July 15 while Mom was in the pit booth selling pit passes and then in the scoring booth as a co-scorer for all the races.

Aaron Fox (left) and Buck Blair (39), testing for traction.

Aaron Fox (left) and Buck Blair (39), testing for traction.

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Russell Green (321) and Bob Hicks (808) in turn one.

Russell Green (321) and Bob Hicks (808) in turn one.

Two returning Division Three riders made their first 2015 racing starts on July 15 at Industry.

Brent Smith, 45, from La Verne, California, is an air-conditioning technician. He raced speedway from 1996 to 2004 and rose to the Division Two Intermediate skill level. He got married, had a daughter, and put his number-103 GM bike in storage. He watched the July 8 races at Industry with his now-10-year-old daughter and his girlfriend. The ladies were in the grandstands a week later to watch Brent’s return to speedway racing.

In his only heat race, Brent led the first three laps, received the white flag and slowed at turn two. He dropped to fourth as his three competitors raced past him. He finished fourth. Announcer Bruce Flanders told the crowd, “He must have thought he had received the checkered flag.”

In his semifinal race, Brent finished fourth in a five-rider field.

Buck Blair (39), Russell Green (321) and Dillon Ruml (right) in turn one.

Buck Blair (39), Russell Green (321) and Dillon Ruml (right) in turn one.

Dave Ruby, 55, who also hails from La Verne, was a 2014 D-3 rookie on his number-112 Jawa and finished second in one feature. He sold his bike after the season. Then he found he missed racing, so he borrowed a bike from D-3 rider Greg Willis and finished fifth of five riders in his heat race. Dave finished third in a field of five in his semifinal. His bike’s owner, Willis, placed second and advanced to the D-3 main.

Returning riders Smith and Ruby did not face each other in either of their rides, but they probably will in coming weeks. Both friendly riders are welcome additions to the 2015 speedway-bike field.

Industry Hills Expo Center
City of Industry, California
Results: July 15, 2015

PEE WEE MAIN: 1. Cole Ayers (0); 2. Travis Horn (50); 3. Levi Leutz (0); 4. Richard Stephens (0); 5. Conner Salazar (0); 6. Gavin Dryfka (0).

MINI 150 MAIN: 1. Slater Lightcap (50); 2. Luke Whitcomb (10); 3. Dakota Shockley (10); 4. Keelan Venegas (10); 5. Skylar Schnakenberg (0); 6. Andrew Russell (0).

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

DIVISION 2 MAIN: 1. Hayley Perrault; 2. Rudy Laurer; 3. Ron Davis; 4. Mike Lane.

SCRATCH CONSOLATION: 1. Shawn McConnell; 2. Charlie Venegas; 3. Buck Blair; 4. Rocco Scopellite.

SCRATCH MAIN: 1. Aaron Fox; 2. Broc Nicol; 3. Dillon Ruml; 4. Max Ruml.

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