Santa Rosa Mile

Kids Go for the Gumballs at Industry

| 7 March 2017 10:51 pm

Kids Gumball Rally
Industry Speedway at the Industry Hills Expo Center

Story by Tim Kennedy
Photos by Clark Oden/Race Day Images
CITY OF INDUSTRY, CA, FEB. 26, 2017

Junior Speedway riders participated in the annual Kids Gumball Rally on Sunday afternoon at the eighth-mile dirt track in the Grand Arena at Industry Hills Expo Center. The non-points-paying season opener at Industry Speedway had 47 speedway-bike competitors competing in five classes. About half of the riders were from Northern California. Some riders had two bikes, for the Pee Wee Stock and Modified classes. Free grandstand admission lured 204 persons, including the riders’ family and friends, and about 200 more persons in the pits on a partly sunny, 55-degree day with a few light sprinkles.

Enzo “The Rabbit” Sorani (22) took the Mini 150cc Division One checkers.

Enzo “The Rabbit” Sorani (22) took the Mini 150cc Division One checkers.

There were 19 riders in the Junior 250cc class, four Mini 150cc First Division riders, nine Mini 150cc Second Division (less experienced) riders, seven Pee Wees on modified 50cc bikes with adjusted bore-and-stroke engines, and 12 Pee Wees on stock 50cc Honda and Yamaha bikes.

Riders’ ages ranged from 5 to 16. They raced for pride, Northern California vs. Southern California bragging rights, prizes, and coveted gumball-filled trophies for class winners. The 51 races (from the heat races through the main events) ran from 12:40 to 3:37 p.m. Races were televised live on the Industry Speedway website and at the Speedway on the color video screen above the third turn.

Main-event winners were:

Junior 250cc: Colton Hicks, 14, from Auburn, on a Jawa

Mini 150cc Division One: Enzo Sorani, 11, from Grass Valley

Mini 150cc Division Two: Colton Nelson, 9, from Auburn

Pee Wee Modified: Owen Williams, 9, from Costa Mesa (based on overall points)

Pee Wee Stock: Kristian Daniel Jr., 8, from Chatsworth

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The Junior 250cc division ran a pair of run-off races, with three riders in each. The first race’s field had three riders with six points each after four rounds of heat races. Only the race winner advanced to the last-chance race. Alex Martin, 12, from Salinas, led all four laps and beat Dylan Wagner, 12, from Napa. Sara Cords, 16, from Yucaipa, was running second on lap three when she fell in the fourth turn; she rose quickly and pushed her bike to the infield.

Alex Martin (30, right) went wire to wire for the Junior 250cc victory.

Alex Martin (30, right) went wire to wire for the Junior 250cc victory.

Dylan Wagner (14N) was runner-up in the Junior 250cc final.

Dylan Wagner (14N) was runner-up in the Junior 250cc final.

The Junior 250cc class had three riders tied at 11 points after four rounds of heats compete for positions in the four-rider field, which included high-point rider Anthony Dion, 14, from Grass Valley. National 250cc 2016 champion Sebastian “Big Daddy” Palmese, 13, led all four laps. The Mission Viejo resident edged a pressing Colton Hicks, 14, from Auburn. Cameron Krezman, 13, from Newcastle, placed third. They joined Anthony Dion in the final race of the day and raced for the impressive gumball trophy.

Sebastian Palmese (1, left) duels with Colton Hicks (24, right) in Junior 250cc action at Industry.

Sebastian Palmese (1, left) duels with Colton Hicks (24, right) in Junior 250cc action at Industry.

Jawa jockey Cameron Krezman (26) came in third in the Junior 250cc class.

Jawa jockey Cameron Krezman (26) came in third in the Junior 250cc class.

The 250cc four-lap feature grid had Dion on the pole, Palmese at the wall in lane four, Hicks in lane two, and Krezman in lane three. Hicks, the son of 500cc D-1 Expert rider Bob Hicks, led all four laps, over a pressing Palmese. Krezman and Dion followed in third and fourth, respectively.

Colton Hicks (24) led from start to finish for the Junior 250cc win.

Colton Hicks (24) led from start to finish for the Junior 250cc win.

Anthony Dion (16N) placed third in the Junior 250cc final.

Anthony Dion (16N) placed third in the Junior 250cc final.

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Event 50 was the Mini 150cc Division One final. Slater Lightcap, 11, from Huntington Beach, led the first two laps. Enzo Sorani, 11, from Grass Valley, made a determined and impressive inside pass entering the third turn and led the final two laps.

Initial leader Slater Lightcap (2) skirmishes with Glenn Geist (33) early in the Mini 150cc Division One final.

Initial leader Slater Lightcap (2) skirmishes with Glenn Geist (33) early in the Mini 150cc Division One final.

Running in second place, Lightcap fell in turn two on lap three and did not finish. Third-place rider “Lightning Luke” Whitcomb, 11, from Anaheim, went down to avoid hitting Lightcap; Whitcomb restarted and finished second. Glenn Geist, 10, finished third. Lightcap was fourth.

Glenn Geist (33) was third in the Mini 150cc Division One final.

Glenn Geist (33) was third in the Mini 150cc Division One final.

Luke Whitcomb (27) fell but remounted to finish second.

Luke Whitcomb (27) fell but remounted to finish second.

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The Mini 150cc Division Two final went to Colton Nelson, 9, from Auburn, in a green-to-checkers run. Wilbur Hancock, the 11-year-old son of reigning World Speedway Champion Greg Hancock, finished second. Eight-year-old Harley Fisher – who hails from England, where his dad, Ryan Fisher, races speedway in the British League – was third. Jose Navarette, 7, from Industry, was fourth; the initial leader, Navarette fell on the first lap in turn four in a one-bike incident and by rule was excluded from the restart.

Colton Nelson (45) went wire to wire for the Mini 150cc Division Two victory.

Colton Nelson (45) went wire to wire for the Mini 150cc Division Two victory.

The Pee Wee Modified race had seven starters on 50cc bikes. Kristian Daniel Jr., 8, won the race by a wheel’s length over his fast-closing friend Owen Williams, 9, of Costa Mesa. However, Williams earned the title by three points based on overall points. He had three heat-race victories to Daniel’s second-place rides.

Pee Wee winner Owen Williams (04).

Pee Wee winner Owen Williams (04).

The Pee Wee Stock victory went to Daniel, on his number-46 bike, after he led every lap over fellow So Cal riders Levi Leutz, 7, and Gavin Geist. Newcomer Drake Conner was fourth.

Pee Wee Stock victor Kristian Daniel Jr. (46).

Pee Wee Stock victor Kristian Daniel Jr. (46).

Gracie Janniro, the 6-year-old daughter of D-1 champion Billy Janniro, made her second Pee Wee start at Industry and finished fourth on the lead lap.

Riverside, California’s Harli Facchini, the 6-year-old daughter of 500cc D-1 veteran Neil Facchini, made her first Industry appearance and finished fifth, a lap down.

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Neil Facchini, 32, also had two stepsons (via his girlfriend) making their first starts at Industry. Asher Hollis, 9, rode the number-72 mount in the Pee Wee Stock class. His brother Hudson Hollis, 8, raced the number-77 machine in the Mini 150cc Division Two class. Both scored points and helped their stepsister Harli get acclimated to two-wheel racing.

Other rookies making an appearance on the day included Czane Dunbar, 9, from Orange, in the 150cc Division Two class, and Deegan Walker in the Pee Wee Modified class.

Industry Speedway Grand Arena at Industry Hills Expo Center
City of Industry, California
Results: February 26, 2017

JR 250: 1. Colton Hicks; 2. Sebastian Palmese; 3. Cameron Krezman; 4. Anthony Dion.

MINI 150 DIVISION 1: 1. Enzo Sorani; 2. Luke Whitcomb; 3. Glenn Geist; 4. Slater Lightcap.

MINI 150 DIVISION 2: 1. Colton Nelson; 2. Wilbur Hancock; 3. Harley Fisher; 4. Jose Navarette.

PEE WEE MODIFIED: 1. Owen Williams; 2. Kristian Daniel Jr.

PEE WEE STOCK: 1. Kristian Daniel Jr.; 2. Levi Leutz; 3. Gavin Geist; 4. Drake Conner.

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