Saddlemen

Eagles Earn the Early Edge in Team Racing Series

| 20 January 2018 10:50 am

USA Speedway Team Racing Series
Round 1: Perris Raceway

Story by Steve Evans
Photos by Rob Hargraves
PERRIS, CA, JAN. 13, 2018

The “new look” Perris Eagles, led by eight-time National Champion Billy Janniro, took the lead after an epic night of racing at Perris Raceway on January 13, 2018. A beautiful 80-degree day and a mild evening, coupled with another big crowd, was the perfect way for the 2018 USA Speedway season to begin.

Billy Janniro (1) and Luke Becker (22) battle at the season opener at Perris Raceway.

Billy Janniro (1) and Luke Becker (22) battle at the season opener at Perris Raceway.

A full night of racing featured two team matches, along with racing in the Support and Youth divisions, as well as a very popular Hooligan Racing attraction, as the big Harley and Indian bikes ran “Old Skool Handicap” racing for the first time.

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Eagles 46, Heathers 38
In what was a definite turn-up for the books, the Eagles, with strength throughout their order, pulled off an unexpected win against the highly favored Huntington Beach Heathens. Billy Janniro led the way with four wins and 14 points; only Max Ruml, in heat 11, prevented a maximum. Sixteen-year-old Michael Wells scored an impressive 9+1 in back-up, and he was supported well by Robbie Sauer, who scored a three-ride maximum from the second-string position.

Michael Wells and Redmond Bohannon out on the track.

Michael Wells and Redmond Bohannon out on the track.

For the Heathens, Russell Green scored 12, which included a stunning double-point Joker win, as he rounded two-time U.S. National champ Aaron Fox in heat 15.

Russell Green and Aaron Fox skirmish in heat 15.

Russell Green and Aaron Fox skirmish in heat 15.

Max Ruml scored 9+1, while newcomer Chance Grove had some very impressive rides, including a blistering pass of Eagle Redmond Bohannon on the final turn of heat four.

Heathens Max Ruml (5) and Chance Grove (168) in action.

Heathens Max Ruml (5) and Chance Grove (168) in action.

The Eagles went into a six-point lead after heat three. The Heathens hit back with a 5-1 in heat four, but four straight 4-2s for the Eagles from there and two 5-1s in heats 12 and 13 made the victory margin quite comfortable.

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Vikings 38, Aces 38
The defending champions, the Santa Maria Aces, and former champs Ventura Vikings duked it out in a very intense meeting that ended in a tie.

Luke Becker won three in a row for the Aces before a tapes exclusion ruled him out in heat 11. Solid support came from throughout the team, with Mike Lane and Steve Bowen both scoring 7+1. Gino Manzares suffered a mechanical nightmare, mustering just one point in three rides.

Dillon Ruml led the Vikings with a solid 11, supported well by Aaron Fox (9+2), Will McCloskey (8+1 paid max), and veteran Doug Nicol (7+1). The weaker tail of the Vikings proved costly, with only three points between them.

The Vikings scored a 5-1 in heat one, with the Aces then hitting back with a maximum in heat two. The Aces edged six points ahead after six races, but then matters swung back, with the Vikings four up after heat 12.

Heat 13 had it all tied again after inspired moves from the back from Mike Lane and Joey Donaldson gave the Aces a 5-1.

The Vikings were one up going into the last race, with Becker finishing one place ahead of Dillon Ruml. Then Dillon passed his brother Max in the final, which ultimately secured the tie.

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Division One
The Division One main event was also the last heat of the team program, featuring one rider from all four teams. Janniro made a fabulous gate in heat four to go straight into the lead. Becker moved around Max Ruml for second on the back straight, and then Dillon Ruml edged by his brother to take the vital third to tie up their match.

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250cc Junior Division
Sebastian Palmese once more dominated the 250cc Juniors, winning two heat races and the main. Jake Isaac again showed his fabulous progress by winning the other heat. Sara Cords came in second in the main after putting in a very fast four laps.

Jose Navarette (48) and Justin Almon (7) engage in Mini maneuvers.

Jose Navarette (48) and Justin Almon (7) engage in Mini maneuvers.

150cc Mini Division
The 150cc Mini class had three winners: Owen Williams topped the first heat; Wilbur Hancock, with a sensational charge from last to first, won heat two; and Justin Almon, for the second event in a row, won the main.

Levi Leutz (left) leads Jose Navarette (48) and Justin Almon (between Leutz and Navarette in 150cc Mini action.

Levi Leutz (left) leads Jose Navarette (48) and Justin Almon (between Leutz and Navarette in 150cc Mini action.

Pee Wees
The Pee Wee class was dominated by the returning Kensei Matsudaira, who topped races.

Support Class
That feat was repeated by Steve Brown in the Support class.

Bruce Marteney, Steve Brown, Ron Davis and Michael Wells duel in the Support contest.

Bruce Marteney, Steve Brown, Ron Davis and Michael Wells duel in the Support contest.

Hooligan Racing
The Hooligans ran two rounds of handicap racing, with 11 riders going to the A main and 12 to the B main.

Brad Spencer came home with another win in a race format that thrilled the crowd with passing galore throughout!

Hooligan action on the Perris oval.

Hooligan action on the Perris oval.

Coming Up Next
There will be a short three-week break before round two of Team Racing returned on February 3. The races will once more start at 5 p.m.

Perris Raceway
Perris, California
Results: January 13, 2018 (Round 1)

TEAM RACING

Eagles (46): Billy Janniro 14 (5), Michael Wells 9+1 (4), Robbie Sauer 9 (3), Chet Kohler 6+1 (3), Ron Davis 4 (3), Redmond Bohannon 3+1 (4), Rick Shafer 1 (4).

Heathens (38): Russell Green 12 (5), Max Ruml 9+1 (5), Rohn Zellner 7 (3), Chance Grove 4+1 (4), Bruce Marteney 4 (3), Brad Moreau 2 (1) Lawrence McNutt 1 (3), Steve Brown 0 (2).

Aces (38): Luke Becker 11 (5), Mike Lane 7+1 (3), Steve Bowen 7+1 (4), Rudy Laurer 5 (3), Joey Donaldson 4+3 (3), Hayley Perrault 3 (5), Gino Manzares 1 (3).

Vikings (38): Dillon Ruml 11 (5), Aaron Fox 9+2 (5), Will McCloskey 8+1 (3), Doug Nicol 7+1 (4), Harold Hartke 2 (3), Tom Bryant 1 (3), Sammy Tetrault 0 (3).

League Table (win, loss, tie, points): 1. Eagles 1-0-0 2 points; 2. Aces 0-0-1 1 point; 3. Vikings 0-0-1 1 point; 4. Heathens 0-1-0 0 points.

PRO SPEEDWAY MAIN: 1 Billy Janniro; 2. Luke Becker; 3. Dillon Ruml; 4. Max Ruml.

250 JR: 1 Sebastian Palmese; 2. Sara Cords; 3. Landon Norton; 4. Jake Isaac; 5. Andrew Russell (20); 6. Aiden McNutt (20).

150 MINI: 1. Justin Almon; 2. Owen Williams; 3. Jose Navarette; 4. Wilbur Hancock; 5. Levi Leutz.

PEE WEE: 1. Kensei Matsudaira; 2. Ryder Schultz; 3. Dakota Black; 4. Max Rose; 5. Shane Smith; 6. Otis Gaumer.

SUPPORT: 1. Steve Brown; 2. Dennis Osmer; 3. Brent Smith.

HOOLIGAN MAIN: 1. Brad Spencer; 2. Mark Adkins; 3. Jason Klemens; 4. Joey Robinson; 5. Robert Bush.

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