VIP Sponsors





Max Ruml, 22, won his third 2019 AMA speedway bike 500cc first division feature at Industry Speedway Wednesday night. It was the sixth week of the 14-event season in the Grand Arena at the Industry Hills Expo Center. Spectators watched 35 four-lap races from 7:30 to 9:39 pm in the quickest show of the 16th racing season at The Grand.


Ruml, did not compete June 19 at Industry Speedway because he had received a concussion in a two bike-crash at the fifth-mile clay Ventura Raceway Saturday, June 15. That race was the first of three AMA Speedway National Championship point races at three speedways. So the personable rider from Huntington Beach is now “batting” an impressive 600 at Industry after winning three of the five events in which he raced.


Ruml and Nor Cal invader Billy Janniro, who turned 39 on July 3, were the only D-1 riders in a field of 16 who scored perfect scores of nine points by winning all three of their heat races. Then the two stars, both using GM engines, won the two semi-final races open to the eight riders with the most heat race points. Those victories advanced both semi-final winners to the feature where they would meet for the first time Wednesday. That obviously created suspense for spectators.


Janniro, who has won four consecutive Friday night scratch main events at Fast Fridays Speedway, his home track in Auburn, was on a tear entering his second Industry event this season. The many-time AMA speedway National and California champion selected the outside lane for the feature. Max chose lane two, leaving the inside lane to Aaron Fox (GM power). Younger brother Dillon Ruml (Jawa) started from lane three.


FEATURE: At the start, all four talented riders were four-wide exiting the second turn. Max took the lead on the backstretch and led the initial lap narrowly over Fox, Janniro and Dillon. On lap 2 outside-running Janniro took second from Fox and edged closer to the leader. On the final lap Max fought off high-riding Janniro's attempt at a power pass on the outside in turn four. Max won by one length.


Fox finished two lengths in back of Janniro; Dillon was two lengths out of third place. It was the closest four rider finish this season. Many of the 700+ spectators present stood and gave the riders rousing applause and cheers during their cool-off laps. It was Janniro's first race night at Industry since May 29 when he finished second to Austin Novratil in the Connor Penhall Memorial Cup opening night feature.


SUPPORT DIVISIONS: The 500cc second division had seven intermediate skill level riders present. USMC veteran Eloy Medellin, 49, won his first main event this season. He led the final two laps after passing fellow D-2 veteran and many-time D-2 main event winner Rudy Laurer, who led the first two laps. Kevin Fiore placed third. Dylan Black, 27, was second on lap 2 when he fell at turn two and pushed his bike to the infield.


There were seven 500cc D-3 newer riders competing as well. Jake Myers led all the way and won his first Industry main event this season. Don “Darkcloud” Nemerhik, Dennis Osmer and Greg Willis trailed at the checkers from starter Tom Fox.


JUNIORS: Four 250cc junior division riders raced. Andrew Russell, of San Pedro, celebrated his 14th birthday July 6 and enjoyed his best night ever. He won both heat races and led all four laps of the main for his first-ever 250cc feature victory. He led every lap he raced except lap 1 of his first heat. Justin Almon, Luke Whitcomb, and 15-year old New York resident Johnny Oakden followed.


The 150cc class had five riders this week. Levi Leutz, 10, led all the way in the 150cc main for his second consecutive Industry feature triumph. He also won June 26. Nick Dunn, Ryder Schultz, 7, newcomer Max Anderson, and non-finisher Owen Williams placed second through fifth respectively.


The three-rider field of 50cc pee-wee division riders included the youngest rider ever, Hudson Jones, 3-year old son of sidecar driver Joe Jones. Past 50cc winner Jenson Horn, 5, and rookie Rosie Russell, 8-year old sister of the 250cc winner, raced to the delight of spectators. Rosie led every lap of the main and won her first race in only her fourth race night, her third at Industry.


  > July 10 at Industry was the annual Haddick's Towing custom car show with more than 20 classic vehicles on display near the Grand Arena front entrance and behind the grandstand. Spectators cast votes for their favorites and trophies were awarded to those with the most votes. My favorite was the all white 1957 Chevy with a super-clean engine. The white Studebaker Avanti caught many eyes as well. Haddick's Towing is the first and longest-running sponsor of speedway racing in the Grand Arena.


  > There were three speedway riders from New York state racing in California for the first time. They plan to race for two weeks at Industry (July 10 and 17) and in Auburn (July 12). They spent three days driving west together on I-90 and I-80 through Indianapolis in a 32-foot vehicle that carried their primary and backup bikes.They said there is not enough speedway racing at their home track in Owego, N.Y, near Binghampton. They plan to race at Dacono, Colorado on their return home.


  > Visitors from New York were: 500cc D-1 rider Dave Oakden 46, (No. 327e) from Brockport, N.Y., and his son Johnny, 15, (No. 309e) a 250cc junior division rider. Their friend Spencer Portararo, 19, (No. 38e), from Endwell, NY, raced his 500cc D-1 bikes. He had a GM and a Jawa and planned to race both. Johnny finished third and fourth in his heats and fourth in the 250cc main after slowing on the final lap while third. His father Dave finished fourth twice and third once in his three heats to earn one point. Portararo scored a pair of thirds and a fourth in round two to earn two points.


  > Visitors in the Industry grandstand this week included open-wheel midget/sprint car owner/driver Wally Pankratz and his wife Barbara. ... AMA flat track hall of famer and Arai helmet distributor Sammy Tanner, now 80, was back in his usual grandstand position near turn four with friends. ... Long-time CRA 410 ci No. 78 sprint car owner Walt Hauser was present for all six AMA speedway races at Industry this year. He said his respected CRA No. 78 main event winning driver and racing car constructor Bob Meli, from Temple City, lost his battle with brain cancer in 1999.


  > Bobby Schwartz, 62, said the week off from Industry racing (July 3) because of the July 4th holiday gave his sore shoulder more time to heal and he hoped his results would improve.


  > There were 16 500cc D-1 riders and three rounds of heat races for a total of 12. Seven riders won those 12 heats as follows:

   -- Three wins each by Janniro and M. Ruml.

    -- Two wins by Fox.

    -- One win each by D. Ruml, Brad Sauer, 500cc rookie Sebastian Palmese, and Russell Green.


  > It took five points this week to make the eight rider field for the pair of semi-final races.


  > Veteran 500cc D-1 rider Brad Sauer (No. 21 Laydown Jawa) made the drive south from Bakersfield to race again at Industry. He won a heat and placed third behind R. Green and Shawn McConnell in a semi-final. Brad, 49, works as a Coors salesman. He said his son Braden, who raced in 500cc D-2 and won a 500cc D-2 feature at Industry in June 2015, was injured shortly thereafter during a flip on the Industry backstretch. Braden lost feeling in his legs for a period of time until feeling returned following physical therapy. He completed his schooling and now works as a heating & air conditioning technician in Bakersfield, where the demand for that occupation is high. Personable Braden, now 22, lives at home in Bakersfield. Brad sold Braden's Jawa speedway bike years ago. He said Braden would like to race speedway again, but Brad would like to see his son stay retired. Brad said his older brother Robbie still races his No. 17 500cc D-1 speedway bike. He raced twice in 2019 at Perris Raceway. Brad and Billy Janniro both said they watch Industry speedway races live on the internet whenever they cannot head south to race.


  > Industry Speedway upcoming Wednesday schedule:

   -- July 17 - speedway bikes and the return of sidecar racing.

   -- July 24 – speedway bikes, sidecars and the annual Bruce Flanders Ugly Hawaiian Shirt contest.

   -- July 31 – speedway bikes and Speedway Legends and Heroes Night.