The Grand Industry Hills Expo Center
City of Industry, California
California State Championship
September 1, 2010 - Industry Speedway
By: Ryan Evans
Photos By: Dorcey Wingo
"The Kid" Billy Janniro added a new jewel to his prodigious trophy case by winning the California State Championship for the first time at Industry Speedway.
The former National Champion entered the Final undefeated and wisely selected gate one. When the tapes went up Janniro exploded from the blocks and entered turn one ahead of the pack. "Mad Dog" Shawn McConnell made a shrewd cutback move underneath Buck Blair and Tyson Burmeister to snatch second exiting turn two. The veteran rider set his sights on the leader, but Janniro increased his lead with every lap. Burmeister and Blair waged an excellent inside-outside battle for third throughout the race. Janniro was first to the checkered flag and the crown, McConnell finished second, and Burmeister surged ahead of Blair to collect third.
The heats kicked off with Blair defeating former California State Champion "The Edge" Charlie Venegas for his first win. Janniro stalked Tommy Hedden before going inside of him to take the lead and the victory in the second heat. "Fast" Eddie Castro defeated Gary Hicks in the third heat. Burmeister beat former Youth National Champion Jason Ramirez in the next heat. "Flyin" Mike Faria beat "Boogaloo" Bobby Schwartz to end round one.
Burmeister started round two with his second straight win. Venegas beat Faria in the next heat. Janniro made it two straight wins by beating Blair. Hedden beat Hicks for his first win. Castro finished the second round by beating McConnell.
McConnell began the third round by defeating Brad Pappalardo for his first win. Castro beat Hedden and Schwartz for his third consecutive win. Venegas beat Burmeister for his second straight win. Janniro kept pace with Castro by beating Faria. Blair collected his second win to end round three.
McConnell opened the final round with a win over Russell Green. Janniro beat Venegas to remain undefeated. Faria beat Ramirez for his second win. Blair beat Michael Raines for his third win.
The final heat brought out Castro, Burmeister, and Hedden with major championship implications. Each rider could potentially put himself into the Final with victory. Burmeister led the first attempt until Castro went down and brought out the red flag. Burmeister caused a restart himself on the second attempt when he went over backwards on the back straight. Castro and Burmeister lined up on the penalty line for the third try, but Castro jumped the start and was excluded for causing two stoppages. The fourth and final attempt saw Hedden lead until a determined Burmeister went by on the inside for the lead, the win, and a place in the Final with Janniro and Blair.
Hedden and McConnell finished one-two in a three-rider runoff to determine the final two spots in the Last Chance while Castro was left to wonder about what might have been.
Faria got into the tapes in the Last Chance and was banished to the penalty line. When tapes did go up it was McConnell who burst into the lead and ran away with the win to book the final spot in the Final. Venegas was second, Hedden finished third, and Faria was fourth.
A crash in the first attempt to run the Second Division State Final left Brandon Leedy with a bent machine and Bruce Marteney on the penalty line. Leedy managed to find a loaner for the restart. "Rattlesnake" Steve Bowen led all four laps to claim the victory. His son, Blake Bowen, finished second, Marteney was third, and Leedy was fourth.
Mike Salyer led the Third Division State Final before "Racer X" John Pavia brought him down and caused a restart. Salyer led the restart, but Pavia quickly made his way through traffic and into second after starting on the penalty line. Pavia was all over Salyer for over two laps, including rubbing his rear wheel a couple times, but the leader wouldn't move. Pavia went for broke as they entered the final corner but brought Salyer and himself down. The victory was awarded to Salyer, Tony DeAlmeida was second, DeWayne Stark was third, and Pavia was put back to fourth.
Rocco Scopellite won all three heats to defeat Max Ruml for the Youth First Division State Championship.
Broc Nicol scored eight of a possible nine points en route to victory in the Youth Second Division Championship. Dillon Ruml was second overall, Nicholas Varner was third overall, and Michael Wells was fourth overall.
"The Freak" Gerard Jackson and "The Show" Dave German led all four laps en route to victory in the Sidecar State Championship Final. National Champions Joe Jones and Jimmy Olsen finished second, Bryan Motis and Brandi McElroy were third, and Dylan Beard and David Crews were fourth.
The State Championship brought the curtain down on Industry Speedway's 2010 season. The Grand Marshall of the event was Sonny Nutter, the 1968 California State Championship. Also taking in the evening's action was the legendary World Champion Ivan Mauger.
Sidecar State Championship Final
66 - Gerard Jackson/Dave German
1 - Joe Jones/Jimmy Olsen
2 - Bryan Motis/Brandi McElroy
5150 - Dylan Beard/David Crews
Youth Second Division State Championship Overall
146 - Broc Nicol
111 - Dillon Ruml
333 - Nicholas Varner
214 - Michael Wells
Youth First Division State Championship Overall
9 - Rocco Scopellite
308 - Max Ruml
Third Division State Championship Final (restarted) (awarded)
333 - Mike Salyer
157 - Tony DeAlmeida
268 - DeWayne Stark
355 - John Pavia (penalty line) (excluded)
Second Division State Championship Final (restarted)
177 - Steve Bowen
187 - Blake Bowen
242 - Bruce Marteney (penalty line)
151 - Brandon Leedy (retired)
California State Heat Scoring 1 2 3 4 T
3 – Gary Hicks 2 2 E N 4
6 – Shawn McConnell 1 2 3 3 9
9 – Mike Faria 3 2 2 3 10
11 – Bobby Schwartz 2 1 1 1 5
14 – Eddie Castro 3 3 3 T 9
14n – Billy Janniro 3 3 3 3 12
24 – Gino Manzares 1 0 1 N 2
26 – Tyson Burmeister 3 3 2 3 11
39 – Buck Blair 3 2 3 3 11
40 – Tommy Hedden 2 3 2 2 9
43 – Charlie Venegas 2 3 3 2 10
63 – Michael Raines 1 1 1 2 5
66 – Jason Ramirez 2 1 1 2 6
86 – Neil Facchini R - - - 0
145 – Brad Pappalardo 1 0 2 1 4
146 – Aaron Fox 0 2 2 1 5
178 – Eloy Medellin Nr - - - 0
208 – Geoff Herkner 0 0 F 0 0
274 – Bubba Vazzana 0 1 0 1 2
321 – Russell Green 1 1 1 2 5
9: (restarted) Blair, Venegas, Green, Medellin (non starter – restart)
10: Janniro, Hedden, Manzares, Fox
11: Castro, Hicks, Pappalardo, Herkner
12: Burmeister, Ramirez, McConnell (fell, remounted), Facchini (retired)
13: Faria, Schwartz, Raines, Vazzana
15: Burmeister, Fox, Schwartz, Herkner
16: Venegas, Faria, Ramirez, Pappalardo
17: Janniro, Blair, Raines (tape penalty)
18: Hedden Hicks, Vazzana
19: Castro, McConnell, Green, Manzares (fell, remounted)
29: (restarted) McConnell, Pappalardo, Raines (penalty line)
30: Castro, Hedden, Schwartz
31: Venegas, Burmeister, Manzares, Vazzana
32: Janniro, Faria, Green, Herkner (fell)
33: Blair, Fox, Ramirez, Hicks (engine failure)
35: McConnell, Green, Schwartz, Manzares (non starter)
36: Janniro, Venegas, Fox, Herkner
37: Faria, Ramirez, Pappalardo, Hicks (non starter)
38: Blair, Raines
39: (restarted twice) Burmeister, Hedden, Vazzana, Castro (excluded)
Runoff: Hedden, McConnell, Castro
First Division Last Chance
6 - Shawn McConnell
43 - Charlie Venegas
40 - Tommy Hedden
9 - Mike Faria (tape penalty)
California State Championship Final
14n - Billy Janniro
6 - Shawn McConnell
26 - Tyson Burmeister
39 - Buck Blair
A nice long letter to Philip Harmatiuk from all his Speedway friends at the State Championship!
Sonny Nutter #19 was the California State Champ back in the day, 1969.
Bobby Schwartz Jr. gets a "high five" from six time former World Champion Ivan Mauger Wednesday afternoon, prior to the California State Championship.
Billy J. goes to the Methanol Man just prior to warm-ups.
That's former AMA official George Rich looking on.
Rocco Scopellite [#9] won the honors in Youth First Division.
[This guy is young, good looking, and very fast.
The world is your oyster, young man!]
Pretty Brandi McElroy applies her butt to the skid pad, countering driver Bryan Motis's aggressive input from the cockpit.
[Bryan is handicapped but the pair are Third Place finishers in the CA State Championship!]
Back in action, Promoter Jeffrey Immediato coordinates from the infield at Wednesday's Championship race.
Jeff had been sidelined with health issues, but - like me - can't miss a big Wednesday night Speedway race!
Buck Blair rode very well Wednesday and made it to the Final.
[Although he didn't win, he still got to go home with Venus!]
Billy J. checks the numbers on his winnings as fans gather to celebrate his back-to-back Championships.