Broc Nicol captured the biggest win of his career by winning the 2012 Gumball Rally at Inland Motorcycle Speedway in San Bernardino.
Dillon Ruml earned first gate choice for the 250cc Final by defeating his brother and defending Gumball Rally Champion Max Ruml in the final round of heats. Dillon Ruml picked gate two. A pleasantly surprised Max Ruml selected gate one. Nicol chose gate three which left Kurtis Hamill with gate four.
The Ruml Brothers and Nicol left the starting line together with Max Ruml and Nicol getting to turn one just ahead of Dillon Ruml. Max Ruml clamped to the inside line while Nicol used a brilliant line around him through turns one and two and led down the back straight. Nicol drifted a little wide exiting turn four but Max Ruml couldn't pounce on the leader. Nicol, the son of Doug "The Destroyer" Nicol, found significantly more traction exiting turn two the second time and opened a comfortable lead at the end of lap two. Nicol calmly maintained his advantage during the final two laps and cruised to the victory and claimed the coveted Gumball machine trophy. Max Ruml settled for second, Dillon Ruml took third despite suffering from an injured foot from a crash during the heats, and Kurtis Hamill finished fourth.
Nicol's victory came in his first Gumball Rally after having to sit out last year's event with an injury. He also got into the spirit of the event by coloring his hair blond with colorful dots representing gumballs.
Braydan Galvin made the best start in the 200cc First Division Main Event but had Northern California's Luke Becker right behind him. Galvin led through lap one but still had Becker glued to his back tire. Galvin drifted off the inside line in turn two and Becker blasted through the opening to take the lead. Galvin stalked Becker, the son of 1992 Youth National Champion Matt Becker, with the hope of returning the favor. Becker withstood Galvin's pressure, though, and led to the finish. Colton Hicks finished third and Michael Wells was fourth.
Courtney Crone put together four perfect laps and made history by winning the Youth 200cc Second Division Main Event. Adam Herkner finished second, Chase Sanborn was third, and Dryden LeoGrande finished fourth. Crone's victory made her the first female racer to win a Gumball Rally Main Event in a speedway division.
Alex Martin was the initial leader of the Open Pee Wee Main Event, but his brother Stirling Martin charged from the back of the field to challenge the leader. Sterling overtook Alex at the end of the second lap and rode off into the sunset with the victory. Keelan Venegas finished third and Tristan Britt was fourth. The Martin Brothers are sons of former speedway racer Steve Martin.
Ryan Billingsley was victorious in the Stock Pee Wee Second Division Main Event in just his second race meeting. Jonas LeoGrande was the runner-up, Luke Hedden, son of Bobby "The Blaze" Hedden, finished third, Kimberly Calhoun was fourth, Nick Dunn finished fifth, Wilbur Hancock, oldest son of World Speedway Champion Greg Hancock was sixth, and Julia Pierson finished seventh.
The Gumball Rally is the culminating event of Gumball Rally Weekend, which come to be known as "The Best Weekend in American Speedway" and is one of the biggest events on the American speedway calendar. 1996 World Speedway Champion Billy "The Bullet" Hamill has promoted the event since resurrecting it in 2003. This is the second consecutive year that the event has been held at IMS and it continues to grow each year. There were nearly 40 competitors racing in seven different divisions. Speedway bloodlines were well represented as more than a dozen second-generation racers took to the track.
Gumball supporters also showed their generosity by donating $756 over the course of the weekend to help with the medical costs of American Speedway icon Danny "Berserko" Becker who was recently diagnosed with stage III esophageal cancer
The Gumball Rally holds a special place in Billy Hamill's heart for the Gumball Rally because his first ever speedway race was at the inaugural Gumball Rally held at Ken Maely's Ranch in Corona in 1983.
The next event at IMS will be the 2012 Spring Classic on Sunday afternoon, March 11. The day and time is a nod to the traditional day and time of the event in the heyday of the original IMS in the 1970s and 1980s.
Pee Wee Stock Second Division Main Event
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