California State Championship - Industry Racing, CA, USA - August 28
Charlie "The Edge" Venegas won a dramatic main event to capture his fourth California State Championship as Industry Racing finished its regular season with an awesome night of racing.
Defending State Champion Billy "The Kid" Janniro and Aaron Fox entered the main event tied on points with Fox winning the draw for first starting position. He quickly chose gate one. Janniro, seeking to join Mike Bast and Steve Bast as the only riders to win four consecutive California State Championships, picked gate two. Venegas, looking for his fourth title, selected gate three which left gate four to Tyson Burmeister.
Fox was off the starting line first with Janniro right behind him. Fox hugged the inside line through the first corner while Janniro went to the outside. They were side-by-side entering turn three but Janniro lifted and went over backward upon exiting turn four. Fox raced away with an insurmountable lead but the red light came on and a restart was ordered with Janniro excluded.
Venegas took advantage of the second chance and beat Fox to the first corner on the restart. Fox was clamped to the leader's back tire and tried to force a mistake throughout the race. Venegas wasn't budging off the inside line and wasn't going to be denied his fourth title. An ecstatic Venegas was first to the finish line, a disappointed Fox finished second, Burmeister was third, and Janniro was credited with fourth.
"Battling" Buck Blair kicked off the heats with a win over four time champion "Flyin" Mike Faria. Shawn "Mad Dog" McConnell held off newly-crowned Under 21 National Champion Max Ruml to win event two. Hamill was leading event three comfortably when he suffered an engine failure that gave Fox the win. Hamill didn't have a spare bike so his night was over. Venegas defeated Gino Manzares in event four. The first round ended with Burmeister getting the win while Janniro had to overcome a terrible first turn just to get second.
Max Ruml and Fox battled side-by-side before the former secured the win. Burmeister beat Blair for his second straight win. Janniro scored a win ahead of "Fast" Eddie Castro. Venegas used the outside to pass Faria and secure his second win in a row. Russell Green held off McConnell to end the second round with a win.
Fox defeated Castro and Venegas to start round three with his second win. Steve Russell beat Tim Gomez in event 22. Janniro was victorious over Max Ruml for his second straight win. Faria beat Green in event 24. McConnell finished the third round by beating Manzares and Burmeister.
Fox put himself into the Final with an easy victory to open the final round of heats. Venegas finished ahead of McConnell and both riders completed their four heats with ten points. Blair led event 31 until Green went around the outside of him only to have the native of Colorado pay him back with an outside pass of his own two laps later that earned the win. Burmeister trapped from the outside to beat Max Ruml in the penultimate heat. Janniro won the final heat over Faria and put himself in to the Final with 11 points.
Two runoffs were required to fill a spot in the Final and determine who was in the Last Chance. Venegas used the outside to defeat Burmeister and McConnell and get himself directly into the Final while the other two would wait for the Last Chance.
Ruml and Blair finished one-two ahead of Faria in the other runoff to join Burmeister and McConnell in the Last Chance.
Burmeister led the Last Chance from the start and, despite McConnell snapping at his heals, led the entire distance to fill the fourth and final spot in the Final. McConnell had to settle for second, Blair was third, and Max Ruml finished fourth.
The California State Championship brought the curtain down on Industry Racing's regular season but is not the final speedway event of the year at the facility. The much-anticipated 2nd annual Monster Energy World Speedway Invitational will be held on Saturday, December 28. Information about the rider lineup, tickets etc. will be announced soon. The buzz generated from last year's event guarantees that it will be a can't-miss event.
State Championship Heat Scoring 1 2 3 4 T
Runoff for Last Chance: Ruml, Blair, Faria
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