Janniro Wraps Up Memorable 2014 Season at Industry Racing
CITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif. (September 3, 2014) – An exciting and memorable 2014 season came to a thrilling conclusion last Wednesday night with the 39th annual AMA California State Speedway Championship. The Grand Arena was the host venue for the final five Main Events of the summer at Industry Racing, from which each of the victorious riders walked away as State Champion with a year worth of bragging rights as the best rider in California.
The First Division was the showcase group of the evening with an anticipated final-four showdown between Billy "The Kid" Janniro, Billy "The Bullet" Hamill, Charlie "The Edge" Venegas, and "Mad Max" Ruml coming to fruition in an all-or-nothing Main Event. In the end, Janniro was able to race to his fifth win in six attempts at Industry Racing this season to earn his fourth AMA California State Championship in five years.
Hamill carried the advantage into the California State Championship Final, earning the most points to claim pole position on the tapes. Janniro lined up alongside his rival in Lane 2, followed by Venegas and Ruml next to the wall. Off the start, Janniro conceded the inside line to Hamill rather than try to pinch him off, which ultimately allowed him to gain more momentum on the outside line and take over the lead on the backstretch. While Hamill did all he could to make the inside line work, Janniro's ability to push the limits of the bike while railing the cushion simply made him too tough to beat. As Janniro began to establish a firm hold on the top spot, Hamill's persistence in making the inside work soon cost him another spot to Ruml, who followed Janniro's outside line into second. As the checkers flew, Janniro crossed the line relatively unchallenged with Ruml second, Hamill third and Venegas fourth.
The Industry Invitational serves as the season's lone showcase of the best Second and Third Division riders in California. A hand-selected group of the 10 most promising up-and-comers did battle throughout the evening to earn a spot in what is considered to be their most prestigious race of the entire summer. The final four pitted former winners Harold Hartke, Lewis Hughes and Ricky Richards alongside Gabe Price, the only rider in search of his first win of the 2014 season. Price had the edge heading into the final by starting on the inside gate, but a crash while going for the lead on the opening lap dropped him out of contention. That left the battle between Hartke and Richards, with Richards taking over the top spot at the start of the second lap. Richards then maintained his lead for the remainder of the race to claim his fourth and biggest win at Industry Racing this season. Hartke held on for second, with Hughes in third.
The Junior 250 Division Final once again featured the three-rider rivalry between Gage Geist, Kurtis Hamill and Dillon Ruml, with Sam Ramirez rounding our the top four. As the defending State Champion, Hamill hoped to use that to his advantage in search of his first win at Industry Racing this season and started alongside Ruml in Lane 2. A bad reaction time off the tapes put Hamill at a disadvantage immediately and as he tried to overcome it, he lost control and went down in the first corner. Ruml took the early lead and was never challenged out front, dominating en route to his second State Championship in three years, followed by Ramirez, who rode arguably his best race of the summer to claim the runner-up spot. Geist was third.
The final Mini 150 First Division race of the season looked as though it would be a thrilling inner-state battle between SoCal's Sebastian Palmese and NorCal's Sterling Martin, who had established themselves as the top riders in the class. However, Martin was unable to make it into the final four, which allowed his younger brother Alex to ensure the family's presence in the Final. Palmese controlled the start of the race, with Martin making a great run from the far outside to position himself in second ahead of Slater Lightcap, one of the other favorites in the division. Palmese rode four consistent laps to maintain his advantage of a few bike lengths throughout the race, and secured back-to-back State Championships as a result. Martin kept him honest in second, while Lightcap did all he could to catch Martin in third. Tristan Britt rounded out the final four.
The Mini 150 Second Division Final had the potential to serve as the next chapter in the budding rivalry between Keelan Venegas and Luke Whitcomb. The pair had traded wins throughout the 2014 season at Industry Racing, but at the State Championship a blossoming overseas talent spoiled their hopes for victory. Off the start, Venegas' chances ended as soon as the tapes rose when his motorcycle's engine quit, along with fellow finalist Charlie Trana. That left the race for victory a two-rider battle between Great Britain's Sam Hagon and Whitcomb. Hagon was on rails all four laps and kept a comfortable distance between he and Whitcomb to earn one of his biggest wins on U.S. soil. Venegas was awarded third, with Trana fourth.
The 2014 season at Industry Racing featured some of the most exciting racing in recent memory thanks to the track's continued growth as one of speedway's premier facilities. The most elite riders in the country looked to The Grand Arena as a destination venue and put on a show for the fans throughout the summer. Industry Racing will continue to make a name for itself in the coming months as the annual World Speedway Invitational looms in December.
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About Industry Racing
Industry Racing has risen to prominence in recent years thanks to the introduction of the Monster Energy World Speedway Invitational and internationally sanctioned AMA/FIM Youth Silver Cup. As of 2014, Industry Racing serves as the only track in Southern California fully sanctioned by the AMA.
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