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Inland Motor Speedway
National Orange Show
San Bernardino, California

IMS -2012 Season Opener
April 20, 2012
By: Ryan Evans
Photos by: Dorcey Wingo and Paul Flanders

Below Photos by Paul Flanders  
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Billy Hamill and Geoff Arnold survey the real estate at the gate before the main. Billy Janniro was resplendent in new leathers with a big #1 on back
2012 IMS Speedway 2012 IMS Speedway
Chris Jones: Evel Knievel called and he wants his leathers back! IMS infield worker Eddie Thurman is one of the hardest workers. He’s there to pick up riders and bikes before they’ve even stopped sliding!
Below Photos by Dorcey Wingo    
2012 IMS Speedway 2012 IMS Speedway 2012 IMS Speedway
With 49 races to run, Shawn McConnell briefs a large rabble at the Riders Meeting. Thirty minutes until race time. The day's heat fades and the motors heat up. First Division Event 3: #1 Billy Janniro (on the pole) comes out swingin.'
2012 IMS Speedway 2012 IMS Speedway 2012 IMS Speedway
Seven wide in the Pee Wee Main Event, with two wheeler riders as young as four years old! #14 Sara Cord was dominant in the Pee Wee Main and never really challenged. #45 Braydan Galvin won the checkered in the Youth 200cc Main Event.
2012 IMS Speedway 2012 IMS Speedway 2012 IMS Speedway
With the injured B-rock Nicol watching from the pit area, #308 Max Ruml went unchallenged in the Youth 250cc Main Event. #185 Kayle LeoGrande fumbled his reception of the Third Division checkered flag; but he'll get it right, next time. Hot Shoe #52 Marvin Sonnier comes from the pole to win the 2nd Division Main event in style!
2012 IMS Speedway 2012 IMS Speedway 2012 IMS Speedway
1st Div. Event 37: Billy Gate 1: National Champ #1 Billy Janniro is on the pole, former World Champ #104 Billy Hamill is in two. Sidecar Main Event: Another broken tape but they rolled on like insanity and #1 Joe Jones and Johnny Glover won it, big time. Billy J., Billy the Bullet, Burmeister, and Buck Blair hit the gas in the First Division Main Event.
2012 IMS Speedway 2012 IMS Speedway 2012 IMS Speedway
Former WC #104 Billy Hamill launches from lane two and although challenged at every turn, took the Spring Opener and brought everyone to their feet. What a race! Janniro joins in the post-race celebrations - second place to a World Champ is still very special! Speedway will never forget you, Connor Penhall. Ride in peace.

2012 IMS Season Opener - San Bernardino, CA, USA - April 20

Former World Champion Billy "The Bullet" Hamill won a titanic battle with National Champion Billy "The Kid" Janniro and captured the first event of the Southern California regular season at the 2012 Season Opener at Inland Motorcycle Speedway in San Bernardino.

Janniro and "Battling" Buck Blair both entered the main event with perfect scores. Janniro won the draw for first gate choice and selected gate one. Blair stated, "I don't want to be the meat in that (Janniro and Hamill) sandwich" and picked gate four. Hamill, having only been defeated by Janniro in the heats, chose gate two which left Tyson Burmeister with gate three.

Hamill exploded from the tapes and held the advantage entering turn one and down the back straight, but Blair's race ended when he fell in turn two. Janniro didn't concede the victory to Hamill after just one lap and closed ground on the leader. Both racers went deep into turn three but Janniro cut his corner a little tighter to try to charge under Hamill on the front straight, but couldn't manage enough speed to get by. Hamill remained on the cushion and Janniro tried the same strategy as they reached the white flag, but again it was to no avail. Hamill withstood the constant pressure and was first to the checkered flag. Janniro had to settle for second, Burmeister finished third, and Blair was credited with fourth.

Hamill dominated the first heat while Burmeister's evening began on a sour note when a bike problem caused him to miss the race. Jimmy Fishback, the Southern California season points champion last year, began his season with a heat win over Aaron Fox. Janniro stormed to victory in the third heat. Blair held off "Fast" Eddie Castro to win heat four. Shawn "Mad Dog" McConnell ended round one with a victory over Tim Gomez.

Blair began round two by beating Fishback. Burmeister won the next hear while Neil Facchini made a brilliant outside move to get second. Hamill defeated Bobby "Boogaloo" Schwartz in event 15. McConnell was awarded the victory in the next heat with Michael Raines getting second. Janniro finished the second round by defeating Castro.

Hamill started the third round with a defeat of Steve Russell for his third straight win. Janniro matched Hamill's three consecutive wins by handing McConnell his first loss in the next heat. Schwartz led the first lap of event 28 before Burmeister went around the outside of him for the lead and his second win. Gomez was leading the next heat handily when a problem with his throttle on the last lap handed the victory to former Under 21 National Champion Justin Boyle. Blair kept pace with Hamill and Janniro by with his third win in a row to complete round three.

McConnell opened the final round by defeating Castro. Fox beat Facchini in event 35. Burmeister made it three straight wins with a win over Gomez.

Event 37 was the heat race everyone had circled in their program. Hamill and Janniro squared off in a battle of undefeated riders with Fishback joining them at the tapes. Janniro made the best start with Hamill in tow. A fierce four-lap battle ensued with Janniro holding off every challenge that Hamill could muster for a hard-earned victory.

Blair made a great start from gate four in the final heat to remain undefeated and place himself directly into the main event along with Janniro.

Hamill and McConnell were tied for the third and final direct spot in the main event. However, in an effort to expedite the program and in a great show of sportsmanship, McConnell put his promoter hat on and declined a runoff with Hamill and placed himself in the Last Chance.

Schwartz, Castro, and Facchini had to contest a runoff to fill the final spot in the Last Chance. Schwartz led for two laps, but a bit of grip in the wrong spot in turn two straightened him up and sent him toward the wall. By the time he recovered, Castro was past him and he went on to victory.

Burmeister led from gate one in the Last Chance with McConnell trying to make the outside work through turns one and two. Burmeister secured the lead on the back straight and never looked back. His victory put him in the four-rider main event.

Marvin Sonnier led all four laps en route to victory in the Second Division Main Event. "Rattlesnake" Steve Bowen finished second, Kip McClain was third, and Rudy Laurer was credited with fourth.

Jake Hansen led the first lap of the Third Division Main Event, but was overtaken by Kayle LeoGrande as they entered turn one the second time. Kayle LeoGrande was never challenged the rest of the way and was first to the finish line. Tim McGrath finished second, Hansen was third, Ron Davis finished fourth, Dan Eddy was fifth, and J.D. Myerscough was credited with sixth.

Dalton Leedy was the initial leader in the Youth 250cc Main Event, but Max Ruml went past him on the second lap. Max Ruml lengthened his lead with each lap and went on to victory. Dillon Ruml finished second and Leedy was third.

Adam Herkner started the Youth 200cc Main Event at the front but was under attack from Sebastian Palmese as they entered turn three. Both riders went wide in turn four and Braydan Galvin made a brilliant cutback move to storm underneath both riders. Galvin immediately pulled away and cruised to victory. Palmese was second, Herkner finished third, Dryden LeoGrande was fourth, Michael Wells finished fifth, and Chase Sanborn was sixth.

Sara Cords was victorious in the Pee Wee Main Event. Luke Whitcomb was second, Julia Pierson finished third, Juliann Copeland was fourth, Nick Dunn finished fifth, Gavin Kearney was sixth, and Jonas LeoGrande was seventh.

Joe Jones and Johnny Glover led from start to finish and won the Sidecar Main Event. Rod Requejo and Gene Stone finished second, Dual Anderson and Matt Davis were third, and Jeff Rowe and Josh Bennett finished fourth.

The event marked the beginning of the fourth consecutive season of speedway at IMS. The pits were full as more than 60 racers and four sidecar teams competed. The competitors were greeted by a large and enthusiastic crowd and a well-prepared track allowed the racers to provide great racing. IMS will host the most speedway events in the United States in 2012 with the season concluding on October 5.


Sidecar Main Event
1 - Joe Jones/Johnny Glover
25 - Rod Requejo/Gene Stone
007 - Dual Anderson/Matt Davis
1965 - Jeff Rowe/Josh Bennett

Pee Wee Main Event (awarded)
14 - Sara Cords
27 - Luke Whitcomb
19 - Julia Pierson
76 - Nick Dunn
49 - Gavin Kearney
185 - Jonas LeoGrande

Youth 200cc Main Event
45 - Braydan Galvin 40
18 - Sebastian Palmese 10
28 - Adam Herkner 0
185 - Dryden LeoGrande 0
214 - Michael Wells 20
108 - Chase Sanborn 10

Youth 250cc Main Event
308 - Max Ruml 20
111 - Dillon Ruml 0
222 - Dalton Leedy 0(fell)

Third Division Consolation
351n – Chris Popanz 10
392n – Chanse Vaccaro 20
318 – Stephen Simrak 0
390 – Colin Reese 0
157 – Tony DeAlmeida 10
200 – Phill Santolucito0
188 – Rick Howard 0
369 – Andy Schwarm 0
145 – Davey Shaw10(fell, remounted)

Third Division Main Event
185 - Kayle LeoGrande 20
186 - Tim McGrath 20
123 - Jake Hansen 0
163 - Ron Davis 20
349 - Dan Eddy 10
155 - J.D. Myerscough 10(engine failure)

Second Division Consolation
313 – Joey St. Louis 0
333 – Mike Salyer 10
244 – Lewis Hughes 0
202 – J.C. Masters0
311 – Kevin Fife 0
116 – Chris Jones 10(non starter)

Second Division Main Event
52 - Marvin Sonnier
177 - Steve Bowen
316 - Kip McClain
182 - Rudy Laurer (fell)

First Division Heat Scoring1234T
1 – Billy Janniro 333312
6 – Shawn McConnell 332311
7 – Michael Raines 02114
11 – Bobby Schwartz 12227
14 – Eddie Castro 22127
18 – Justin Boyle 213N 6
23 – Steve Russell 10214
25 – Jimmy Fishback 32016
26 – Tyson Burmeister M 3339
28 – Joey Holt 11114
30 – Tim Gomez 2FR 24
37 – Joe Donaldson F0000
39 – Buck Blair 333312
41 – John Marquez 11002
46 – Aaron Fox 21238
48 – Tyson Talkington 01102
86 – Neil Facchini 22127
104 – Billy Hamill 333211
114 – Troy McConnell FFx000
208 – Geoff Herkner F0213
52 – Marvin Sonnier (R)1- - - 1

Race Results
1: Hamill, Boyle, Sonnier, Donaldson (fell), Burmeister (two-minute exclusion)
2: Fishback, Fox, Russell (fell, remounted), Herkner (fell)
3: Janniro, Facchini, Marquez, T. McConnell
4: Blair, Castro, Holt, Raines
5: S. McConnell, Gomez, Schwartz, Talkington
13: Blair, Fishback, Marquez, Donaldson
14: Burmeister, Facchini, Talkington, Russell
15: Hamill, Schwartz, Holt, Herkner
16: (awarded) S. McConnell, Raines, Boyle, T. McConnell (fell, excluded)
17: Janniro, Castro, Fox, Gomez (fell)
26: Hamill, Russell, Raines (tape penalty), Marquez
27: Janniro, S. McConnell, Holt, Donaldson
28: (restarted) Burmeister, Schwartz, Castro, Fishback (penalty line)
29: Boyle, Herkner, Facchini (fell, remounted), Gomez (retired)
30: Blair, Fox, Talkington, T. McConnell
34: S. McConnell, Castro, Herkner, Marquez
35: Fox, Facchini, Raines, Donaldson
36: Burmeister, Gomez, Holt, T. McConnell
37: Janniro, Hamill, Fishback, Talkington
38: Blair, Schwartz, Russell, Boyle (non starter)
Runoff: Castro, Schwartz, Facchini (fell, remounted)

First Division Last Chance
26 - Tyson Burmeister
14 - Eddie Castro
46 - Aaron Fox
6 - Shawn McConnell (retired)

First Division Main Event
104 - Billy Hamill
1 - Billy Janniro
26 - Tyson Burmeister
39 - Buck Blair (fell)

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