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Perris Raceway held its first event of 2023 on a chilly February 18th night with multiple worthy headliners. Probably the biggest news was that Dan Bewley, 2022 British Champion and current World #6 was signed up for an encore and finale in States at the end of a one month trip to California. Bewley, after a breathtaking display two weeks earlier in the USA Vs World test match at Bakersfield, has quickly become a huge fan favorite in the States and his entry into proceedings at Perris certainly left fans breathless with his impressively fast all action style. The Perris track is more akin to a small British circuit and his appearance gave those American riders in attendance a chance to measure to the British superstar on a circuit more similar to what they would ride overseas.

The main part of the program was a Pairs competition with 6 two-man teams entered. Unlike previous Pairs tournaments, on this occasion riders were split into two groups, thus preventing the top points average riders teaming up. A random draw determined the teams with each having a ‘Group A’ and ‘Group B’ rider. Early action saw Dillon Ruml, Gino Manzares and Bewley all take wins in the first round of heats. However, the bigger story was often the key and crucial battle for third places between the Group B riders, which ultimately would determine who would be in contention to win.
Heat 5 saw the fans on their feet after Bewley, first out of the start, was stunningly passed by Manzares going into turn one of lap two. Bewley’s teammate Wilbur Hancock showed key support by getting the vital third place over Michael Wells. Both teams were tied at the top on 7 points after two rounds.

Heat 7 saw Ruml remain the only unbeaten rider, defeating Manzares. Broc Nicol picked up his first win in heat 8. Bewley was leading heat 9 whilst Hancock brought down Eddie Castro while making a move for second place. The rules on the night did not exclude a rider for such (instead giving a 20-yard handicap in the restart) and with Bewley winning and Hancock moving up to third, the 4-2 put the team ahead by one point.

Round four saw Manzares, Bewley and Nicol all winning and with each heat ending 4-2, Bewley and Hancock were still one up over Manzares and Wells going into the last set of heats. Heat 14 saw Nicol pull off a superb win over Bewley with Hancock third. This opened the door a crack for Manzares and Wells who needed a 5-1 over Castro and Jordan Vanderham in heat 15 to snatch victory. However, up until now, no Group B order had defeated a Group A rider. Manzares sacrificed the preferred gate to his teammate and the strategy paid off with Wells getting a fantastic start with the winning 5-1 in position. Castro as expected gave chase with a famous outside run but he was never quite close enough to make the pass and eventually fell while in pursuit at the start of the final lap. This gave a narrow one point victory to Manzares and Wells who were popular winners.

To end the Division 1 program, the top four in points raced for the Individual Main Event. Bewley pulled out a blistering gate and looked set to hit the front but a superb first time inside move put Nicol firmly in the drivers seat. Though Bewley kept matters close Nicol eased into control of the race and an extremely well received victory. Ruml came home third with Manzares in fourth.
Bewley didn’t stop at just 6 speedway heats. He was loaned a bike for the Flat Track Pairs event and recorded a second and third in his heats and fourth in the 9 rider 10 lap final. Nick Garcia and Colt Foster were the winning Pair whilst Nick Armstrong won both of heats and the Main.

Division Two was won by Kevin Fiore who also took one the heats. A fall in heat 2 prevented a clean sweep with Rudy Laurer taking that win. Division 3 and Vintage were combined together. Ron Davis won both heats with Isaiah Canales taking the Main Event. Tony Rutledge was the top Division 3 scorer. Ryder Schultz won a heat and the 150cc Junior Main, with Kayd Fiore winning the other heat. Sidecars had three winners; Wade Boyd and Eric Lindauer won the Main Event with heat wins going to Ace Kale / Thomas Yergler and Robert & Lori Curry. The Rod Lake 50cc kids races were split into two classes. Thomas Chavira won a heat and the Main of the Expert Class, with Jackson Joiner taking the other heat. Karl Hancock won the Pee Wee class. Rich Silva won the Hooligans while former Speedway rider Johnny Walker was the victor in the Minibike TT, a class which also featured NHRA top fuel dragster driver Cameron Ferre.

Perris Speedway hasn’t yet announced the rest of its 2023 dates as it is waiting on other venues to confirm schedules but it is expected that there will be up to half a dozen events at the track in 2023.


Perris Pairs:
Gino Manzares (14) & Michael Wells (5+2) 19
Dan Bewley (13) & Wilbur Hancock (5+2) 18
Broc Nicol (13) & Brad Sauer (3+1) 16
Dillon Ruml (14) & Justin Almon (1) 15
Charles Ermolenko (10) & Mark Fillebrown (1+1) 11
Eddie Castro (9) & Jordan Vanderham (2+1) 11

Division 1 Main Event
98 Broc Nicol
99 Dan Bewley
3 Dillon Ruml
24 Gino Manzares

Division 2 Main
159 Kevin Fiore
182 Rudy Laurer
118 Rohn Zellner
111 David Newsham

Division 3 / Vintage Main
106 Isaiah Canales
113 Tony Rutledge
163 Ron Davis
220 Tom FN Bryant

150 Mini Speedway Main
22 Ryder Schultz
30 Jacob Fishback
169k Kayd Fiore

88 Wade Boyd / Eric Lindauer
357 Ace Kale / Thomas Yergler
07 Kevin Kale / Tracey Gallagher

Rod Lake 50cc Kids Expert
28 Thomas Chavira
26 Jackson Joiner

Rod Lake Kids 50cc Pee Wee
148 Karl Hancock
177 Tanner Evans
523 Brayden Moseley
5 Max Celac
25 Jett Ferre
24 Slater Sperry

Flat Track Teams Final scores
Nick Garcia / Colt Foster 13
Nick Armstrong / Johnny Custom 19
Elliot Iverson / Joe Steffen 21
Dan Bewley /Matt Foster 23
Joey Crabtree 19

Hooligan Main
221 Rich Silva
92 Doug Darrah
60 Nick Armstrong
54 Elliot Iverson
63 Johnny Custom

Minibike TT Main
47 Johnny Walker
106 Isaiah Canales
313 Marc Heathfield
713 Jasper Heathfield
748 Cameron Ferre
28 Thomas Chavira
26 Jackson Joiner