Home Contact Us Stadia Pix Articles All About You Riders to Remember
DVDs Books Pictures Archive Dream Teams Programme Generator
DVD: Shawn Moran Racing
12th California Reunion
Your Feedback
The Tebbys - Stan and Jim
California 2017 Reunion
Plus Points
Your Feedback
Trouble for Monarchs
Svein Kaasa Cuttings
Your Feedback
What Happened to our "Season"
Riders to Remember: Ray Moore
Your Feedback
Ronnie Moore and the Atom Car
Nigel and Jack Memorial Day
Your Feedback
Let's Promote Speedway II
Speedway Pennants
The Voice No. 66
Your Feedback
Let's Promote Speedway
Your Feedback
Woffy's Warm Up
1982 Overseas Final
Your Feedback
Syd van der Vyver
More Magazines from Bill
Plus Points
Your Feedback
A Letter from Maurice Stobbart
Bill's Booklets
A Mystery Solved
The Voice - Issue 65
Your Feedback
Dave Collins
The Mystery Rider from 1948
Your Feedback
Bill's Pictures
Toronto Board Track
Plus Points
Your Feedback
Melbourne in the 1950's
The History of Sim Speedway
Your Feedback
All About You: Mike Redfern
Bill's Posters
RIP Plough Lane
Your Feedback
NZ World Team Cup 1986 +
Glasgow Speedway Posters
Your Feedback
Almaty Ice Speedway
NZ World Team Cup 1985
Plus Points
Your Feedback
Dream Team: David Pickles
NZ World Team Cup 1984
Your Feedback
Dream Team: Martin Wilkins
NZ World Team Cup 1983
Plus Points
Your Feedback
Video: Berrington 2000
NZ World Team Cup 1982
Your Feedback
Vic Ridgeon
NZ World Team Cup 1981
Plus Points
Your Feedback
Jim Ryman Crash at Boston
NZ World Team Cup 1980
Your Feedback
NZ World Team Cup 1979
Skid Kids
Plus Points
Your Feedback
Otto Holoubek
NZ World Team Cup 1978
Plus Points
Your Feedback

1982 Overseas Final. The Day The Music Died
By Tracy Holmes

Penhall turns his back on the crowd

At White City on July 4, 1982, Independence Day backfired for Bruce Penhall.

The unfortunate draw saw all four Yanks line up against each other in round 5. As Penhall had only dropped 1 point, it was obvious that he would throw the race as his mates all needed points. So to be excluded on 2 minutes, break the tapes, fake an engine failure or slide off would have been the transparent but honorable choice.

The choice he made however was none of those and one that would do serious damage to his reputation.

Leaving the gate, he glanced to see his fellow Americans had left the start, tucked in behind them and pulled wheelies to come in last. As the Champion of the World, this was the King on his throne, mocking his subjects with abject contempt. The reaction was fierce. The crowd booed their disapproval, threw cans and anything else to voice their rage.

Why for goodness sake? This was simply a World Championship qualifying round with a silly name. Top guns had always thrown races to help friends so why was this any different? The answer, no one had done it like this. No one blamed him for what he did, it was all about the way he did it. The abuse continued throughout the presentation and in tears, he turned his back to the ugly crowd. This was a disaster of epic proportions and one from which he would never recover. Even if his abdication was only three months away.

Bruce's own take on the matter can be read in the book, 'Penhall. World Speedway Champion' by Steve Johnson. It is an amazing story and the way he tells it, that none of his friends in that race followed the script, has me puzzled, "That's for darn sure!" This was the day his house of cards, needlessly came crashing down. "It aint what you do, it's the way that you do it" is a song that could easily have been an epitaph to this sad day.


1982 Overseas Final.

Heat 1. Peter Collins, Jessup, Morton, Sigalos.
2. Les Collins, Shawn Moran, Andy Grahame, Phil Collins.
3. Penhall, Ross, Alan Grahame, Mauger.
4. Sanders, Kelly Moran, Carter, Crump.
5. Alan Grahame, Les Collins, Kelly Moran, Peter Collins.
6. Jessup, Crump, Ross, Shawn Moran.
7. Sigalos, Mauger, Sanders, Phil Collins.
8. Penhall, Carter, Andy Grahame, Morton.
9. Carter, Mauger, Shawn Moran, Peter Collins.
10. Jessup, Penhall, Les Collins, Sanders.
11. Crump, Andy Grahame, Alan Grahame, Sigalos.
12. Ross, Morton, Kelly Moran, Phil Collins.
13. Penhall, Peter Collins, Phil Collins, Crump.
14. Jessup, Kelly Moran, Andy Grahame, Mauger.
15. Carter, Sigalos, Ross, Les Collins.
16. Shawn Moran, Morton, Sanders, Alan Grahame.
17. Andy Grahame, Peter Collins, Ross, Sanders.
18. Carter, Jessup, Alan Grahame, Phil Collins.
19. Sigalos, Kelly Moran, Shawn Moran, Penhall.
20. Crump, Mauger, Les Collins, Morton.
Run-off for 9th & 10th. Les Collins, Peter Collins, Shawn Moran.


1st Dave Jessup 13.
2nd Kenny Carter 12.
3rd Bruce Penhall 11.
4 Phil Crump 8.
5 Dennis Sigalos 8.
6 Andy Grahame 8.
7 Larry Ross 8.
8 Kelly Moran 8.
9 Les Collins 7.
10 Peter Collins 7.
11 Shawn Moran 7.
12 Alan Grahame 6.
13 Ivan Mauger 6.
14 Billy Sanders 5.
15 Chris Morton 5.
16 Phil Collins 1.


This article was first published on 30th July 2017

[ Use Mobile Version ]


  • Bill Elliot:

    "Loved Tracey Holmes' comments on the 1982 Overseas Final when Bruce Penhall was "alleged" to have thrown his race against fellow Americans to ...ahem...assist their progression to the next stage. The only crime he was guilty of was making it so obvious that he was doing so. The practice had been going on for a long time before that meeting, and there are still instances when in big meetings riders will...er.... not put in the same effort as they do in other heats. Penhall was the darling of so many supporters that it came as a blow to find that he was simply no better or worse than many others in assisting team mates and/or colleagues when circumstances permitted, he simply made it painfully obvious what was going on, and for that, in some perverse way, maybe he deserves a little credit for highlighting a practice that had been going on for a long time"  


    Comment on this Article | Contact Us | Go Back to Main Menu

  •    Please leave your comments on this article or on the site as a whole