Bruce Penhall

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Bruce Penhall (Bruce Nelson) (born May 10, 1957 in Balboa, CA) is a retired American motorcycle speedway racer who also starred in television and in film. He was the World Speedway Champion in 1981 and 1982 and rode for the successful Cradley Heath Heathens speedway team in the United Kingdom. He retired from speedway racing the night he won his second World Championship in 1982.

Penhall was well known for his role as Cadet/Officer Bruce Nelson in the final season of the NBC television series "CHiPs" and in the role of Bruce Christian in the 1989 film Savage Beach and five of the movie's sequels. Penhall reprised his role as Officer Bruce Nelson in the 1998 TNT television movie "CHiPs" '99 and has made guest appearances on shows such as Just Men!, The Facts of Life, and Renegade.

Penhall reportedly was paid $4,000 per episode of "CHiPs". He did an interview in May, 1983 saying he expected to return to "CHiPs" in a 7th season. It was not to be. The show got canceled.

According to Internet rumor, Bruce Penhall is running his parents' concrete company "Penhall Concrete/Construction" and has been doing so with his brother. Not too long after "CHiPs" ended, his parents were in a plane crash and did not survive. He and his brother have been running the business since then. However, this is only a rumor and no news reports have been found to verify this information.

In 1999, Penhall was inducted into the A.M.A. Motorcycle Hall of Fame. In 2008, Bruce took over as joint promoter, along with Jeffrey Immediato, of speedway racing events at The Grand at Industry Hills race track in City of Industry, California.


  • Grass Roots Racing (TV-2005) as Himself
  • E! True Hollywood Story - CHiPs (1999) as Himself
  • "CHiPs" '99 (TV-1998) as Sergeant Bruce Nelson
  • Renegade - Offshore Thunder (TV-1995) as Donny
  • The Dallas Connection (1994) as Chris Cannon
  • Fit to Kill (1993) as Bruce Christian
  • Enemy Gold (1993) as Chris Cannon
  • Hard Hunted (1992) as Bruce Christian
  • Do or Die (aka Girls, Games and Guns) (1991) as Bruce Christian
  • Guns (1990) as Bruce Christian
  • Savage Beach (1989) as Bruce Christian
  • Picasso Trigger (1988) as Hondo
  • Camping del terrore (aka The Eleventh Commandment) (1987) as Dave Calloway
  • The Love Boat - Instinct/Unmade for Each Other/BOS (TV-1985)
  • The Facts of Life - All or Nothing (TV-1984) as Steve Garland
  • Circus of the Stars #8 (TV-1983) as Himself
  • Family Feud - Battle of the Perfect 10s (TV-1983) as Himself
  • Just Men! - episodes 1.5 & 1.9 (TV-1983) as Himself
  • "CHiPs" (TV-1982-1983) as Officer Bruce Nelson
  • On Any Sunday II (1981) as Himself

External Links