But in 1975, tragedy struck. Both of Penhall’s parents were killed in a plane crash, sending Penhall into the depths of depression. While he continued to tour and compete internationally, he seemed to plateau, and considered leaving the sport. In 1978, Penhall received an invitation to join the British Speedway Circuit, a popular and competitive racing circuit of the day. He left for England and began competing in more of Europe’s races.