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2000 West Coast Results Page


Costa Mesa Speedway
Orange County Fairgrounds - Costa Mesa, CA

2000 Opening Night
Costa Mesa Speedway
April 29, 2000
From Ryan Evans

Gary Hicks

Gary Hicks won his second consecutive Scratch Main in front of a large crowd as Costa Mesa officially kicked off the 2000 season with the Coors Light Season Opener.

The first attempt never got underway as Charlie Venegas got into the tapes. Venegas was penalized 20 yards for his infraction. Bobby Schwartz made a beautiful trap from the outside on the restart but carried to much momentum into turn two and drifted wide. Hicks capitalized on the mistake and shot underneath Schwartz. Schwartz attempted to get back in front but the traction wasn't there. Hicks took command of the race and never looked back. Schwartz maintained second, Shawn McConnell was third. Venegas was able to pass Jim Estes, who was very impressive in winning his heat and semi, to get fourth.

Venegas was able to overcome his frustrating experience in the Scratch Main to win the Handicap Main. The Handicap Main was loaded with back-yardage riders as the closest riders to the tapes were 40 yards away. Randy DiFrancesco was able to beat fellow 40-yard riders Eddie Castro and Gary Ackroyd to turn one and take the lead on lap one. Venegas, starting from the 50, got a great start and was able to get under Castro and Ackroyd on the back straight. As Venegas was hunting down DiFrancesco, Brad Oxley roared through the pack and was in third on lap two. Venegas patiently closed the gap on DiFrancesco and on lap five he forced a mistake and took the lead. Venegas stretched his lead all the way to the checkered flag. Oxley finished second, Hicks finished third, Castro fourth, McConnell fifth, and DiFrancesco drifted all the way back to sixth.

Danny Perkins made it two-for-two in the year 2000 as he was victorious again in the Support Main Event. The Support Main began interestingly enough with the father-son combination of Phil Harmatiuk and Shawn Harmatiuk lined up next to each other on the 10-yard line. 16 year old Shawn, beat his father to turn one and opened up a seemingly comfortable lead. Meanwhile, Perkins was picking his way through traffic and was in third place at the close of lap two. Perkins went around Phil Harmatiuk and set his sights on Shawn. Perkins tried the outside but wasn't able to get by. As they exited turn four on lap three Harmatiuk went wide and Perkins was able to get under the young rider and take the lead. Perkins, who didn't race for over a decade before returning late last year, took the victory, Billy Lyons was second, and Bill McCarley was third.

Kevin Fereira made the long trip from Northern California to win the Support B Main Event. Fereira was alone on the 10 yard line and led the pack through turn one. Howard Larson, the Spring Classic winner, came out of turn two in second. Fereira and Larson battled for three laps with Larson looking like he would make a pass on several occasions. Larson had some trouble going into turn three the final time and Fereira was victorious, Paul Hitchcock exploited Larson's mistake and took second, while Larson recovered for third. Former National Champion Chris Manchester made an appearance tonight with disappointing results. He made it to the Handicap Semi, but was unable to transfer to the main and he failed to get out of his Scratch Heat. Manchester indicated that he has moved back to Southern California and will be competing at Costa Mesa every Saturday. Having the former Belle Vue Ace on the program will be an exciting addition to Southern California speedway.


Support B Consolation (restart)
211 - Doug Lupo            20
331 - Peter Curtis         10
123 - Chad Newlee          20
157 - Steve Carlson        20  (retired)
231 - Pat Dwyer            10  (non-starter)
214 - Tom Hamilton         20  (non-starter)

Support B Main
143n - Kevin Fereira       10
114 - Paul Hitchcock       20
168 - Howard Larson        20
107 - Monte McKeon         20
196 - Rod Lenz             20  (fell)
178 - Eloy Medellin        20  (fell)

Support Consolation
226 - Sean Larned          30
177 - Mark Hitchcock       20
131 - David Lynch          20
243 - Sean McDougall       30
200 - Gerry Duttweiler     10
182 - Rudy Laurer          20

Support Main
189 - Danny Perkins        30
321 - Billy Lyons          20
120 - Bill McCarley        30
100 - Phil Harmatiuk       10
197 - Greg Starcevic       20
139 - Shawn Harmatiuk      10  (fell)

Handicap Main
 43 - Charlie Venegas      50
  1 - Brad Oxley           60
  3 - Gary Hicks           60
 14 - Eddie Castro         40
  6 - Shawn McConnell      60
 12 - Randy DiFrancesco    40
 15 - Dukie Ermolenko      50
  8 - Gary Ackroyd         40

Scratch Main
  3 - Gary Hicks
 11 - Bobby Schwartz
  6 - Shawn McConnell
 43 - Charlie Venegas
 56 - Jim Estes
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