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Costa Mesa Speedway
Orange County Fairgrounds - Costa Mesa, CA

2000 Orange County Harley Davidson/Buell Blowout
Costa Mesa Speedway
June 3, 2000
From Ryan Evans

Charlie "The Edge" Venegas benefited from Josh Larsen's misfortune to win his second consecutive Scratch Main at Costa Mesa in front of a large crowd at the annual Orange County Harley Davidson/Buell Blowout. Charlie  Venegas 1997

Larsen, just one week removed from his qualification into the Overseas Final, took the lead from the pole. Larsen had Venegas planted on his back tire for the first lap. As he exited turn two, Larsen found too much grip and the front wheel lifted the entire length of the back straight. Larsen managed to save it, but Venegas went underneath as they entered turn three. Larsen went down in turn four as the rest of the pack went by. Venegas was then chased by 16 year old former Junior National Champion Ryan Fisher, but he couldn't close the gap as Venegas was victorious for the third time at Costa Mesa this year. Fisher finished second in his first Scratch Main appearance of 2000, Chris Manchester, who is beginning to rediscover his form at Costa Mesa, finished third, Dukie Ermolenko was fourth, and Larsen was fifth.

Robbie Sauer led the charge into turn one of the eight-man Handicap Main from his position on the 20 yard line. However, Shawn McConnell and Brad Oxley came together in turn one forcing a red flag. Before the rest of the riders could see the red flag, though, there was a four rider pileup in turn three involving Larsen, Fisher, Randy DiFrancesco, Eddie Castro, with Venegas barely avoiding the mishap. Venegas was so excited about getting around the crash that he got off his bike and playfully did a cartwheel, much to the delight of the turn one crowd. McConnell was banished to the penalty line, but was so displeased with the decision that he didn't take part in the restart.

On the restart, Sauer took the lead and Larsen was hot after him. As they exited turn four on the second lap, Larsen lifted and Castro was able to get by for second. Sauer held Castro at bay for two laps before "Fast Eddie" as able to get underneath for the lead. Castro held Larsen off until the seventh lap when DiFrancesco knocked down Sauer as they entered turn three. This brought out a red flag and the race was declared complete and the referee made a bad decision by deeming Sauer as the cause of the incident. Castro was credited with his first Handicap Main Event victory of the season, Larsen second, Venegas third, and Oxley fourth.

The Support Class reverted back to a system that was used for several meetings last season in which the Support riders competed in scratch races with the winner qualifying for a spot in a First Division Handicap Heat, while second and third qualify for a Support Scratch Semi, where first and second qualify for the Support Main. Gerry Duttweiler took the start of the Support Main and never looked back to get the victory. Mark Hitchcock took second, Billy Lyons finished third, and Frank Pecce finished fourth.

Pat Dwyer grabbed the lead at the start of the Support B Main and rode a very smooth four laps to win his first-ever main event in his first year of speedway. Hector Quevado finished second, and Johnny Lupo finished third. There was a very large crowd at Costa Mesa no doubt helped by the fact that it was Harley Night which features people racing on their street legal Harleys as well as some flattrack bikes. This year the main event featured 10 riders on Harleys of different varieties. The crowd was thoroughly entertained as a couple of riders highsided their beloved machines. In the main event, former speedway rider Jimmy Raymond, who has reached Harley Night icon status, thrilled the crowd with another victory aboard his Harley chopper. Support B rider Mike Boyle, who was victorious last year, finished second.


Support B Consolation
160 - Jeremy Toepfer        10
178 - Eloy Medellin         20
143n - Kevin Fereira        10
269 - Ed Martinez           20
293 - Rick Valdez           10
148 - Chris Metoyer         20

Support B Main
231 - Pat Dwyer             10
161 - Hector Quevado        20
125 - Johnny Lupo           10
336 - Bill Green            20
147 - Winston Williams      20
123 - Chad Newlee           20  (fell, remounted)

Support Main
200 - Gerry Duttweiler
177 - Mark Hitchcock
321 - Billy Lyons
234 - Frank Pecce   (fell)

Handicap Main
 14 - Eddie Castro          40
  4 - Josh Larsen           40
 43 - Charlie Venegas       60
  1 - Brad Oxley            60
 36 - Ryan Fisher           40
 12 - Randy DiFrancesco     50
 23 - Robbie Sauer          20  (fell, excluded)
  6 - Shawn McConnell       60  (non-starter)

Scratch Main
 43 - Charlie Venegas
 36 - Ryan Fisher
130 - Chris Manchester
 15 - Dukie Ermolenko
  4 - Josh Larsen       (fell)
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