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Costa Mesa Speedway
Orange County Fairgrounds - Costa Mesa, CA

2000 Costa Mesa
Costa Mesa Speedway
July 8, 2000
From Ryan Evans

Chris  Manchester - 1999

Former National Champion Chris Manchester won his first Scratch Main of the season in front of a large crowd that saw a lot of exciting racing at Costa Mesa.

Bobby Schwartz took the lead from the pole and looked to have control as he exited turn two but Manchester used the outside dirt to gain momentum and passed Schwartz on the back straight. Schwartz stayed low while Manchester continued to use the outside to gain control of the lead at the close of lap one. While Schwartz was chasing Manchester, Shawn McConnell and Dukie Ermolenko battled side-by-side for third place. The battles continued throughout the race, but Schwartz was unable to catch the former Overseas Champion and McConnell held on for third place. Eddie Castro was fifth. Manchester's victory ended a season-long struggle to break through the invisible barrier that has been keeping him from a Scratch Main victory. He has been impressive in his heats and semis but hasn't been able to put it together in the main event until Saturday Night. Manchester's victory may be a sign of things to come as the second half of the season approaches.

A notable absence from the Scratch Main field was Charlie "The Edge" Venegas. The man who has won five of the nine Southern California Scratch Mains and half of the main events failed to transfer from his scratch heat. Venegas missed the start but was second to Andy Northrup and in a transfer position when Schwartz made a spectacular ride around the outside to pass both Northrup and Venegas and take the lead and a victory that received a standing ovation from the large crowd. Northrup held off Venegas and subsequently kept him from moving up in the program.

Jim Estes took a hard-earned victory in the Handicap Main event after holding off Charlie Venegas the final three laps. Danny Perkins started at the tapes with the rest of the eight-man field at least 40 yards behind him. Perkins took the lead with the rest of the pack quickly trying to catch him. Estes was the lone 40 yard rider with six riders behind him and was assuredly in for a long eight laps. Venegas was able to get into third place on the third lap when he passed Randy DiFrancesco. Estes now had to catch Perkins while simultaneously holding Venegas back. He was up to the challenge as he passed Perkins on the fifth lap to assume the lead. Venegas was unable to gain any ground until they took the white flag and Venegas put a wheel under Estes as they entered turn one. Estes remained cool under the pressure and actually pulled away from Venegas as they exited turn two the final time. Venegas was unable to close the gap and Estes took the checkered flag just ahead of Venegas. DiFrancesco finished third, Brad Oxley was fourth, and Northrup was fifth.

The Support Main provided the fans with some exciting racing with several position changes throughout the race. Mark Hitchcock took the lead with David Lynch and Tim Tucker right behind him. Lynch and Tucker battled for second and passed each other several times. Hitchcock continued to lead until the last lap when Lynch got underneath with Tucker right behind. Tucker tried to force Lynch into a mistake but Lynch was up to the task and took his second Support Main victory of the season.

John Stunkard was the only participant of the Support B Main Event on the 10 yard line and used that position to hold back the five 20 yard riders throughout the race to take a wire-to-wire victory.

Costa Mesa will host two races this week during the Annual Orange County Fair. Costa Mesa will return to its roots with a Friday Night program along with sidecars, BMX jumpers, and Freestyle Motocross Jumpers featuring World Famous Seth Enslow. The evening will coincide with the opening night of the fair. On Saturday Night will be the annual Fair Derby which is one of America's prestigious speedway events. Mike Faria will return from Northern California to defend his Fair Derby title.

Junior Heat #1
198 - Justin Boyle
 99 - Miles Calvin
  2 - Skyler Greyson

Junior Heat #2
198 - Justin Boyle
 99 - Miles Calvin
  2 - Skyler Greyson   (non-starter)

Support B Consolation
198 - Mike Boyle       10
211 - Doug Lupo        20
135 - Kerry Connor     10
132 - David Moore      10  (fell, remounted)
147 - Winston Williams 20  (fell)
269 - Ed Martinez      20  (fell)

Support B Main
249 - John Stunkard    10
231 - Pat Dwyer        20
125 - Johnny Lupo      20
100 - Phil Harmatiuk   20
141 - Tom Collier      20  (penalty line)
103 - Brent Smith      20  (fell, excluded)

Support Main (scratch)
131 - David Lynch
215 - Tim Tucker
177 - Mark Hitchcock
197 - Greg Starcevic    (penalty line)

Handicap Main
 56 - Jim Estes         40
 43 - Charlie Venegas   60
 12 - Randy DiFrancesco 50
  1 - Brad Oxley        60
166 - Andy Northrup     50
 11 - Bobby Schwartz    50
189 - Danny Perkins      0
130 - Chris Manchester  50  (retired)

Scratch Main
130 - Chris Manchester
 11 - Bobby Schwartz
  6 - Shawn McConnell
 15 - Dukie Ermolenko
 14 - Eddie Castro


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