Costa Mesa Speedway
Orange County Fairgrounds - Costa Mesa, CA
2000 Costa Mesa
Costa Mesa Speedway
August 5, 2000
From Ryan Evans
Chris Manchester Wins The Main and Josh Larsen Takes The Handicap Event!
Speedway racing returned to Costa Mesa after a three week layoff with former
British League riders Chris Manchester and Josh Larsen each earning main
Manchester and Larsen were lined up next to each other in the Scratch Main
with Manchester in gate five and Larsen in gate four. Manchester got the
best gate and rode the outside through turn one and down the back straight
with Larsen right behind. Manchester was able to get to the low line
entering turn three but when Larsen attempted to follow him Shawn McConnell had a wheel underneath and took second. Manchester led at the close of lap
one while McConnell was doing everything he could to stay ahead of Larsen.
Manchester stretched his lead all the way to the checkered flag for his
second Scratch Main victory of the season, McConnell held onto second, Larsen
was third, Dukie Ermolenko was fourth, and Gary Hicks was fifth.
Jim Estes led the field into turn one in the Handicap Main from the 30 yard
line but was immediately challenged for the lead. Larsen started on the
outside of three other riders on the 40 yard line and got a great start and
headed to the outside in turn one. Larsen used his momentum to mount an
attack on Estes. Estes, riding a bike borrowed from Johnny Walker, tried
valiantly to hold off Larsen but the former World Finalist was not to be
denied. Larsen took the lead and was set for his first main event victory of
the season until he exited turn four on the third lap. Larsen parked
slightly forcing Estes to take evasive action. Estes ended up spinning
around and back into the racing line. Eddie Castro and Andy Northrup were
fortunate to get past but Randy DiFrancesco would not be as lucky.
DiFrancesco hit Estes and tumbled down the front straight, Brad Oxley, left
with nowhere to go, ran into DiFrancesco and went over the handlebars like a
motocross endo and landed hard on his head. DiFrancesco came out the worst
as his foot was caught up in his bike leaving him prone on the track for
several minutes but was able to get up and participate in the restart.
Sorting out the mess proved no easy task and was bound to leave someone
unhappy. The referee determined that Larsen was the leader and had right of
way, therefore Estes was determined the cause of the red flag. Since the
third lap had technically never been completed, the staggered restart would
begin at the start of lap three and Larsen would line up at the front of the
Spotting a rider of Larsen's talent a lead in any race is a recipe for an
easy victory and it proved correct as Larsen led the field into turn one and
pulled away during the remaining six laps for an easy win. Castro held off
Northrup for second, DiFrancesco finished fourth, and Oxley finished fifth.
Frank Pecce took the lead as the Support Main field entered turn one, but Gerry Duttweiler swept around the outside and they raced side by side down
the back straight. Duttweiler was able to assume the lead in turn three with
Pecce right behind. Pecce remained close throughout the race but was never
able to provide enough pressure to rattle Duttweiler who scored his second
main event win of the year.
Philip Williams, making his speedway debut, was very impressive in winning
his heat race and repeated his success by taking the Support B Main as well.
Williams had been a mechanic for former 2-time World Pairs Champion Bobby
Schwartz during the 2000 season prior to Saturday Night and definitely
benefited from his vast knowledge.
Charlie "The Edge" Venegas, who has won 10 main events this year, was absent
from competition after taking a heavy spill at Auburn the previous night.
Venegas, who had missed the previous weekend after a crash at the San
Bernardino event in which he co-promoted, spent several hours at the hospital
on Saturday and will most likely miss two weeks of competition.
Support B Consolation
161 - Hector Quevado 10
178 - Eloy Medellin 10
125 - Johnny Lupo 20
148 - Chris Metoyer 0 (fell, remounted)
Support B Main
239 - Philip Williams 0
198 - Mike Boyle 10
165 - Randy Kreps 0
103 - Monte McKeon 0
200 - Gerry Duttweiler
234 - Frank Pecce
182 - Rudy Laurer
100 - Phil Harmatiuk
4 - Josh Larsen 40
14 - Eddie Castro 40
166 - Andy Northrup 40
12 - Randy DiFrancesco 40
1 - Brad Oxley 50
130 - Chris Manchester 40 (fell)
56 - Jim Estes 30 (fell, excluded)
8 - Gary Ackroyd 30 (non starter)
130 - Chris Manchester
6 - Shawn McConnell
4 - Josh Larsen
15 - Dukie Ermolenko
3 - Gary Hicks