Costa Mesa Speedway
Orange County Fairgrounds - Costa Mesa, CA
2000 Dan Nay Night
Costa Mesa Speedway
August 26, 2000
From Ryan Evans
Bobby Schwartz Takes The Main Event!
Former National Champion Bobby "Boogaloo" Schwartz ran away from the field
for his first main event win of the year at the annual Dan Nay Night at Costa
Charlie "The Edge" Venegas, returning to Costa Mesa after a three week
absence due to injury, had first gate choice after going undefeated
throughout the evening and chose the pole. Gary Hicks, having only been
defeated by Venegas, had second choice and took gate two. Being that
Venegas and Hicks have won the most main events at Costa Mesa this season it
looked as though it may be a two man battle in the main event, but Schwartz
had other ideas.
Schwartz got a good start from the outside and stayed wide through turns one
and two and opened up a comfortable lead going down the back straight. Hicks
and Venegas immediately battled for second. Venegas rode the outside while
Hicks hugged the pole. They waged a battle that lasted three laps before
Hicks secured second place, but he had no chance to catch Schwartz as the
former World Pairs Champion took an easy victory. Hicks finished second,
Venegas held on to third, Shawn McConnell was fourth, and Randy DiFrancesco was fifth.
The evening featured a an all-scratch format with each rider competing in
three rounds of five-rider heats. The top 10 scorers qualified for two
five-rider semi-finals with the top two from each semi transferring to the
main while third and fourth transferred to the Last Chance. The winner of
the Last Chance transferred to the main event.
The evening started with Jim Estes leading comfortably over McConnell and Dukie Ermolenko when he suffered a mechanical failure allowing McConnell take
the win. Charlie Venegas kicked off his evening with a win over Josh Larsen in race two. Gary Hicks was an easy winner in race three. Race four saw
Schwartz get the start, but Ryan Fisher passed the veteran coming out of turn
two and took the win to close out round one.
Round two began with Fisher taking the win after a battle with Ermolenko.
Schwartz took the win in the next race over McConnell and Larsen. Venegas
was victorious over Hicks after getting a great start. Round two came to an
end with DiFrancesco beating Northrup.
Gary Hicks opened up round three by getting back on the winning track.
Ermolenko won the next race after several restarts. "Fast" Eddie Castro put
together a great ride in race 17 to take the victory after passing Fisher and
McConnell on the outside on lap one to bring the crowd to its feet. Venegas
maintained his perfect score by defeating Schwartz in the last race of round
After three rounds of racing all but two spots had been determined for the
semi-finals and a three-man runoff featuring Gary Ackroyd, Castro, and
Northrup would determine the final two spots. Ackroyd and Northrup gated
together with Ackroyd gaining a slight advantage down the back straight.
Castro trailed the other two before heading to the outside. Castro continued
on the wide line and first passed Northrup and then Ackroyd in spectacular
fashion and received his second standing ovation from the crowd after his
hard-earned victory over Ackroyd and Northrup.
The first semi-final was a hard-fought battle between all five riders, so
hard in fact that it had to be restarted several times before the referee
sent the riders to the pits to cool off a bit and allow the other semi-final
to be run first. Hicks must have been frustrated as he was leading each time
the red flag came out.
The other semi-final was less dramatic as Venegas continued his winning ways
by getting the start and leading all four laps with Schwartz closely behind.
Ermolenko and DiFrancesco would have to settle for the Last Chance.
Semi-final number one returned to the track and this time the riders managed
to stay upright. Hicks made the start again and was an easy winner.
McConnell, Fisher, and Larsen battled on the first two laps before Larsen
touched the wall and pulled up. McConnell held second, but Fisher was
battling him all the way. Fisher set out for the outside on the last lap and
gained significant ground. They went into the last corner side-by-side and
they crossed the line the same way. McConnell was awarded second and a
ticket to the main while Fisher would have to try again in the Last Chance.
In the Last Chance DiFrancesco got a great start and held off Ermolenko and
Fisher coming out of turn two. He opened up a little breathing room as
Fisher and Ermolenko battled for second. Fisher secured second and then set
his sights on the leader. Fisher went to the outside and closed the gap on
DiFrancesco. Coming out of the last turn DiFrancesco moved out to block
Fisher, who then crossed back underneath but was unable to win the drag race
to the line. DiFrancesco rounded out the five-man main event, while 16 year
old Fisher would have to settle for a loud round of applause from the crowd.
Greg Starcevic got a terrific start and immediately opened up a comfortable
lead and was never challenged as he won the Support Main Event. David Lynch finished second, Michael Mattocks was third, Billy Lyons was fourth, and Randy Skinner was fifth.
The Support B Main Event had some wild and exciting action with lots passing.
Howard Larson quickly established a lead at the start while there was a
serious battle being waged behind him. Eventually, John Stunkard emerged and
challenged Larson for the lead. Stunkard made his move in the last corner
and was able to get a narrow victory over Larson.
Support B Main
249 - John Stunkard 20
168 - Howard Larson 10
125 - Johnny Lupo 20
135 - Kerry Connor 20
148 - Chris Metoyer 10 (penalty line) (fell)
160 - Jeremy Toepfer 10 (fell)
197 - Greg Starcevic
131 - David Lynch
122 - Mike Mattocks
321 - Billy Lyons
383 - Randy Skinner
Preliminary Round Scoring 1 2 3 T
3 - Gary Hicks 4 3 4 11
4 - Josh Larsen 3 2 3 8
6 - Shawn McConnell 4 3 3 11
8 - Gary Ackroyd 3 2 2 7
11 - Bobby Schwartz 3 4 3 10
12 - Randy DiFrancesco 2 4 2 8
14 - Eddie Castro 1 2 4 7
15 - Dukie Ermolenko 3 3 4 10
19 - Richard Jones 2 0 Fx 2
23 - Robbie Sauer 0 R F 0
36 - Ryan Fisher 4 4 2 10
43 - Charlie Venegas 4 4 4 12
47 - Johnny Walker 1 1 0 2
56 - Jim Estes E 2 1 3
57 - Brian Thompson 1 0 0 1
119 - Brad Sauer F 0 3 3
166 - Andy Northrup 2 3 2 7
189 - Danny Perkins 2 1 1 4
216 - Kitt Nay 1 1 1 3
223 - Mark Adams E 1 1 2
1: McConnell, Ermolenko, Perkins, Thompson, Estes (engine failure)
2: Venegas, Larsen, Northrup, Walker, Adams (engine failure)
3: Hicks, Ackroyd, Jones, Castro (penalty line) (fell), B.Sauer (fell)
4: Fisher, Schwartz, DiFrancesco, Nay, R.Sauer
8: Fisher, Ermolenko, Castro, Perkins, Jones
9: Schwartz, McConnell, Larsen, Adams, Thompson
10: Venegas, Hicks, Estes, Walker, B.Sauer (fell, remounted)
11: DiFrancesco, Northrup, Ackroyd (penalty line), Nay, R.Sauer (retired)
15: Hicks, Larsen, DiFrancesco, Adams (fell, remounted), R.Sauer (fell)
16: Ermolenko, B.Sauer, Northrup (penalty line), Estes (penalty line), Jones
17: Castro, McConnell, Fisher, Perkins, Thompson
18: Venegas, Schwartz, Ackroyd, Nay, Walker
Runoff: Castro, Ackroyd, Northrup
Semi #1: Hicks, McConnell, Fisher, Ackroyd, Larsen
Semi #2: Venegas, Schwartz, Ermolenko, DiFrancesco, Castro
Last Chance: DiFrancesco, Fisher, Ermolenko, Ackroyd
Dan Nay Main Event
11 - Bobby Schwartz
3 - Gary Hicks
43 - Charlie Venegas
6 - Shawn McConnell
12 - Randy DiFrancesco