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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 Mesa.Bobby at Passo Robles '97

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 three.

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)

Support Main
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

Race Results
 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 
(fell,  excluded) 
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
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