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Costa Mesa Speedway
Orange County Fairgrounds - Costa Mesa, CA

2000 Costa Mesa
Costa Mesa Speedway
September 16, 2000
From Ryan Evans

Ryan Fisher takes the Handicap, and Josh Larsen wins the Main!

Josh Larsen persevered through several restarts to run away with his first Scratch Main victory of the season at Costa Mesa.

The Scratch Main seemed as though it would never get underway after several restarts were necessary due to gate malfunctions and riders touching the tapes. When everything finally got sorted out, Charlie Venegas and Randy DiFrancesco were lined up on the penalty line. At the tapes it was Larsen on the pole, Dukie Ermolenko in three, and Ryan Fisher on the outside. Larsen and Fisher started evenly with Larsen getting a slight advantage in turn one. Fisher tried to squeeze in from the outside but found Larsen already planted on the pole. A slight nudge brushed Fisher to the outside and allowed Ermolenko to grab second place. Venegas tried to get past Fisher as well, but the 17 year old was able to hold third as he entered turn three. Ermolenko challenged Larsen on the first lap, but the former World Finalist steadily stretched his lead all the way to the checkered flag. Ermolenko held off Fisher for second, while Venegas finished fourth, and DiFrancesco finished fifth.

Larsen's victory served as a warning shot that he will be a factor at the National Championships and that he is looking to take home his first National Title. Helping Larsen in the pits was long-time friend and former Junior National Champion Jessee Finch. There has been a positive correlation in the past connecting Finch's presence with Larsen's success.

Brad Sauer led the 8-man Handicap Main into turn one, but he was immediately pressured by Gary Ackroyd. Sauer held off Ackroyd the first lap, but on lap two the veteran was able to get by with Ryan Fisher in tow. Ackroyd, who had to compete on a borrowed bike, did a superb job holding off Fisher until lap five, when he drifted off the groove in turn two and Fisher pounced on the opportunity. Fisher wouldn't be able to breathe easy as he had Charlie Venegas on his back tire, but he was up to the challenge and led Venegas all the way to the finish for his second Handicap Main event win of 2000. Dukie Ermolenko finished third, Bart Bast, down from Northern California, was fourth, and Bobby Schwartz was fifth.

David Lynch got a great start in the Support Main and took the lead followed by Randy Skinner. Lynch maintained the lead but Skinner stayed within striking distance. On the last lap Lynch was destined for his fourth Support Main Event victory until he reached the final corner. Lynch drifted wide exiting turn four and Skinner made him pay for his mistake and stole a victory. The obviously disappointed Lynch was second, Mark Hitchcock was third, Sean McDougall was fourth, and Sean Larned was fifth.

In the Support B Main, Johnny Lupo took the lead at the start and never looked back and took the win over Howard Larson and Monte McKeon.

The junior field consisted of six riders as J.T. Mabry came from Northern California to compete with the local juniors. Krystal Cramer got a standing ovation for her victory in the first junior heat over Justin Boyle and Mabry. In the second heat it was all Justin Boyle as he cruised to an easy win. Mabry finished second, Cramer was third, Miles Calvin was fourth, Ricky Wells was fifth, and Skyler Greyson was sixth.


Support B Main
125 - Johnny Lupo       0
168 - Howard Larson     0
107 - Monte McKeon     10
196 - Rod Lenz          0
173n - Jeff Blaydes     0   (fell)
269 - Ed Martinez       0   (fell)

Support Main (scratch)
383 - Randy Skinner
131 - David Lynch
177 - Mark Hitchcock
243 - Sean McDougall    (penalty line)
226 - Sean Larned

Juniors - Race #1
 27 - Krystal Cramer
198 - Justin Boyle
 93n - J.T. Mabry
142 - Ricky Wells
 99 - Miles Calvin  
  2 - Skyler Greyson        (engine failure)

Juniors - Race #2
198 - Justin Boyle
 93n - J.T. Mabry
 27 - Krystal Cramer
 99 - Miles Calvin
142 - Ricky Wells
  2 - Skyler Greyson

Handicap Main
 36 - Ryan Fisher           40
 43 - Charlie Venegas       50
 15 - Dukie Ermolenko       50
 87n - Bart Bast            40
 11 - Bobby Schwartz        50
  8 - Gary Ackroyd          30
119 - Brad Sauer            10
 14 - Eddie Castro          40

Scratch Main
  4 - Josh Larsen
 15 - Dukie Ermolenko
 36 - Ryan Fisher
 43 - Charlie Venegas   (penalty line)
 12 - Randy DiFrancesco (penalty line)
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