Ryan Evans Report #4 on the 2000 Season
Ryan Evans' First Report on the 2000 Season
Ryan Evans' Second Report on the 2000 Season
Ryan Evans' Third Report on the 2000 Season
Ryan Evans' Fourth Report on the 2000 Season
The biggest news is that Charlie Venegas and Dukie Ermolenko will be
promoting a speedway race at the National Orange Show Fairgrounds in San
Bernardino on Thursday, July 27. I will post more about this later.
I was able to take in both Auburn and Costa Mesa this week and both provided
some excellent racing.
Greg Hancock was his splendid self while showing the Auburn fans why he is a
former World Champion and provided a preview of the U.S. National
Championships on September 29. Greg flew home today (Monday) in time to make
his Swedish Elite League match for his team, Rospiggarna.
Mike Faria became the newest member of the Seco Sparks team a couple weeks
back. He is teamed with Billy "The Kid" Janniro to form a solid duo. Seco
sponsored Robert Curry last year.
I don't recall this being mentioned in the past, but it was pointed out to me
that NorCal D-2 rider Vince Bertolucci competes with one leg. Many of us
SoCal hardcores will recall a First Division rider in the early 80's by the
name of David DeTemple who competed with one leg as well.
As I mentioned, I enjoyed the racing Friday, but I do have one suggestion.
There are still 5-man Handicap Heats which is really a pet peeve of mine. If
the quality of the 30-yard D-2 riders was down I would understand, but there
were quite a few D-2 riders who could hold their own in the front of D-1 and
make it a bit more challenging for the back marker riders. Currently, if two
riders are on the 50 then the first to turn one only has to pass one more
rider to transfer. Riders like Matt King (who was programed into D-1 and D-2
Friday), Dave Booth, Marvin Sonnier, George Snodgrass, and Ivan Sevart have
all made D-1 appearances (according to the results), and from what I saw,
they could handle D-1. Granted, I didn't personally see them ride D-1, and
sometimes riders don't respond well to being put there, but their D-2
performances that I saw warrant D-1 consideration. Tom Adams has improved a
lot from when I saw him last year, and of course Eric Carrillo and Chris Kerr will be ready in the not too distant future.
In addition to Dukie Ermolenko, Randy DiFrancesco, and Mark Adams, who all
appeared in the results, D-3/Support B rider Randy Kreps also traveled to
Auburn. Unfortunately, Kreps crashed in turn 3 and couldn't compete in the
restart. He was also a scratch at Costa Mesa, let's hope he is OK.
I want to wish Sam Ermolenko a speedy recovery from his injuries he suffered
on Monday night.
Best wishes to Tommy Hedden for a speedy recovery as well.
Another new Junior and second generation racer joined the ranks Friday.
Ricky Felicio made his debut Friday.
Gary Hicks returned to Costa Mesa for the first time since he broke his
collarbone and ribs a couple months back. Hicks raced at Ventura, but
injured his foot and couldn't compete in the 25 Lap Classic.
It was announced on Saturday at Costa Mesa that
John VanderMuelen and his
wife became parents last week.
My visits to both tracks enabled me to see two former speedway greats. 1983
World Long Track Champion and 1982 U.S. National Champion Shawn Moran was at
Auburn taking in the races. He has moved from Apple Valley up north. On
Saturday, Phil Collins paid a visit to
Costa Mesa to take in the action.
It was also announced on Saturday that a NASCAR executive called Costa Mesa to let them know that Dale Earnhardt Jr. attended the races a while back
(presumably when the series was in Fontana) and thoroughly enjoyed himself.
Apparently, he watched in disguise to avoid any type of frenzy. Little E's
curiosity and subsequent enjoyment can only be a positive. I hope Dukie can
get him on a bike soon!
Southern California has endured a hit to its First Division ranks through
injury, out of town racing, etc.: Josh Larsen, Ryan Fisher, Charlie Cooley, Richard Jones, Mike Mattocks, and Donnie Robinson have all missed time for
different reasons. Their return will add depth to First Division.
Jason Chism returned Saturday night. Jason has been competing in Gene
Romero's West Coast Flat Track Series.
Also returning was Support rider Tim Tucker who had broken both his ankles in
an off-season motocross crash.
Dukie Ermolenko has been holding races on a consistent basis at Maely's Ranch
in Corona. Any rider who is seeking more track time or any newcomers who are
willing to see what they've got should get out there. Dukie switched the
time from morning to mid-afternoon yesterday so contact Dukie if you want to
All the extra dirt that was laid down at Costa Mesa did wonders for the
racing Saturday Night. It provided the fans with inside and outside racing
that will surely bring them back to see more.
Two races at Costa Mesa this week combined with the annual Orange County Fair
will definitely provide our sport with some excellent exposure and provide
the regulars a much-needed extra night to watch speedway.
That's all for now......
Keep it sideways!!!!