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2001 West Coast Results Page

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Costa Mesa Speedway

Orange County Fairgrounds - Costa Mesa, CA

2001 Season Opener
Costa Mesa Speedway
April 21, 2001
From Ryan Evans


Three-time former U.S. National Champion "Flyin'" Mike Faria captured the Scratch Main and former National Champion Chris Manchester ran away with the Handicap Main as Costa Mesa kicked off its 33rd consecutive season of speedway racing Saturday Night.

Faria, starting from the pole, and Chris Manchester, in gate five, left the line together and entered turn one simultaneously. Faria used the inside line to his advantage and exited turn two with the lead. Manchester wouldn't let Faria off the hook easily, however, as he remained on his back tire through lap one. Hicks made it a three-man battle as he gave chase on the inside, while Manchester continued to ride the wide line. Hicks went under Manchester and focused his efforts on protecting second place. This allowed Faria a little breathing room and the victory. Hicks maintained second place and Ryan Fisher passed Manchester in the last corner to steal third, with Manchester finishing fourth, and Bart Bast in fifth.

A very top-heavy Handicap Main promised a logjam in turn one as five riders lined up on the 40 yard line and three more were on the 50. Manchester led the pack into turn one, but Eddie Castro was the victim of the inevitable as he went down and forced Josh Larsen to take evasive action which left him far off the pace. The race was allowed to continue much to Larsen's dismay. Hicks was the beneficiary of the turn one mishap as it allowed him to get into second on the first lap, but would not be able to challenge Manchester, who steadily pulled away for the easy victory. Faria was running third and narrowly missed Hicks on the fourth lap, then pulled off the track which allowed Fisher to assume third place, but he never got close to Hicks. Dukie Ermolenko finished fourth, and Bobby Schwartz was fifth.

Opening Night also brought the return of the five-rider challenge races to Costa Mesa. The challenge races are one-lap elimination races in which the last place rider each time is eliminated until there are two riders left. After each race the competitors move out one gate position with the rider previously on the outside moving to the pole. The final two competitors compete in a two-lap match race to determine the winner. 2001 Opening Night

The five competitors were Faria, Castro, Ermolenko, Bast, and Manchester. Ermolenko was eliminated first, but the excitement occurred after the race as Castro, who was racing Ermolenko to the line collected Bast in turn one. Both riders were able to continue. Castro was eliminated next, followed by Faria. This left Manchester and Bast in the final two-lap battle. They entered two one together, but Manchester used the cushion on the outside to drive around Bast down the back straight. Manchester then held him off to take the win.

Junior National Champion Bryan Yarrow started 2001 with a bang by getting the victory in the Support Main. Yarrow took the lead from gate two and held off David Lynch the entire race. Gerry Duttweiler finished third, Paul Hitchcock was fourth, and Shaun Harmatiuk was fifth. The victory made Yarrow two-for-two at Costa Mesa as he won the Support Main in his professional debut at Costa Mesa last September.

Bobby Krips made an auspicious speedway debut by easily winning his heat and the Support B main event. Philip Williams finished second, Robert Fiesler was third in his debut, Mike Boyle was fourth, Scott Tidwell was fifth, and Ed Martinez was sixth.

The racing was excellent throughout the evening as there was a lot of passing, especially on the outside. The track was a little deeper than usual and Friday's showers allowed the track to hold up well throughout the evening.


Support B Consolation
293 - Rick Valdez           10
178 - Eloy Medellin       20
296 - Tom Rossano        10
123 - Chad Newlee      20   (fell)
173 - Jeff Blaydes     20  (fell)
117 - Billy Braden       10  (fell)

Support B Main
223 - Bobby Krips        10
239 - Philip Williams  20
106 - Robert Fiesler     10
198 - Mike Boyle       20
118 - Scott Tidwell      10
269 - Ed Martinez      20

Support Consolation
249 - John Stunkard
174 - Tomasz Hampel
103 - Brent Smith
161 - Hector Quevedo
165 - Randy Kreps
183 - Philip Bast

Support Main
254 - Bryan Yarrow
131 - David Lynch
200 - Gerry Duttweiler
114 - Paul Hitchcock
139 - Shaun Harmatiuk   (fell)

130 - Chris Manchester
87 - Bart Bast
 9 - Mike Faria 
14 - Eddie Castro 
15 - Dukie Ermolenko

Handicap Main
130 - Chris Manchester   40
 3 - Gary Hicks          50 
36 - Ryan Fisher        40 
15 - Dukie Ermolenko     40 
11 - Bobby Schwartz      40 
 4 - Josh Larsen         50 
 9 - Mike Faria          50  (retired) 
14 - Eddie Castro        40

Scratch Main 
 9 - Mike Faria 
 3 - Gary Hicks 
36 - Ryan Fisher
130 - Chris Manchester 
87 - Bart Bast
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