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Costa Mesa Speedway

Orange County Fairgrounds - Costa Mesa, CA

2001 Olympique of Speedway
Costa Mesa Speedway
June 23, 2001
From Ryan Evans


Gary Hicks took home the 2001 Olympique title in what proved to be another wild main event at Costa Mesa Saturday Night.

Bobby "Boogaloo" Schwartz drew the pole for the main event, while Ryan Fisher had gate two, "Flyin" Mike Faria was in three, Hicks in four, and Chris Manchester was on the outside. The first attempt was over in a hurry as Faria and Hicks became entangled in turn one and went down. The second start was over just as fast as it was Fisher and Faria going down in turn one.

The third attempt made it through turn one, but the race would not go without contact. Schwartz led the field coming out of turn two for the third consecutive time but had Hicks breathing down his neck and there appeared to be contact entering turn three. Hicks took the lead on the front straight, but there was more contact in turn one which led to Schwartz pulling up as he was exiting turn two. Fisher was behind Hicks while Manchester was making a big run around the outside. Hicks held the lead at the end of lap two but had to contend with Manchester on the outside as well as Fisher and Faria on the inside. The order was the same as they took the white flag, but there would be trouble in turn one again. Hicks entered turn one with the lead, but Fisher entered the corner a little high and Faria made his move down low. The two riders made contact forcing both to slide off, and in the process, Fisher took down Manchester who was still riding the outside line. Manchester, upset and hurt, yet unaware that mere circumstance had brought Fisher into him, rehashed past animosity from an incident he and Fisher had earlier in the season by going over and grabbing Fisher before officials separated both riders.

The referee declared Hicks the winner, Manchester was credited with second, Fisher was credited with third, Faria was given fourth, and Schwartz was fifth. The Olympique victory makes Hicks two-for-two in championship events at Costa Mesa this season. He won the Jack Milne Cup on June 9.

The format used was for the event was similar to that of the Olympique held at Wolverhampton. Twenty riders competed in three rounds of five-man heats. First place earned four points, second place earned three points, third place earned two points, fourth place got one point, and fifth place zero points. The first round was strictly scratch racing. First and second round winners were then handicapped 40 yards in the following round, second place finishers were handicapped 30 yards, third place finishers were handicapped 20 yards, fourth place finishers were handicapped 10 yards, and fifth place finishers started at the tapes. The top ten point scorers from the qualifying rounds were then placed in one of two five-man scratch semis. The format from that point reverted to the regular format of scratch racing at Costa Mesa with the top two from each semi transferring to the main event and third and fourth transferring to the Last Chance Qualifier. The format provided some very interesting and exciting races, but no real surprise winners in the qualifying rounds.

Faria had a perfect 12 point score after the preliminary rounds after a couple brilliant outside rides in rounds two and three. Schwartz was second in points with 11 after dropping his only point to Manchester who had started 20 yards in front of him in round three. Hicks, Manchester, and Jim Estes tied with 10 points each. Fisher and Northrup were next with nine points each, and the field for the semis would be rounded out by Randy DiFrancesco, Mark Adams, and Kitt Nay who each had seven.

Manchester won the first semi ahead of Schwartz, while Estes and Northrup would have to try again in the Last Chance. Faria was an easy winner in the second semi with Hicks also earning a berth in the main event. Fisher and DiFrancesco went to the Last Chance. In the Last Chance, Estes was penalized 20 yards for touching the tapes. When the tapes went up, so did DiFrancesco's front wheel leaving Fisher with an easy trap and a runaway victory, although the race was ended prematurely when DiFrancesco spun in turn two forcing Estes to lay his bike down. Fisher was credited with the victory and the last spot in the main, while DiFrancesco had to be assisted off the track with a leg injury.

Bentley Barrett and David Lynch both got great starts in the Support Main, but they went wide in turn two allowing pole-sitter Sean McDougall to take the lead as the field came out of turn two. McDougall rode a flawless four laps to take his second consecutive main event victory. After a race-long battle, Lynch finished second with Barrett finishing third.

The Support B Main Event was raced in a scratch format and the lineup was Rick Valdez on the pole, Southern California's only professional speedway rider and New Zealand native Kim Stevens in gate two, Bryan Baichtal in gate three, and last week's winner, Tom Rossano, on the outside. Rossano's bid for two in a row ended quickly as he fell in turn one, but Valdez made it through turn one and all the way to the finish as he took the win, with Stevens finishing second, Baichtal was third, and Rossano was fourth.


Support B Consolation
310 - K.G. Fairbarn
145 - Wesley Mounts
137 - Jeremiah Reynolds 
172 - Jim Costello       (non starter)

Support B Main Event
293 - Rick Valdez
197 - Kim Stevens
112 - Bryan Baichtal
296 - Tom Rossano        (fell, remounted)

Support Consolation
125 - Johnny Lupo
249 - John Stunkard
338 - Dave Delbridge
165 - Randy Kreps

Support Main Event
243 - Sean McDougall
131 - David Lynch
300 - Bentley Barrett
173 - Jeff Blaydes        (fell)

QUALIFYING SCORES         1          2          3          T
  3 - Gary Hicks          3          4          3          10
  9 - Mike Faria          4          4          4          12
 11 - Bobby Schwartz      4          4          3          11
 12 - Randy DiFrancesco   2          4          1           7
 17 - Robbie Sauer        F          3          2           5
 19 - Richard Jones       1          2          R           3
 21 - Brad Sauer          2          1          2           5
 23 - Mark Adams          3          1          3           7
 36 - Ryan Fisher         4          1          4           9
 56 - Jim Estes           3          3          4          10
 57 - Bryan Thompson      1          2          1           4
130 - Chris Manchester    4          2          4          10
139 - Shaun Harmatiuk     2          0          X           2
166 - Andy Northrup       3          3          3           9
189 - Danny Perkins       1          3          2           6
200 - Gerry Duttweiler    0          1          1           2
223 - Bobby Krips         R          F          0           0
230 - Doug Greyson        1          0          1           2
316 - John DeFries        0          0          0           0

 1: Fisher, Hicks, Nay, Jones, R.Sauer (fell)
 2: Faria, Northrup, B.Sauer, Thompson, Duttweiler
 3: Schwartz, Adams, DiFrancesco, Greyson, DeFries
 4: Manchester, Estes, Harmatiuk, Perkins, Krips (retired)
 8: Hicks (40), Perkins (10), Thompson (10), Adams (30), Harmatiuk (20-penalty line)
 9: Faria (40), Nay (20), Estes (30), Fisher (40), Greyson (10)
10: Schwartz (40), Northrup (30), Jones (10), Duttweiler (0), Krips (0) (fell)
11: DiFrancesco (20), R.Sauer (0), Manchester (40), B.Sauer (20), DeFries (0)
17: Faria (40), Hicks (40), R.Sauer (30), Duttweiler (10), Jones (20) (retired)
18: Manchester (20), Schwartz (40), B.Sauer (10), Thompson (20), DeFries (0)
19: Fisher (10), Adams (10), Perkins (30), Greyson (0), Harmatiuk (0) (excluded)
20: Estes (20), Northrup (30), Nay (30), DiFrancesco (40), Krips (0)
Semi #1: Manchester, Schwartz, Estes, Northrup, Nay (fell)
Semi #2: Faria, Hicks, Fisher, DiFrancesco, Adams
Last Chance: Fisher, Northrup, Estes (tape penalty), DiFrancesco (fell, excluded)

Olympique Main Event (restarted twice)
  3 - Gary Hicks
130 - Chris Manchester
 36 - Ryan Fisher
  9 - Mike Faria
 11 - Bobby Schwartz


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