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2002 Arrowhead Motor Speedway Race Results

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Arrowhead Motor Speedway
Orange Show Pavilion
San Bernardino, California

2002 Season Opener
Arrowhead Speedway
April 3, 2002
From Ryan Evans


"Gorgeous" Gary Hicks kicked off the 2002 season in grand style by capturing the Scratch Main Event at Arrowhead Motor Speedway in San Bernardino.

The first attempt to start the main was halted when referee Steve Lucero excluded "Fast" Eddie Castro for touching the tapes. This brought a loud chorus of boos directed toward the former National Champion-turned-referee. On the restart, Hicks was first to turn one after a great start from the second starting position. Polesitter Dukie Ermolenko was right behind Hicks while Bobby "Boogaloo" Schwartz tried the outside. Hicks was able to open a little breathing room at the end of lap one, but Ermolenko was still within striking distance. Hicks never allowed Ermolenko an opportunity as he rode four flawless laps to win the first Scratch Main of 2002. Ermolenko held on to second, Schwartz was third, and Castro was credited with fourth.

The Handicap Main began with "Cowboy" Bobby Krips on the 20 yard line, Castro on the 40, and four riders on the 50. Krips set a fast pace at the front of the field and after the first four laps the field wasn't gaining much ground on him. Entering turn three on the fifth lap, Krips left some room on the inside and Castro blasted through to take the lead. Castro romped off with the victory, Krips was second, Shawn McConnell was third, Hicks was fourth, Scott Brant was fifth, and John DeFries, who had an engine failure earlier in the evening, didn't start and was credited with sixth.

The Juniors put on an excellent performance all three times that they took to the track. National Champion T.J. Fowler made an appearance and he came prepared for battle. In the Junior Main Event, Fowler and Boyle battled behind Ricky Wells before Boyle had problems to leave a two-man battle for the lead. Fowler kept the pressure on Wells, but Wells never succumbed to the pressure and held on for the victory.

Chad Newlee made an impressive showing by easily winning his heat and the Second Division Main Event. Newlee started at the tapes alongside Rick Valdez and Scott Tidwell in the main and made a great start and put together five smooth laps for the victory. Jeff Blaydes got through traffic to finish second, Valdez was third, Marvin Sonnier was fourth, Tidwell was fifth, and Tomasz Hampel was sixth.

Neil Facchini took the lead at the beginning of the Second Division B Main Event and looked as though he would win the main event in his speedway debut. However, entering turn three the third time he fell as Eloy Medellin went to the low line and took the lead. Medellin kept the lead all the way to the checkered flag. Ed Martinez finished second, Doug Benjamin was third, Rohn Zellner was fourth, newcomer Brian Hunt was fifth, and Facchini was sixth.

The 2002 Season Opener marked the beginning of the second season for promoter Charlie Venegas at Arrowhead Motor Speedway. Venegas, operating as Edge Promotions, enjoyed a successful debut campaign in 2001 with crowd support growing each week. The debut season was successful enough to prompt Venegas to add two races to the end of the schedule last year and to begin the season earlier in 2002. Arrowhead has undergone some renovations over the winter, including a new fence around the race track. The Arrowhead season runs every Wednesday night through August 28.


Second Division B Consolation 208 - Geoff Herkner 0 202 - Steve Nelson 0 181 - Michael Novratil 10 198 - Mike Boyle 10 212 - Steve Dziadus 0 350 - Kodiak Calkin 0 (non starter) Second Division B Main Event 178 - Eloy Medellin 10 269 - Ed Martinez 10 128 - Doug Benjamin 10 163 - Rohn Zellner 10 332 - Brian Hunt 0 201 - Neil Facchini 0 (fell) Second Division Consolation 117 - Billy Braden 0 103 - Brent Smith 0 106 - Robert Fiesler 10 126 - Doug Lupo 0 249 - John Stunkard 20 Second Division Consolation 165 - Randy Kreps 10 338 - Dave Delbridge 20 182 - Rudy Laurer 30 158 - Terry McCurdy 30 219 - John O'Neill 20 147 - Winston Williams 10 (fell, excluded) Second Division Main Event 123 - Chad Newlee 0 173 - Jeff Blaydes 30 293 - Rick Valdez 0 52 - Marvin Sonnier 30 118 - Scott Tidwell 0 174 - Tomasz Hampel 10 (fell) Junior Main Event 142 - Ricky Wells 20 1 - T.J. Fowler 50 3 - Justin Boyle 50 8 - Brian Earnhardt 0 (non starter) Handicap Main Event 14 - Eddie Castro 40 223 - Bobby Krips 20 6 - Shawn McConnell 50 3 - Gary Hicks 50 10 - Scott Brant 50 316 - John DeFries 20 (non starter) Scratch Consolation 10 - Scott Brant 6 - Shawn McConnell 12 - Randy DiFrancesco 23 - Mark Adams Scratch Main Event 3 - Gary Hicks 15 - Dukie Ermolenko 11 - Bobby Schwartz 14 - Eddie Castro (tape exclusion)
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