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2003 Costa Mesa Speedway
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Costa Mesa Speedway
Orange County Fairgrounds
Costa Mesa, California

OC Harley/Buell Motorcycle Blowout
Costa Mesa Speedway
May 17, 2003
From Ryan Evans 2001 Mike Faria

Former National Champion "Flyin" Mike Faria took home the Scratch Main Event in front of a large crowd on Harley Night at Costa Mesa on Saturday.

Faria lined up in gate one and left the line with last week's winner, Bobby Schwartz, and the entered turn one together. They were still side-by-side as they exited turn two, but Faria's inside line was the place to be as Schwartz couldn't get any grip on the outside. Faria surged into the lead and Schwartz was left to try to get back onto the inside line. Scott Brant passed Schwartz for second and set his sights on Faria. Faria wasn't going to be caught as he pulled away for the win. Brant finished second, Schwartz was third, Randy DiFrancesco was fourth, and Dukie Ermolenko was fifth. Faria's win made it two consecutive weeks that a 46 year old rider won the Scratch Main.

The Handicap Main was a back-yardage affair with five riders lined up on the 40 yard line and three on the 50. The lineup was reduced by one as Josh Larsen, returning from his stint with the Belle Vue Aces in Britain, was excluded for exceeding the two minute limit. The mad dash to turn one was won by Ermolenko who was followed by DiFrancesco. DiFrancesco applied the pressure on Ermolenko before Ermolenko parked slightly in turn four on the fifth lap. This caused DiFrancesco to slide off the groove and allowed Shawn McConnell to get by for second. It also allowed Ermolenko to open up a comfortable lead that he maintained to the checkered flag and his second straight Handicap Main victory. McConnell finished second, Brant passed DiFrancesco at the line for third, and Eddie Castro was fifth.

The Support Main began with Jeff Blaydes and Doug Benjamin entrenched in an inside-outside battle for the lead. At the end of lap one, the inside line used by Blaydes paid off as he secured the lead. Benjamin was then passed by Rudy Laurer who quickly closed on Blaydes. Laurer made it interesting but Blaydes never let him by and took the victory. Benjamin held on to third, Eloy Medellin was fourth, and Paul Hitchcock was fifth.

Kevin Templeton jumped into the lead at the start of the Support B Main Event. Templeton's lead was short lived, however, as he fell entering turn three. The rest of the field took evasive action and the race continued. Tony Bracy emerged from the pack with the lead and held it for a lap before Rusty Hall passed him. Hall lengthened his lead with each lap and took an easy victory. Bracy was second, Carl Gazafy finished third, Michael Novratil was fourth, Sam Stavros finished fifth, and Templeton was credited with sixth.
There were a couple notable injuries during the evening. Support rider Steve Murray was involved in a crash in a semi that left him on the ground for several minutes. He was carried off on a stretcher and taken to a hospital for what was said to be precautionary reasons.

The other injury involved Larsen who fell entering turn one in his scratch heat and suffered an injury to his left shoulder. He attempted to compete in the Handicap Main, but last-minute adjustments to his bike caused him to exceed the two-minute limit. He made a hospital visit before going home and will have further tests on Monday to determine the extent of the damage.
Harley Night drew they typically large crowd to the world famous track. As has become custom on the twice-annual event, there were races with people competing on their street-legal Harleys. This always whips the crowd in to a frenzy in anticipation of someone crashing their expensive machine.

There is no racing at Costa Mesa next Saturday due to the Memorial Day Holiday, but there will be speedway in Southern California as International Speedway will promote their first race at the Orange Show Speedway in San Bernardino on Friday. The event is part of the annual National Orange Show Fair. Racing returns to Costa Mesa on Saturday, May 31st with the Freestyle Motocross Jumpers.


Support B Consolation
244 - DeWayne Stark           	       20
198 - Mike Boyle            	       20
102 - Jim Lavender          	       10
193 - Billy Swaim           	       10
100 - Phil Harmatiuk       	       20
185 - Keith Mullally         	       10  (fell)

Support B Consolation
212 - Steve Dziadus        	       10
273n - Christian Sherfy                10
169 - Dan Wensloff         	       20
111 - Joe Schultz           	       10  (non starter)

Support B Main Event
164 - Rusty Hall       	       	       20
194 - Tony Bracy            	       20
176 - Carl Gazafy           	       20
181 - Michael Novratil                 20
339 - Sam Stavros          	       10  (fell)
155 - Kevin Templeton                  10  (fell)

Support Last Chance
178 - Eloy Medellin
165 - Randy Kreps
389 - Nate Perkins
214 - Steve Murray   (non starter)

Support Main Event
173 - Jeff Blaydes
182 - Rudy Laurer
128 - Doug Benjamin
178 - Eloy Medellin
114 - Paul Hitchcock      (fell, remounted)

Handicap Main Event
 15 - Dukie Ermolenko          	       40
  6 - Shawn McConnell          	       40
 10 - Scott Brant             	       40
 12 - Randy DiFrancesco                40
 14 - Eddie Castro          	       40
  3 - Gary Hicks        	       50
 11 - Bobby Schwartz           	       50
  2 - Josh Larsen            	       50  (excluded, two minutes)

Last Chance
 15 - Dukie Ermolenko
  3 - Gary Hicks
166 - Andy Northrup
  6 - Shawn McConnell

Scratch Main Event
  9 - Mike Faria
 10 - Scott Brant
 11 - Bobby Schwartz
 12 - Randy DiFrancesco
 15 - Dukie Ermolenko
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