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

2003 Warren Russell Cup
Costa Mesa Speedway
September 27, 2003
From Ryan Evans 2003 Scott Brant

Scott Brant capped a perfect night by winning the Warren Russell Cup Main Event in the final event at Costa Mesa before the National Championship.

The main event featured four riders who have been sponsored by Russell with Andy Northrup being the lone rider who hasn't. Brant was first out of the gate and immediately went to the blue groove on the inside line. Northrup came out of turn two behind Brant and tried to catch him. Northrup's effort didn't get him any closer as Brant steadily pulled away and was first to the checkered flag. Northrup earned his fifth second place of the night, Josh Larsen finished third, Gary Hicks was fourth, and Bobby Schwartz finshed fifth.

Three rounds of qualifying heats began with Brant setting the tone for his evening with an easy win. Schwartz was a winner in race two ahead of Northrup. Chris Manchester, in his first Costa Mesa appearance of 2003, adapted quickly to the bullring by winning the next race. Round one came to a close with Eddie Castro getting the win over 17 year old Justin Boyle.

Round two began the same way as round one with Brant taking the win. Bobby Krips scored an upset victory over Shawn McConnell and Schwartz in the next race. Larsen earned his first win of the night by defeating Dukie Ermolenko in race 14. Round two concluded with Randy DiFrancesco beating 1985 National Champion Alan Christian.

Brant made it three for three as he began the final qualifying round with a victory over Ermolenko. DiFrancesco won his second consecutive race by holding off Schwartz in race 20. Shaun Harmatiuk fought off Gary Hicks for four laps to win the next race. Larsen made it two wins in a row to close out the qualifying heats, and then Hicks defeated Harmatiuk in a runoff to get the final spot in the semis.

The first semi was all Larsen as he exploded out of the gate and pulled away for the win with Hicks getting second and also getting to the main. Brant's perfect night continued with his fourth win in semi two while Northrup's second place put him into the main. Schwartz made a great start from gate three in the Last Chance and cruised to the win as well as the final spot in the main event.

The Support Main began with Steve Murray touching the tapes and getting banished to the penalty line. When the tapes finally went up Rick Valdez, Hideaki Ota, and Doug Greyson went three-wide into turn one. Greyson emerged on the back straight with the lead, but Valdez took Ota down in turn three to bring out the red flag. Valdez was penalized for causing the stoppage.

On the restart Ota took the lead and had Greyson breathing down his neck. Greyson stalked the Japanese rider for two laps and hoping for a mistake. That mistake came when Ota went wide into turn three allowing Greyson to go underneath. Greyson never looked back from there and took the win. Billy Braden and Murray also passed Ota and finished second and third, respectively, with Ota finishing fourth and Valdez finishing fifth.

Michael Novratil jumped into the lead at the start of the Support B Main Event and rode four smooth laps to take an easy victory. Phil Harmatiuk was second, Monte McKeon finished third, Kim Stevens was fourth, Jim Lavender finished fifth, and Bryan Baichtal was sixth.
Jason Ramirez led from start to finish to win the Youth First Division Main Event. Dylan Stark was second, Tamara Krips finished third, and Skyler Greyson was credited with fourth. In the Youth Second Division Main Event, it was Ryan Brant winning his first main event ahead of Tyler Odom. Ricky Valdez was third and Cody Brant finished fourth.

Saturday was the final event of Costa Mesa's 2003 regular season. There will be no racing on Saturday, October 4. Racing returns on October 11 with the 35th U.S. National Championship followed by the Fall Classic on November 1.


Support B Consolation
163 - Rohn Zellner      	10
339 - Sam Stavros          	10
176 - Carl Gazafy           	20
244 - DeWayne Stark             10
212 - Steve Dziadus        	10
198 - Mike Boyle            	20

Support B Main Event
181 - Michael Novratil          10
100 - Phil Harmatiuk       	20
107 - Monte McKeon              20
136 - Kim Stevens          	10
102 - Jim Lavender          	10	(fell, remounted)
112 - Bryan Baichtal       	20

Support Consolation
389 - Nate Perkins          	
100 - Phil Harmatiuk
148 - Chris Metoyer  	(fell, remounted)
185 - Keith Mullally    (fell)

Support Last Chance
117 - Billy Braden
249 - John Stunkard
128 - Doug Benjamin
165 - Randy Kreps

Support Main Event (restarted)
230 - Doug Greyson
117 - Billy Braden
214 - Steve Murray   	(tape penalty)
240 - Hideaki Ota
293 - Rick Valdez     	(penalty line) (fell, remounted)

Youth Second Division Main Event
 56 - Ryan Brant
146 - Tyler Odom
  5 - Ricky Valdez
 10 - Cody Brant

Youth First Division Main Event
 66 - Jason Ramirez
 19 - Dylan Stark
223 - Tamara Krips
  2 - Skyler Greyson (fell)

First Division Scoring		1    2	  3	T
  2 - Josh Larsen            	2    4    4    10
  2n - Alan Christian        	3    3    1     7
  3 - Gary Hicks        	1    2    3     6
  6 - Shawn McConnell           3    3    1     7
  8n - Bryan Yarrow         	2    1    2     5
 10 - Scott Brant             	4    4    4    12
 11 - Bobby Schwartz            4    2    3     9
 12 - Randy DiFrancesco         1    4    4     9
 14 - Eddie Castro          	4    1    0     5
 15 - Dukie Ermolenko           2    3    3     8
 18 - Justin Boyle           	3    0    1     4
 23 - Mark Adams           	0    0    2     2
 24 - Bobby Krips           	E    4    F     4
 31 - Kelly Moran            	1    R    1     2
 64 - Paul Colston           	0    2    0     2
 89 - Danny Perkins             2    1    2     5
130 - Chris Manchester          4    2    2     8
139 - Shaun Harmatiuk           1    1    4     6
166 - Andy Northrup        	3    3    3     9

Race Results
 1: Brant, McConnell, Ermolenko (penalty line), Harmatiuk, Krips (engine failure)
 2: Schwartz, Northrup, Larsen, DiFrancesco, Adams
 3: Manchester, Christian, Yarrow, Hicks, Colston
 4: Castro, Boyle, Perkins, Moran (retired)
12: Brant, Northrup, Manchester, Castro, Boyle
13: Krips, McConnell, Schwartz, Yarrow, Moran (retired)
14: Larsen, Ermolenko, Hicks, Perkins, Adams
15: DiFrancesco, Christian (penalty line), Colston, Harmatiuk
19: Brant, Ermolenko, Yarrow, Christian, Colston
20: DiFrancesco, Schwartz, Perkins, Boyle, Castro
21: Harmatiuk, Hicks, Manchester, McConnell, Krips (fell)
22: Larsen, Northrup, Adams, Moran (retired)
Runoff: Hicks, Harmatiuk
Semi #1: Larsen, Hicks, DiFrancesco, Ermolenko, Manchester
Semi #2: Brant, Northrup, Christian, Schwartz, McConnell
Last Chance: Schwartz, DiFrancesco, Christian, Ermolenko

Warren Russell Cup Main Event
 10 - Scott Brant
166 - Andy Northrup
  2 - Josh Larsen
  3 - Gary Hicks
 11 - Bobby Schwartz
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