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2004 Costa Mesa Speedway
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Costa Mesa Speedway
Orange County Fairgrounds
Costa Mesa, California

Spring Classic
April 24, 2004 - Costa Mesa
By: Ryan Evans

National Champion Chris Manchester

Former National Champion Chris Manchester won the Spring Classic in dramatic fashion Saturday at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa.

Manchester entered the main event undefeated and had first choice of starting position and selected gate two. Bobby "Boogaloo" Schwartz picked second and he chose the pole. Defending National Champion Scott Brant then picked gate five, Randy DiFrancesco picked gate three, which left Charlie Venegas with gate four.

Venegas went into the tapes on the first attempt and was sent to the penalty line. On the restart it was Schwartz who jumped into the lead with Manchester and Brant battling behind him for second. Manchester gained control of second and went after Schwartz. Manchester was planted on the leader's back tire when Schwartz drifted off the inside line exiting turn two. This allowed Manchester to put a wheel underneath the former World Pairs Champion. As they took the white flag Manchester went by on the inside and secured the lead entering turn one and led all the way to the checkered flag. Schwartz had to settle for second, Brant finished third, Venegas was fourth, and DiFrancesco finished fifth.

The Spring Classic was an all-scratch format with three rounds of four-man scratch heats that were used to qualify ten riders into two five-man semis. The top two finishers in each semi qualified for the main event with third and fourth transferring to the Last Chance. The winner of the Last Chance completed the field for the five-man main event.

Round one began with "Cowboy" Bobby Krips scoring an impressive win over Shawn McConnell. Brant was dominant in race two with a victory over DiFrancesco. "Fast" Eddie Castro took race three ahead of Venegas. Manchester closed out the first round with a victory over Schwartz.

Forty-seven year old Schwartz earned his first win of the night by beating McConnell to start round two. Brant made it two for two by beating Shaun Harmatiuk in race 10. DiFrancesco was victorious over Krips in the next race. Manchester kept pace with Brant by defeating Castro to end the round.
Castro began the final round with a win. Schwartz handed Brant his first defeat of the night in race 16. Venegas was an easy winner in race 17. Manchester won his third consecutive race in the final heat and the only undefeated rider.

Schwartz exploded from gate five in the first semi and trapped the field in turn one. He then held off all of Brant's challenges to earn the win and a spot in the main event along with Brant. Manchester made it four in a row by winning the second semi and DiFrancesco followed him into the main event by keeping Castro at bay. Venegas won the Last Chance to book the final spot in the main.

Nate Perkins won his heat, his semi, and the Support Main Event to begin his 2004 season in impressive fashion. John Stunkard finished second, Steve Murray was third, 16 year old Dario Galvin was fourth, and Rudy Laurer was fifth.

Brian Starr made an auspicious debut at Costa Mesa by winning his heat race and the Support B Main Event. Carl Gazafy was second, Mike Boyle finished third, DeWayne Stark was fourth, Rohn Zellner finished fifth, and Tommy Kistler was sixth.

Jason Ramirez scored an impressive victory in the First Division Youth Main Event. Ricky Wells finished second, Skyler Greyson was third, and Tamara Krips finished fourth. In the Second Division Youth Main, Gino Manzares won in his Costa Mesa debut. Nathan Galvin was second, Joey Holt finished third, and Ricky Valdez was fourth.

The Spring Classic was originally scheduled for April 17, but was postponed due to rain. Costa Mesaofficially begins its 36th season at the world famous oval on May 1 with the 2004 Season Opener.

Support B Consolation (restarted)
107 - Monte McKeon            	       10
144 - Tom Hamilton        	       20
212 - Steve Dziadus        	       20
169 - Dan Wensloff         	       10
193 - Billy Swaim           	       10
185 - Keith Mullally         	       20  (fell)

Support B Main Event (restarted twice)
248 - Brian Starr       	       10
176 - Carl Gazafy           	       20
198 - Mike Boyle            	       20
244 - DeWayne Stark           	       10
163 - Rohn Zellner          	       20
237 - Tommy Kistler       	       10

Support Consolation
117 - Billy Braden
113 - Mike McCarthy
227 - Mark Robertson
100 - Phil Harmatiuk

Support Last Chance
249 - John Stunkard
 93n - J.T. Mabry
106 - Robert Fiesler
165 - Randy Kreps

Support Main Event
389 - Nate Perkins
249 - John Stunkard
214 - Steve Murray
145 - Dario Galvin
182 - Rudy Laurer     (fell)

Youth Second Division Main Event
 21 - Gino Manzares
134 - Nathan Galvin\
114 - Joey Holt
  5 - Ricky Valdez

Youth First Division Main Event
 66 - Jason Ramirez
142 - Ricky Wells
  2 - Skyler Greyson
223 - Tamara Krips

First Division Scoring          1    2    3          T
  1 - Scott Brant       	3    3    2          8
  6 - Shawn McConnell          	2    2    1          5
 11 - Bobby Schwartz           	2    3    3          8
 12 - Randy DiFrancesco       	2    3    2          7
 14 - Eddie Castro              3    2    3          8
 18 - Justin Boyle           	1    1    0          2
 23n - Mark Carrillo         	1    1    2          4
 24 - Bobby Krips           	3    2    2          7
 43 - Charlie Venegas           2    1    3          6
 89 - Danny Perkins        	0    1    1          1
112n - Devin Defreece           1    0    1          2
130 - Chris Manchester          3    3    3          9
139 - Shaun Harmatiuk           1    2    1          4
230 - Doug Greyson        	0    0    0          0
239 - Buck Blair       	        F    0    0          0
293 - Rick Valdez           	0    1    0          1

Race Results
 1: Krips, McConnell, Carrillo, Greyson (fell, remounted)
 2: Brant, DiFrancesco, Boyle, Valdez (fell, remounted)
 3: Castro, Venegas, Defreece, Blair
 4: Manchester, Schwartz, Harmatiuk, Perkins
 9: Schwartz, McConnell, Boyle, Defreece
10: Brant, Harmatiuk, Carrillo, Blair
11: DiFrancesco, Krips, Venegas, Perkins
12: Manchester, Castro, Valdez, Greyson (fell, remounted)
15: Castro, Krips, McConnell, Blair
16: Schwartz, Brant, Perkins, Valdez
17: Venegas, Carrillo, Defreece, Greyson
18: Manchester, DiFrancesco, Harmatiuk, Boyle
Semi #1: Schwartz, Brant, Venegas, Carrillo, Krips (fell)
Semi #2: Manchester, DiFrancesco, Castro, McConnell
Last Chance: Venegas, McConnell, Carrillo, Castro (two minutes)

Scratch Main Event
130 - Chris Manchester
 11 - Bobby Schwartz
  1 - Scott Brant
 43 - Charlie Venegas
 12 - Randy DiFrancesco
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