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

36th Season Opener
May 1, 2004 - Costa Mesa
By: Ryan Evans

Bobby "Boogaloo" Schwartz

Bobby "Boogaloo" Schwartz officially began his thirty-first season racing speedway by winning the Scratch Main in the 2004 Season Opener at Costa Mesa.

Schwartz started from gate five and exploded into the lead entering turn one and held a slight lead over National Champion Scott Brant down the back straight. Brant put the pressure on Schwartz for two laps before the forty-seven year old former World Pairs Champion was able to create a little breathing room and held on for the win. Brant had to settle for second, Shawn McConnell finished third, Chris Manchester was fourth, and Charlie Venegas was credited with fifth.

Buck Blair began the Handicap Main at the 10 yard line and led the eight-man field on the first lap. On lap two, second place rider Chris Kerr lifted exiting turn two and collided with the leader, which knocked both riders to the ground. Blair was down for several minutes before being helped off the track. Kerr would have to begin the restart from the penalty line.

Shaun Harmatiuk began the restart at the front with Andy Northrup in hot pursuit. Despite his best effort, Northrup couldn't close the gap between Harmatiuk and himself. After five laps Harmatiuk still held a comfortable advantage, but Kerr fell coming out of turn four and brought out the red flag. The race was declared over and Harmatiuk was credited with the victory. Northrup was second, Brant finished third, Manchester was fourth, and Randy DiFrancesco finished fifth.

Doug Benjamin jumped into the lead at the beginning of the Support Main Event and held a sizable lead for two laps. Steve Murray cut into the lead enough on the third lap to make the race interesting. Benjamin led into the final corner but went wide in turn four. Murray won the drag race to the checkered flag by inches to claim the victory. Last week's winner, Nate Perkins, was third, J.T. Mabry finished fourth, and Scott Tidwell was fifth.

The Support B Main Event had two restarts and was marred by a scary crash involving newcomer David Goyette. Goyette hit the wall in turn two very hard and had to be transported to the hospital. Goyette suffered a broken L2 vertebrae and will miss the rest of the season but has declared his intention to get back on a speedway bike again.

DeWayne Stark led the third try for a lap before Mark Baldwin passed him entering turn three. Baldwin lengthened his lead with each lap and was first to the checkered flag. Rohn Zellner finished second, Mike Boyle was third, Stark finished fourth, Goyette was fifth, and Sam Soltz was credited with sixth.

In youth racing, Ricky Wells powered his two-stroke to victory over Jason Ramirez and Skyler Greyson in First Division. In Second Division, Ricky Valdez was victorious over Nathan Galvin, Joey Holt, and Gino Manzares.

Saturday night was the official beginning of the 36th season of speedway at the world famous bullring oval at the Orange County Fairgrounds. The next meeting is Harley Night scheduled for May 22. In addition to speedway racing there will be street-legal Harley races.


PW 50s Race 1
  7 - Rocco Scopellite
 22 - Josh Melanson
 99 - Nikki Neumann
  9 - Allison Reames
  7a - Sean McDonald

PW 50s Race 2
 51 - Tyler Rosa
  8 - Brayden Galvin
178 - Eloy Medellin
 38 - Lauren Hammond
  7 - Jaysen March

Support B Consolation (scratch)
181 - Michael Novratil
237 - Tommy Kistler
193 - Billy Swaim
223 - Fred Schmitthammer

Support B Consolation
176 - Carl Gazafy           	20
102 - Jim Lavender          	10
185 - Keith Mullally         	20
213 - Mark Sincavage            10
144 - Tom Hamilton        	20   (fell, remounted)
203 - Robert Avels          	10   (non starter)

Support B Main Event (restarted twice)
115 - Mark Baldwin         	20
163 - Rohn Zellner          	20
198 - Mike Boyle            	20
244 - DeWayne Stark             10
204 - David Goyette        	10   (fell, injured)
222 - Sam Soltz       	        10   (fell, excluded)

Support Consolation
145 - Dario Galvin
106 - Robert Fiesler
178 - Eloy Medellin
100 - Phil Harmatiuk

Support Consolation
240 - Hideaki Ota
248 - Brian Starr
165 - Randy Kreps
228 - Shane Kump    (fell)

Support Last Chance
389 - Nate Perkins
249 - John Stunkard
117 - Billy Braden
194 - Tony Bracy      (non starter)

Support Main Event
214 - Steve Murray
128 - Doug Benjamin
389 - Nate Perkins
 93n - J.T. Mabry
118 - Scott Tidwell

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

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

Handicap Main Event (restarted)
139 - Shaun Harmatiuk         	20
166 - Andy Northrup        	30
  1 - Scott Brant       	50
130 - Chris Manchester         	50
 12 - Randy DiFrancesco       	30
 24 - Bobby Krips           	30
 27n - Chris Kerr       	20
 39 - Buck Blair        	10

Last Chance
  6 - Shawn McConnell
 14 - Eddie Castro
  2n - Alan Christian
 27n - Chris Kerr

Scratch Main Event
 11 - Bobby Schwartz
  1 - Scott Brant
  6 - Shawn McConnell
130 - Chris Manchester   (fell)
 43 - Charlie Venegas    (fell)
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