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

Freestyle Jumpers
June 12, 2004 - Costa Mesa
By: Bob Higginson and Steve Graham

Scott Brant

A capacity crowd was treated to a night of beautiful weather, fantastic racing on the best prepared track I have seen in a while, and the Freestyle Jump show.

In the first Handicap race of round one, Eddie Castro defeated Justin Boyle and Mike Faria. Bobby Krips was having clutch problems and started his bike from the right foot peg when the tapes went up. He retired from the heat. As would be the case for the whole night, riders like Castro, Charlie Venegas, and Scott Brant would use the outside cushion to their advantage as the quick way around the track.

The second race of the round featured current Champion Scott Brant taking the win after starting on the 50 yard line. Brant used the outside line to pass the majority of the riders, then switched down to the pole and taking the lead on lap two. His Kelly Dunagan Racing sponsored bike then pulled away from the field and took a very strong win. In all the excitment, (a.k.a. splashed coke) my notes got a little damp. I believe Randy DiFrancesoco took second and Bobby "Boogaloo" Schwartz took third. The third had Shaun Harmatiuk take a soilid win over the pressure of Chris Manchester and Andy Northrup. Manchester was another rider using the outside line very effectively. Brad Oxley should be proud of his crew!

Handicap semis had Venegas win, followed by Castro. The other semi was won by Brant, followed by the DiFrancesco, Manchester, and back straight fan favorite Danny Perkins. Shawn McConnell retired and would have to go to the Last Chance race, which was won by Manchester.

In the Handicap Main, Boyle showed some muscle and took the lead from Perkins on the third of eight laps. I was expecting to see either DiFrancesco or Brant come around him, but this was not to happen. The remainder finished in this order, Faria, Castro, Manchester, Venegas,and Perkins.

Scratch racing was great tonight with fine passing taking place. The first race had Schwartz explode from the tapes to beat Faria, Boyle, and Northrup. The second race had Brant defeating McConnell, Krips and Perkins. The third had Manchester take a runaway victory over Castro, young J.T. Mabry, and Buck Blair. Manchester looked extreamly fast (as always) and looked like the rider to beat in the final. The last heat was won by Venegas in similar fashion over the DiFrancesco, the fast-improving Denny Scopellite, and Harmatiuk, who seemed to struggle in this round.

The scratch semis had Brant taking the win, followed by Castro, Schwartz and DiFrancesco. Manchester moved on the tapes, was penalized, and after the restart he was not a factor in the race and would go to the Last Chance race. The other semi was probably the race of the evening. Faria riding the pole and Venegas on the outside spent four laps locked together seperated by inches everytime they crossed the finish line. In a "Classic" speedway battle, Venegas took the well earned victory to the delight of the crowd. Venegas shows tremendous speed, grace, and skill everytime he rides. Costa Mesa Speedway fans are so happy your back! The Last Chance was won by Manchester over Schwartz.

In the final Manchester took an early lead, and appeared to be on his way to victory while flying around on the outside. Brant was right there too, applying pressure to Manchester and looking for a chance to pass. It was quite an exciting heat....then in turn four of the last lap Manchester got a little wide, smacked the wall, did a little "tank slapper" (I think he even lost his chain) and Brant was given the victory in a true "photo finish". The two riders then hopped on Brant's bike for a victory lap while the standing-room-only crowd gave them the much-deserved applause/hoops and hollers. It was a fantastic meeting!!

Support B Main Event
136 - Kim Stevens
164 - Rusty Hall
198 - Mike Boyle

Support Main Event
214 - Steve Murray
240 - Hideaki Ota
389 - Nate Perkins
118 - Scott Tidwell
249 - John Stunkard

Handicap Main Event
 18 - Justin Boyle
 12 - Randy DiFrancesco
  1 - Scott Brant
  9 - Mike Faria
 14 - Eddie Castro
130 - Chris Manchester
 43 - Charlie Venegas
 89 - Danny Perkins

Scratch Main Event
  1 - Scott Brant
130 - Chris Manchester
  9 - Mike Faria
 14 - Eddie Castro
 43 - Charlie Venegas
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