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

Fan Appreciation Night
June 26, 2004 - Costa Mesa
By: Ryan Evans

Randy DiFrancesco

Randy DiFrancesco passed Buck Blair just before the checkered flag to snatch the Handicap Main Event by inches at Costa Mesa on Saturday.

Blair's 20 yard handicap placed him at the front of the eight-rider field and he led the first lap of the race. DiFrancesco went by on the inside entering turn one, but a crash in the middle of the pack brought out the red flag. Shawn McConnell was deemed the cause of the stoppage and had to start from the penalty line. The red flag was a stroke of good luck for Blair because he started at the front of the staggered restart since DiFrancesco's pass occurred after the previous lap had been completed.

Blair took advantage of his second chance and led comfortably over DiFrancesco for several laps. DiFrancesco's patience paid off as he whittled into Blair's lead over the final two laps. Blair still seemed set for victory, but he exited the final corner a little wide and DiFrancesco blasted up the inside and beat Blair to the finish line. Shaun Harmatiuk finished third, Andy Northrup was fourth, and Charlie Venegas finished fifth.

Charlie Venegas trapped the field from gate five in the Scratch Main, but his speed carried him wide in turn two and he couldn't find enough traction to hold off the challenge of Mike Faria. Faria used the inside line to take the lead as they entered turn three. Venegas faded back and it was Chris Manchester trying to overtake Faria for the lead. Faria wasn't fazed by Manchester's presence and took the win. Manchester was second, Scott Brant was third, McConnell finished fourth, and Venegas was fifth.

The Support Main Event was a wild encounter with two restarts required to complete the race. Nate Perkins jumped into the lead on the first attempt but was taken down by Steve Murray in turn four. Murray was sent to the penalty line on the restart. Hideaki Ota took the lead on the second try, but Perkins ran into, then over the top of Ota in turn two to bring out the red flag again. Ota was down for several minutes, but eventually got up and wanted to restart. Perkins would have to start from the penalty line.

Ota jumped into the lead again and had a comfortable lead the first three laps. Perkins was slicing through the field behind Ota and when he got to second he cut into Ota's lead. Ota led Perkins into the final corner but Perkins got more traction out of turn four and beat Ota to the checkered flag. Eloy Medellin was third, Murray finished fourth, and Brian Starr was fifth.

Sam Soltz led all four laps and was never challenged as he romped to victory in the Support B Main Event. Tony Bracy was second, Michael Novratil finished third, Carl Gazafy was fourth, Rusty Hall finished fifth, and Steve Dziadus was sixth.

Jason Ramirez led from start to finish to win the Youth First Division Main Event ahead of Skyler Greyson, who was making his final appearance as a youth rider, and Ricky Wells. In the Second Division Youth Main Event, Ricky Valdez led all four laps to take the victory. Gino Manzares was second, Joey Holt finished third, Nathan Galvin was fourth, and Austin Novratil finished fifth.

The next event at the world famous bullring will be the 32nd annual Fair Derby on July 9. The event will be held on a Friday to coincide with the opening of the Orange County Fair. Admission to speedway is free with paid admission to the fair. Mike Faria has won the Fair Derby the past two years and six times overall.


50cc Race #1
 69 - James Schmidt
  7a - Jaysen Marsh
  2 - Jack Higginson
  7 - Walter Frome
  9 - Allison Reames

50cc Race #2
 69 - Ronald Schmidt
  7 - Rocco Scopellite
  8 - Brayden Galvin
178 - Eloy Medellin III

Support B Consolation
106 - Robert Fiesler
244 - DeWayne Stark
213 - Mark Sincavage
102 - Jim Lavender
198 - Mike Boyle            (non starter)

Support B Consolation
100 - Phil Harmatiuk
136 - Kim Stevens
169 - Dan Wensloff
223 - Fred Schmitthammer
193 - Billy Swaim     (fell, remounted)

Support B Main Event
222 - Sam Soltz             10
194 - Tony Bracy            20
181 - Michael Novratil      10
176 - Carl Gazafy           10
164 - Rusty Hall            20
212 - Steve Dziadus         20  (fell, remounted)

Support Consolation (restarted)
117 - Billy Braden          10
144 - Tom Hamilton          10
107 - Monte McKeon          10
113 - Mike McCarthy         20  (fell, remounted)
269 - Ed Martinez           20  (fell, remounted)
185 - Keith Mullally        20  (fell)

Support Last Chance
178 - Eloy Medellin
163 - Rohn Zellner
118 - Scott Tidwell
339 - Sam Stavros    (fell)

Support Main Event  (restarted twice)
389 - Nate Perkins    (penalty line)
240 - Hideaki Ota
178 - Eloy Medellin
214 - Steve Murray    (penalty line)
248 - Brian Starr     (fell)

Youth Second Division Main Event
  5 - Ricky Valdez
 21 - Gino Manzares
114 - Joey Holt
134 - Nathan Galvin   (fell)
  8 - Austin Novratil (fell)

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

Handicap Main Event (restarted)
 12 - Randy DiFrancesco       30
 39 - Buck Blair              20
139 - Shaun Harmatiuk         30
166 - Andy Northrup           40
 43 - Charlie Venegas         40
130 - Chris Manchester        50  (fell)
  6 - Shawn McConnell         40  (fell, remounted)
  9 - Mike Faria              50  (retired)

Last Chance
  6 - Shawn McConnell
 11 - Bobby Schwartz
 24 - Bobby Krips
 37 - Denny Scopellite

Scratch Main Event
  9 - Mike Faria
130 - Chris Manchester
  1 - Scott Brant
  6 - Shawn McConnell
 43 - Charlie Venegas     (retired)
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