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

Fall Classic
November 6, 2004 - Costa Mesa
By: Ryan Evans

2004 Chris Manchester

Chris Manchester and Randy DiFrancesco finished their seasons with main event victories at the Costa Mesa's annual season-ending Fall Classic.

In the Scratch Main, former National Champion Charlie "The Edge" Venegas, lined up in the outside starting position, got the best start and used the outside line to get the lead on the back straight. Venegas carried too much speed into turn three and drifted wide as he exited turn four. Manchester was on the inside line and blasted by on the inside. Venegas tried to regain the lead in turn one, but Manchester had the preferred inside line. Mike Faria then closed in on Manchester and made his own bid for the lead. On the final lap, the riders were within inches of each other, but Manchester held on for the win. Faria had to settle for second, Shawn McConnell was third, Chris Kerr finished fourth in his first Costa Mesa Scratch Main, and Venegas was fifth.

Nate Perkins led the eight-rider Handicap Main into turn one from the 10 yard line, but Buck Blair made a bold move on the outside to try to overtake him. Perkins survived the initial challenge and held Blair at bay for five laps. Perkins drifted wide on the back straight on the sixth lap and Blair took over the lead. DiFrancesco closed in on Blair over the final two laps and coming off the final corner he had the Colorado native lined up for an inside move. The two battled to the checkered flag with DiFrancesco winning by the narrowest of margins over Blair. Manchester finished third, Andy Northrup was fourth, and Bobby Schwartz finished fifth.

The first attempt to complete the Support Main ended when Rick Valdez went down. Former Support Points Champion John Stunkard left the line first on the restart. Jeff Blaydes had his hopes of a victory end when he slid off in the first corner. Stunkard held the lead over Brian Starr for two laps, but Mike McCarthy went down in turn two and Valdez, with nowhere to go, hit the prone rider and his bike threw him into his backside. Valdez was down for a couple minutes, but eventually left the track unassisted. The race was declared complete and the victory was awarded to Stunkard. Starr was credited with second, Valdez was third, Blaydes was fourth, and McCarthy finished fifth.

Jim Lavender was the initial leader of the Support B Main Event, but drifted wide at the end of lap one and allowed Kim Stevens to take the lead. Stevens was never challenged and won easily. Steve Dziadus beat Keith Mullally to the line for second, Mike Boyle was fourth, Lavender finished fifth, and Dan Wensloff was sixth.

The Fall Classic brought an end to the 36th season at the world famous bullring oval. A couple notable attendees of the event were British Champion Joe Screen, Shane Parker, and Ronnie Correy who are all on vacation in Southern California. Costa Mesa's 2005 season will begin with the annual Spring Classic on Saturday, April 30.

Support B Consolation
115 - Mark Baldwin
150 - Damon Barry
343n - Jeff Irwin

Support B Main Event
136 - Kim Stevens      		10
212 - Steve Dziadus        	20
185 - Keith Mullally         	20
198 - Mike Boyle            	20
102 - Jim Lavender          	10
169 - Dan Wensloff         	10

Support Consolation
118 - Scott Tidwell
176 - Carl Gazafy
165 - Randy Kreps
336 - Bill Green

Support Last Chance (restarted)
173 - Jeff Blaydes
194 - Tony Bracy
106 - Robert Fiesler
321 - Billy Lyons           	(penalty line)

Support Main Event (restarted) (awarded)
249 - John Stunkard
248 - Brian Starr
293 - Rick Valdez           	(penalty line)
173 - Jeff Blaydes           	(fell remounted)
113 - Mike McCarthy      	(fell)

Handicap Main Event
 12 - Randy DiFrancesco     	30
 39 - Buck Blair                30
130 - Chris Manchester          50
166 - Andy Northrup             40
 11 - Bobby Schwartz            40
 15 - Dukie Ermolenko           40
  6 - Shawn McConnell           40	(fell)
389 - Nate Perkins              10  	(fell)

Last Chance
 43 - Charlie Venegas
 15 - Dukie Ermolenko
 12 - Randy DiFrancesco
 11 - Bobby Schwartz

Scratch Main Event
130 - Chris Manchester
  9 - Mike Faria
  6 - Shawn McConnell
27n - Chris Kerr
 43 - Charlie Venegas
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