Costa Mesa Speedway
Orange County Fairgrounds
Costa Mesa, California
May 10, 2008 - Costa Mesa
By: Ryan Evans
Former National Champion “Flyin” Mike Faria got off the deck twice and won a wild Spring Classic Scratch Main Event at the first event of Costa Mesa Speedway’s 40th season.
The main event began with Bobby Schwartz, Faria, and Jimmy Fishback entering turn one simultaneously. The inevitable contact occurred which sent Faria to the ground in the middle of turn one while Fishback and Buck Blair went down up against the fence. The referee declared turn one bunching to be the cause and ordered a complete restart.
In the second attempt Faria and Fishback locked horns, and arms, and the pair went down for a second time. Both riders were back on their feet quickly, but while Fishback mounted his bike for the restart Faria walked into the pits and looked to be through for the evening. However, just as his four competitors were getting ready to stage, Faria re-entered the battleground before the two-minute clock expired.
The third time the tapes went up Faria showed his champion’s fortitude by launching off the line first. Schwartz followed him into turn one while Fishback went wide and allowed McConnell into third. Schwartz chased the leader the entire distance, but Faria was first to the checkered flag. McConnell was third, Fishback finished fourth, and Blair was fifth.
The excitement of the beginning of the 40th season, the large crowd, and the exciting racing was tempered a bit when National Champion Billy “The Bullet” Hamill had to withdraw from the meeting after crashing in his semi. Hamill, undefeated in his heats, found too much traction in turn two and landed hard on his lower back and smacked his head hard against the ground. The 1996 World Champion was down for several minutes, but walked off the track to a loud ovation and a sigh of relief from everyone in attendance. Hamill had precautionary x-rays taken which fortunately showed no injuries.
The first of three rounds of heats began with Neil Facchini leading before McConnell went up the inside of him on the third lap for the lead and the win. Blair defeated Travis Henderson to win heat two. Faria led the third for one lap before Hamill charged up the inside on lap two to seize the lead and pulled away for the win. Schwartz completed the opening round with a victory over Dale Facchini.
McConnell opened the second round with his second straight win. Hamill led Fishback all the way for his second win. Faria beat Neil Facchini for his first win of the night. Schwartz ended round two by matching McConnell’s and Hamill’s perfect scores with his second win.
The final round began with Hamill defeating McConnell to remain unbeaten. Blair scored his second win ahead of Dale Facchini. After two restarts, Fishback beat Faria after an exciting side-by-side battle that electrified the crowd. Schwartz cruised to his third win in the final heat.
A four-rider runoff was required to settle the final three spots in the semis. Henderson made it easier for the other three by getting penalized for an unsatisfactory start. Neil Facchini won the runoff and was followed into the semis by J.T. Mabry and Greg Ayers. Henderson finished fourth and was done for the evening.
The first semi had to be restarted after a crash in turn one. Dale Facchini was then excluded for exceeding two minutes and missed the restart. Schwartz led the second attempt, but Fishback muscled his way into the lead in turn four. Schwartz tried to fight back, but the determined former Junior National Champion held him off for the win. The second semi had to be restarted after Hamill’s crash in turn two. Blair led the restart until turn four when he drifted wide and allowed Faria to take the lead. Faria led Blair to the checkered flag and into the main. McConnell was never challenged in the Last Chance and booked the final spot in the main event with the victory.
Rudy Laurer raced four smooth laps and led from start to finish and won the Support Main Event. Allen Doss finished second, Bryan Buffington was third, Steve Bowen finished fourth, and Rick Farron was fifth.
The Support B Main Event needed three attempts to be completed, but Jim Painter survived the carnage and emerged victorious. Brad Moreau finished second, Mark Sincavage was third, Rick Fritch finished fourth, and Steve Dziadus was fifth.
Rocco Scopellite got the best start and ran away with the victory in the Junior Main Event. Chad Hoyt finished second, Major Davis was third, and Elijah Harrison-Hicks finished fourth.
Youth Main Event
9 – Rocco Scopellite
154 – Chad Hoyt
999 – Major Davis
3 – Elijah Harrison-Hicks
Support B Last Chance 212 – Steve Dziadus
301 – Matt Davis
198 – Mike Boyle
255 – Kris Harlow
Support B Main Event (restarted twice)
172 – Jim Painter
153 – Brad Moreau (penalty line)
213 – Mark Sincavage
288 – Rick Fritch
212 – Steve Dziadus (fell)
Support Last Chance
177 – Steve Bowen
117 – Billy Braden
106 – Robert Fiesler
176 – Carl Gazafy
Support Main Event
182 – Rudy Laurer
232 – Allen Doss
77 – Bryan Buffington
177 – Steve Bowen
147 – Rick Farron (fell, remounted)
First Division Scoring 1 2 3 T
1 – Billy Hamill 4 4 4 12
6 – Shawn McConnell 4 4 3 11
9 – Mike Faria 3 4 3 10
11 - Bobby Schwartz 4 4 4 12
19 – Dale Facchini 3 2 3 8
22 – Mike Bloom 2 1 2 5
25 – Jimmy Fishback 2 3 4 9
32 – Billy Lyons 1 1 0 2
37 – Denny Scopellite 0 0 N 0
39 – Buck Blair 4 2 4 10
41 – John Marquez 0 2 1 3
52 – Marvin Sonnier 1 0 1 2
55 – Travis Henderson 3 1 3 7
86 – Neil Facchini 3 3 1 7
93 – J.T. Mabry 2 3 2 7
99 – Greg Ayers 2 3 2 7
120 – Doug Greyson 0 2 1 3
249 – John Stunkard 1 F 0 1
309 – Vince Giamformaggio 0 F R 0
321 – Russell Green 1 M 2 3
1: McConnell, N.Facchini, Fishback (tape penalty) (fell, remounted), Marquez (fell, remounted), Stunkard (fell, remounted)
2: Blair, Henderson, Mabry, Lyons, Greyson
3: Hamill, Faria, Ayers (tape penalty), Green, Giamformaggio
4: Schwartz, D.Facchini, Bloom, Sonnier, Scopellite
9: (restarted) McConnell, Ayers, D.Facchini (penalty line), Lyons, Sonnier
10: Hamill, Fishback, Blair, Bloom, Stunkard (fell)
11: Faria, N.Facchini, Greyson, Henderson, Scopellite
12: Schwartz, Mabry, Marquez, Giamformaggio (fell), Green (two-minute exclusion)
17: Hamill, McConnell, Green, N.Facchini (fell, remounted), Giamformaggio (retired)
18: Blair, D.Facchini, Mabry, Sonnier, Scopellite (non starter)
19: (restarted twice) Fishback, Faria, Ayers, Marquez (penalty line), Stunkard (penalty line)
20: Schwartz, Henderson, Bloom, Greyson, Lyons Runoff: N.Facchini, Mabry, Ayers, Henderson (tape penalty)
Semi #1: (restarted) Fishback, Schwartz, McConnell, Ayers, D.Facchini (two-minute exclusion)
Semi #2: (restarted) Faria, Blair, N.Facchini, Mabry, Hamill (non-starter, injured)
6 – Shawn McConnell
93 – J.T. Mabry
99 – Greg Ayers
86 – Neil Facchini
Scratch Main Event (restarted twice)
9 – Mike Faria
11 – Bobby Schwartz
6 – Shawn McConnell
25 – Jimmy Fishback
39 – Buck Blair