Costa Mesa Speedway
Orange County Fairgrounds
Costa Mesa, California
ORANGE COUNTY HARLEY DAVIDSON NIGHT
August 23, 2008 - Costa Mesa
By: Ryan Evans
Shawn McConnell won a thrilling Scratch Main Event in front of a packed house on Harley Night at the world famous Costa Mesa Speedway.
Former National Champion “Flyin” Mike Faria led the Scratch Main into turn one, but drifted wide in turn two. Jimmy Fishback turned back underneath Faria to take the lead on the back straight. Faria went to the outside and pulled alongside Fishback at the end of lap one. The wheel-to-wheel battle continued into turn one with Fishback widening his line to prevent Faria from getting by. Faria squeezed between Fishback and the wall in turn two regained the lead on the back straight while McConnell was able to pass Fishback entering turn three. Faria exited turn four on a wide line and McConnell charged up the inside and went underneath Faria entering turn one. Faria tried the outside again, but McConnell had the lead secured on the back straight. Faria tried to force a mistake on the final lap, but McConnell took his fourth Scratch Main Event of the year beneath a rousing ovation from the crowd. Faria settled for second, Fishback was third, Ricky Wells finished fourth, and Bobby Schwartz was fifth.
The heats kicked off with 16 year old Jason Ramirez scoring an impressive heat win over Nate Perkins, Fishback, and Wells. Faria cruised to his first win in the second heat. Schwartz beat Robbie Sauer for his first win. McConnell completed the first round with a victory.
The second round started with Fishback getting the win. Faria held off the hard-charging Wells for his second straight win. Schwartz made it two in a row by beating Ramirez. McConnell matched Faria and Schwartz with his second win to end round two.
Ramirez began the final round with his second win. Faria had an easy third win in hand before experiencing bike problems which gifted the win to Shaun Harmatiuk. Faria was able to nurse his bike enough to get second. Wells got his first win ahead of Perkins and Schwartz. McConnell won the final heat and was the only undefeated rider heading into the semis.
A runoff was needed to determine the final two places in the semis. Tim Gomez led for a lap before Russell Green challenged him on the inside. Gomez refused to give up the lead and the pair battled side-by-side for two laps instead of settling for the two transfer spots. The pair had the two spots locked up, but Green fell entering the final corner and handed second, and the transfer to the semis, to Brad Sauer.
Faria cruised to the win in the first semi and was followed into the main event by Jimmy Fishback who finished second.
Schwartz got the best start in the second semi, but was immediately under pressure from McConnell. McConnell and Schwartz battled along the inside for two laps before Wells, seemingly out of nowhere, came roaring around the outside of the two veterans and brought the crowd to its feet. McConnell was able to get past Schwartz but couldn’t prevent Wells from taking the lead. The Under 21 National Champion was first to the checkered flag with McConnell taking second while Schwartz had to go to the Last Chance, but the appreciative fans lauded all three riders with cheers.
Schwartz won the Last Chance to book the final spot in the Scratch Main Event.
Rudy Laurer led the Support Main Event for two laps before coming under attack from John Stunkard. Stunkard was poised to go inside of Laurer when they took the white flag, but overcooked it entering turn one, spun around and went down. The red flag came out and the race was declared over. Laurer was awarded the victory, Marvin Sonnier was second, Billy Braden was third, Philip Harmatiuk was fourth, and Stunkard was relegated to fifth.
Chris Thomas led the Support B Main Event before Jonni Jade went past him on the second lap. Jade led the rest of the way and celebrated his birthday with a main event victory. Thomas held on for second, Mike Boyle finished third, and Jeff Remington was fourth.
There won’t be racing at Costa Mesa this Saturday because of Labor Day Weekend. Racing will return to the Orange County Fairgrounds on Saturday, September 6 with the John Matherson Cup presented by Mission Motorsports. The program will have Speedway, Juniors, and Pee Wees, but the John Matherson Cup will go to the winner of the Sidecar Division. The Cup honors the late John Matherson, who was a longtime sidecar competitor, Costa Mesa supporter, and sponsor.
Support B Consolation
102 - Jim Lavender
221 - Tony Squillace
308 - Hugh Randolph
222 - Tom Bostic
Support B Consolation
292 - Mike Schultz
399 - Jeff Shaffer
371 - Gary Greenwood
169 - Dan Wensloff
Support B Main Event
266 - Jonni Jade
189 - Chris Thomas
198 - Mike Boyle
252 - Jeff Remington
212 - Steve Dziadus
136 - Kim Stevens
172 - Jim Painter
338 - Dave Delbridge
Support Last Chance
117 - Billy Braden
77 - Bryan Buffington
178 - Eloy Medellin (tape penalty)
176 - Carl Gazafy (fell)
Support Main Event (restarted) (awarded)
182 - Rudy Laurer
52 - Marvin Sonnier
117 - Billy Braden
149 - Philip Harmatiuk
249 - John Stunkard (fell)
First Division Scoring 1 2 3 T
6 - Shawn McConnell 3 3 3 9
9 - Mike Faria 3 3 2 8
11 - Bobby Schwartz 3 3 1 7
13 - Nate Perkins 2 2 2 6
17 - Robbie Sauer 2 0 0 2
21 - Brad Sauer 0 1 2 3
22 - Mike Bloom 1 1 0 2
25 - Jimmy Fishback 1 3 2 6
30 - Tim Gomez 1 1 1 3
66 - Jason Ramirez 3 2 3 8
86 - Neil Facchini 0 0 1 1
99 - Greg Ayers 1 1 0 2
139 - Shaun Harmatiuk 2 2 3 7
142 - Ricky Wells 0 2 3 5
321 - Russell Green 2 0 1 3
1: Ramirez, Perkins, Fishback, Wells
2: Faria, Green, Bloom, Greyson
3: Schwartz, R.Sauer, Ayers, Facchini
4: McConnell, Harmatiuk, Gomez, B.Sauer
9: Fishback, Harmatiuk, Ayers, Green
10: Faria, Wells, B.Sauer, Facchini
11: (restarted) Schwartz, Ramirez, Gomez (penalty line), Greyson, (fell, remounted)
12: McConnell, Perkins, Bloom, R.Sauer
17: Ramirez, Fishback, Facchini, R.Sauer
18: Harmatiuk, Faria, Gomez, Bloom
19: Wells, Perkins, Schwartz, Ayers
20: McConnell, B.Sauer, Green, Greyson
Runoff: Gomez, B.Sauer, Green (fell)
Semi #1: Faria, Fishback, Perkins, Ramirez, B.Sauer (fell, remounted)
Semi #2: Wells, McConnell, Schwartz, Gomez, Harmatiuk (tape penalty)
11 - Bobby Schwartz
66 - Jason Ramirez
30 - Tim Gomez
13 - Nate Perkins (retired)
Scratch Main Event
6 - Shawn McConnell
9 - Mike Faria
25 - Jimmy Fishback
142 - Ricky Wells
11 - Bobby Schwartz