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2009 Costa Mesa Speedway
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Costa Mesa Speedway
Orange County Fairgrounds
Costa Mesa, California

Costa Mesa 40th Anniversary
June 9, 2009 - Costa Mesa
By: Ryan Evans

Costa Mesa 40th Anniversary
June 13, 2009
By: Ryan Evans

Since its first event on June 13, 1969 racers young and old at Costa Mesa Speedway have entertained legions of fans of all ages. It is only fitting that on the night that the world famous track celebrated its 40th anniversary, 52 year old living legend Bobby “Boogaloo” Schwartz won the Scratch Main Event and 16 year old Brad Pappalardo won the Handicap Main Event in his debut in First Division.

Schwartz, starting from gate four, made the best start in the five-rider Scratch Main Event and led the field into turn one. Buck Blair, who started in gate one, tucked in behind Schwartz as they went down the back straight. Blair had his sights set on the lead, but had to contend with Shawn “Mad Dog” McConnell trying to take his position. The former National Champion benefitted from Blair being dogged by McConnell and stretched his lead. Blair kept McConnell at bay, but was unable to catch the leader. Schwartz crossed the line first, Blair was second, McConnell finished third, “Flyin” Mike Faria was fourth, and Gary Hicks finished fifth.

The eight-rider Handicap Main Event began with three of Southern California’s young lions starting in front. Pappalardo, John Marquez, and Russell Green all took their place on the 10 yard line thinking that the start would be crucial to victory. Marquez led his peers to the first corner with Green in tow. Both riders went wide exiting turn two and Pappalardo, who shrewdly turned back behind his contemporaries and charged into the lead on the back straight. Green attacked the Youth National Champion on the outside, but couldn’t find enough traction to get alongside Pappalardo. The action in the middle of the field was frantic for several laps, but Pappalardo, who celebrated his 16th birthday on Thursday, showed calm beyond his years and maintained his steady inside line. Jason Ramirez emerged from the mid-pack chaos to get into second but the leader was long gone. Pappalardo was first to the checkered flag, Ramirez finished second, Green was third, Randy DiFrancesco finished fourth, Eddie Castro was fifth, and Mike “Spiderman” Bloom finished sixth.

Schwartz was probably more excited by Pappalardo’s victory than his own. Schwartz has been a mentor to Pappalardo as well as Pappalardo’s uncle, 1997 World Champion Greg Hancock, and their families have maintained a close-knit friendship for many years.

Vince Giamformaggio led the Support Main Event for a lap before Sean McDougall took the lead on the back straight on lap two. McDougall, making his return to speedway after several years, was never threatened and led all the way to the finish. Giamformaggio settled for second, Eloy Medellin finished third, and Rudy Laurer was fourth.

Charlie Ousley led the Support B Main Event into turn one before Pete Pedersen, a native of Denmark, went around the outside for the lead. Pedersen, a cousin of World Champion Nicki Pedersen, made no mistakes and cruised to the victory. Ousley was second, Butch Waymire finished third, Norman Graham was fourth, Mike Boyle finished fifth, and Chris Thomas was sixth.

Gino Manzares led from start to finish to capture the Youth First Division Main Event. Rocco Scopellite finished second and Austin Novratil was credited with third.

Samuel Ramirez scored an impressive victory in the Youth Second Division Main Event. Nicky Reimer was second and Maxwell Ruml finished third.

Hayley Perrault won both of her heats and was victorious in the Youth Third Division Main Event. Dillon Ruml finished second and Jacob Wondolowski was third.

The anniversary celebration was tempered a bit during the sidecar exhibition. Joe Jones and Jimmy Olsen experienced a mechanical failure entering turn three which caused them to lose control of their machine. Both driver and passenger were able to dismount the sidecar just moments before its violent impact into the wall. Olsen was up relatively quickly, but Jones was down for several minutes before being helped off the track. Both participants were shaken, but neither suffered any serious injuries.

The first speedway event at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa was promoted by Harry Oxley and 1937 World Champion Jack Milne. The facility, now promoted by Brad and Jaleen Oxley, has hosted many events as well as many of the world’s best riders in its four decades of speedway. Costa Mesa’s rich history and tradition have made it a place that fans and racers around the world yearn to visit.


Youth Third Division Main Event 
  0 - Hayley Perrault 
111 - Dillon Ruml 
251 - Jacob Wondolowski 

Youth Second Division Main Event 
 22 - Samuel Ramirez 
 41 - Nicky Reimer 
356 - Maxwell Ruml 

Youth First Division Main Event 
 21 - Gino Manzares 
  9 - Rocco Scopellite 
  8 - Austin Novratil 		(fell) 

Support B Consolation 
288 - Rick Fritch 
169 - Dan Wensloff 
308 - Hugh Randolph 

Support B Consolation (restarted) 
101 - Mike Wiley 		20 
131 - Rod Requejo 		10 
368 - Scott Rousseau 		20 
124 - Paul Thornton 		10 
362 - Ralph Chudy 		20 
222 - Tom Bostic 		20	(non starter) 

Support B Main Event 
127 - Pete Pedersen 		10 
312 - Charlie Ousley 		10 
363 - Butch Waymire 		20 
129 - Norman Graham 		10 
198 - Mike Boyle 		20 
189 - Chris Thomas 		20 	(retired) 

Support Consolation 
389 - Ryan Tovatt 
136 - Kim Stevens 
242 - Bruce Marteney 
234 - Frank Pecce 		(tape penalty) 
141 - Josh Abbott 		(non starter) 

Support Consolation 
176 - Carl Gazafy 
150 - Damon Barry 
213 - Mark Sincavage 
128 - Aimiris Santana 
186 - Tim McGrath 

Support Main Event 
243 - Sean McDougall 
309 - Vince Giamformaggio 
178 - Eloy Medellin 
182 - Rudy Laurer 

Handicap Main Event 
145 - Brad Pappalardo 		10 
 66 - Jason Ramirez 		20 
321 - Russell Green 		10 
 12 - Randy DiFrancesco 	30 
 14 - Eddie Castro 		40 
 22 - Mike Bloom 		20 
 15 - Dukie Ermolenko 		30 
 41 - John Marquez 		10 	(fell) 

First Division Last Chance 
  6 - Shawn McConnell 
 21 - Brad Sauer 
 66 - Jason Ramirez 
 15 - Dukie Ermolenko 

Scratch Main Event 
 11 - Bobby Schwartz 
 39 - Buck Blair 
  6 - Shawn McConnell 
  9 - Mike Faria 
  3 - Gary Hicks
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