American Speedway  

2009 Costa Mesa Speedway
Race Results

All Speedway Race Results

2009 West Coast Results Page

Costa Mesa Speedway
Orange County Fairgrounds
Costa Mesa, California

41st SRA U.S. National Championship
September 19, 2009 - Costa Mesa
By: Ryan Evans

Ricky Wells made history by becoming the youngest United States National Champion and the first foreign-born winner with a perfect night at the action-packed 41st U.S. National Championship at the world famous Costa Mesa Speedway.

Wells and defending National Champion Billy "The Kid" Janniro both entered the National Championship Final with perfect scores. Wells won the draw for first gate choice and he selected the pole position. Janniro then picked gate two, followed by three-time National Champion Chris Manchester taking gate four, which left two-time National Champion Charlie "The Edge" Venegas with gate three.

When the tapes went up Wells and Janniro tussled entering turn one and pushed themselves off the inside line. Venegas made a savvy cutback move and took the lead exiting turn two. Janniro recovered before Wells and chased the leader down the back straight while Wells lifted badly and lost drifted back. Venegas and Janniro entered turn three side-by-side, but before an epic battle could be waged, Janniro overcooked it and fell. Wells had to lay his machine down which brought out the red flag. The referee ordered a restart with the defending champ banished to the penalty line.

The restart was far less riveting as Wells took control right from the start and never turned a wheel wrong en route to the biggest victory of his career. Manchester, who hadn't raced all season, finished second, Venegas was third, and Janniro was fourth.

Wells's victory, at 18 years and 54 days old made him the youngest U.S. Champion. The previous record was held by seven-time National Champion Mike Bast, who won his first championship in 1971 at 18 years and 275 days old. In addition, the native of New Zealand became the first foreign-born rider to lift
the title.

The evening kicked off with Manchester, on a bike for the first time in a year, winning the first heat despite injuring his foot in the pits prior to the riders' parade. Gary Hicks won the second heat, but seventeen year old Gino Manzares lifted as he crossed the finish line and dismounted entering turn one at a high rate of speed. The bike impaled itself into the wall while Manzares bounced several times before hitting the wall himself. The youngster was down for several minutes before being helped off the track. He withdrew from the rest of his races as a result of the crash.

Janniro used the outside to score a runaway victory in heat three. Josh Larsen beat Buck Blair for his first win of the evening. Shaun Harmatiuk led event five for two laps before Wells capitalized on a mistake and charged up the inside to take the lead and the win.

Janniro started round two by defeating Manchester and Larsen, winners in the previous round, to get his second straight win. Shawn McConnell held off Jimmy Fishback to win event seven. Venegas beat Jason Ramirez for his first win. Bobby Schwartz led the next race until Harmatiuk used the outside to take the lead and the victory. Wells ended the second round with his second win in a row.

The third round began with Janniro roaring to his third straight victory. Manchester beat Mike Faria for his second win. Venegas followed that with his second straight win. Wells kept pace with Janniro by beating Hicks in event 14. Larsen closed out round three with his second win.

The final round opened with Janniro booking his place in the Final with his fourth victory in four races. Schwartz and Manchester raced wheel-to-wheel for a lap before Manchester surged ahead and took his third win and a place in the Final. Wells trapped from gate four in the next race to match Janniro's perfect score and earn a position in the Final. After three second place finishes, Faria claimed his first victory in the penultimate heat. Venegas defeated Larsen in the last heat with both riders joining Faria in the Last Chance. Harmatiuk defeated Ramirez in a runoff for the final spot in the Semi-Final. Hicks got the best start in the Semi-Final and claimed the victory and the only transfer into the Last Chance. Tommy Hedden finished second, Harmatiuk was third, and McConnell finished fourth.

Venegas got the best start in the Last Chance and held off Larsen for the win and the precious last slot in the National Championship Final. Larsen settled for second, Faria finished third, and Hicks was fourth.

The National Championships brought the curtain down on the forty-first season of Costa Mesa Speedway. The proposed Costa Mesa schedule has their 2010 season beginning with the annual Spring Classic on Saturday, April 17.


Scoring 1 2 3 4 T
1 – Billy Janniro 3 3 3 3 12
2 – Josh Larsen 3 0 3 2 8
3 – Gary Hicks 3 1 2 1 7
6 – Shawn McConnell 1 3 2 1 7
9 – Mike Faria 2 2 2 3 9
11 – Bobby Schwartz 1 2 0 2 5
14 – Eddie Castro 0 0 1 1 2
15 – Dukie Ermolenko 0 0 0 N 0
22 – Mike Bloom 0 0 0 1 1
25 – Jimmy Fishback F 2 2 1 5
30 – Tim Gomez 1 1 Nr 0 2
39 – Buck Blair 2 1 X 2 5
40 – Tommy Hedden 2 1 2 2 7
43 – Charlie Venegas 0 3 3 3 9
66 – Jason Ramirez 1 2 1 2 6
130 – Chris Manchester 3 2 3 3 11
139 – Shaun Harmatiuk 2 3 1 0 6
142 – Ricky Wells 3 3 3 3 12
184 – Tyson Burmeister 1 1 0 F 2
221 – Gino Manzares 2 - - - 2
145 – Brad Pappalardo(R)1 1 E - 2
120 – Doug Greyson (R) 0 0 0 - 0

Race Results
1: (restarted) Manchester, Hedden, Ramirez, Ermolenko (penalty line)
2: (restarted) Hicks, Manzares, Burmeister (fell, remounted), Fishback (fell)
3: Janiro, Faria, Gomez, Castro
4: Larsen, Blair, Schwartz, Bloom
5: Wells, Harmatiuk, McConnell, Venegas
6: Janniro, Manchester, Burmeister, Larsen
7: McConnell, Fishback, Hedden, Castro
8: Venegas, Ramirez, Hicks, Bloom
9: Harmatiuk, Schwartz, Gomez, Ermolenko (tape penalty)
10: (restarted) Wells, Faria, Pappalardo, Greyson, Blair (excluded)
11: Janniro, Fishback, Ramirez, Schwartz
12: Manchester, Faria, Harmatiuk, Bloom
13: Venegas, Hedden, Blair, Burmeister
14: Wells, Hicks, Castro, Ermolenko
15: (restarted) Larsen, McConnell, Pappalardo, Greyson, Gomez (non starter –
16: Janniro, Blair, Hicks, Harmatiuk
17: Manchester, Schwartz, Castro, Pappalardo (engine failure)
18: Wells, Hedden, Bloom, Gomez
19: Faria, Ramirez, McConnell (fell, remounted), Burmeister (fell)
20: Venegas, Larsen, Fishback, Greyson

Runoff: Harmatiuk, Ramirez

3 – Gary Hicks
40 – Tommy Hedden
139 – Shaun Harmatiuk
6 – Shawn McConnell

Last Chance
43 – Charlie Venegas
2 – Josh Larsen
9 – Mike Faria
3 – Gary Hicks (retired)

National Championship Final (restarted)
142 – Ricky Wells
130 – Chris Manchester
43 – Charlie Venegas
1 – Billy Janniro (penalty line)

www.speedwaybikes.com - All rights reserved.