Costa Mesa Speedway
Orange County Fairgrounds
Costa Mesa, California
Costa Mesa 42nd Season Opener
April 24, 2010 - Costa Mesa
By: Ryan Evans
Costa Mesa’s new season officially dawned with a familiar face earning top honors as former National Champion “Flyin” Mike Faria captured the main event at the world famous venue’s 42nd Season Opener.
Faria started in gate one and led the pack into turn one. Jimmy Fishback, winner of the previous week’s main event, had his chances of victory end when he went down in turn one. Faria was chased down the back straight by Northern California’s Tommy Hedden. Hedden stayed within striking distance the entire four laps, but couldn’t force a mistake. Faria was first to the checkered flag, Hedden finished second, Tyson Burmeister was third, Buck Blair finished fourth, and Fishback was fifth.
Former Youth National Champion Jason Ramirez kicked off the heat races with an impressive win ahead of Shawn “Mad Dog” McConnell and “Fast” Eddie Castro. Faria gave a preview of the main by beating Hedden and Burmeister in the second heat. Josh Larsen led the third heat into turn one, but lost a chain and caused a pileup. Blair took advantage of the second chance and scored the victory. John Marquez led the fourth heat for nearly a lap before Bobby “Boogaloo” Schwartz went by. Gary Hicks passed Schwartz on the next lap and led the rest of the way.
McConnell beat Devin DeFreece to begin round two. Doug “The Destroyer” Nicol handed Faria his only defeat of the night in the next heat. Hicks made it two wins in a row ahead of Hedden. Blair finished the second round with a victory over Fishback.
Hicks remained perfect by beating McConnell and John Houston to open the final round of heats. Faria earned his second victory in a row with a defeat of Ramirez. Event 19 required three attempts and Nicol was awarded the victory after a crash brought a premature end to the race. Hedden defeated Blair and Schwartz to bring an end to the heats. Burmeister defeated Houston in a runoff for the final spot in the semis.
Faria easily won the first semi with Burmeister using a good start from gate four to get him into second and join Faria in the main. Hicks led the second semi before lifting on the exit of turn four and allowing MXRC teammates Fishback and Hedden to slip past for first and second and the transfers into the main. Blair was victorious in the Last Chance to book the fifth and final spot in the main.
Austin Novratil led the first two attempts and was awarded the victory after a crash ended the third attempt to complete the Support Main Event. Joey Holt finished second, Rudy Laurer was third, Michael Raines was fourth, and Tyson Talkington was credited with fifth.
Brandon Leedy won his heat, semi, and capped his evening off by winning the Support B Main Event. Norman Graham finished second, Tim McGrath was third, and Dan Wensloff finished fourth.
Rocco Scopellite led all four laps en route to victory in the Youth First Division Main Event. Samuel Ramirez finished second, Maxwell Ruml was third, and Nicky Reimer finished fourth.
Hayley Perrault was victorious in the Youth Second Division Main Event with Dillon Ruml getting second and Michael Wells finishing in third.
Nick Varner made an auspicious debut by winning the Youth Third Division Main Event. Gino Scopellite was second, Maverick Molloy finished third, and Brian Pintear was fourth.
Although it was the second event on the calendar, the Season Opener officially began the 42nd season of speedway at the Orange County Fairgrounds where speedway debuted on Friday, June 13, 1969. The next event at Costa Mesa is the Warren Russell Cup this Saturday, May 1. Blair is the defending Warren Russell Cup with former winners Faria, Schwartz, and Charlie “The Edge” Venegas leading a field of riders seeking to dethrone the Colorado native.
Sidecar Main Event
66 - Gerard Jackson/Dave German
13 - Dan Jones/Casey Driggers
2 - Brian Motis/Steven Bumpass
1 - Joe Jones/Jimmy Olsen
Youth Third Division Main Event
333 - Nick Varner
7 - Gino Scopellite
34 - Maverick Molloy
58 - Brian Pintear
Youth Second Division Main Event
0 - Hayley Perrault
111 - Dillon Ruml
214 - Michael Wells
Youth First Division Main Event
9 - Rocco Scopellite
22 - Samuel Ramirez
356 - Maxwell Ruml
41 - Nicky Reimer
Support B Main Event
151 - Brandon Leedy
129 - Norman Graham
186 - Tim McGrath
169 - Dan Wensloff
Support Last Chance
182 – Rudy Laurer
389 – Ryan Tovatt
176 – Carl Gazafy
147 – Rick Farron (fell, remounted)
Support Main Event (restarted twice)
181 - Austin Novratil
244 - Joey Holt
182 - Rudy Laurer
259 - Michael Raines (fell)
220 - Tyson Talkington (fell, excluded)
First Division Heat Scoring 1 2 3 T
2 – Josh Larsen E E 2 2
3 – Gary Hicks 4 4 4 12
6 – Shawn McConnell 3 4 3 10
9 – Mike Faria 4 3 4 11
11 – Bobby Schwartz 3 1 2 6
11n – John Houston 2 1 2 5
14 – Eddie Castro 2 0 T 2
22 – Mike Bloom 1 2 1 4
23 – Steve Russell 1 2 1 4
25 – Jimmy Fishback 3 3 0 6
26 – Tyson Burmeister 2 0 3 5
30n – Devin DeFreece 0 3 0 3
39 – Buck Blair 4 4 3 11
40 – Tommy Hedden 3 3 4 10
41 – John Marquez 0 2 2 4
66 – Jason Ramirez 4 1 3 8
98 – Doug Nicol 0 4 4 8
141 – Josh Abbott 1 M 1 2
145 – Brad Pappalardo 2 2 0 4
1: Ramirez, McConnell, Castro, Russell, Nicol (fell, remounted)
2: Faria, Hedden, Burmeister, Abbott, DeFreece
3: (restarted) Blair, Fishback, Pappalardo, Facchini, Larsen (penalty line) (engine failure)
4: Hicks, Schwartz, Houston, Bloom, Marquez
9: McConnell, DeFreece, Marquez, Facchini (fell, remounted), Abbott (two-minute exclusion)
10: Nicol, Faria, Pappalardo, Houston, Castro (fell, remounted)
11: Hicks, Hedden, Bloom, Ramirez (fell, remounted), Larsen (engine failure)
12: Blair, Fishback, Russell, Schwartz, Burmeister (tape penalty)
17: Hicks, McConnell, Houston, Bloom, Fishback (fell, remounted)
18: Faria, Ramirez, Marquez, Russell (tape penalty), Pappalardo
19: (restarted twice) (awarded) Nicol, Burmeister (penalty line), Larsen (fell, remounted), Abbott, Castro (tape exclusion)
20: (restarted) Hedden, Blair, Schwartz, Facchini (tape penalty), DeFreece
Semi #1: Faria, Burmeister, Blair, Ramirez, Nicol (fell, remounted)
Semi #2: Fishback, Hedden, Hicks, Schwartz, McConnell (fell, remounted)
First Division Last Chance
39 - Buck Blair
3 - Gary Hicks
11 - Bobby Schwartz
66 - Jason Ramirez
First Division Main Event
9 - Mike Faria
40 - Tommy Hedden
26 - Tyson Burmeister
39 - Buck Blair
25 - Jimmy Fishback (fell, remounted)