Costa Mesa Speedway
Orange County Fairgrounds
Costa Mesa, California
Free Style Motocross Night
September 17, 2011
By: Ryan Evans
Photos by: Paul Flanders
Speedy Brandon Leedy gets a hug from father Ken after winning the support main.
“Load up the lorry lads, were heading for Heathrow!” Austin Novratil, Michael Raines, and Russell Green will be heading off to England in two weeks with the American Touring Team.
Though none made the support main, it’s good to see Harold Hartke, Justin Hassan, and Damon Barry.
It’s always sweet when Brad and Robbie Sauer make the 300 mile round trip trek from Bakersfield to Costa Mesa.
Spiderman Mike Bloom points out the race to be in if you want maximum season points. Thanks for keeping us all informed about the points standings, Mike!
Tyson Burmeister returned to racing. With help from Kelly Inman, he made it into the semi but not the main.
Paul Thornton celebrated his 48th birthday at Costa Mesa. Though not pictured, Gino Scopellite celebrated his 9th.
Track announcer Terry Clanton (right) interviews winner Charlie Venegas (left) just before the main event.
Rudy Laurer ran off in his support class heats but got too anxious in the main and hit the starting tapes for a 20 yard penalty.
Costa Mesa, CA, USA - September 17
Former National Champion Charlie "The Edge" Venegas was a flawless five for five and won the main event at the world famous Costa Mesa Speedway.
Venegas entered the main event with a perfect score and with first choice of starting position he wisely selected gate one. Starting next to him in gate two was Michael Raines who had only been defeated once and had three straight wins. Raines left the starting line with a slight advantage but not enough to get across Venegas to the inside. Venegas was able to push Raines off the inside line and surged ahead of Raines on the back straight and secured the lead entering turn three. Raines tried to make the outside work but the rest of the field began to file past him. Shawn "Mad Dog" McConnell assumed second and hoped to find an opportunity at the lead. That chance would never come as Venegas cruised the rest of the way for the victory. McConnell settled for second, Jimmy "Little Animal" Fishback was third, Dukie Ermolenko finished fourth, and Raines was fifth.
Newly-crowned Under 21 National Champion Austin Novratil kicked off the heats with a win over Fishback. Buck Blair led event two for a lap before McConnell slipped by for the lead and the win. Venegas began his evening with a win over Russell Green. "Flyin" Mike Faria beat Raines in event four. Ermolenko ended round one by defeating Bobby "Boogaloo" Schwartz.
Ermolenko started round two with a win over Fishback. McConnell beat Steve Russell for his second straight win. Venegas defeated Novratil for his second win in a row. Tyson Burmeister scored his first victory since returning from a stint with Wolverhampton in the British Elite League. Raines beat Schwartz to finish the second round.
Raines began the second round by beating Fishback for his second consecutive win. Ermolenko remained perfect by beating McConnell. Venegas matched Ermolenko's perfect score with a win over "Fast" Eddie Castro. Blair used a fantastic outside move to pass Faria for the win in event 20. Schwartz beat Robbie Sauer to close out the heats.
Venegas and McConnell finished one-two in the first semi and both transferred to the main. Raines made a great start and won the second semi with Ermolenko getting second to also transfer to the main. Blair led the Last Chance for a lap but left room on the inside that Fishback exploited to take the lead, the win, and the final transfer to the main event.
Brandon Leedy won his heat, his semi, and easily won the Support Main Event. Eloy Medellin finished second, Rudy Laurer was third, and Mike Salyer finished fourth.
Bruce Marteney led the Support B Main Event for two laps before Brad Moreau found a way past and took over the lead. Moreau never looked back from there and went on to victory. Marteney held on to second, Kevin Fife finished third, and Robert Fiesler Jr. was fourth.
The next event at Costa Mesa is the rescheduled John Matherson Cup which was postponed from its original September 10 date. The event honors the former sidecar competitor who was also the owner of Mission Motorsports, a longtime sponsor of Costa Mesa Speedway. The event will feature the 2011 season's largest field of sidecar because the event is particularly prestigious to those competitors because Matherson was a sidecar competitor and former champion.
Support B Last Chance
311 – Kevin Fife
242 – Bruce Marteney
220 – Tom Bryant
124 – Paul Thornton
255 – Kriss Harlow
Support B Main Event
153 - Brad Moreau
242 - Bruce Marteney
311 - Kevin Fife
225 - Robert Fiesler Jr. (fell, remounted)
Support Last Chance
333 – Mike Salyer
106 – Robert Fiesler Jr.
290 – Harold Hartke
Support Main Event
151 - Brandon Leedy
178 - Eloy Medellin
182 - Rudy Laurer (tape penalty)
333 - Mike Salyer
First Division Heat Scoring123T
6 – Shawn McConnell 44311
9 – Mike Faria 43310
11 – Bobby Schwartz 33410
14 – Eddie Castro 2136
15 – Dukie Ermolenko 44412
17 – Robbie Sauer 2237
22 – Mike Bloom 1102
23 – Steve Russell 2327
25 – Jimmy Fishback 3339
26 – Tyson Burmeister 1427
27 – Austin Novratil 4329
39 – Buck Blair 3148
41 – John Marquez 2FM 2
43 – Charlie Venegas 44412
46 – Aaron Fox 2125
48 – Tyson Talkington 1124
63 – Michael Raines 34411
98 – Doug Nicol 1214
113 – Gabe Price 0213
120 – Doug Greyson 1214
321 – Russell Green 3216
1: Novratil, Fishback, Russell, Talkington
2: McConnell, Blair, Sauer, Bloom
3: Venegas, Green, Marquez, Burmeister (fell, remounted)
4: Faria, Raines, Castro, Nicol (tape penalty), Price
5: Ermolenko, Schwartz, Fox, Greyson
9: Ermolenko, Fishback, Sauer, Castro (tape penalty), Marquez (fell)
10: McConnell, Russell, Nicol, Fox
11: Venegas, Novratil, Price (fell, remounted), Blair (retired)
12: Burmeister, Faria, Greyson, Talkington
13: Raines, Schwartz, Green, Bloom
17: Raines, Fishback, Novratil, Green
18: Ermolenko, McConnell, Talkington, Price
19: Venegas, Castro, Russell, Greyson, Bloom
20: Blair, Faria, Fox, Marquez (two-minute exclusion)
21: (restarted) Schwartz, Sauer, Burmeister (penalty line), Nicol (tape penalty) (fell, remounted)
Runoff: Burmeister, Russell, Sauer
Semi #1: Venegas, McConnell, Fishback, Schwartz, Burmeister
Semi #2: Raines, Ermolenko, Faria, Blair, Novratil (fell)
First Division Last Chance
25 - Jimmy Fishback
39 - Buck Blair
9 - Mike Faria
11 - Bobby Schwartz
First Division Main Event
43 - Charlie Venegas
6 - Shawn McConnell
25 - Jimmy Fishback
15 - Dukie Ermolenko
63 - Michael Raines (fell)