Costa Mesa Speedway
Orange County Fairgrounds
Costa Mesa, California
John Matherson Cup
September 24, 2011
By: Ryan Evans
Defending National Champion Billy "The Kid" Janniro threw down the gauntlet prior to the 2011 National Championship with a flawless performance at the Mission Motorsports John Matherson Cup at the world famous Costa Mesa Speedway.
The main event required a restart when the first attempt ended in a heap on the back straight. Jimmy "Little Animal" Fishback and Bryan Yarrow ended up prone on the ground and both riders feeling the sting of the crash. Fishback had his shoulder pop out, but instead of declining the restart he lied on top of the wall and had his father, legendary speedway racer Jim "The Animal" Fishback, pull it back into place. This drew a loud ovation from the crowd. On the restart, Janniro exploded into the lead for a second time with Fishback in tow. Fishback gained on the leader on the back straight but the inside path was blocked as they entered turn three. He gallantly tried to find an opening at the end of lap one but couldn't find a gap. Janniro began to stretch his lead on the second lap and was comfortably in front entering the last corner. Janniro went wide exiting the final corner and Fishback tried to exploit the mistake but couldn't get by quick enough. Janniro was first to the checkered flag, Fishback had to settle for second, Charlie "The Edge" Venegas finished third, "Flyin" Mike Faria was fourth, and Yarrow finished fifth.
Dylan Beard and Trever Desherlia entered the John Matherson Cup Final undefeated in their three heats and jumped into the lead at the start of the Final. Beard and Desherlia had a steady grip on the lead but the action behind them was frantic with National Champions Joe Jones and Jimmy Olsen, Shawn and Missy Driggers, and Dan Jones and Scott Cole swapping the minor places several times throughout the first two laps. Joe Jones and Olsen finally secured second but Beard and Desherlia appeared to have an insurmountable lead. The lead duo led at the white flag, but made a critical error in turn two when the overslid and couldn't avoid going into the infield. Joe Jones and Olsen gladly accepted their gift and won the event for the fourth consecutive time to remain the only holders of the John Matherson Cup. Driggers and Driggers finished second, Dan Jones and Cole were third, and a heartbroken Beard and Desherlia were fourth.
Michael Raines kicked off the speedway heats by defeating Fishback. Shawn "Mad Dog" McConnell beat "Fast" Eddie Castro in the second heat. Janniro began his evening by defeating Yarrow. Faria passed Aaron Fox in the final corner to win event four. Venegas beat Tyson Talkington to end round one.
Round two started with Fishback beating Tommy Hedden for his first victory. Tyson Burmeister beat "Battling" Buck Blair in event 10. Bobby "Boogaloo" Schwartz defeated Talkington in the next event. Janniro made it two wins in a row by beating Castro. Venegas finished the second round with a win over John Marquez.
Fishback began the last round by beating Charles Ermolenko. Hedden beat Yarrow in the next event. Fox beat Schwartz in event 19. Faria scored his second win with a defeat of Burmeister. Janniro ended the heats as they only unbeaten rider after defeating Venegas.
Hedden, McConnell, and Yarrow all had to transfer to the semis via a runoff in which Talkington's fourth place sent him home for the evening.
Venegas and Fishback finished one-two in the first semi to transfer to the main. Janniro won the second semi with Faria following him into the main event. Yarrow won the Last Chance to secure the final spot in the main-event field.
Gabe Price was awarded the victory in the Support Main Event after a red flag brought a premature halt to the race. Brandon Leedy was second, Rick "The Rage" Valdez was third, and Archie Perez was fourth.
C.J. Sanborn went home with the hardware in the Support B Main Event. Kevin Fife was second, Norman Graham finished third, and Northern California's Shane Szuh was fourth.
Gino Scopellite was victorious in the Youth 200cc Second Division Main Event. Sebastian Palmese finished second, Chase Sanborn was third, and Shea Bendykowski was credited with fourth.
Dalton Leedy led the first lap of the Youth 200cc First Division Main Event for a lap before Broc Nicol made a fantastic outside pass through turns one and two. Nicol was never challenged after that and went on to victory. Braydan Galvin finished second, Michael Wells was third, and Leedy finished fourth.
Max Ruml led all four laps en route to victory in the Youth 250cc Main Event. Kurtis Hamill was second, Broc Nicol finished third, Dillon Ruml was fourth, Braden Sauer finished fifth, and Hayley Perrault was sixth.
The John Matherson Cup honors the former sidecar competitor who was also the owner of Mission Motorsports, a longtime sponsor of Costa Mesa Speedway. Matherson was killed in an accident in 2008 while on his way to Costa Mesa Speedway. The event is particularly prestigious to the sidecar competitors because of the camaraderie they shared with Matherson. All the sidecar competitors wore matching shirts over their racing gear.
The next event at Costa Mesa Speedway is the 43rd annual National Speedway Championship. A twenty-rider field including National Champions will battle for the top prize in American speedway.
John Matherson Cup Final
1 - Joe Jones/Jimmy Olsen
23 - Shawn Driggers/Missy Driggers
7 - Dan Jones/Scott Cole
5150 - Dylan Beard/Trever DeSherlia
Youth 200cc Second Division Main Event
7 - Gino Scopellite
18 - Sebastian Palmese
108 - Chase Sanborn
23 - Shea Bendykowski (fell)
Youth 200cc First Division Main Event
98 - Broc Nicol
45 - Braydan Galvin
214 - Michael Wells
222 - Dalton Leedy
Youth 250cc Main Event
308 - Max Ruml 0
104 - Kurtis Hamill 0
98 - Broc Nicol 0
111 - Dillon Ruml 20
21 - Braden Sauer 0
0 - Hayley Perrault 20
Support B Main Event
393 - C.J. Sanborn
311 - Kevin Fife
129 - Norman Graham
121n - Shane Szuh
Support Main Event (restarted) (awarded)
113 - Gabe Price
151 - Brandon Leedy
293 - Rick Valdez
34 - Archie Perez (penalty line) (fell)
First Division Heat Scoring123T
1 – Billy Janniro 44412
6 – Shawn McConnell 4228
8 – Bryan Yarrow 3238
9 – Mike Faria 42410
11 – Bobby Schwartz 2439
14 – Eddie Castro 3317
15 – Charles Ermolenko 1135
17 – Robbie Sauer 1102
18 – Justin Boyle 0213
23 – Steve Russell 2024
25 – Jimmy Fishback 34411
26 – Tyson Burmeister 2439
27 – Austin Novratil M - - 0
39 – Buck Blair 2316
40 – Tommy Hedden 1348
41 – John Marquez 1304
43 – Charlie Venegas 44311
46 – Aaron Fox 3249
48 – Tyson Talkington 3328
63 – Michael Raines 41F5
66 – Jason Ramirez 0123
98 – Doug Nicol 2024
113 – Gabe Price FR 11
120 – Doug Greyson 0112
141 – Josh Abbott 1FN 1
1: Raines, Fishback, Blair (tape penalty), Abbott, Price (fell)
2: (restarted) McConnell, Castro, Russell, Marquez (penalty line), Greyson
3: (restarted) Janniro, Yarrow, Schwartz, Sauer, Novratil (two-minute exclusion)
4: Faria, Fox, Nicol, Ermolenko, Boyle
5: Venegas, Talkington, Burmeister, Hedden, Ramirez
9: Fishback, Hedden, Fox, Greyson
10: Burmeister, Blair, McConnell, Sauer, Nicol (fell, remounted)
11: Schwartz, Talkington, Boyle, Raines, Russell
12: Janniro, Castro, Faria, Ramirez, Abbott (fell)
13: Venegas, Marquez, Yarrow, Ermolenko, Price (retired)
17: Fishback, Ermolenko, Talkington, Castro, Sauer
18: Hedden, Yarrow, McConnell, Boyle,
19: Fox, Schwartz, Ramirez, Blair (tape penalty), Marquez
20: Faria, Burmeister, Russell, Price
21: Janniro, Venegas, Nicol, Greyson, Raines (fell)
Runoff: Hedden, McConnell, Yarrow, Talkington
Semi #1: Venegas, Fishback, Yarrow, Burmeister, Fox
Semi #2: Janniro, Faria, Schwartz, Hedden, McConnell (fell, remounted)
First Division Last Chance
8 - Bryan Yarrow
11 - Bobby Schwartz
40 - Tommy Hedden
26 - Tyson Burmeister
First Division Main Event (restarted)
1 - Billy Janniro
25 - Jimmy Fishback
43 - Charlie Venegas
9 - Mike Faria
8 - Bryan Yarrow