Shawn "Mad Dog" McConnell finished a great night of racing by winning the main event in front of a packed house on Harley Night at the world famous Costa Mesa Speedway.
McConnell made the best start from gate two and was able to get across gate-one starting "Battling" Buck Blair and lead the field through the first corner. Blair didn't go away quietly and was clamped to McConnell's back tire right away. McConnell wasn't bothered by Blair's pressure and calmly held the lead while Blair had to contend with Jimmy "Little Animal" Fishback trying to pry second from him. McConnell was still leading on the third lap when Blair went into turn three a little too hot and parked in front of Fishback. The result was ugly as Fishback had nowhere to go and slammed into Blair, got spun around in the process, which also collected Tyson Burmeister. The race was awarded to McConnell and Blair was relegated fifth place. The finishing order was insignificant for Blair because it was later determined that he had broken his collarbone in several places and will be out of action for approximately two months. Fishback was credited with second, Burmeister with third, and Michael Raines with fourth.
Burmeister kicked off the heats with a win over Gino Manzares. McConnell beat Steve Russell in the second heat. Fishback defeated Tyson Talkington in event three. Rocco Scopellite ended round one with a win over Charles "Dukie" Ermolenko.
Burmeister started round two by beating Ermolenko. Manzares beat McConnell in the next event. Blair held off Fishback in event 11. Raines finished the second round by beating Russell.
Burmeister began the final round of heats by beating Raines to remain perfect. McConnell beat Ermolenko for his second win. Manzares impressively defeated Fishback for his second straight victory. Blair closed out the heats by beating Schwartz.
Raines led the first semi into turn three with Manzares and McConnell close behind. Manzares and McConnell made contact which sent Manzares straight toward the wall. The eighteen year old was able to dismount before the bike slammed hard into the wall. However, Scopellite wasn't as fortunate. While trying to take evasive action he clipped the prone Manzares which caused his bike to lift and took him into the wall. Scopellite was down for several minutes before being helped off the track. A trip to the hospital revealed broken bones in his lower leg and his ankle and required surgery and several screws to help mend. Manzares was also unable to participate in the restart because he didn't have a bike.
Raines and McConnell finished one-two in the restart to transfer to the main. Blair won the second semi with Fishback finishing second to follow him into the main. Burmeister won the Last Chance to fill the last spot in the main-event field.
Rudy Laurer led the Support Main Event from the start and had the victory in his back pocket when he slid off on the last lap while comfortably in the lead. Mike Wiley, who won the previous night at Inland Motorcycle Speedway, was the beneficiary and happily collected a gift-wrapped win. Harold Hartke finished second, "Rattlesnake" Steve Bowen was third, Carl Gazafy finished fourth, and Rudy Laurer was fifth.
Rod Requejo and Gene Stone, mounted on the only Harley Davidson sidecar, led the Sidecar Main Event into turn one. The duo drifted a little wide exiting turn two and Joe Jones and Johnny Glover made a savvy cutback move to take the lead on the back straight. Jones and Glover had the race under control and had just taken the white flag when Dylan Beard and Crystal Beard and Kevin Brown and Nick Hertrick came together in turn four. The victory was awarded to Jones and Glover, Requejo and Stone were second, Brown and Hertrick were third, and the Beards were fourth.
The next event at Costa Mesa Speedway will be the Warren Russell Cup which honors a man who gave a lot to speedway through sponsorship of riders, tracks, and events. The first Amateur Afternoon will take place during the day and riders of all divisions are encouraged to participate and take advantage of the opportunity to get extra laps on the track. Signups for Amateur Afternoon will begin at 10:00 a.m. with the practice and racing set to begin at 12:30 p.m.
First Division Heat Scoring123T
First Division Last Chance
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