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2012 Costa Mesa Speedway
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RIP Jim Masters
R.I.P. Jim "JC" Masters

Costa Mesa Speedway
Orange County Fairgrounds
Costa Mesa, California

40th Costa Mesa Fair Derby
June 14, 2012
By: Ryan Evans
Photos by Paul Flanders

YouTube Video of Scratch Main Event - From Mark Williams - Xtreme Speedway Action

Quick Results from the 40th Costa Mesa Fair Derby.
Full Report coming soon. My thoughts and prayers are with Jim "J.C." Masters.

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A day or two of home cooking had Billy Hamill, shown here with his father, back in winning form a week after the Speedway World Cup race in Poland. Gino Manzares showed that he’s ready for a shot at the U-21 title by take second to Hamill. After 39 years of racing, Bobby Schwartz has still got “it” as he made the main by winning the last chance race.
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Eloy Medellin collected an early birthday present when Rudy Laurer mistook the white flag as the checkered in the support class. (file photo from a previous race) Kara “Frito” Lay, Jason Ramirez girlfriend, takes Pit Tootsie of the Night. The PFM Racing Team lined up incorrectly as Aaron Fox, John Marquez and Brad Pappalardo accompanied by Robert Mendoza.
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It was nice to see Brandon Leedy back in action after 10 months off. Father Ken was happy, too. The hottest rider in July, Buck Blair, had his race face on before the first heat when he beat Hamill. However, he left the meeting early to go to the hospital with friend J.C. Masters.  

40th annual Fair Derby - Costa Mesa, CA, USA - July 14

Billy "The Bullet" Hamill won the 40th annual Fair Derby in front of a packed house at the world famous Costa Mesa Speedway and took home the prized bronze hat for the second straight year but any celebration was tempered by a tragedy that occurred in the pits.

Support Division racer Jim "J.C." Masters collapsed from an apparent heart attack in the pit area following his second heat race. Tommy Hedden immediately came to his aid and began performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation with the help of other riders and crew members before the medics and eventually the Costa Mesa Fire Department arrived. Masters was transported via ambulance to Hoag Memorial Hospital in Newport Beach but efforts to revive him were unsuccessful. The tragic news made it back to the pits not long after the main event concluded.

The services for Masters will be at Dilday Funeral Home located at 17911 Beach Blvd. in Huntington Beach. The viewing will be Monday, July 23 from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. and the funeral will be Tuesday, July 24 at 10:00 a.m.

The evening began with Tyson Burmeister beating Shawn "Mad Dog" McConnell in the first heat. "Battling" Buck Blair beat Hamill in the second heat. Former National Champion Charlie "The Edge" Venegas beat "Fast" Eddie Castro in the third heat. Bobby "Boogaloo" Schwartz held off Aaron Fox to win the fourth heat. Gino Manzares made a great inside move on "Flyin" Mike Faria to end the first round with a victory.

Manzares beat McConnell for his second straight victory to open the second round. Hamill defeated Burmeister for his first win. Venegas made it two in a row with a win ahead of Jason Ramirez. Schwartz won his second win over Marquez in event 12. Hedden finished round two with a defeat of Faria.

McConnell started round three by beating Hedden. Hamill defeated Manzares for his second straight win. Venegas beat Burmeister to remain perfect. Tyson Talkington held off Schwartz to win event 20. Fox finished the heats by beating Ramirez.

Marquez beat Talkington in a runoff for the final spot in the semis.

Manzares won the first semi with Burmeister getting second and both riders transferring to the main event. Hamill handed Venegas his first loss in the second semi but Venegas would get a chance at revenge in the main. Schwartz won the Last Chance to complete the main-event field.

Hamill started the main event in gate one and exploded into the lead when the tapes went up. The former World Champion was chased by the 18 year old Manzares on the back straight. Hamill opened a comfortable lead but not large enough to afford a mistake. Manzares remained within striking distance but the leader never afforded him any opportunities. Hamill was first to the checkered flag, Manzares settled for second, Venegas finished third, Burmeister was fourth, and Schwartz finished fifth.

Rudy Laurer comfortably led the first three laps of the Support Main Event and was well on his way to victory when he apparently mistook the white flag for the checkered and slowed down. Eloy Medellin was the benefactor and led the last lap for the win. Mike Wiley finished second, a disappointed Laurer was third, Geoff Herkner finished fourth, and Bruce Marteney was fifth.

The Fair Derby was held on the opening weekend of the annual Orange County Fair, which occurs at the fairgrounds on which Costa Mesa Speedway runs its events. It always attracts a large crowd and is also a showcase for speedway to potentially gain new fans because all fair patrons are admitted free into the speedway venue. The crowd was overflowing at times with the stands packed throughout the evening and many spectators standing behind the VIP boxes and in turn one.

The Orange County Fair continues until August 12. Therefore, the next event at Costa Mesa Speedway will be Mission Motorsports Night on Saturday, August 18. The date will also include the Amateur Afternoon races prior to the races that evening.


Support Main Event
178 - Eloy Medellin
101 - Mike Wiley
182 - Rudy Laurer
208 - Geoff Herkner (fell, remounted)
242 - Bruce Marteney (fell, remounted)

First Division Heat Scoring123T
6 – Shawn McConnell 33410
9 – Mike Faria 3328
11 – Bobby Schwartz 44311
14 – Eddie Castro 32T5
17 – Robbie Sauer 0112
18 – Justin Boyle 1023
21 – Brad Sauer 2215
23 – Steve Russell 1023
24 – Gino Manzares 44311
26 – Tyson Burmeister 43310
39 – Buck Blair 42N 6
40n – Tommy Hedden 2439
41 – John Marquez 2327
43 – Charlie Venegas 44412
45 – Brad Pappalardo 1N 23
46 – Aaron Fox 3249
48 – Tyson Talkington 2147
66 – Jason Ramirez E336
86 – Neil Facchini 11N 2
104 – Billy Hamill 34411
151 – Brandon Leedy 0112
293 – Rick Valdez 02F2
321 – Russell Green 2114
389 – Ryan Tovatt 1012

Race Results
1: Burmeister, McConnell, Marquez, Boyle, Ramirez (engine failure)
2: Blair, Hamill, Green, Facchini, R. Sauer
3: Venegas, Castro, B. Sauer, Tovatt
4: (restarted) Schwartz, Fox, Hedden, Russell (penalty line), Leedy
5: Manzares, Faria, Talkington, Pappalardo, Valdez
9: Manzares, McConnell, B. Sauer, Green, Russell
10: Hamill, Burmeister, Fox, Talkington, Tovatt
11: Venegas, Ramirez, Blair (tape penalty), Leedy, Pappalardo (non starter)
12: (awarded) Schwartz, Marquez, Valdez, Facchini (fell)
13: Hedden, Faria, Castro, R. Sauer, Boyle
17: McConnell, Hedden, Pappalardo, Tovatt
18: Hamill, Manzares, Marquez, Leedy, Castro (tape exclusion)
19: Venegas, Burmeister, Russell, R. Sauer, Valdez (fell)
20: Talkington, Schwartz, Boyle, B. Sauer
21: Fox, Ramirez, Faria, Green
Runoff: Marquez, Talkington
Semi #1: Manzares, Burmeister, Schwartz, Hedden, Marquez
Semi #2: Hamill, Venegas, McConnell, Fox, Faria

First Division Last Chance
11 - Bobby Schwartz
6 - Shawn McConnell (tape penalty)
40n - Tommy Hedden
46 - Aaron Fox (retired)

Fair Derby Main Event
104 - Billy Hamill
24 - Gino Manzares
43 - Charlie Venegas
26 - Tyson Burmeister
11 - Bobby Schwartz
Ryan Evans

Past Fair Derby Champions
1970 – Bill Cody
1971 – Sonny Nutter
1972 – Rick Woods
1973 – not contested
1974 – not contested
1975 – Mike Curoso
1976 – Bruce Penhall
1977 – not contested
1978 – Bobby Schwartz
1979 – Alan Christian
1980 – Mike Muntean (handicap race)
1981 – Lance King
1982 – Mike Bast
1983 – Kelly Moran
1984 – John Sandona
1985 – Robert Pfetzing
1986 – Mike Faria
1987 – Mike Faria
1988 – Shawn McConnell
1989 – Steve Lucero
1990 – Bobby Schwartz
1991 – Phil Collins
1992 – Mike Faria
1993 – Bobby Schwartz
1994 – Bobby Schwartz
1995 – Steve Lucero
1996 – Robert Pfetzing
1997 – Shawn McConnell
1998 – Bobby Schwartz
1999 – Mike Faria
2000 – Charlie Venegas
2001 – Josh Larsen
2002 – Mike Faria
2003 – Mike Faria
2004 – Mike Faria
2005 – Mike Faria
2006 – Bryan Yarrow
2007 – Ricky Wells
2008 – Jimmy Fishback
2009 – Eddie Castro
2010 – Buck Blair
2011 – Billy Hamill

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