Costa Mesa Speedway
Orange County Fairgrounds
Costa Mesa, California
John Matherson Cup
August 18, 2012
By: Ryan Evans
Photos from Howie Zechner Facebook Photo Album
YouTube Video Sidecars Race 1 - Mark Williams - Xtreme Speedway Action
YouTube Video Sidecars Race 2 - Mark Williams - Xtreme Speedway Action
YouTube Video Sidecars Race 3 - Mark Williams - Xtreme Speedway Action
YouTube Video - Brad Oxley Interview - Mark Williams - Xtreme Speedway Action
Mission Motorsports John Matherson Cup - Costa Mesa, CA, USA - August 18
Former World Champion Billy "The Bullet" Hamill continued his romp through the Southern California speedway circuit with another main event victory on Mission Motorsports John Matherson Cup Night at the world famous Costa Mesa Speedway.
Charlie "The Edge" Venegas started in gate five and got out of the blocks the fastest with Hamill not far behind. Venegas had a slight lead entering turn one but not enough to get completely across Hamill. Venegas couldn't find traction on the outside while Hamill found plenty of drive on the inside line and took the lead on the back straight while Shawn "Mad Dog" McConnell followed him and secured second before Venegas and tuck in behind him and lose any more positions. Hamill led through lap two but McConnell found enough traction exiting turn four to come within inches of the leader as they entered turn one the third time. Hamill could feel McConnell but the pressure didn't faze him. Hamill didn't allow an opening and kept McConnell at bay all the way to the finish. Venegas finished third, Aaron Fox was fourth, and "Flyin" Mike Faria finished fifth.
Hamill kicked off the heats with a convincing win over McConnell. Venegas beat Fox in the second heat. Faria held off newly-crowned Under 21 National Champion Gino Manzares to finish round one with a victory.
Fox began round two with a very impressive victory over Hamill who had to do everything he could just to beat Manzares for second. McConnell beat Venegas in the next heat. Northern California's Bryan Yarrow beat Faria to end the second round.
Yarrow started the final round of heats by beating McConnell for his second straight win. Hamill defeated Faria for his second win. Manzares capitalized on a mistake by Venegas to win the final heat ahead of Fox who got second.
Three riders were tied for the last two spots in the semis and it was "Fast" Eddie Castro winning the runoff with Tyson Talkington getting second. Former Under 21 National Champion Justin Boyle finished third and was finished for the evening.
Venegas made a great start from gate five and won the first semi with McConnell following him into the main. Hamill blazed to the win in the other semi with Fox getting second to also transfer to the main. Faria held Yarrow off to win the Last Chance and fill the final spot in the main-event field.
The John Matherson Cup is the event that every sidecar competitor circles on their respective calendars. Twelve sidecars took to the track and three rounds of heats reduced the field to just four in the main event. Bob Brayton and Dwayne King got antsy and rode through the tapes the first time the teams lined up. The second time the teams came to the starting line it was Dylan Beard and Crystal Beard who shot to the front. Joe Jones, who is the only driver to win the John Matherson Cup since its inception, and his passenger Johnny Glover chased after the Beards. The two teams had a great battle for two laps before the Beards opened up some breathing room on the third lap and steadily pulled away for the win. Joe Jones and Glover had to settle for second, Dan Jones and Matt Davis finished third, and Brayton and King were credited with fourth.
There were three attempts to complete the Support Main Event and when the final try ended in a heap in turn three, the referee awarded the race to Archie Perez. Rudy Laurer was credited with second, Geoff Herkner with third, Troy McConnell was fourth, and J.D. Myerscough finished fifth.
Ron Davis put together four smooth laps and won the Support B Main Event. Stephen Simrak finished second, Colorado's Bobby Richards was third, and Paul Thornton finished fourth.
Broc Nicol made a great start and never succumbed to the pressure from Max Ruml and won the Youth 250cc Main Event. Hayley Perrault finished third and Kurtis Hamill was fourth.
Braydan Galvin blazed to a runaway victory in the Youth 200cc First Division Main Event. Michael Wells was second and Sebastian Palmese finished third.
Courtney Crone thrilled the crowd by defeating all of the boys in the Youth 200cc Second Division Main Event. Maverick Molloy finished second, Dylan Smith was third, and Tristan Britt finished fourth.
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 to honor him.
The next event at Costa Mesa Speedway is the Motorcycle Demolition Derby. The evening will include all divisions of speedway, the sidecars, and the always wild motorcycle demolition derby.
John Matherson Cup Sidecar Main Event
5150 - Dylan Beard/Crystal Beard
1 - Joe Jones/Johnny Glover
2 - Dan Jones/Matt Davis
V2 - Bob Brayton/Dwayne King (tape penalty)
Youth 200cc Second Division Main Event
4 - Courtney Crone
34 - Maverick Molloy
13 - Dylan Smith
11 - Tristan Britt
Youth 200cc First Division Main Event
45 - Braydan Galvin
214 - Michael Wells
18 - Sebastian Palmese
Youth 250cc Main Event (restarted)
98 - Broc Nicol
308 - Max Ruml
0 - Hayley Perrault
104 - Kurtis Hamill
Support B Main Event
163 - Ron Davis
318 - Stephen Simrak
8c - Bobby Richards(tape penalty)
124 - Paul Thornton
Support Main Event (restarted twice) (awarded)
34 - Archie Perez
182 - Rudy Laurer
208 - Geoff Herkner
114 - Troy McConnell (fell)
155 - J.D. Myerscough (non starter - restart)
First Division Heat Scoring123T
6 – Shawn McConnell 34310
8n – Bryan Yarrow 24410
9 – Mike Faria 43310
11 – Bobby Schwartz 1113
14 – Eddie Castro 2204
18 – Justin Boyle 1124
23 – Steve Russell 0011
24 – Gino Manzares 3249
43 – Charlie Venegas 4329
46 – Aaron Fox 34310
48 – Tyson Talkington 1124
66 – Jason Ramirez 2215
104 – Billy Hamill 43411
2: (restarted) Hamill, McConnell, Castro, Talkington (penalty line)
3: Venegas, Fox, Yarrow, Boyle, Russell
4: Faria, Manzares, Ramirez, Schwartz
10: Fox, Hamill, Manzares, Boyle, Russell
11: McConnell, Venegas, Ramirez, Talkington
12: Yarrow, Faria, Castro, Schwartz
15: Yarrow, McConnell, Boyle, Russell
16: Hamill, Faria, Talkington, Ramirez, Castro
17: Manzares, Fox, Venegas, Schwartz
Runoff: Castro, Talkington, Boyle
Semi #1: Venegas, McConnell, Yarrow, Talkington, Manzares
Semi #2: Hamill, Fox, Castro, Faria, Ramirez
First Division Last Chance
9 - Mike Faria
8n - Bryan Yarrow
14 - Eddie Castro
48 - Tyson Talkington
First Division Main Event
104 - Billy Hamill
6 - Shawn McConnell
43 - Charlie Venegas
46 - Aaron Fox
9 - Mike Faria (tape penalty)