Costa Mesa Speedway
Orange County Fairgrounds
Costa Mesa, California
September 8, 2012 - Costa Mesa
By: Ryan Evans
YouTube Scratch Main - Mark Williams - Xtreme Speedway Action
YouTube Sidecar Main - Mark Williams - Xtreme Speedway Action
Harley Night - Costa Mesa, CA, USA - September 8
Shawn "Mad Dog" McConnell scored a stunning victory to finish an action-packed evening in front of a standing-room-only crowd on Harley Night at the world famous Costa Mesa Speedway.
National Champion Billy "The Kid" Janniro and former World Champion Billy "The Bullet" Hamill were lined up next to each other in gates one and two, respectively, as the crowd anticipated another epic battle between the two. They left the starting line together but Janniro pushed Hamill wide in the first corner while McConnell shrewdly tried to cutback behind them. Janniro was able to get back to the inside quickly enough to hold onto the lead before McConnell could take it. Janniro remained in front through two laps but was exiting wider with each successive corner while looking back to check where McConnell was. Janniro took the white flag and drifted wide coming out of turn two and McConnell dramatically cut into this lead. He entered the final bend low but didn't cut the corner as sharply as McConnell. This made it a drag race to the finish that McConnell narrowly won. Janniro was forced to accept second and some added motivation for the upcoming National Championship, Jimmy "Little Animal" Fishback finished third, Hamill was fourth, and "Flyin" Mike Faria finished fifth.
McConnell opened the evening with a win over "Fast" Eddie Castro in the first heat. Fishback beat Janniro in the second heat. Faria held off "Battling" Buck Blair to win heat three. Hamill ended the first round with a win over Under 21 National Champion Gino Manzares.
McConnell started the second round by defeating Tyson Talkington for his second straight win.
Janniro led the first lap of event 10 but came under heavy pressure from Aaron Fox on the back straight before Fox backed his bike in too hard and had a spectacular dismount that brought out the red flag. Fox got up limping but was able to make the restart. Janniro easily won the restart with Steve Russell getting second.
Fishback made it two wins in a row by beating Castro. Hamill finished round two by defeating former Youth National Champion Jason Ramirez.
The final round began with Faria beating McConnell for his second victory. Janniro defeated Manzares for his second win in a row. Blair beat Bobby "Boogaloo" Schwartz in event 19. Fishback ended the heats with an impressive win over Hamill to remain perfect.
Janniro blazed to victory in the first semi with McConnell getting second to join him in the main event. Hamill and Faria finished one-two in the second semi and both former National Champions moved on to the main. Fishback, undefeated before the semis, won the Last Chance to get himself into the main.
Rudy Laurer made the best start and led all four laps to collect the victory in the Support Main Event. Eloy Medellin finished second, Davey Shaw was third, Rohn Zellner finished fourth, and Brad Moreau was fifth.
The Sidecar Main Event ended unceremoniously in turn four and left Dwayne King with what was later determined to be a broken leg. The time that was required to stabilize the fallen passenger, get him loaded into an ambulance, and the looming noise curfew forced the restart of the race to be cancelled. It was a somber moment in what was otherwise an electric evening.
The sold-out crowd was thrilled to see several of the ever-popular street-legal Harley Races. There was great racing and some wild crashes that kept them thoroughly entertained. The highlight witnessing Roland Sands win his race.
The next event at Costa Mesa Speedway is the 44th annual Monster Energy United States National Speedway Championship on Saturday, September 22. International Speedway Inc. promoter Brad Oxley announced in the riders meeting that the purse had reached $22,000 and that the winner would take home $5,000. An already heavily-anticipated event will be overflowing with intensity as the largest payout in over 30 years will be distributed and 20 of the best racers in American speedway all wanting to take home the most cherished trophy and the richest prize in America.
Support Last Chance
153 – Brad Moreau
163 – Ron Davis
220 – Tom Bryant
244 – Lewis Hughes
Support Main Event
182 - Rudy Laurer
178 - Eloy Medellin
145 - Davey Shaw
118 - Rohn Zellner
153 - Brad Moreau
First Division Heat Scoring123T
1 – Billy Janniro 34411
6 – Shawn McConnell 44311
9 – Mike Faria 42410
11 – Bobby Schwartz 2136
14 – Eddie Castro 3328
23 – Steve Russell 1315
24 – Gino Manzares 3E36
25 – Jimmy Fishback 44412
37 – Joe Donaldson 0213
39 – Buck Blair 3148
41 – John Marquez 2024
45 – Brad Pappalardo 1113
46 – Aaron Fox 12R 3
48 – Tyson Talkington 0325
66 – Jason Ramirez 2327
104 – Billy Hamill 44311
147 – Rick Farron 0101
321 – Russell Green 2215
389 – Ryan Tovatt 1001
1: McConnell, Castro, Ramirez, Pappalardo
2: Fishback, Janniro, Green, Fox, Talkington
3: Faria, Blair, Schwartz, Russell, Farron
4: Hamill, Manzares, Marquez, Tovatt, Donaldson
9: McConnell, Talkington, Donaldson, Blair, Manzares (engine failure)
10: (restarted) Janniro, Russell (tape penalty), Fox (penalty line), Pappalardo, Tovatt
11: Fishback, Castro, Green, Schwartz, Marquez
12: Hamill, Ramirez, Faria, Farron
17: Faria, McConnell, Castro, Russell, Farron
18: Janniro, Manzares, Marquez, Donaldson, Fox
19: Blair, Schwartz, Ramirez, Pappalardo
20: Fishback, Hamill, Talkington, Green, Tovatt
Semi #1: Janniro, McConnell, Manzares, Blair, Castro (tape penalty)
Semi #2: Hamill, Faria, Fishback, Schwartz, Ramirez (fell, remounted)
First Division Last Chance
25 - Jimmy Fishback
39 - Buck Blair
24 - Gino Manzares
11 - Bobby Schwartz
First Division Main Event
6 - Shawn McConnell
1 - Billy Janniro
25 - Jimmy Fishback
104 - Billy Hamill
9 - Mike Faria