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1996 Costa Mesa Speedway
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1996 Costa Mesa Speedway

August 23, 1996 Costa Mesa Speedway
From: Gary Roberts

Support Class Main
1. Brian Burch
2. Tom Wetzel
3. Bill Green
4. Danny Holt
5. Sean Larned
6. Robbie Hackman

Scratch Main
1. Bobby"Boogaloo" Schwartz
2. "Rad" Brad Oxley
3. Gary Hicks
4. Jesse Finch
5. Shawn McConnell

Handicap Main
1. Shawn McConnell
2. Gary Hicks
3. Jake Zemke
4. "Rad" Brad Oxley
5. Bobby"Boogaloo" Schwartz
6. Eddie Castro
7. Andy "the Enforcer" Northrup
8. John Aden (non-starter)

This was one of the most accident infested speedway meetings I've seen for a long time. Even the start was delayed because the first aiders had to tend to some child that had fallen off the stand. This seemed to set a trend that was followed all evening.

One of the main differences between over here and over there, which is really quite obvious, is the speed. This results in riders riding much closer together and several races were really very close. One in particular, early in the evening, when the whole width of the track was even, turned into two rows of three riders, circulating for several laps, with no more than a couple of feet between the rows. Good close exciting racing. One of the less pleasant results of this close racing was seen in the scratch main when Robbie Hackman went down on the last lap, when in third place. He managed to get onto the centre field, but his bike was in the middle of the racing line. The following rider missed the bike, but hit the wall, and the rider behind him had nowhere to go. Fortunately both were OK. The winner, Brian Burch started from the front of the pack and held the lead unchallenged.

Steve"bad boy" Lucero's absence made Bobby"Boogaloo" Schwartz's win in the Scratch Main easier, but "Rad" Brad Oxley was close behind him.

The Handicap Main was another story. Usually one or two less experienced riders manage to qualify for the main, resulting in a spread of riders from the 10 yard handicap line back to the 50. Tonight the field contained probably the best 8 scratch riders, starting from within 20 yards of one another. The first attempt was stopped when Eddie Castro jumped the start (quite usual) and got moved back from the 40 to the 60 yard line. The first re-run resulted in John Aden, Bobby"Boogaloo" Schwartz and Gary Hicks colliding in the first corner. The second re-run lasted a lap longer, with John Aden going down, by himself. He was disqualified from the third and final re-run.

The track held up better this week as was seen by Jake Zemke, the only 30 yard rider getting over taken by McConnell and Gary Hicks. On previous occasions by the end of the evening there is only a single racing line, resulting in the front man on the grid winning. Despite many crashes throughout the evening, nobody was seriously hurt.

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