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1998 Costa Mesa Speedway
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Costa Mesa Speedway
Orange County Fairgrounds
Costa Mesa, CA

Week Two
April 25, 1998 - Costa Mesa Speedway
From Gary Roberts

On Saturday April 25, Costa Mesa Speedway held its second meeting of their regular weekly program. A big crowd saw some good racing, although the strength of the first division was down, from what would be expected at this stage in the season. Many of the hoped for regulars were missing, including Mike Faria, Chris Manchester, Josh Larsen, Charlie Venegas, and Steve Lucero. Those in attendance put on a good show, but in a class of their own were Bobby Schwartz, Gary Hicks and Brad Oxley. There was no shortage of support class riders.

Scratch Main:
1. Brad Oxley
2. Gary Hicks
3. Bobby Schwartz
4. Gary Ackroyd
5. Paul Colston

This was probably the best race of the night. Bobby Schwartz won his heat and his semi final then got a rotten start in the main and rode brilliantly round the outside to get up to third, but that was as far as he got. Brad Oxley looked outstandingly fast. Paul Colston was the surviver, rather than the qualifier of the last chance qualifier heat. The first time the race was run he tangled with Eddie Castro in the first corner resulting in everyone going down, with Brian Pappalardo flying into the wall, head first, at high speed. Miraculously he was OK but declined to ride in the re-run. Next time out, Eddie Castro brought down Paul Colston, leaving Colston to win the run off with fourth man Charlie Cooley.

Handicap Main:
1. Randy DiFrancesco
2. Brian Pappalardo
3. Kon Baur

No other finishers from this 8 man race!!! Gary Ackroyd and Eddie Castro were disqualifed, Gary Hicks led for a couple of laps before engine failure stopped him. Brad Oxley failed to qualify after getting an unfortunate start in his qualifier. Bobby Schwartz rode hard in his handicap qualifier heat and qualified for the semi-final but stopped at the start of his semi-final, expecting the race to be stopped, after Eddie Castro went from the 40 yard line to the 20 yard line before the tapes went up.

Support Main:
1. Richard Jones
2. Sean Larned
3. Mark Hitchcock
4. Marvin Sonnier
5. Rick Bishop
6. Frank Pecce

Support Class B Main:
1. John VanderMuellen
2. #241
3. Fred Armenta
4. Allan McBee
5. Eloy Medallin
6. Peter Curtis

It was good to see my buddie John Vandermeulen win something at last. He put in a lot of work last year at Santa Maria, as acting promoter, as well as organising the program and preparing the track. This year he will be able to focus on his racing.

Its sad that Costa Mesa is now the only track running now in the Los Angeles area. Even the Santa Maria track in on the central coast has closed this season. In Northern California, Auburn starts up on May 8 and Dixon the following week.

Gary Roberts - groberts@iee.org

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