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1999 Costa Mesa Speedway
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Costa Mesa Speedway
Orange County Fairgrounds
Costa Mesa, California

1999 Spring Classic
Costa Mesa Speedway
March 20, 1999
From Gary Roberts

Also see: Speedway From Turn Two -Tom Simrak's report

The Costa Mesa season started on Saturday with the traditional Spring Classic. I flew down from San Jose early in the morning and was greeted by rain which continued till around midday and I had already started thinking what I would be doing with my evening, because I was sure the Spring Classic would be cancelled. But then the sun came out, the track was fine and there was a big crowd. International Speedway put on a good show, complete with a brass band. At the last Costa Mesa US National, the band was situated on turn 3. This time they wisely chose the middle of the back straight, less DG in the trumpets.

It was good to see Billy Hamill back and in superb form. His absence from the British League this year will be a sad loss to all his fans in the UK. We certainly enjoyed watching him here!

The rules have changed and now allow 15 year olds to compete in the 500 cc class. Since Ryan Fisher is now 15 (contrary to what was being announced all evening) he became the other highlight of the night, winning the support class heat, semi final and main, each by a margin that varied from a quarter to a half a lap.

Many riders seem to have updated their equipment during the off season. There were a lot more laydowns than last year, mostly with GM motors, although Bobby Schwartz and Shawn McConnell rode uprights with no shortage of success.

Scratch Main
1. Billy Hamill
2. Shawn "mad dog" McConnell
3. Andy "the Enforcer" Northrup
4. Bobby "Boogaloo" Schwartz
5. Mike Faria

Handicap Main
1. Eddie Castro
2. Billy Hamill
3. Mike Faria
4. Andy "the Enforcer" Northrup
5. Randy DiFrancesco
6. Bobby "Boogaloo" Schwartz
7. Gary Hicks
8. Shawn "mad dog" McConnell

Support Class A
1. Ryan Fisher
2. Brian Thompson
3. Kitt Nay
4. Tim Tucker
5. Sean Larned
6. William McCarley

Support Class B
1. Mike Mosby
2. Harry Bradwell
3. Phil Harmatuik
4. Scott Mersereau
5. Peter Curtis
6. Eloy Medellin

The season starts on April 10 at Costa Mesa and May 7 at Auburn. This will give some of the support class riders an opportunity to get a bit of practice in! There were a series of accidents throughout the evening and many looked decidedly rusty. Talking about practice, on the Sunday I drove down to Ken Maely's Ranch at Corona and could not believe my eyes. The speedway practice track used to be in the foot of the canyon. The canyon has now been filled in, and the track is 30 feet higher and much bigger. Ken is still putting the finishing touches, but the place is open for practice sessions. (See the photos on Ken Maely's web page!)

It looks like another great season coming up!

Gary Roberts - gary_rob@ix.netcom.com

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