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1999 Ventura Raceway
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Ventura Raceway
Ventura, California

1999 Commotion By The Ocean
Ventura, California
Friday June 27, 1999
From Ryan Evans - Sideways31@aol.com

Charlie Venegas 1997

Speedway returned to the "Commotion By The Ocean" in Ventura for only the second time since 1987 and Charlie "The Edge" Venegas won the main event in spectacular style. In the six-man scratch main, Scott Brant took the lead off gate 3 and looked the victor for two laps. Then Venegas blew around the outside to take the lead and held off Brant the final two laps to take the victory. Meanwhile, at the back "Fast" Eddie Castro, who came out of the start in dead last, passed three riders one by one to claim third. Dukie Ermolenko was fourth, Billy Janniro came from Northern California to finish fifth, and Gary Ackroyd finished sixth.

In the Support Main, Sean McDougall gated and left the field to easily take home the victory. Mike "No Rules" Mattocks recovered from a bad start to take second, Bill McCarley was third, and Tom Buckingham fourth. There was some spectacular racing all day as the riders needed very little time to adjust to the big 1/5 mile banked track. All of the riders were given about 5 laps of practice to familiarize themselves with the track. There was a lot of passing with several performances worth noting. In race 10, Ojai native Castro passed first John Aden and then Venegas around the outside to please his local crowd. Janniro looked impressive in passing Brant in race 18.

The 1st Division format was similar to the Jack Milne Cup in that there were 3 rounds, 4 races each, with 5-man scratch heats. The difference was that there were no semi-finals.The top 6 scorers qualified for the scratch main event and the 7th thru 12th scorers qualified for the Consolation. The Support Class had 4 scratch heats, each with five men. The winner from each heat qualified directly to the main. Second through fourth qualified for one of two semi-finals with fifth place eliminated.The winner of each semi completed the six-man field for the Support Main Event. As I stated earlier, the racing was quite spectacular with all lines on the race track being used. There was a significant blue groove on the inside, but if the rider didn't find that to his liking, he could take it up on the banked outside. This was the first speedway race at Ventura since the 1994 American Final which saw Greg Hancock run away with a maximum score. Speedway was held at "The Commotion By The Ocean" on Tuesday nights from 1972 to 1987 and had a tremendous local following. The track was originally the size of Costa Mesa and was expanded several times until it reached it's current 1/5 mile dimensions. The track is normally used for sprint cars, but it's plenty wide for speedway and very fast. It would be great to get a semi-regular program going there. Perhaps once a month. There was a pretty good crowd, my guess between 1200 and 1500 in attendence. International Speedway (Costa Mesa) helped to promote the race, which also featured sidecars and 600cc dirt trackers, and it would be great if they could strike a deal with Ventura promoter Jim Naylor. The riders need to get experience on a big track while also promoting speedway to new (old?) areas.


Support Main
1st 243 - Sean McDougall
2nd 122 - Michael Mattocks
3rd 120 - Bill McCarley
4th 164 - Tom Buckingham
5th 216 - Kitt Nay
6th 321 - Billy Lyons

 1st Division Scoring
3 - Gary Hicks 1-3-1= 5
6 - Shawn McConnell3-3-0= 6
7 - John Aden4-2-0= 6
8 - Gary Ackroyd 3-3-2= 8
10 - Scott Brant4-4-3=11
11 - Bobby Schwartz 4-0-2= 6
14 - Eddie Castro 2-4-4=10
14n - Billy Janniro2-4-4=10
15 - Dukie Ermolenko4-4-2=10
19 - Richard Jones2-2-1= 5
30 - Brian Burchscratch
32 - Rick Pearcescratch
43 - Charlie Venegas3-3-4=10
47 - Johnny WalkerR-N-N= 0
56 - Jim Estes3-1-3= 7
72 - Randy DiFrancesco2-2-3= 7
88 - Steve Furman scratch
117 - Robbie Sauer 1-0-1= 2
119 - Brad Sauer (R) 1= 1
166 - Andy Northrup1-2-4= 7
173 - Bryan Thompson 0-1-0= 1
216 - Kitt Nay (R) 1-2= 3
314 - Joe Winston0-1-3= 4

1st Division Race Results
1: Ermolenko, Venegas, Janniro, Northrup, Winston (fell, rem.)
2: Brant, Estes, Castro, R.Sauer, Thompson
3: Aden, McConnell, DiFrancesco, Hicks, Walker (ret.)
4: Schwartz, Ackroyd, Jones (three rider race)
9: Brant, McConnell, Northrup, Nay (four rider race)
10: Castro, Venegas, Aden, Winston, R.Sauer
11: Janniro, Hicks, DiFrancesco, Estes, Schwartz
12: Ermolenko, Ackroyd, Jones, Thompson, Walker (ns) (four man race)
17: Venegas, Estes, Nay, B.Sauer (fell, rem.), Walker (ns) (four man race)
18: Janniro, Brant, Ermolenko, Hicks, Aden
19: Castro, Winston, Ackroyd (tape penalty), Jones, McConnell (fell, rem.)
20: Northrup, DiFrancesco, Schwartz, R.Sauer, Thompson

1st 6 - Shawn McConnell
2nd 56 - Jim Estes
3rd 7 - John Aden
4th 166 - Andy Northrup
5th 72 - Randy DiFrancesco
6th 11 - Bobby Schwartz

Main Event
1st 43 - Charlie Venegas
2nd 10 - Scott Brant
3rd 14 - Eddie Castro
4th 15 - Dukie Ermolenko
5th 14n - Billy Janniro
6th 8 - Gary Ackroyd

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