American Speedway  

All Speedway Race Results

2000 West Coast Results Page



Ryan Evans Report #4 on the 2000 Season

Ryan Evans' First Report on the 2000 Season
Ryan Evans' Second Report on the 2000 Season
Ryan Evans' Third Report on the 2000 Season
Ryan Evans' Fourth Report on the 2000 Season

The biggest news is that Charlie Venegas and Dukie Ermolenko will be promoting a speedway race at the National Orange Show Fairgrounds in San Bernardino on Thursday, July 27. I will post more about this later.

I was able to take in both Auburn and Costa Mesa this week and both provided some excellent racing.

Greg Hancock was his splendid self while showing the Auburn fans why he is a former World Champion and provided a preview of the U.S. National Championships on September 29. Greg flew home today (Monday) in time to make his Swedish Elite League match for his team, Rospiggarna.

Mike Faria became the newest member of the Seco Sparks team a couple weeks back. He is teamed with Billy "The Kid" Janniro to form a solid duo. Seco sponsored Robert Curry last year.

I don't recall this being mentioned in the past, but it was pointed out to me that NorCal D-2 rider Vince Bertolucci competes with one leg. Many of us SoCal hardcores will recall a First Division rider in the early 80's by the name of David DeTemple who competed with one leg as well.

As I mentioned, I enjoyed the racing Friday, but I do have one suggestion. There are still 5-man Handicap Heats which is really a pet peeve of mine. If the quality of the 30-yard D-2 riders was down I would understand, but there were quite a few D-2 riders who could hold their own in the front of D-1 and make it a bit more challenging for the back marker riders. Currently, if two riders are on the 50 then the first to turn one only has to pass one more rider to transfer. Riders like Matt King (who was programed into D-1 and D-2 Friday), Dave Booth, Marvin Sonnier, George Snodgrass, and Ivan Sevart have all made D-1 appearances (according to the results), and from what I saw, they could handle D-1. Granted, I didn't personally see them ride D-1, and sometimes riders don't respond well to being put there, but their D-2 performances that I saw warrant D-1 consideration. Tom Adams has improved a lot from when I saw him last year, and of course Eric Carrillo and Chris Kerr will be ready in the not too distant future.

In addition to Dukie Ermolenko, Randy DiFrancesco, and Mark Adams, who all appeared in the results, D-3/Support B rider Randy Kreps also traveled to Auburn. Unfortunately, Kreps crashed in turn 3 and couldn't compete in the restart. He was also a scratch at Costa Mesa, let's hope he is OK.

I want to wish Sam Ermolenko a speedy recovery from his injuries he suffered on Monday night.

Best wishes to Tommy Hedden for a speedy recovery as well.

Another new Junior and second generation racer joined the ranks Friday. Ricky Felicio made his debut Friday.

Gary Hicks returned to Costa Mesa for the first time since he broke his collarbone and ribs a couple months back. Hicks raced at Ventura, but injured his foot and couldn't compete in the 25 Lap Classic.

It was announced on Saturday at Costa Mesa that John VanderMuelen and his wife became parents last week.

My visits to both tracks enabled me to see two former speedway greats. 1983 World Long Track Champion and 1982 U.S. National Champion Shawn Moran was at Auburn taking in the races. He has moved from Apple Valley up north. On Saturday, Phil Collins paid a visit to Costa Mesa to take in the action.

It was also announced on Saturday that a NASCAR executive called Costa Mesa to let them know that Dale Earnhardt Jr. attended the races a while back (presumably when the series was in Fontana) and thoroughly enjoyed himself. Apparently, he watched in disguise to avoid any type of frenzy. Little E's curiosity and subsequent enjoyment can only be a positive. I hope Dukie can get him on a bike soon!

Southern California has endured a hit to its First Division ranks through injury, out of town racing, etc.: Josh Larsen, Ryan Fisher, Charlie Cooley, Richard Jones, Mike Mattocks, and Donnie Robinson have all missed time for different reasons. Their return will add depth to First Division.

Jason Chism returned Saturday night. Jason has been competing in Gene Romero's West Coast Flat Track Series.

Also returning was Support rider Tim Tucker who had broken both his ankles in an off-season motocross crash.

Dukie Ermolenko has been holding races on a consistent basis at Maely's Ranch in Corona. Any rider who is seeking more track time or any newcomers who are willing to see what they've got should get out there. Dukie switched the time from morning to mid-afternoon yesterday so contact Dukie if you want to compete.

All the extra dirt that was laid down at Costa Mesa did wonders for the racing Saturday Night. It provided the fans with inside and outside racing that will surely bring them back to see more.

Two races at Costa Mesa this week combined with the annual Orange County Fair will definitely provide our sport with some excellent exposure and provide the regulars a much-needed extra night to watch speedway.

That's all for now......

Keep it sideways!!!!

Ryan Evans

www.speedwaybikes.com - All rights reserved.