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2009 Costa Mesa Speedway
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Costa Mesa Speedway
Orange County Fairgrounds
Costa Mesa, California

Spring Classic
May 9, 2009 - Costa Mesa
By: Ryan Evans

Former National Champion “Flyin” Mike Faria won the Spring Classic for the second year in a row by winning the Scratch Main by the narrowest of margins at the world famous Costa Mesa Speedway.

Faria led the field into the first corner with Buck Blair making a charge around the outside and Gary Hicks, previously unbeaten on the evening, on the inside. Blair’s challenge ran out of traction on the back straight which left Faria with a seemingly comfortable lead after the end of the first lap. Hicks chipped away at Faria’s lead and as they took the white flag he was within striking distance. Hicks was right on the leader’s back tire when they entered the final corner. Hicks found better grip exiting turn four and made a desperate charge to the finish. The riders crossed the line with a margin so thin that the exuberant crowd had to wait for the decision to be handed down by the scorekeepers. After a few tense seconds, the ruling was that Faria was the winner and Hicks an excruciatingly close second. National Champion Billy Janniro was third, Shawn “Mad Dog” McConnell finished fourth, and Blair was fifth.

The heats kicked off with Hicks getting the best start and Janniro mired in last after the first corner. Hicks pulled away to an easy win while Janniro carved through traffic to get a hard-earned second. Northern California’s Kenny Ingalls, making a rare appearance at Costa Mesa, used the outside to go around McConnell for the lead and an impressive win. Faria took his first win in the next race after Shaun Harmatiuk pulled up lame with mechanical problems. Bobby “Boogaloo” Schwartz finished out round one with a victory over Doug Greyson.

Hicks began round two by his second straight win. Janniro held off McConnell to win the next heat. Blair fought off all of Faria’s challenges to hand him his only defeat of the night. Schwartz ended the second round with his second win in a row.

The final round started with Hicks cruising to his third consecutive win. Ingalls used the outside again to pass McConnell for the second time of the evening and earn his second victory. Faria held off a persistent Janniro to get his second win. Blair closed out the heats with a win over Ramirez, but Schwartz was the story as he went over backwards coming out of turn four and tumbled on the front straight. The former National Champion was shaken up, but quickly walked off the track.

In the first semi there was some contact in turn one which left Schwartz on the ground but no red flag as the race was allowed to continue. Faria and McConnell ran one-two to take the transfers into the main. The first attempt to run the second semi ended in turn one with Blair and Ramirez ending up sprawled against the wall. Blair made the restart, but Ramirez had some soreness in his back which caused him to decline. The second try found Hicks in the lead again and he led Janniro all the way into the main. Blair won the Last Chance Heat to take the final spot in the main.

Current Youth National Champion Brad Pappalardo got the best start in the Support Main Event and led a cast of veteran riders through the first lap. Rick Farron was in second and tried to chase down the teenager. Despite making his professional debut at Costa Mesa, the leader showed cool beyond his years and never turned a wheel wrong. Pappalardo was the first to the checkered flag, Farron finished second, and Billy Braden was third.

Josh Abbott, a second-generation racer making his Costa Mesa debut, easily won his heat and duplicated that success by running away with the Third Division Main Event. Tim McGrath was second, Jeff Remington finished third, Tom Bostic was fourth, and Mike Wiley was credited with fifth.

Joey Holt led the Youth First Division Main but was under heavy pressure from River McDougall at the end of lap one. McDougall made contact with Holt’s back wheel exiting turn two, straightened up, bounced off the wall, but remained upright in spectacular style and found himself in fourth. Holt’s lead only lasted until the next corner when he went wide and allowed Rocco Scopellite to take first. Scopellite led the third lap, but McDougall closed a lot of ground and was applying the pressure as they took the white flag. The product of Bakersfield blasted up the inside on the back straight to take over the lead and brought the large crowd to its feet. McDougall, with his fist pumping, scored the victory under a cascade of thunderous applause, Scopellite finished second, Nicky Reimer was third, Samuel Ramirez finished fourth, and Holt was fifth.

Maxwell Ruml led all four laps to win the Youth Second Division Main in his first meeting at Costa Mesa Speedway. Hayley Perrault was second, Elijah Harrison-Hicks finished third, Major Davis was fourth, and Dillon Ruml was credited with fifth.

Defending National Sidecar Champions Joe Jones and Jimmy Olsen began their Costa Mesa season in grand style by winning the Sidecar Main Event. Dave Alexander and Matt Davis were second, Stuart Glass and Jack Straw finished third, and Tommy Thornton and Gene Stone were fourth.

Next Saturday’s event at Costa Mesa is the 41st Season Opener which will feature speedway racing as well as freestyle motocross.


Sidecar Main Event
  1 – Joe Jones/Jimmy Olsen
 22 – Dave Alexander/Matt Davis
911 – Stuart Glass/Jack Straw
 31 – Tommy Thornton/Gene Stone

Youth Second Division Main Event
356 – Maxwell Ruml
  0 – Hayley Perreault
  3 – Elijah Harrison-Hicks
999 – Major Davis		(retired)
111 – Dillon Ruml

Youth First Division Main Event
  5 – River McDougall
  9 – Rocco Scopellite
 41 – Nicky Reimer
 22 – Samuel Ramirez
  4 – Joey Holt

Support B Consolation
368 – Scott Rousseau
 00 – Toni Hicks
231 – Gene Stone
108 – John Berg			(fell)

Support B Consolation
266 – Jonni Jade
169 – Dan Wensloff
143 – Chris Wolfs
198 – Mike Boyle		(non starter)

Support B Consolation
242 – Bruce Marteney
131 – Rod Requejo
308 – Hugh Randolph
255 – Kris Harlow		(fell, remounted)

Support B Last Chance
252 – Jeff Remington
292 – Mike Schultz
124 – Paul Thornton
129 – Norman Graham

Support B Main Event
141 – Josh Abbott
186 – Tim McGrath
252 – Jeff Remington
222 – Tom Bostic		(fell)
101 – Mike Wiley

Support Last Chance
117 – Billy Braden
132 – Justin Hassan
288 – Rick Fritch
103 – Kyle Hicks		(fell, remounted)

Support Main Event
145 – Brad Pappalardo
147 – Rick Farron
117 – Billy Braden
163 – Rohn Zellner
176 – Carl Gazafy

First Division Scoring		1	2	3	T
  1 – Billy Janniro		3	4	3	10
  3 – Gary Hicks		4	4	4	12
  6 – Shawn McConnell		3	3	3	9
  9 – Mike Faria		4	3	4	11
 11 – Bobby Schwartz		4	4	1	9
 13 – Nate Perkins		2	1	R	3
 17 – Robbie Sauer		R	1	1	2
 21 – Brad Sauer		2	0	2	4
 22 – Mike Bloom		1	2	3	6
 39 – Buck Blair		2	4	4	10
 41 – John Marquez		0	1	2	3
 66 – Jason Ramirez		1	3	3	7
120 – Doug Greyson		3	M	1	4
139 – Shaun Harmatiuk		1	N	N	1
149 – Phil Harmatiuk		2	2	1	5
182 – Rudy Laurer		0	1	2	3
184 – Tyson Burmeister		3	2	2	7
212n – Kenny Ingalls		4	3	4	11
321 – Russell Green		E	N	N	0
389 – Ryan Tovatt		1	2	0	3

Race Results
 1: Hicks, Janniro, Perkins, Bloom, Marquez
 2: Ingalls, McConnell, Blair, Ramirez, Laurer
 3: Faria, Burmeister, P.Harmatiuk, S.Harmatiuk (retired), R.Sauer (retired)
 4: Schwartz, Greyson, B.Sauer, Tovatt, Green (engine failure)
 9: Hicks, Ramirez, Tovatt, R.Sauer (fell, remounted), B.Sauer (fell, remounted)
10: Janniro, McConnell, Burmeister, Perkins (fell, remounted)
11: Blair, Faria, Bloom, Laurer, Greyson (two-minute exclusion)
12: Schwartz, Ingalls, P.Harmatiuk, Marquez (fell, remounted)
17: Hicks, Bloom, Burmeister, P.Harmatiuk
18: Ingalls, McConnell, B.Sauer, Greyson, Tovatt
19: Faria, Janniro, Marquez (fell, remounted), R.Sauer, Perkins (retired)
20: Blair, Ramirez, Laurer, Schwartz (fell)

Semi #1: Faria, McConnell, Bloom, Ingalls, Schwartz (fell)
Semi #2: (restarted) Hicks, Janniro, Burmeister, Blair, Ramirez (non starter)

First Division Last Chance
 39 – Buck Blair
 22 – Mike Bloom
184 – Tyson Burmeister
212n – Kenny Ingalls		(two-minute exclusion)

First Division Main Event
  9 – Mike Faria
  3 – Gary Hicks
  1 – Billy Janniro
  6 – Shawn McConnell
 39 – Buck Blair		(retired)
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