Costa Mesa Speedway
Orange County Fairgrounds
Costa Mesa, California
SRA U.S. Nationals
September 25, 2010 - Costa Mesa
By: Ryan Evans
Billy "The Kid" Janniro captured his third U.S. National Speedway Championship with a perfect night at the world famous Costa Mesa Speedway.
Janniro had first choice of starting position and he chose gate one. His MXRC Racing teammate Tyson Burmeister then picked gate two, Shawn "Mad Dog" McConnell selected gate three, which left yet another MXRC Racing team member, Tommy Hedden, with gate four.
Janniro was first off the line when the tapes went up and led into turn one. Burmeister tucked in behind him and hoped for an opening on the back straight, but there wasn't one. Janniro opened up a comfortable lead with Burmeister securely in second, but Hedden and McConnell were fighting for the final spot on the podium with McConnell hugging the inside line and Hedden using the dirt on the outside. The battle ended on lap three, when Hedden slid off as they entered turn one. Janniro led to the checkered flag and his third crown. Burmeister finished second, and McConnell finished third.
The heats kicked off with Burmeister getting his first win ahead of "Fast" Eddie Castro. Hedden won the second heat while former National Champion Charlie "The Edge" Venegas had his title hopes suffer with an engine failure. Gary Hicks defeated McConnell in the third heat. Janniro beat Jimmy "Little Animal" Fishback in the fourth heat. Former National Champion "Flyin" Mike Faria defeated Josh Larsen to end round one.
Round two began with Janniro defeating Burmeister and Hicks. Hedden beat Faria in event seven to leave just himself and Janniro as the only undefeated riders. Larsen beat Venegas for his first victory. Gino Manzares beat Buck Blair in the next heat. McConnell ended the second round by defeating Fishback for his first win.
Hedden started the third round with a win over Hicks.
Doug Nicol was leading the next heat when Manzares went down and brought out the red flag. The 17 year old suffered an injury that forced him to withdraw from the meeting. When they lined up again Nicol got into the tapes and was penalized. The third time the riders came to the tapes Burmeister jumped in front and held off McConnell for his second win.
Schwartz led event 13 for two laps before Larsen went by for the lead and the win. Venegas beat Castro for his first win in the next heat. Janniro matched Hedden's perfect score with a win over Robbie Sauer to finish round three.
The final round began with controversy as the race completed four laps, but a red flag had inadvertently been displayed so the decision was for the race to be re-run at the end of the round. Burmeister beat Jason Ramirez for his third victory and a likely spot in the Final. Blair beat Nicol in event 18. McConnell beat Faria to put himself into the championship hunt.
Event 20 had major championship implications. Lining up at the tapes would be the evening's only undefeated riders, Janniro and Hedden, as well as Larsen who had only dropped one point so far. Janniro exploded into the lead with Hedden behind him. Larsen chased down Hedden and charged up the inside as they entered turn one. Larsen went by but bumped Hedden as he went by and the Northern Californian went down and the red flag came out. The referee determined that Larsen caused the crash and sent him to the penalty line for the restart, much to the dismay of Larsen. Castro shocked everyone by getting the jump on Janniro and Hedden on the restart and led for two laps while Janniro searched high and low for a way past. As they exited turn two the third time Janniro cut back underneath the leader and blasted underneath for the lead on the back straight. Janniro led the final lap to remain undefeated while Hedden would have go to a runoff to get into the Final.
Venegas won the restaging of event 16 for his second win and forced a three-rider runoff with himself, Hicks, and Larsen to be in the Last Chance.
Three runoffs were necessary to fill in the Championship Round. Blair and Castro finished one-two in the runoff to complete the Semi while Fishback's evening was over.
In the runoff to help complete the Last Chance field, Venegas and Larsen finished first and second, respectively, to get themselves there, while Hicks would have to go to the Semi.
McConnell beat Hedden in the third runoff to qualify directly to the Final while Hedden would have to get there via the Last Chance.
Faria was victorious in the Semi to take the only transfer into the Last Chance. Hicks finished second, Castro was third, and Blair finished fourth.
Larsen led the Last Chance for two laps, but his wide line was inviting to Hedden who finally exploited the opening on the inside and went underneath the former World number nine to take the lead. Larsen was unable to answer back and Hedden took the win and the last spot in the Final. Larsen finished second, Faria was third, and Venegas finished fourth.
The U.S. National Championship brought the curtain down on the 42nd season of speedway at the world famous venue. The 43rd season of speedway at the bullring located on the Orange County Fairgrounds is tentatively set to begin in April 2011.
Youth 200cc Second Division
214 – Michael Wells
34 – Maverick Molloy
7 – Gino Scopellite (tape penalty)
108 – Chase Sanborn
Youth 200cc First Division
146 – Broc Nicol
0 – Hayley Perrault
104 – Kurtis Hamill
58 – Brian Pintar
13 – Gabe Price
9 – Rocco Scopellite
41 – Nicky Reimer
22 – Samuel Ramirez (fell, remounted)
National Scoring 1 2 3 4 T
2 – Josh Larsen 2 3 3 0 8
3 – Gary Hicks 3 1 2 2 8
6 – Shawn McConnell 2 3 2 3 10
8n – Bryan Yarrow 2 0 0 1 3
9 – Mike Faria 3 2 0 2 7
11 – Bobby Schwartz 1 0 1 1 3
14 – Eddie Castro 2 0 2 2 6
14n – Billy Janniro 3 3 3 3 12
17 – Robbie Sauer 1 1 2 1 5
21 – Brad Sauer 0 1 0 0 1
23 – Steve Russell 0 0 0 0 0
24 – Gino Manzares 1 3 Nr - 4
25 – Jimmy Fishback 2 2 2 0 6
26 – Tyson Burmeister 3 2 3 3 11
29e – Adam Mittl 0 1 1 F 2
39 – Buck Blair 0 2 1 3 6
40 – Tommy Hedden 3 3 3 1 10
43 – Charlie Venegas E 2 3 3 8
66 – Jason Ramirez 1 1 1 2 5
98 – Doug Nicol 1 0 1 2 4
41 – John Marquez (R) 0 - - - 0
63 – Michael Raines (R) 1 - - - 1
1: Burmeister, Castro, Schwartz, B. Sauer
2: Hedden, Yarrow, R. Sauer, Venegas (engine failure)
3: Hicks, McConnell, Ramirez, Blair
4: Janniro, Fishback, Nicol, Mittl
5: Faria, Larsen, Manzares, Russell
6: Janniro, Burmeister, Hicks, Yarrow
7: Hedden, Faria, Ramirez, Schwartz
8: Larsen, Venegas, B. Sauer, Nicol
9: Manzares, Blair, Mittl, Castro
10: McConnell, Fishback, R. Sauer, Russell (fell, remounted)
11: Hedden, Hicks, Mittl, B. Sauer
12: (restarted) Burmeister, McConnell, Nicol (tape penalty), Marquez, Manzares (non starter – restart)
13: Larsen, Fishback, Schwartz, Yarrow
14: Venegas, Castro, Ramirez, Russell (tape penalty)
15: Janniro, R. Sauer, Blair, Faria
16: (restarted) Venegas, Hicks, Raines, Fishback
17: Burmeister, Ramirez, R. Sauer, Mittl (fell)
18: Blair, Nicol, Schwartz, Russell
19: McConnell, Faria, Yarrow, B. Sauer
20: (restarted) Janniro, Castro, Hedden, Larsen (penalty line)
Runoff: Blair, Castro, Fishback
Runoff: Venegas, Larsen, Hicks
Runoff: McConnell, Hedden
9 – Mike Faria
3 – Gary Hicks
14 – Eddie Castro
39 – Buck Blair (penalty line)
Last Chance (restarted)
40 – Tommy Hedden
2 – Josh Larsen
9 – Mike Faria
43 – Charlie Venegas (penalty line)
National Championship Final
14n – Billy Janniro
26 – Tyson Burmeister
6 – Shawn McConnell
40 – Tommy Hedden (fell, remounted)