Costa Mesa Speedway
Orange County Fairgrounds
Costa Mesa, California
Costa Mesa Spring Classic
May 7, 2011
By: Ryan Evans
Photos by: Dorcey Wingo
Most of the rear fenders at the Costa Mesa Speedway Spring Classic were adorned with this tribute to the late Tom Burmeister, Speedway Rider
#100 - and the father of Speedway sensation Tyson Burmeister.
Costa Mesa Speedway's top guy and former National Champ Brad Oxley holds a brief but attentive Rider's Meeting: important track rules for young guns, First Division contenders, and great former World Champs alike.
The Spring Classic easily lived up to the hype, with over 40 quickly-paced races including Juniors and Side Cars. Shawn "Mad Dog" McConnell lights off in the early rounds.
2010 Western States Champion #25 Jimmy Fishback (L) talks turkey with current National Champ, #1 Billy Janniro in the Costa Mesa pits.
Speaking of Living Legends, 79-year-old Support Division Rider #308 Hugh Randolf gets suited up.
Youth Speedway Riders #98 Broc Nicol (L) eats up the clock talking with
#308 Max Ruml, his brother
# 111 Dillon Ruml, #0 Hayley Perrault (hidden) and #104 Kurtis Hamill (R) before the start of the Spring Classic.
Speaking of Father-Son racing teams, #293 Rick Valdez and his son [and winner of Saturday's Support B Main Event] #113 Gabe Price ride at many Speedway events together.
Another hot father-son act hitting the circuit is Jason Palmese, holding the helmet for his son #18 Youth Sebastian "Big Daddy" Palmese, who took home the trophy for the Youth 200cc Second Division.
Fresh off the Winter Ice Racing circuit, Former National Champ #43 Charlie "The Edge" Venegas lights off with the help of his pit wrench, Ed Martinez.
First Division Main Event Winner and former National Champ Mike Faria shows the Costa Mesa crowd where the muscle is after taking the #1 pole position and never looking back. Great riding, Mike!
Former National Champion "Flyin" Mike Faria finished a perfect evening by winning the main event of the 2011 Spring Classic at the world famous Costa Mesa Speedway.
Faria and defending National Champion Billy "The Kid" Janniro both entered the main event with perfect scores. Janniro won the draw for first gate choice. When announcer Terry "Ike" Clanton stated over the public address system that Janniro would probably pick gate one, the Northern California native stated, "Just because you said that, I'm going to take gate two." Faria immediately staked claim to gate one. This move is not unprecedented for Janniro. He was in the same situation at the 2004 National Championship, chose gate two, and was victorious.
Janniro made the best start and beat everyone to turn one. However, he went wide in turn two and the inside groove was where the most traction was. Faria planted himself on the pole and charged up the inside of the leader and took control as they entered turn three. Fishback locked himself onto Faria's back tire which left Janniro stuck on the outside. Faria and Fishback began to pull away from Janniro, who then dropped to the inside. Fishback tried furiously to force a mistake from Faria, but the savvy former National Champion remained composed, kept him at bay, and led to the finish. Fishback had to settle for second, Janniro was third, Bobby "Boogaloo" Schwartz finished fourth, and "Nasty" Nate Perkins was fifth.
Two-time National Champion Charlie "The Edge" Venegas kicked off the heats with a victory over Neil Facchini. Janniro blazed to his first victory in heat two. Faria began his evening by defeating Buck Blair. Fishback beat Schwartz to end round one.
Round two began with Fishback scoring his second win. Janniro made it two in a row with a win over Shawn "Mad Dog" McConnell. Faria beat Josh Abbott for his second straight win. Blair finished the second round with a win over Russell Green.
Venegas opened the final round with a win over Steve Russell. Janniro remained perfect by handing Fishback his first defeat. Faria beat Perkins in the penultimate heat. Schwartz closed out the heats by beating "Fast" Eddie Castro. Faria and Fishback finished one-two in the first semi and transferred to the main event. Janniro was an easy winner in the second semi with Perkins following him into the main. Schwartz beat Blair, Facchini, and Green in the Last Chance to secure the final spot in the main event.
Sixteen year old Joey "The Bolt" Holt led all four laps en route to victory in the Support Main Event. Ryan Tovatt was second, Devin Defreece finished third, and Geoff Herkner was fourth.
Gabe Price, who finished third in last year's Youth National Championship, put together four perfect laps and ran away from the competition and claimed victory in the Support B Main Event. Brad Moreau finished second, Malcom Roe was third, and Norman Graham finished fourth.
Max Ruml was victorious in the Youth 250cc Main Event with Samuel Ramirez finishing in second and Dillon Ruml getting third.
Dillon Ruml led the Youth 200cc First Division Main Event before sliding off in turn two and handed the lead to Broc Nicol. Nicol never looked back from there and went on to victory. Hayley Perrault finished second, Dalton Leedy was third, Kurtis Hamill was fourth, and Dillon Ruml was credited with fifth.
Sebastian "Big Daddy" Palmese led from start to finish and won the Youth 200cc Second Division Main Event. Gino Scopellite finished second, Chase Sanborn was third, Maverick Molloy finished fourth, and Michael Wells was fifth.
Dylan Beard and Crystal Laurie made the best start in the Sidecar Main Event and led a very physical first lap. Bryan Motis and Dave German found enough steam exiting turn four to push underneath the Beard and Laurie in turn one and take over the lead. National Champions Joe Jones and Jimmy Olsen also got past, but weren't satisfied with second. Jones and Olsen pressured the leaders the entire distance, but couldn't force a mistake. Motis and German were first to the checkered flag, Jones and Olsen finished second, Beard and Laurie were third, and Dave Alexander and Jay Hansen finished fourth.
The 2011 Spring Classic had a large crowd and had a completely full program. 60 competitors on 500s, 12 youth racers, and eight sidecars made for a crowded pit area. However, it is problem that International Speedway, Inc., and all promoters for that matter, love to have. The next event at Costa Mesa will be this Saturday, May 14. The day will begin with Amateur Afternoon, which will also include the Billy Hamill/Hagon Shocks Speedway Academy. The evening's racing will be the 43rd annual Season Opener with the Support and Youth heats beginning at 6:30 p.m. and the First Division heats blasting off at 7:30 p.m.
13 – Scott Driggers/Casey Driggers
25 – Rod Requejo/Gene Stone
16 – Kevin Brown/Matt Davis
23 – Shawn Driggers/Missy Driggers
Sidecar Main Event
2 - Bryan Motis/Dave German
1 - Joe Jones/Jimmy Olsen
5150 - Dylan Beard/Crystal Laurie
22 - Dave Alexander/Jay Hansen
Youth 200cc Second Division Main Event
18 - Sebastian Palmese
7 - Gino Scopellite
108 - Chase Sanborn
34 - Maverick Molloy
214 - Michael Wells (engine failure)
Youth 200cc First Division Main Event
98 - Broc Nicol
0 - Hayley Perrault
222 - Dalton Leedy
111 - Dillon Ruml (fell)
104 - Kurtis Hamill (fell)
Youth 250cc Main Event
308 - Max Ruml
22 - Samuel Ramirez
111 - Dillon Ruml
Support B Consolation
311 – Kevin Fife
124 – Paul Thornton
143 – Chris Wolfs
227 – Wade Whitcomb(fell)
Support B Consolation
290 – Harold Hartke
106 – Robert Fiesler
198 – Mike Boyle
226 – Rick Huspek
Support B Main Event
113 - Gabe Price
153 - Brad Moreau
180 - Malcom Roe
129 - Norman Graham (fell, remounted)
105 – Daniel Faria
150 – Damon Barry
176 – Carl Gazafy
125 – Johnny Lupo (retired)
101 – Mike Wiley
182 – Rudy Laurer
201 – Dylan Black
178 – Eloy Medellin
Support Main Event
28 - Joey Holt
389 - Ryan Tovatt
30n - Devin Defreece
208 - Geoff Herkner (fell)
First Division Scoring123T
1 – Billy Janniro 44412
3 – Gary Hicks T2Nr2
6 – Shawn McConnell 0314
9 – Mike Faria 44412
11 – Bobby Schwartz 3047
13 – Nate Perkins 2338
14 – Eddie Castro 3238
22 – Mike Bloom 1113
23 – Steve Russell 2035
25 – Jimmy Fishback 44311
39 – Buck Blair 3418
40 – Tommy Hedden RRN 0
41 – John Marquez 0112
43 – Charlie Venegas 42410
45 – Brad Pappalardo 1001
63 – Michael Raines 1124
66 – Jason Ramirez 2125
86 – Neil Facchini 3227
141 – Josh Abbott 23E5
321 – Russell Green 1326
1: Venegas, Facchini, Russell, Green, McConnell (fell, remounted)
2: Janniro, Castro, Abbott, Bloom, Hicks (tape exclusion)
3: Faria, Blair, Perkins, Raines, Marquez
4: (restarted) Fishback, Schwartz, Ramirez, Pappalardo, Hedden (penalty line) (retired)
9: Fishback, Perkins, Venegas, Bloom, Pappalardo
10: Janniro, McConnell, Facchini, Raines, Hedden (retired)
11: Faria, Abbott, Castro, Ramirez, Russell
12: Blair, Green, Hicks, Marquez
17: (restarted) Venegas, Russell, Raines, Blair, Abbott (engine failure)
18: (restarted) Janniro, Fishback, Ramirez, Marquez, Hicks (non starter, restart)
19: Faria, Pekrins, Green, McConnell, Pappalardo
20: Schwartz, Castro, Facchini, Bloom, Hedden (non starter)
Semi #1: Faria, Fishback, Blair, Green, Castro (engine failure)
Semi #2: Janniro, Perkins, Schwartz, Facchini, Venegas
First Division Last Chance
11 - Bobby Schwartz
39 - Buck Blair
86 - Neil Facchini
321 - Russell Green
First Division Main Event
9 - Mike Faria
25 - Jimmy Fishback
1 - Billy Janniro
11 - Bobby Schwartz
13 - Nate Perkins (fell)