Costa Mesa Speedway
Orange County Fairgrounds
Costa Mesa, California
Costa Mesa Harley Night
May 21, 2011
By: Ryan Evans
United States National Champion Billy "The Kid" Janniro went undefeated and captured the main event against one of the deepest fields in years in front of a packed house on Harley Night at the world famous Costa Mesa Speedway.
Janniro and former World Champion Billy "The Bullet" Hamill both entered the main event undefeated and eager to win the main event in front of the large crowd. Janniro won the draw for first choice and, unlike two weeks earlier, decided to pick gate one. Hamill, making his first competitive appearance at Costa Mesa in three years, chose gate two.
Janniro exploded from the starting line with last week's winner Josh Larsen getting a great start from gate four and both riders entering turn one together. Janniro stuck to the low line while Larsen tried to swoop around the outside. The defending champion found more grip while Hamill went under Larsen on the back straight for second. Janniro typically searches for traction on the outside, but he was all business with Hamill on his back tire. Meanwhile, Jimmy "Little Animal" Fishback and Charlie "The Edge" Venegas had supplanted Larsen. Janniro held a comfortable lead on the third lap when, behind him, Fishback lifted exiting turn two, hit the fence, and bounced back toward the racing line. Venegas managed to cleanly pass, but Larsen collected the former Youth National Champion entering turn three and they both went down. This brought out the red flag. The referee declared the race finished because half of the laps were completed and awarded the victory to Janniro. Hamill was declared second, Fishback was third, Venegas was fourth, and Larsen was declared the cause of the stoppage and credited with fifth.
The heats opened inauspiciously as three restarts were required before Fishback defeated Schwartz for his first win. Janniro beat "Fast" Eddie Castro in heat two. Venegas defeated Larsen in heat three for his first victory of the evening. Hamill's return began with a win over Shawn "Mad Dog" McConnell to end round one.
Hamill won his second straight with a win over John "The Mongoose" Marquez to start round two. Janniro blazed to victory over Fishback in the next race. "Battling" Buck Blair beat Larsen in event 11. Venegas finished the second round by beating Austin Novratil.
Venegas began the final round of heats by defeating Neil Facchini to remain perfect. Janniro also stayed unbeaten with a win over McConnell. Larsen survived three restarts and defeated Fishback in event 19. Blair and Faria both beat Hamill to turn one, but he showed a champion's determination and shrewdly cutback in turn two and charged underneath both riders on the back straight. Hamill pulled away and matched the perfect scores of Venegas and Janniro.
Venegas made the best start in the first semi but Hamill took the lead on the back straight before a crash in turn three brought out the red flag. The restart was a carbon copy as Venegas made the start and Hamill shot underneath on the back straight for the lead. The front positions remained unchanged as Hamill and Venegas transferred to the main.
Janniro launched into the lead in the second semi with Fishback and Larsen side-by-side battling for second. Fishback slowed in turn four and handed second to Larsen. Janniro and Larsen moved up the program and into the main.
Fishback led the Last Chance from start to finish and booked the final spot in the main. McConnell was second, Schwartz finished third, and Blair was fourth.
Dylan Black led all four laps and won the Support Main Event for the second week in a row. John Stunkard finished second, Geoff Herkner was third, and Aaron Fox finished fourth.
Brad Moreau led from start to finish en route to victory in the Support B Main Event. Harold Hartke finished second, Dillon Osborne was third, and Dan Wensloff finished fourth.
National Champions Joe Jones and Jimmy Olsen made the best start and fought off a fierce challenge from Bryan Motis and Dave German to win the Sidecar Main Event. Dylan Beard and Crystal Laurie finished third and
Scott Driggers and Casey Driggers were fourth.
The large crowd was thoroughly entertained by some fast, action-packed racing as well as the ever popular, street-legal Harley races. The crowd also included a couple dignitaries. "The Godfather of American Speedway" Harry Oxley and former World Champion Barry Briggs were both in attendance.
Costa Mesa Speedway will be dark this weekend due to the Memorial Day holiday weekend, but racing returns on Saturday, June 4 and will include Freestyle Motocross Jumpers.
23 – Shawn Driggers/Missy Driggers
66 – Gerard Jackson/Dave German
25 – Rod Requejo/Gene Stone
16 – Kevin Brown/Trever DeSherlia
Sidecar Main Event
1 - Joe Jones/Jimmy Olsen
2 - Bryan Motis/Dave German
5150 - Dylan Beard/Crystal Laurie
13 - Scott Driggers/Casey Driggers
Support B Semi-Final
164 – Dillon Osborne
169 – Dan Wensloff
311 – Kevin Fife
198 – Mike Boyle
Support B Semi-Final (restarted)
290 – Harold Hartke
153 – Brad Moreau
255 – Kris Harlow
266 – Jonni Jade
Support B Main Event
153 - Brad Moreau
290 - Harold Hartke
164 - Dillon Osborne
169 - Dan Wensloff
46 – Aaron Fox
208 – Geoff Herkner
195 – Drew Coats
389 – Ryan Tovatt (tape penalty)
201 – Dylan Black
249 – John Stunkard
138 – Rich Brock (tape penalty)
176 – Carl Gazafy
Support Main Event
201 - Dylan Black
249 - John Stunkard
208 - Geoff Herkner
46 - Aaron Fox
First Division Heat Scoring123T
1 – Billy Janniro 44412
2 – Josh Larsen 33410
6 – Shawn McConnell 3238
9 – Mike Faria 2226
11 – Bobby Schwartz 3126
14 – Eddie Castro 3025
22 – Mike Bloom 1102
23 – Steve Russell 0213
25 – Jimmy Fishback 43310
27 – Austin Novratil 13Nr4
28 – Joey Holt 1113
39 – Buck Blair 2439
41 – John Marquez 0303
43 – Charlie Venegas 44412
48 – Tyson Talkington 1203
63 – Michael Raines F011
66 – Jason Ramirez 0022
86 – Neil Facchini 2136
104 – Billy Hamill 44412
141 – Josh Abbott 2002
98 – Doug Nicol (R)1- - 1
1: (restarted three times) Fishback, Schwartz, Abbott, Novratil, Raines (fell)
2: Janniro, Castro, Blair, Holt, Marquez
3: Venegas, Larsen, Facchini, Bloom, Ramirez (fell, remounted)
4: Hamill, McConnell, Faria, Talkington, Russell
9: Hamill, Marquez, McConnell, Schwartz, Ramirez
10: Janniro, Fishback, Russell, Bloom, Abbott
11: Blair, Larsen, Talkington, Holt, Raines (tape penalty)
12: Venegas, Novratil, Faria, Facchini, Castro
17: Venegas, Facchini, Schwartz, Raines, Bloom
18: (restarted) Janniro, McConnell, Castro, Holt, Talkington (penalty line)
19: (restarted three times) Larsen, Fishback, Ramirez, Nicol, Abbott (penalty line), Novratil (non starter-restart)
20: Hamill, Blair, Faria, Russell, Marquez
Semi #1: Hamill, Venegas, McConnell, Blair, Facchini
Semi #2: Janniro, Larsen, Schwartz, Fishback (retired), Faria (retired)
First Division Last Chance
25 - Jimmy Fishback
6 - Shawn McConnell
11 - Bobby Schwartz (tape penalty)
39 - Buck Blair (fell, remounted)
First Division Main Event (awarded)
1 - Billy Janniro
104 - Billy Hamill
25 - Jimmy Fishback
43 - Charlie Venegas
2 - Josh Larsen (excluded)