Fast Fridays Motorcycle Speedway
Gold Country Fairgrounds
Story and Photos by Michael Kirby
AUBURN, CA, AUG. 10, 2012
This past Friday night in Auburn, California, was a little warm for most folks, but for speedway fans, the hot weather at the Gold Country Fairgrounds was perfect for a night of speedway racing action at Fast Fridays.
The highlight of the night was the last qualifying round for the final spot in the Challenge Elimination Series. Four other riders have already secured a spot in the championship race to be held on August 31 at Fast Fridays. Vying for the last spot were Bryan Yarrow, Alex Marcucci, Bryce Starks, Daniel Faria and Devon DeFreece, who lined up for the one-lap Scratch races. The last-place finisher in each heat was retired. Faria was the first to go, DeFreece went down next, and Marcucci held on but was eliminated in the third heat. Left to fight it out for the final spot were Yarrow and Starks, in the two-lap finale.
Starks struggled with the start, and Yarrow took advantage of his miscue. Starks gave chase but was unable to catch him, and Yarrow took the checkered flag and grabbed the last remaining spot in the Challenge Elimination Championship. Yarrow will join Tommy Hedden, Bob Hicks, Greg Hooten and Billy Janniro in the championship on August 31.
After a three-week absence from Fast Fridays, Auburn’s own Bryce Starks was on fire! He was unstoppable in the Handicap program, winning all his heat races before holding off Billy Janniro in a thrilling main event to win his third Handicap main event of the season. Janniro finished second, and Bart Bast was third.
Janniro again worked his way into the Scratch main event this week with first- and second-place finishes in his heat races. He drew the number-three gate for the start and lined up next to Bryan Yarrow in gate two and Tommy Hedden, who drew the inside lane one. Bart Bast was on the outside in lane four.
When the tapes went up, Bast rocketed from the outside gate with a great start to the inside line in turn one. Losing traction around turn two, Janniro took advantage of Bast’s predicament and moved into the lead. Hedden slipped into second place and gave chase, inches from Janniro in the turns, with Bast following closely in third. Bast was able to maneuver past Hedden a lap later but he could not catch Janniro, who won the event. Janniro now has eight Scratch main-event wins for the season. Bast sits on top of the Fast Fridays season points list as of last week, with 1650; Hedden is second with 1440, followed by Billy Janniro with 1365.
In the “you don’t see that every day” category at Fast Fridays, Division One had a couple of father-and-son match-ups during the program. Harlan Bast, riding up from Division Two, was matched up against his son Bart in a Scratch heat race, and Mike Faria, up from Southern California, was also pitted against his son Daniel Faria in a Handicap heat race and in the Handicap main event. With many family members racing motorcycles together at Fast Fridays, the tradition lives on and the passion for speedway racing is shared among many family members.
In the Second Division main event, Colton Duncan again took top honors for the third week in a row. Duncan held on for the win over Paul Sanburn, who was second, and Derik Denzin was third. Denzin leads the season points race in Division Two as of last week, with 469, followed by Chris Casey with 426. Sanburn is in third with 387.
The Division Three main event was won by Kurt Kornchuk, who was followed by Kevin Smith. Shane Szuh was third. Szuh leads the Division Three points race with 587; Kyle Marsalla has 434 and Eddie Marsalla has totaled 403.
For three weeks in a row, Auburn’s David Mersaroli has won the Youth A main event. Luke Becker was second, and visiting Southern California rider Broc Nicol was third.
Colton Hicks, riding with some deep starting yardage and seemingly unstoppable, again captured the Youth B main-event victory. Sterling Martin was second and Jeremiah Barrow was third.
Fast Fridays Motorcycle Speedway at the Gold Country Fairgrounds
Results: August 10, 2012
DIVISION 1 SCRATCH MAIN: 1. Billy Janniro; 2. Bart Bast; 3. Tommy Hedden; 4. Bryan Yarrow.
DIVISION 1 HANDICAP MAIN: 1. Bryce Starks; 2. Billy Janniro; 3. Bart Bast.
DIVISION 2 MAIN: 1. Colton Duncan; 2. Paul Sanburn; 3. Derik Denzin.
DIVISION 3 MAIN: 1. Kurt Kornchuk; 2. Kevin Smith; 3. Shane Szuh.
YOUTH A MAIN: 1. David Mersaroli; 2. Luke Becker; 3. Broc Nicol.
YOUTH B MAIN: 1. Colton Hicks; 2. Sterling Martin; 3. Jeremiah Barrow.
RUN WHAT U BRUNG: 1. Kevin Smith.