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Venegas Picks Up First Scratch Win of the Season

| 8 June 2013 4:37 pm

Fast Fridays Motorcycle Speedway
Gold Country Fairgrounds

Story and Photos by Michael Kirby
AUBURN, CA, JUNE 7, 2013

Veteran speedway rider Charlie “The Edge” Venegas picked up his first Scratch main-event win of the season at Fast Fridays Motorcycle Speedway at the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn, California, on Friday night. Venegas worked his way to the night’s finale and proved to be the fastest man of the evening with a win and a second-place finish in his Scratch heat and semifinal races.

Charlie Venegas (right) won the Division One Scratch main event at Fast Fridays Motorcycle Speedway. Venegas was able to get a good gate and beat a very talented field. Here, Venegas races against Billy Janniro (left) in a Handicap semifinal race earlier in the evening.

Charlie Venegas (right) won the Division One Scratch main event at Fast Fridays Motorcycle Speedway. Venegas was able to get a good gate and beat a very talented field. Here, Venegas races against Billy Janniro (left) in a Handicap semifinal race earlier in the evening.

On the start line, in lane two, Venegas faced a very fast field in the main event. Bryce Starks, who was having a stellar evening, drew lane one. Billy Janniro was in three, and Bryan Yarrow was outside in lane four. A start malfunction caused a restart, and Venegas, on a borrowed bike for the second week in a row, got a great gate.

“We replaced a cam in the bike this week, and it felt like I came out of the gate on concrete,” said Venegas of his excellent start.

Janniro tried to catch Venegas, but he held the inside and Janniro was unable to take Venegas on the outside. Janniro had to settle for second place after taking double Division One main-event wins the previous week. Starks finished third, and Yarrow was fourth.

Charlie Venegas won the Division One Scratch main event, his first of the season. Venegas made adjustments to his borrowed bike to improve his performance and beat everyone off the line for the win.

Charlie Venegas won the Division One Scratch main event, his first of the season. Venegas made adjustments to his borrowed bike to improve his performance and beat everyone off the line for the win.

Starks seemed to have put it all together this week, grabbing the win in round three of the Challenge Elimination Series and with appearances in the Handicap and Scratch main events. Starks outlasted Janniro, Venegas and Daniel Faria, and held on to beat Bob Hicks in the final two-lap race of round three in the series. Starks will now join round-one and round-two winners Tommy Hedden and Bryan Yarrow in the August 23 championship.

Bryce Starks (45, right) and Tommy Hedden (50, left) ride hard in a Scratch semifinal. Starks had a good night, finishing second in this race and working his way into both Division One main events. Starks also won the third round of the Challenge Elimination Series.

Bryce Starks (45, right) and Tommy Hedden (50, left) ride hard in a Scratch semifinal. Starks had a good night, finishing second in this race and working his way into both Division One main events. Starks also won the third round of the Challenge Elimination Series.

It looks like Ryan Bast will gain a little ground when he lines up in the Handicap program next week. Bast rode an excellent race and won the Division One Handicap main event Friday night. Bast started on the 10-yard line this week and will likely start on the 20-yard line next week. Bast held off Bob Hicks, Janniro, and Ryan’s cousin Bart Bast, who caught Janniro at the finish line by half a bikelength for a thrilling third-place finish. Hicks was second.

Ryan Bast (left) works to get around Tommy Hedden (50, foreground) in the Division One Handicap main event at Fast Fridays. Bast went on to win his first main event of the season.

Ryan Bast (left) works to get around Tommy Hedden (50, foreground) in the Division One Handicap main event at Fast Fridays. Bast went on to win his first main event of the season.

In Division Two, Chris Popanz won the main event. Popanz stayed ahead of Kyle Marsalla and Michael Achilles, who finished second and third, respectively. This was the first main-event win of the 2013 season for Popanz.

In Division Three, the Mersaroli brothers seem to be trading main-event wins from week to week. This week, it was David Mersaroli who made his way to the winners’ podium. Louie Mersaroli won the main event last week and finished third this week. Kurt Kornchuk was second.

Back on top in the Youth 250cc division, Luke Becker picked up his fourth main-event win of season. His one loss was last week, to Colton Hicks. This week, Gage Geist was second.

Alex Martin took a well-earned victory lap with the checkered flag after winning the Youth 150cc main event.

Eight-year old Alex Martin (30) won the Youth 150cc main event.

Eight-year old Alex Martin (30) won the Youth 150cc main event.

Fast Fridays fans can look forward to next week, when the ever popular Extreme Sidecar Series returns for its third of six appearances this season, along with more exciting racing action.

Fast Fridays Motorcycle Speedway at the Gold Country Fairgrounds
Auburn, California
Results: June 7, 2013

DIVISION 1 SCRATCH MAIN: 1. Charlie Venegas; 2. Billy Janniro; 3. Bryce Starks; 4. Bryan Yarrow.

DIVISION 1 HANDICAP MAIN: 1. Ryan Bast; 2. Bob Hicks; 3. Bart Bast.

DIVISION 2 MAIN: 1. Chris Popanz; 2. Kyle Marsalla; Michael Achilles.

DIVISION 3 MAIN: 1. David Mersaroli; 2. Kurt Kornchuk; 3. Louie Mersaroli.

YOUTH 250 DIVISION MAIN: 1. Luke Becker.

YOUTH 150 DIVISION: 1. Alex Martin.

RUN WHAT U BRUNG: 1. Kevin Smith.

CHALLENGE ELIMINATION SERIES (Round 3): 1. Bryce Starks; 2. Bob Hicks; 3. Billy Janniro; 4. Charlie Venegas; 5. Daniel Faria.

Billy Hamill Speedway Academy landscape 590 x 204

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