Fast Fridays Motorcycle Speedway
Gold Country Fairgrounds
Story and Photos by Michael Kirby
AUBURN, CA, MAY 30, 2014
Like an unstoppable train, Billy Janniro just keeps rolling along, remaining unbeaten in the Division One Scratch main event for the fourth straight week of the Fast Fridays 2014 season.
On Friday night, at the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn, California, Janniro continued his streak. Clearly on top on his game at Fast Fridays and coming off some very impressive wins in Southern California last week, Janniro is again the man to beat on the professional speedway-racing circuit.
In the Scratch main event, Janniro, coming into the final race unbeaten in his heat and semi races, faced Auburn’s own Bryce Starks, who has made the last three of four Scratch main events, as well as Charlie Venegas and Ryan Bast. Venegas was having a great night and posed a real threat to Janniro, and Starks was hot. coming off his first main-event win of the season in the Handicap main earlier in the evening. Venegas was outside in lane four, Janniro sat in three, Bast drew lane two and Starks was in lane one.
Janniro, Venegas and Starks all hit turn one together, with Janniro on the inside and in front, and Venegas and Starks trailing. On the second lap, Bast fell off his bike going into turn one, hitting hard and tumbling on the track, his bike bouncing across the track and skidding to a stop after 30 yards or so. Though he stood up on his own, Bast needed help off the track and was unable to restart the race.
On the restart, Janniro repeated his great gate and grabbed the inside line and rode away with the race, looking back at his increasing his lead over eventual second-place finisher Venegas. Starks finished third.
With the best riders Fast Fridays has to throw at him, Janniro seems invincible, able to win at will when it really counts.
“Again, I have changed a couple of things on the bike up here, but Billy is a brute force of a racer,” said Venegas. “When a guy is riding that well and his equipment is working that good, it will take quite a bit to beat him – but if anyone can do it, I can.”
As the Handicap main event shaped up, it was Starks who picked up that win – his first main-event win of the season. Riding really well and improving each week, Starks rode a strategic race, holding off Bart Bast on the inside and winning a thrilling race. Bast finished second, Venegas was third, and Ryan Bast was fourth.
Starks, who made both Division One main events, has been in striking distance every week this season, and he finally grabbed a win.
“I have been waiting on it all season – I have made the Handicap and Scratch mains three weeks in a row,” said Starks. “A lot of it is getting the bike lined up and tuning the bike to get the power to the ground, and being able to hold on at the end of the night.”
The Mersaroli brothers, David and Louie, are Division Two regulars, but each made their debuts in Division One on Friday night. It was David, though, riding in both programs, who picked up the Division Two main-event victory. Mersaroli held off Michael Achilles, who’d won his heat race to advance to the main event and finished second. Shane Loessberg was third.
Will McCloskey captured the Division Three crown with his second main-event win of the season. Laurence McNutt was second and Harlan Bast was third.
For the second week in a row, Dan Cahoon won the ever-popular Run What U Brung contest.
Dominating the Youth 250cc division and starting way back on the 80-yard line, Luke Becker again came away with the main-event win. Blake Borello was second and William Fike was third.
Kyle Cunningham won the 150cc Youth A division, and Logan Hedden was second.
Charlie Trana won the 150cc Youth B division, and Cameron Krezman was second.
Seven-year-old Sammy “The Bullet” Waddill won the Pee Wee main event.
Charlie Venegas fought for the second spot in the second round of the Challenge Elimination Series, with a win over Billy Janniro in the final two-lap race to join Tommy Hedden, who won the first spot two weeks ago. Three more riders will join Hedden and Venegas in the championship round on September 12 at Fast Fridays.
Fast Fridays Motorcycle Speedway at the Gold Country Fairgrounds
Results: May 30, 2014
DIVISION 1 SCRATCH MAIN: 1. Billy Janniro; 2. Charlie Venegas; 3. Bryce Starks.
DIVISION 1 HANDICAP MAIN: 1. Bryce Starks; 2. Bart Bast; 3. Charlie Venegas.
DIVISION 2 MAIN: 1. David Mersaroli; 2. Michael Achilles; 3. Shane Loessberg.
DIVISION 3 MAIN: 1. William McCloskey; 2. Laurence McNutt; 3. Harlan Bast; 4. John Peters.
YOUTH A 250 MAIN: 1. Luke Becker 2. Blake Borello; 3. William Fike.
YOUTH A 150 MAIN: 1. Kyle Cunningham; 2. Logan Hedden; 3. Landon Norton.
YOUTH B 150: 1. Charlie Trana; 2. Cameron Krezman; 3. Landon Collins.
PEE WEE: 1. Sammy Waddill.
RUN WHAT U BRUNG MAIN: 1. Dan Cahoon.