Saddlemen

Bast and Becker Win FF Main Events

| 16 May 2015 4:23 pm

Fast Fridays Motorcycle Speedway
Gold Country Fairgrounds

Story and Photos by Michael Kirby
AUBURN, CA, MAY 15, 2015

Auburn’s own Bart Bast, a veteran rider with more than 30 years of Division One speedway racing experience, and Luke Becker, an up-and-coming young speedster in his first year of Division One racing, both scored main-event wins at Fast Fridays Motorcycle Speedway in Auburn, California, last Friday night. There is no denying that there is a surging youth movement at Fast Fridays, but there is no substitute for experience and maturity, and Bast proved that on Friday night, as he won the Scratch main event.

The riders in the Scratch main event Friday night at Fast Fridays were (from left to right) Billy Janniro, Tommy Hedden, Bob Hicks, and Bart Bast in lane one. Bast went on to pick up his first main-event win of the 2015 season.

The riders in the Scratch main event Friday night at Fast Fridays were (from left to right) Billy Janniro, Tommy Hedden, Bob Hicks, and Bart Bast in lane one. Bast went on to pick up his first main-event win of the 2015 season.

In the Scratch program, Bast was unbeatable. He won his heat race, transferred to his semi and also won that race, against the likes of Tommy Hedden, Broc Nicol and Greg Hooten.

Moving to the Scratch main event, Bast lucked out on the lane draw and drew lane one. In lane two was Bob “Bad Boy” Hicks, who was second in his heat race and who also won his semifinal. Lane three was taken by Auburn’s Tommy Hedden, who worked his way into the night’s finale with a win in his heat race and a second-place finish in his semifinal. Outside, in lane four, was five-time National champ Billy Janniro. Pretty tough competition, and all serious veterans.

As the engines roared and the riders readied, Hedden, a little eager, jumped the gun and rolled into the tapes before referee Mark Joiner started the race, which disqualified him. Hedden reluctantly left the track.

On the restart, Bast jumped inside at turn one and just held his ground, refusing to give up anything on the inside. Janniro pestered him on the outside, but the determined Bast just held his ground, keeping Janniro outside. Janniro fell back a little – and there was Hicks to deal with. Hicks slipped by Janniro when he went just a bit wide and high and turned on the gas to take second place, but he was still a good 10 yards behind Bast.

“I knew it was going to be hard to pass, and the start and draw was definitely the key,” Bast said. “It’s nice to get the first one [a win] out of the way. There is a lot of young guys coming up, and it’s good to know I can still hang with them.”

Bast proved to be the fastest man of this night. He was followed across the finish by Hicks, and Janniro took third.

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Continuing his youthful charge in Division One, 16-year-old Luke Becker picked up his first Division One main-event win of the season in the Handicap program. Becker – who, with this win, will be adding 10 yards to his starting position next week – won all his Handicap-program races, including the main event. Auburn’s Tyler Warren was second, J.T. Mabry was third and Greg Hooten was fourth.

Luke Becker (12) continued his great debut season in Division One with a win in the Handicap main event on Friday night. Becker has really made his presence known since moving into Division One from the Youth programs this season.

Luke Becker (12) continued his great debut season in Division One with a win in the Handicap main event on Friday night. Becker has really made his presence known since moving into Division One from the Youth programs this season.

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Auburn’s Bryce Starks won the first round of the Challenge Elimination Series Friday night. The series is five rounds and a championship. Five riders race one lap off the line, with the last-place finisher being eliminated. The final two riders race for two laps and the winner grabs a spot in the championship round, to be held on August 28.

Charlie Venegas was the first to fall. Tommy Hedden was next. Bob Hicks was third, and that left Starks and Billy Janniro to battle on the final two-lapper. Starks went inside, though both were close in turn one, but Janniro took the high place on the track and swung wide to pass, which allowed Starks the inside line to the checkered flag and a place in the championship round.

Auburn’s Bryce Starks (front) grabbed the first spot in the Challenge Elimination Championship on August 28 by holding off Billy Janniro in round one on Friday night. Starks is pictured here in an early heat race with Bart Bast (right) and P.J. Byrne (rear, behind Starks).

Auburn’s Bryce Starks (front) grabbed the first spot in the Challenge Elimination Championship on August 28 by holding off Billy Janniro in round one on Friday night. Starks is pictured here in an early heat race with Bart Bast (right) and P.J. Byrne (rear, behind Starks).

For the second week in a row, Eddie Marsalla stood on the winners’ podium with the Division Two trophy. Marsalla thereby moved himself back to the 30-yard line next week with this win, but he is up for the challenge. Moving to Division One is a goal for Marsalla, and the way he’s riding, it could happen this season.

“Next week I will be starting on the 30-yard line, moving back 10 yards each week so far,” Marsalla said. “The move to Division One is a big step but a long-term goal I want to earn.”

Folsom, California’s Eddie Marsalla (394) was first in the Division Two main. The win was his second in a row for this season.

Folsom, California’s Eddie Marsalla (394) was first in the Division Two main. The win was his second in a row for this season.

Marsalla took the main-event win in honor of his brother Kyle Marsalla, who also races at Fast Fridays, and who was recently diagnosed with a serious illness and is unable to ride this year. Jamison Dilkey was second and David Mersaroli was third.

Dorian Jewett was first in Division Three, followed by John Gauthreaux and Harlan Bast.

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In the Youth divisions, Colton Hicks won the 250cc A contest. Hicks, a chip off the old block, must be picking up tips from his father, Bob Hicks, as he has really upped his game from last year. The 13-year-old who seems to have grown a foot since last year won for the second week in a row, this week by nearly half a track-length.

Seemingly untouchable, Auburn’s Colton Hicks (24) picked up his second first-place finish in a row in the Youth 250cc A main event.

Seemingly untouchable, Auburn’s Colton Hicks (24) picked up his second first-place finish in a row in the Youth 250cc A main event.

In the 250cc B division, Landon Norton won the main event.

Sterling Martin won the 150cc A main event, and fan favorite Enzo Sorani won the 150cc B main event.

Sterling Martin (31) won the Youth 150cc A main event.

Sterling Martin (31) won the Youth 150cc A main event.

Needing some competition in the Run What U Brung event, Jay Fodrini again walked away with the hardware for the second week in a row.

Jamison Dilkey picked up the Trophy Dash win.

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Next week, Fast Fridays welcomes back the Extreme Sidecars for the first of five visits to the Gold Country Fairgrounds track. The spirited two-person teams mount 1100cc three-wheeled bikes, providing some outrageous racing thrills for the Fast Fridays fans. The sidecars are fan favorites and a must-see.

Fast Fridays Motorcycle Speedway
Auburn, California
Results: May 15, 2015

DIVISION 1 SCRATCH MAIN: 1. Bart Bast; 2. Bob Hicks; 3. Billy Janniro.

DIVISION 1 HANDICAP MAIN: 1. Luke Becker; 2. Tyler Warren; 3. J.T. Mabry.

DIVISION 2 MAIN: 1. Eddie Marsalla; 2. Jamison Dilkey; 3. David Mersaroli.

DIVISION 3 MAIN: 1. Dorian Jewett; 2. John Gauthreaux; 3. Harlan Bast.

YOUTH A 250 MAIN: 1. Colton Hicks; 2. Kyle Cunningham; 3. Blake Borello.

YOUTH B 250 MAIN: 1. Landon Norton; 2. Sammy Tetrault; 3. Richie Vandermeeden.

YOUTH A 150 MAIN: 1. Sterling Martin; 2. Cameron Krezman; 3. Alex Martin.

YOUTH B 150 MAIN: 1. Enzo Sorani; 2. Timmy Dion; 3. Gregory Moore.

RUN WHAT U BRUNG: 1. Jay Fodrini.

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