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Sidecars Return, Janniro and Bast Win Mains at Fast Fridays

| 18 June 2017 11:59 am

Fast Fridays Motorcycle Speedway
Gold Country Fairgrounds

Story and Photos by Michael Kirby
AUBURN, CA, JUNE 16, 2017

What a difference a week makes!

Last week at Fast Fridays Motorcycle Speedway at the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn, California, fans were pulling on sweaters and jackets for race night. On this Friday night, the fans were decked out in tank tops and T-shirts. Regardless, the motorcycle racing continued to be scotching hot!

The Extreme Sidecars brought their special brand of racing to Auburn in their second Northern California appearance, keeping fans on the edges of their seats with round two of their 2017 season at Fast Fridays.

Luke Becker (22, left) and Billy Janniro (1, right) get set to start the Scratch main event. Becker had a great race, but Janniro came away the winner.

Luke Becker (22, left) and Billy Janniro (1, right) get set to start the Scratch main event. Becker had a great race, but Janniro came away the winner.

Billy Janniro, on the eve of the first round of the AMA Speedway National Championship Series in Ventura, tuned up with a win in the Scratch main event. Janniro repeated his win from the previous week, only this week his primary foe was Luke Becker. Louie Mersaroli, who was anxious to get a jump on Janniro, Becker and Bart Bast, was disqualified for leaving early and breaking the tapes off the line.

On the restart, Janniro, coming out of lane one, grabbed the inside slot and held on, leading Becker and Bast in the four-lap final. Becker fought for a lap or two against the National champ but fell back, settling for second. Bast was third.

In Ventura on Saturday, Janniro will begin his quest for an eighth AMA Speedway National Championship.

Billy Janniro (1) picked up a win in the Scratch main event. He is also the man to beat in the race for the 2017 AMA Speedway National Championship Series, which would begin with the first round in Ventura Saturday night.

Billy Janniro (1) picked up a win in the Scratch main event. He is also the man to beat in the race for the 2017 AMA Speedway National Championship Series, which would begin with the first round in Ventura Saturday night.

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Bart Bast picked up the win in the Handicap main event. Bast, who is handicapped on the 50-yard line, was locked in a pretty good battle with Louie Mersaroli for most of the six-lap race. As in most cases, though, there is no substitute for experience, and Bast used his 40-plus years of racing knowledge to beat Mersaroli. However, Mersaroli – who has been on a tear this season, making one or both main events each week – did not go down easy; he had a great race against Bast, finishing second with a courageous effort. Luke Becker was third.

Auburn’s own Bart Bast (87) won the Handicap main event Friday night, his first victory of the season.

Auburn’s own Bart Bast (87) won the Handicap main event Friday night, his first victory of the season.

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Moving back to the 10-yard line was no problem for Blake Borello in Division Two. Having moved up to Division Two for good last week after a strong showing in Division Three, Borello won again for the second week in a row, this time off the 10-yard line. Moving up each week, Borello had no problem taking the main-event victory, and it looks like even finding a new home on the 20-yard line next week will probably not be a problem, either. Borello’s controlled, smooth riding style could soon land him in Division One. In this contest, Lawrence McNutt was second and Charlie Haines was third.

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Aaron Sorani was first this week in Division Three. The big battles in this division have been between Sorani and Ray Holt Jr. Both men have traded off winning this division’s main event in the first five weeks of the season, and they always seem to be the one-two finishers in Division Three. Holt was second this week, and Casey Cornilsen was third.

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Always in fine form, Auburn’s own Colton Hicks took the Youth Speedway main-event victory. Again, Hicks was perfect, winning his two heat races and the main event. The win did not come without a hitch, as Anthony Dion gave it his all in an attempt to beat Hicks. Dion snuggled up to Hicks in turn three, nearly bumping into him. Hicks rocked a little but recovered and held on for the win. It was his second main-event win in a row and his third for the season. Cameron Krezman was second, and Dion was third.

Colton Hicks (24) continued to win in the Youth Speedway main event. It was his second main-event victory in two weeks.

Colton Hicks (24) continued to win in the Youth Speedway main event. It was his second main-event victory in two weeks.

Kyle Cunningham picked up the win in the Youth Consolation main event. Landon Norton was second and Aidan McNutt was third.

The Pee Wees are always a crowd favorite. Here, the little ones get off to a fast start.

The Pee Wees are always a crowd favorite. Here, the little ones get off to a fast start.

The Extreme Sidecars were really exciting. They were making their second of five appearances of the season at Fast Fridays. Making race night at Fast Fridays a little more exciting, the sidecars bring a special brand of racing to Auburn’s tricky dirt oval. Five teams ran the second round of their series, with some spectacular racing that included a couple of unbelievable mishaps. The riders walked away after a few minutes, with the medical personnel finishing the program. The team of Joe Jones & Tom Summers won the main event.

The start of the Extreme Sidecar main event. Always a fan favorite, the sidecars played to a packed house. The team of Joe Jones & Tom Summers (1, center) won the race.

The start of the Extreme Sidecar main event. Always a fan favorite, the sidecars played to a packed house. The team of Joe Jones & Tom Summers (1, center) won the race.

“This was number two out of five trips up here; you can’t complain about coming up here, you have beautiful country,” said Jones. “We went to the river today, and came here with a bunch of great fans. You can’t go wrong.”

Fan favorites whenever they journey north, a packed house of fans enjoyed their riding styles.

Fast Fridays Motorcycle Speedway at the Gold Country Fairgrounds
Auburn, California
Results: June 16, 2017

SCRATCH MAIN: 1. Billy Janniro; 2. Luke Becker; 3. Bart Bast; 4. Louie Mersaroli.

HANDICAP MAIN: 1. Bart Bast; 2. Louie Mersaroli; 3. Luke Becker.

DIVISION 2 MAIN: 1. Blake Borello; 2. Lawrence McNutt; 3. Charlie Haines.

DIVISION 3 MAIN: 1. Aaron Sorani; 2. Ray Holt Jr.; 3. Casey Cornilsen.

YOUTH MAIN: 1. Colton Hicks; 2. Cameron Krezman; 3. Anthony Dion; 4. Enzo Sorani.

YOUTH CONSOLATION MAIN: 1. Kyle Cunningham; 2. Landon Norton; 3. Aidan McNutt.

EXTREME SIDECARS (Round 2): 1. Joe Jones/ Tom Summers; 2. Smylie Kinne/ David Salke; 3. Jeremy Galein/ Eric Hernandez.

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