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2002 Fast Fridays Speedway Race Results


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Fast Fridays Speedway
Gold Country Fairgrounds - Auburn, CA


USA vs. The World
Fast Fridays
November 1, 2002
From Gary Roberts


Friday night a large crowd were treated to the second annual USA vs. The World at Fast Fridays Speedway in Auburn, California. This year the USA dominated more strongly than last year, with a final score of 91 to 44, but the event provided more close racing than the final score suggests.

The World Team this year contained a couple of very high profile riders. Former 3 times British Champion and 2002 GP rider, Andy Smith and ex GP rider Tony Kasper, plus seasoned veteran Italian Armando Castagna lead the charge, along with comparative youngsters Ronnie Pedersen, Kenneth Bjerre, Robert Sawina, Bartek Bardecki and Johann Kugelman. Things started to go wrong for the World team on Wednesday night when Kugelman had a practice crash, in which suffered a broken shoulder blade, so was transferred to the position of team captain and replaced in the line up by local rider, Bryan Yarrow.

Unlike last year, Friday night's weather was bitterly cold, at least it seemed that way to most of the surprisingly large crowd that turned out. Brit, Andy Smith hit the nail on the head when he said that it seemed much colder, because its was so warm during the day. The large crowd provided a great atmosphere.


Unofficial results:

USA
Billy Hamill 2 3 3 3 11
Billy Janniro 0 2 2 2 6
Ryan Fisher 3 3 2 3 11
John Cook 1 1 0 2 4
Bobby Hedden 2 3 2 2 9
Bart Bast 3 2 3 3 11
Tommy Hedden 0 3 0 0 3
Eric Carrillo 1 1 1 3 6
  
The World
Bartech Bardecki 3 0 1 1 5
Robert Sawina 1 2 3 0 6
Armando Castagna 0 1 1 2 4
Bryan Yarrow 2 0 - 1 3
Ronnie Pedersen 0 2 0 2 1 5
Kenneth Bjerre 1 0 3 0 4
Andy Smith 3 0 0 1 4
Tony Kasper 2 1 1 0 4

The first race started off with a surprise win for Bartech Bardecki over 2002 AMA National Series winner Billy Hamill. Bartech has raced several times before over the last 2 years at Auburn and got a good gate then demonstrated his knowledge of the track. Billy Janniro fell down while battling it out with Robert Sawina at the back, so the World lead with a 4-2 after the first race. Armando Castagna came out of the gate like a rocket in the second race and looked good for a couple of laps until he fell down and caught John Cook's front wheel in the face. Bloody nosed and shaken, he was back in the re-run, which was won by Ryan Fisher. The two Danes Pedersen and Bjerre were set for a 5-1 in heat 3, but Pedersen mistook the white flag for the checkered, both Danes slowed and let Bobby Hedden and Bart Bast past. Heat 4 saw GP riders Andy Smith take the win, and Tony Kasper in second. The first round ended with scores tied at 12-12. Over the next 3 rounds the World team's challenge seemed to fall away in fact over the last 2 rounds 6 of the 8 races were 5-1s to the US. This was certainly not due to any lack of effort by the World team who seemed to be in the thick of it, putting on some close racing, but scoring few points in the process.

Its always difficult for top European riders to come to America and compete against our top riders who race our small tracks every week. The Auburn track is around half the size of a normal European sized track. The surface is different and they were riding loaned bikes. Throw in an ex-world champion who won the AMA National on his last ride here, the whole package adds up. The odds are certainly against them. I am sure Tony Rickardsson himself would have struggled.

The program was supplemented with some Youth Speedway races.


Unofficial results:

Main event
1. TJ Fowler
2. Tim Gomez
3. Danny Easley
4. Paul Johnson

Consolation event
1. JT Mabry
2. Alex Marcucci
3. Jay Ricketts
4. Hunter Morris


So there ends Northern California Speedway for 2002, with no plans for anything before May 2003. The hopes for a track to run on Saturdays are strong. I would like to start rumours of possibilities at Reno, Dixon, Lodi and Vallejo.

So its back into the cultural vacuum. Time for the challenge of finding something to kill time for the next 6 months once again. The ballet or the opera perhaps? Well, not really, I think I'll settle for starting writing another book that I hope to complete by May.

Gary Roberts - groberts@iee.org

 

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