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2000 West Coast Results Page

Fast Fridays Speedway
Gold Country Fairgrounds - Auburn, CA

2000 Fair and Track Championships
Fast Fridays
September 8, 2000
From Gary Roberts

Billy Hamill wins the Fair Championship
Chris Kerr wins the Track Division 2 Championship
Richard Doster wins the Track Division 3 Championship
Bryan Yarrow wins the Track Junior Division 1 Championship
TJ Fowler wins the Track Junior Division 2 Championship
Jeff Butler wins the Track Junior Division 3 Championship
Billy Hamill

Last night, Fast Fridays held the Gold Country Fair Championship at the Auburn Fairgrounds. The event was an individual invitational championship event, with top names, including Billy Hamill and several top riders from Southern California. Last week the Annual Track Championship got rained off and the promotion was stuck with a serious problem of how to hold the individual championship event, and how to hold a track championship at the same time. Added to which last week's program also included the Junior National Championship, an event which has grown into another seriously prestigious event. What we finished up with last night was the Gold Country Fair Championship, the Divisions 2 and 3 track championship and the Junior National. What was left out was the Division 1 track championship. It is unfortunate but the track is not available between now and the National, so the Division 1 Track Championship for 2000 has been cancelled. Tomorrow the track is being torn down for a monster truck pull. (Sometimes I despair for the kind of world we live in, when a monster bloody truck pull can take priority over the Division 1 Speedway Track Championship).

So it was a packed evening of Speedway. 20 Gold Country Fair Championship races, plus a run-off, 3 Division 3 races, plus a run-off, 3 division 2 races and 23 Junior races. What a night!

For some reason, the track was not up to its usual high standard. It start off visibly heavy with dirt. Maybe it last week's rain, maybe it was something else. Who knows, but even Billy Hamill said he had trouble for the first couple of races. As the evening went on, it got better, but riders who have demonstrated ability to use the outside cushion all season, Bobby Hedden in particular, struggled to find a successful outside line. For this reason, there was therefore not the usual amount of overtaking. There was however some good racing, and several last few yards dashes to the finish.

Gold Country Fair Championship

This was a straight 20 heat championship format, none of the A and B final nonsense. Undisputed winner was Billy Hamill. He really did not put a wheel wrong all night and provided some very fast races, winning some by margins of over a quarter of a lap.

Billy Hamill       3 3 3 3 2  14
Mike Faria         2 3 3 2 3  13
Charlie Venegas    1 2 3 3 3  12 third after runoff with Chris
Chris Manchester   3 3 2 1 3  12
Dukie Ermolenko    1 2 2 3 1   9
Bobby Hedden       3 0 0 3 3   9
Bart Bast          3 3 3 0 0   9
Gary Hicks         2 2 2 1 2   9
Billy Janniro      1 2 2 2 1   8
Josh Larsen        2 0 1 2 0   5
Bob Hicks          0 1 0 2 2   5
Tommy Hedden       2 0 1 1 1   5
Ryan Fisher        0 1 1 0 2   4
Robert Curry       1 1 1 0 0   3
Chad Felicio       0 1 0 0 1   2
Ian Ferris         0 0 0 1 0   1
Matt King   0 from 5 rides
Ivan Sevart 0 from 1 ride

Hamill lost his point to a very determined Charlie Venegas, who got a great gate in his last ride. Billy chased him all the way, but couldn't make the pass.

Josh Larsen was not up to his usual standard, he appeared to suffer machine problems in at least one race. A lot of riders found themselves drawn into the tapes, and Reserve Matt King found himself in the first three consecutive heats.

Chris Manchester looked like his old self. He made easy work of the track, seeming to effortlessly glide over the inconsistencies, while other found themselves continuously thrown off line.

Heat 16 found Mike Faria, Bobby Hedden, Bart Bast and Chris Manchester in the same heat. Up until this point, Bast had a perfect score, Manchester and Faria had each lost a point, Bobby Hedden had a win and two zeros due to falls. On the first lap Faria got a great start, followed by Chris Manchester. Bast lead Hedden into turn 3 and fell, with Hedden laying it down. In the re-run, without Bast, Hedden got a rocket of a gate, while Faria missed it altogether and spent three laps to get past Manchester. This killed Bast's chances, and Faria's, who had already lost a point to Hamill in their first race.

I assume that many riders used the event as a trial run for the National, which takes place in 3 weeks. Gary Hicks, who at times seems to pull off outstanding feats, such as wins over both Hamill and Hancock in the 99 National, and again in this year's Civil War did not demonstrate the same brilliance tonight. Armed with his number 2 bike, he had, in my opinion, a mediocre evening. I predict he will get at least a rostrum place in the National in 3 weeks.Bryan  Yarrow 1999

Auburn Division 2 Track Championship

  1.. Chris Kerr
  2.. George Snodgrass
  3.. Marvin Sonnier
  4.. Tom Adams

George Snodgrass took the gate while Sonnier and Kerr battled for second. Chris Kerr eventually got past Sonnier but could not get around Snodgrass, until he produced a final few yards dash for the finish. Chris had a month ago thrown away the Cal Expo track championship when he looped it, while in a safe leading position.

Auburn Division 3 Track Championship

  1.. Richard Doster
  2.. Ron Woodsford
  3.. David Baker
  4.. Billy Hiles

I had expected Billy Hiles to win. Like Hiles, winner Richard Doster is in his first season of Speedway. Hiles was last out of the gate and stayed there. Doster and Ron Woodsford exchanged places a couple of times, and completed the race with a close finish.

Year 2000 Junior National ChampionshipTJ Fowler 1999

Division 1
Bryan Yarrow    12
Greg Hooten Jnr. 8
Justin Boyle     4
JJ Martynse      4
JT Mabry         2

Bryan's win was no surprise. He was runner up to Eric Carrillo last year and has won most of the races throughout this season. JJ Martynse was unlucky in a couple of his rides. He has improved a lot this year and his tied third place with Justin Boyle did not reflect his 2000 season success.

Division 2
TJ Fowler    10
Chris Olney   9
Danny Easley  8
Mark Carrillo 6
Alex Marcucci 6
Josh Newby    2
Brenton Bast  1

I was sure that this one would be a close one. It could have been any one of the first five. The first three positions were wide open, right down to the last race. TJ Fowler rode consistently and was a worthy winner. Last season a broken leg midway through the season caused him to miss the rest of the season, so this was his first National.

Division 3
1.     Jeff Butler
2.     Paul Johnson
3.     Pete King
4.     Chris Smith

The Division 3 class had no less than 14 competitors. Qualifying heats and semifinals brought it down to the final four, three of which were veterans from last season. New rider Pete King has shown great form of late, but machine problems and getting on a substitute bike at the starting line did not help his chances. Johnson followed Butler closely the whole race and made a last few yard dash for the flag but failed by inches.

It is always encouraging to watch Junior Speedway riders. They usually show up for the first time with an old Honda, and wobble round for their first few races, before they get the hang of it. A few months later they are back with a 250 Weslake and they are going faster than many division 3 riders. The thing they all have in common is being extremely nice kids. As an implant from England, I find many American kids to be quite obnoxious. The reason why Junior Speedway riders are so different is that they are all lucky to have involved parents who commit to spending every Friday and in many cases Saturday evenings during the Speedway season, with their kids, encouraging their involvement in this great sport. The net result is great riders like Eric Carrillo, Chris Kerr, Ryan Fisher, Greg Hancock and Billy Hamill. The parents organize the Junior Speedway program and do a fine job of it. Last night they presented me with a plaque for supporting them this year. I am proud of the plaque and proud to be around such nice people.Jeff Butler 1999

The National is on September 29.
The field, in numerical order will comprise:

1.. Billy Hamill
2.. Dukie Ermolenko
3.. Ian Ferris
4.. Ryan Fisher
5.. Bobby Hedden
6.. Gary Hicks
7.. Billy Janniro
8.. Robert Curry
9.. Greg Hancock
10.. John Cook
11.. Chris Manchester
12.. Bart Bast
13.. Mike Faria
14.. Bobby Schwartz
15.. Charlie Venegas
16.. Josh Larsen
That will wrap up the Northern California 2000 season.

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