Fast Fridays Speedway
Gold Country Fairgrounds - Auburn, CA
2001 Auburn Track Championship
Fast Fridays Speedway
August 31, 2001
From Gary Roberts
Fast Fridays held the Auburn Track Championship last night,
on a track that started off wet and slushy but soon turned into a good race surface.
The regular track surface preparer was unavailable last night, so Dave Joiner in
addition to being promoter and referee took on the job of track preparer.
The racing was good, although the results took on a class system, with riders consistently
grouped. In a class of their own were Bart Bast, Chris Manchester, Mike Faria and Bobby
Hedden. Chad Felicio, Tommy Hedden and Dukie Ermolenko rode well, but at the next level
down, then there was another gap before Bryan Yarrow, Eric Carrillo, Rich Marcucci and
Rick Shafer. Then there was nothing!
Referee, Dave Joiner was active with exclusions, giving the reserves no less than 11
rides, which I think is the highest I have heard of at any championship event, ever!
Few exclusions needed debate, for some reason riders were drawn into the tapes, and
collecting instant disqualification's.
Auburn track championship winner was on-form Bart Bast. At the end of 4 races Bart
was unbeaten. Mike Faria had lost one point, to Bart. Chris Manchester has a
history at Auburn of being hot or cold. His evening started cold with a third place
behind Faria and Felicio, but then turned around, became hot and those were the only
points he lost for the rest of the night. Bobby Hedden, always the most spectacular rider,
with his outside line, lost points to Ermolenko, Bast and Manchester. So at the end
of four rounds Bast, looked to taking the Track Championship with a maximum, with Faria
one point behind. Not the case. In the penultimate heat, Chris Manchester took
a point from Bast, suggest that Bast would line up for a run-off with Faria. But in the
final heat, Bobby Hedden took a further point from Mike, making Bart the Champion, and
putting Mike down on 13 points, level with Manchester. Chris won the run-off from the
gate, giving him second place, and Mike third.
What happened to the rest of the field? Chad Felicio had four good races but fell
and was disqualified in the fifth. Dukie did exactly the same. Eric Carrillo
lost 2 points when he clutch disintegrated. Bryan Yarrow started well, but faded as
the night went on, ending the night with a tape disqualification. Rick Shafer
finished with a credible 6 points and declared his retirement from the sport. In the
five years that I have followed Northern California Speedway Rick has gone from a
struggling-only-just-Division 1 rider, to a consistent competitor. He plans to
continue to support the races, by riding up on his Harley, to watch.
At the top of the list of disappointments of the night was Chris Kerr. Chris has
continued to improve this season, but had an off night, with 2 disqualification's and
ending the night with only one point.
Reserves Glenn Moore and JJ Martynse rode well, and were usually in the thick of the
action, but despite their many rides, the only points they took were from one another!
Unofficial scores were as follows:
Bart Bast 3 3 3 3 2 14
Chris Manchester 1 3 3 3 3 13
Mike Faria 3 2 3 3 2 13
Bobby Hedden 3 2 2 2 3 12
Chad Felicio 2 0 3 2 3 10
Dukie Ermolenko 0 3 2 2 3 10
Tom Hedden 2 2 2 3 1 10
Bryan Yarrow 3 2 1 1 0 7
Eric Carrillo 2 3 1 0 1 7
Rich Marcucci 2 1 0 1 2 6
Rick Shafer 1 1 2 0 2 6
Ivan Sevart 1 1 1 1 0 4
Billy Hiles 1 0 0 0 1 2
Ian Essary 0 0 0 2 0 2
Chris Kerr 0 0 0 0 1 1
Paul Orlandi 0 0 0 ns ns 0
Glenn Moore (R) 2 from 5 rides
JJ Martynse (R) 1 from 6 rides
Division 2 Track Championship
The main event for Division 2 was full of misfortunes. Favorite, Matt Browne was
disqualified for touching the tapes in his heat. In the main event Robert Mellor looked like a winner until he stopped to turn his fuel on. Tom Adams then looked
good until the last corner, when he fell, leaving Ron Woodsford to take the win.
1. Ron Woodsford
2. Vince Bertolucci
3. Robert Mellor
4. Tom Adams
Division 3 Track Championship
David Baker took the win in the Division 3 class, from Mike Achilles and David's brother
1. David Baker
2. Mike Achilles
3. Bruce Baker
4. Kim Reeg
Since I have been involved more with Junior Speedway this year, for me, the highlight of
the night was the Junior National Championship. It promised to be a good one and it
certainly lived up to it. There were some upsets, but generally I think all riders
Division 1 Junior National Championship
Winner was TJ Fowler. TJ was unbeaten all night, and a well deserved winner.
This follows winning the Division 2 Junior National Championship last year, which
followed missing most of the previous year with a broken leg.
TJ Fowler 12
Mark Carrillo 10
Justin Boyle 9
Greg Hooten 7
Alex Marcucci 6
Danny Easley 4
JT Mabry 4
Jeff Butler 2
Mark Carrillo took second place and Justin Boyle third. Greg Hooten, who was second
last year, and looked to me at the beginning of the season to be this year's favorite had
a disappointing evening, losing a point to TJ and another to Mark, and falling in another
race. Greg will move up to ride a 500 next year, so his Junior Speedway days are
over. Danny Easley, who I had pegged for more points also fell in one race, but did
the best job of the evening at giving TJ a run for his money. Third place man, Justin Boyle finished in the same position as he achieved last year. Since he comes
from Los Angeles, he has less familiarity with the Auburn track, although has constantly
available practice facilities, at Maely's Ranch, something that our Northern California
The fact that both Fowler and Carrillo moved from Division 2 last year plus the fact that
both have another 2 years of Junior Speedway says a lot for the future of our Junior
Division 2 Junior National Championship
Paul Johnson, who narrowly missed taking the Division 3 Junior National Championship last
year, was the worthy winner of the Division 2 class. Bruce Bast won a run-off with
Pete King for second place.
Paul Johnson 9
Bruce Bast 6
Pete King 6
Amanda English 4
Jay Ricketts 3
Tom Fehrman 2
Division 2 has been close all year. I believe every one of the competitors have won
main events at some stage throughout the season, as each competitor's form has peaked.
Tom Fehrman has been the one with the winning streak of late, but last night
suffered machine problems. Last night was the last Junior race for Amanda English, who
moves up to a 500 next year.
Division 3 Junior National Championship
Since there were 12 competitors, a qualifying championship replaced the points
championship. The main event turned out to be a battle of the Rickys.
Unofficial Main event result:
1. Ricky Wells
2. Ricky Felicio
3. Ricky Adams
4. Ronny Woodsford
Winner Ricky Wells, from New Zealand, currently living in Los Angeles, rode very well,
especially considering he was on a 175 Honda, against 250 Weslakes.
Having spent 3 years driving through the atrocious traffic in the San Francisco Bay area,
to make the drive up to Auburn every Friday, I understand what the Becerra family has
suffered each week they come up to race. So I felt extra bad for RJ Becerra, whose
engine disintegrated a couple of weeks ago, going out in one race on a borrowed machine,
failing to qualify for the semi-final, then going out on his brother's machine in the last
chance and failing to qualify by a place, cooking that engine in the process. I also
felt bad for his brother, therefore having no machine to take ride in the semi, for which
he had qualified.
All in all, the Junior National Championship went off well. Each kid finished the evening
being given with medallions, bags of tools, accessories, T-shirts, etc. provided by a lot
of generous sponsors, too many to list.
Fast Fridays staff did a great job to complete these two major championships in three
hours. The pit steward told me afterwards that the junior competitors had contributed to
this by doing a great job of being ready for each race. I don't know how to put it
diplomatically, but British Speedway could learn from this model. 20 Division 1
races, 3 Division 2 races, 3 Division 3 races, 21 Junior races, 2 run-offs, (total 49
heats) plus 4 track maintenance breaks and an intermission, in 3 hours, not too shabby!
No Gold Country Fair Championship next week, it got cancelled, so there is a 3 week break
before the September 21 AMA National Championship.