Fast Fridays Speedway
Gold Country Fairgrounds
2002 Season Opener
May 10, 2002
From Gary Roberts
Northern California Speedway opened at Fast Fridays in
Auburn on Friday night on a cold windy evening, 15 miles from the site of a thunderstorm
earlier in the afternoon. For a short while, I wondered if it would be called off.
Racing started out slow, on a fairly heavy track, but soon shaped up well. The 36 race
program was packed full, as was the pits, as were the stands.
1 Bobby Hedden
2 Mike Faria
3 Bart Bast
4 Dukie Ermolenko
Bobby got the gate and rode a flawless race. Dukie has looked good earlier, winning both
his heat, beating Mike Faria, and his semi-final, beating Bobby Hedden. Mike Faria's motor
did not sound in the best of health, all evening.
1 Alan Christian
2 Bryan Yarrow
3 Chris Kerr
Qualified, but non starter, Chris Manchester
The much-heralded return of Alan Christian ended in a win in the Scratch Consi. He got an
easy second in his heat, but overdid it in the semi, while battling with Dukie and Bobby
Hedden. Overall, a good appearance for so little recent competitive racing.
1 Bryan Yarrow
2 Ivan Sevart
3 Dukie Ermolenko
4 Eric Carrillo
5 Mike Faria
6 Matt Browne
By the end of the evening the track was in great shape, and everyone was going fast. The
back yardage rider could not catch front runners Yarrow and Sevart. Matt Browne got into
first division at the end of last season and rode well to make the main, taking a second
in his heat and winning the semifinal.
1 Chad Felicio
2 Bart Bast
3 Scott Olney
4 Ian Essary
5 JJ Martynse
6 Robert Curry
Qualified, but non starter, Chris Manchester.
Division 2 Main
1 Johnny O'Connell
2 Rick Valdez
3 George Snodgrass
4 Greg Hooten Jnr.
5 Bill Hermant
6 Tom Adams
Division 2 Consi
1 Jeff Blades
2 Vince Bertolucci
3 Shawn Eldridge
Also in the race, Bill Warnock, Glenn Scott, Ron Woodsford.
Division 3 Main
1 Randy Martin
2 ? Chandler
3 Mike Achilles
4 Bruce Baker
Also in the race, Jason Botsford, Dwight McBain, ? Chandler, Treggan Mullenix.
The most promising looking division 3 prospect did not make the main. Alan Christian's son
Richard took the lead in each of the three attempts to run his heat, and was pulling away
in front by a comfortable margin, when he fell.
Division 3 Consi
1 Lee Sharp
2 Brian Ballard
3 Deano Blankenbiller
4 Danny Adams
Also in the race, Eric Ryan, Kevin Ferreira, Greg Chacon, Les Veale, Rich Mignano.
Youths Division 1
1. Alex Marcucci
2. Ricky Wells
Also in the race, JT Mabry, Mark Carrillo, TJ Fowler, Danny Easley, Justin Boyle.
This race finished with a horrific accident. On the second lap a close fast race was
progressing with all seven riders tightly bunched. Second place man, Jason Boyle ran into
leader Alex Marcucci, taking both of them down. Ricky Wells, who was in third place
avoided them by riding outside the wreckage, but hit the wall hard. Miraculously the other
4 riders, who were close behind, avoided the fallen riders.
Youths Division 2
1. Mitchell Johnson
2. Ricky Felicio
3. Bruce Bast
4. Ricky Adams
5. RJ Becerra
6. Ronnie Woodsford
Youths Division 3
1. Hunter Morris
2. Jesse Beccerra
3. Tori Hubbert
4. Bryce Olney
The delay caused by the accident in the Division 1 Junior Main
lead to the remaining races being completed in record time.
Ricky Wells was taken to hospital and was released the next day. He did suffer a broken
arm and thumb. From where I was sitting, I expected much worse. From winning our division
3 Junior National last year, he has made great progress with his riding.
It was getting colder and everyone wanted to get home.
Fast Fridays will run every week until August 30.
Gary Roberts - email@example.com