Fast Fridays Speedway
Gold Country Fairgrounds
North vs. South - The Civil War Of Speedway
July 19, 2002
From Gary Roberts
The annual Civil War, the North verses South took place on a hot
Friday evening on a track the we have got used to now as looking fairly lumpy to start
with, but again settled into a smooth even surface. There were a few grippy spots
where some came unstuck, others used them to their advantage.
The final score this year was 73 to 61 in favour of the
North. But I think few will argue that the North were extremely lucky. The
heavily weighted last race made all the difference.
1. Bast, Janniro, Shwartz, Larsen
To me, this looked like a very unsatisfactory first bend. Bart Bast on the inside of Josh Larsen did not turn left. He hit the slippery entry to turn one and carried
straight on, taking Josh with him. By the time Josh had battled to stay up, bringing
him to a halt, everyone else had gone.
2. Castro, Faria, Manchester, Felicio
3. B. Hedden, Difrancesco, T. Hedden, Hicks
Similar start to heat one. Bobby Hedden ran into Gary Hicks, then fell. This
time the race was restarted. Gary Hicks unfortunately suffered a dislocated
shoulder, which ended his night. This, probably more than anything else was the
single reason for loss of the South's potential points.
4. Brant, Yarrow, Kerr, Venegas
5. Schwartz, Larsen, Yarrow, Kerr
6. B. Hedden, Manchester, Castro, T. Hedden
Just as Bobby Hedden executed a superb pass on Chris Manchester, Eddie Castro did the same
thing to Tommy Hedden.
7. Faria, Difrancesco, Felicio, Harmituik
Shawn Harmituik came in a reserve for Gary Hicks
8. Brant, Bast, Venegas, Janniro
By far the best race of the night, probably the season. Bast and Janniro got in
front and tried to team ride, to hold back Scott Brant. Brant found a narrow strip
of traction coming out of turn two which launched him past both leaders. Billy
Janniro did his best to get past Scott Brant, even to the last 5 yards of the race, where
he and his bike parted company. Brant got the win, Janniro's bike took second.
Next came the walking Janniro, followed by Bast, then Venegas. But the
referee put Janniro was put back to fourth, because he and his bike were not in contact as
they crossed the line.
9. Larsen, Faria, Felicio, Schwartz
10. Castro, Bast, Manchester, Janniro
A disaster for the North. The first time out, Bast and Janniro had a comfortable
lead on Manchester, with Castro trailing. A sticking throttle cable caused Janniro
to go down, taking Castro with him. Eddie got his revenge in the re-run, this time
with out Janniro. A clear 5-1 turned to a 2-4.
11. Difrancisco, Yarrow, Harmituik, Kerr
12. Brant, T. Hedden
Venegas stopped, Bobby Hedden fell, then later pushed the bike half a lap to the line, but
a lap behind.
13. Larsen, Schwartz, T. Hedden, B.Hedden
The Heddens were in second and third until Bobby fell, taking his brother down, allowing
Bobby second place.
14. Janniro, Castro, Yarrow, Manchester
For the first time, the North were 8 points down, so were able to bring in a Tac Sub.
Janniro, for Kerr.
15. Bast, Janniro, Difrancisco, Harmituik
16. Faria, Brant, Felicio, Venegas
So at the end of the regular program, the South
lead, 48 points to 47
Castro, Faria, B.Hedden, Difrancisco
Weighted scoring made this 55 to 53 to the South.
Bast, Janniro, Brant, Larsen
Instead of 3, 2, 1, 0 the points for this race were 12, 8, 4, 2.
This gave the North a
Team racing is not as popular in the US as in Europe. It is interesting to note a
few other differences in this team event to team events in Europe.
1. Most of these riders are older than British Elite league riders, with 3 over 40, 2 over
2. Although based in different ends of California, they have all been riding together, on
and off, for their entire Speedway careers. This has the effect of enormous confidence in
3. There is more camaraderie in the crowd. Its nice to see old friends from the
other end of the state. They are not viewed as rivals. Unlike both the British
Leagues, I heard no booing of riders of the other team, in fact quite the opposite.
The predominantly Northern California crowd appreciated the show that the So. Cal.
visitors put on.
All in all, it was an excellent night of Speedway, viewed by the biggest crowd of the
season. Next week is Hog Night, sponsored by Auburn Harley Davidson.
Gary Roberts - email@example.com