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2002 Fast Fridays Speedway Race Results

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Fast Fridays Speedway
Gold Country Fairgrounds
Auburn, CA

2002 AMA National Speedway - Round 2
Fast Fridays
August 16, 2002
From Gary Roberts

Greg Hancock won this second round of the National Championship in Auburn, CA, ahead of Mike Faria, Billy Janniro and Billy Hamill.  For the series total, this puts Hancock into the lead by a single point over Hamill.  The third and final round will be held again in Auburn, on September 20.

The evening included a couple of fairly horrific accidents.  Nobody was too injured to come back in re-runs, but I am sure that more than a couple of riders will be pretty sore in the morning.

The format adopted for the series includes a pre-event qualifier to fill two floating positions and two reserve spots, on the 16 rider format.  At the rider's meeting it was announced that Gary Hicks would not be riding, on medical advice.  This meant that the first reserve automatically filled Hicks' place, so the pre-event qualifier was opened up for 3 places not 2, plus 2 reserves.

Unofficial results:

Wildcard Heat 1
1. Bobby Hedden
2. Bryan Yarrow
3. Ivan Sevart
4. Bobby Krips

Wildcard Heat 2
1. Alan Christian
2. Chris Kerr
3. Randy Difrancesco
4. Billy Hiles

Wildcard Elimination Heat
1. Randy Difrancesco
2. Billy Hiles
3. Ivan Sevart
4. Randy Krips
Ivan Sevart was unlucky in this race.  He had a healthy lead when Krips and Difrancesco collided, stopping the race. Krips was disqualified from the re-run, Sevart got a rotten start and finished last.

Wildcard Final (qualifier race for the 3 places)
1. Alan Christian
2. Bobby Hedden
3. Chris Kerr
4. Bryan Yarrow
Bryan Yarrow, who has done outstandingly well at Auburn this year fell, leaving the other 3 with easy qualifying places.

Wildcard Heat 5
1. Randy Difrancesco
2. Billy Hiles
3. Bryan Yarrow
Yarrow again fell, Difrancesco went home and Hiles was left as the only reserve.

Heat 1: Castro, Janniro, Carrillo, T. Hedden
Following his A final result on Wednesday, Eddie Castro started off his evening with an advantage from the gate, which he maintained for 4 laps.

Heat 2: Faria, Hancock, Bast, Fisher
Greg Hancock made the gate but somehow between there and the exit of turn 2, Faria and Bast got past him.  It took him the rest of the race to regain second place from Bast.

Heat 3: Manchester, B. Hedden, Christian, Kerr
Manchester got the gate and Hedden and Christian rode side by side for 2 laps, until Hedden established an advantage.

Heat 4: Hamill, Larsen, Brant, Schwartz
Billy Hamill started the way he finished on Wednesday with an explosive gate, establishing a safe lead. Larsen and Brant followed. The start of an evening for Bobby Schwartz that I am sure he would prefer to forget. This time he fell in turn 4 on the first lap.

Heat 5: Brant, Castro, Fisher, Manchester
Brant got the gate, followed by Castro. Manchester got moved wide in turn 1 and fell.   He was slow to get up, but no-nonsense-referee, Steve Lucero did not turn on the red light and the race continued.

Heat 6: Hamill, Bast, Bobby Hedden, Carrillo
Again Hamill established a big lead early on and left Bast and Hedden to fight it out. Bobby was all over Bart's back wheel, but was unable to get around him.

Heat 7: Faria, Christian, T. Hedden, Schwartz
Alan Christian showed form chasing Mike Faria, while Bobby Schwartz's race finished when he fell, first lap, in turn 1.

Heat 8: Janniro, Hancock, Kerr, Larsen
Josh Larsen got pushed wide in turn 1 and never recovered.  Janniro got a rocket start, with Hancock in close pursuit.  Greg was all over him for 4 laps, with no result.

Heat 9: Castro, Bast, Larsen, Christian
In the first attempt to run this race, Castro and Christian's bikes got locked together entering turn 1 and they went down.  In the rerun, Christian fell, while Bast took a runaway lead, chased for 4 laps by a very determined Castro.  In their approach to the finishing line Castro found traction and won by inches.

Heat 10: Fisher, Kerr, Carrillo, Schwartz
After a disappointing one point from 2 rides, Ryan Fisher got a win.  Chris Kerr, got a well deserved second place and Bobby Schwartz completed four laps.  Imagine his thoughts, riding round watching 3 teenagers, in front of him, where is the respect for their elder!!!

Heat 11: Hancock, Manchester, T. Hedden, Hiles. Hamill disqualified.
This was the turning point in Billy Hamill's evening.  He made his usual killer start, and lead for ¾ of a lap, but then found traction coming out of turn 4.  He lifted a bit, got it back down, but Greg Hancock got under him. Going into turn 1 Greg was on the inside and Billy fell. The referee disqualified Billy.  Obviously someone had to be penalized for stopping the race, and Billy looked out of control before falling, so he was replaced by Billy Hiles, the reserve, for the re-run.  This time, Greg made it from the gate, followed by Manny and Tom Hedden.

Heat 12: Faria, Janniro, Brant, Hiles, B. Hedden disqualified.
Faria and Brant made great starts, leaving Janniro and Hedden to follow.  Entering turn 3, Hedden and Janniro collided, Janniro falling awkwardly.  The race was stopped and Hiles was brought in for Bobby Hedden.  In the re-run, Faria again made a great start, this time followed by Janniro. Brant took third.

Heat 13: Hamill, Faria, Castro, Kerr.
Another runaway victory for Hamill.

Heat 14: Hancock, Bast, Christian, Carrillo
A relatively easy one for Greg from the gate.

Heat 15: Fisher, B. Hedden, Larsen, T. Hedden.
After some fairly fierce competition in his first 2 races, this second win was easier for Fisher.  Josh Larsen was at this stage clearly having an off night.

Heat 16: Janniro, Manchester, Bast, Schwartz.
Chris Manchester got the gate, but Janniro got past him before the end of the first lap.

Heat 17: Castro, Hancock, B. Hedden, Schwartz.
Again, a determined Eddie Castro got the gate and by the exit of turn 2, Hancock was in third place.  On the third and fourth turns he got past Hedden, but failed to make an impression on Castro.

Heat 18: Faria, Manchester, Larsen, Carrillo.
Manchester got the gate, but Faria passed him to take his fourth win and pick up a series bonus point for the position of top points scorer.

Heat 19: Brant, Bast, Kerr, T. Hedden.
In the first corner Chris Kerr fell and the race was restarted.  First corner bunching perhaps?  Brant got a terrific gate to win the re-run.

Heat 20: Hamill, Janniro, Fisher, Christian.
Coventry vs. Alan Christian?  Right, with a predictable result.
In the first attempt to run the race, Christian fell before turn one.  More first corner bunching?  All back for the re-run.  This time it was Hamill, Janniro, Fisher, Christian, until Ryan went wide in turn 2, on the third lap, but recaptured it before the chequered flag.

So after the points scoring races, Faria was out in front with 14, while Hamill, Hancock, Castro and Janniro all shared second place with 12.   There was a run off for these four, to see who would NOT race with Faria in the A main.  Castro got the gate, but in turn one was brought down from behind. He landed hard, Hamill, who was behind him went, with his bike, hard into the wall demolishing 2 panels.  Both riders were down for several minutes, but recovered for the re-run.   Hamill's bike was unusable, so he came out on Manchester's bike.  Castro, still very shaken was the loser and got relegated to the B final.
Next came the D final.

D Final: Schwartz, Kerr, T. Hedden, Carrillo
This time it was Carrillo's turn to fall hard in turn 1.  He was down for several minutes, but again was back in the rerun.  Second time out, Schwartz salvaged one win from the evening, which will keep him in the third round.

C Final: Fisher, Larsen, Christian, B. Hedden.
Ryan made the gate, pursued by Larsen.  Bobby Hedden continued his disappointing evening, with a bad gate.  At one stage he got ahead of Christian, but returned to fourth position at the end.

B Final: Manchester, Brant, Castro, Bast.
I could not help but feel bad for Eddie Castro. He was equal second place points scorer, but following the horrendous accident in the points tie breaker got pretty shaken up. In the B main he made a less than good start, and trailed in fourth. He managed to salvage third place from Bart in the latter stages.

A Final: Hancock, Faria, Janniro, Hamill
The first time the tapes came up, the red light came on immediately after.  I heard that both Hamill and Hancock moved at the start, and the referee would not disqualify them both, so the race was restarted.  It was a fast, close race.  We will never know for sure, what happened to Billy Hamill in this race.  After superb gates for the earlier part of the evening, after walking away with the first round with 6 perfect gates and 6 perfect wins, this time he watched Hancock get the gate, while he got a mediocre start, then he spent the race getting sandwiched between Faria and Janniro and was unable to pull ahead from them, until he was finally relegated to fourth place.  Was he still suffering from the altercation with the wall, did his borrowed machinery have less power than his own engine?
What ever happened, the result was a win for Greg, a fast second for Mike, and third for hard-battling Billy Janniro.

So ends the second round of the 2002 AMA National Speedway Championship, Round 2.

Points scored: 1 2 3 4 5 T
Eddie Castro 3 2 3 1 3 12
Eric Carrillo 1 0 1 0 0 2
Tommy Hedden 0 1 1 0 0 2
Billy Janniro 2 3 2 3 2 12
Ryan Fisher 0 1 3 3 1 8
Bart Bast 1 2 2 1 2 8
Mike Faria 3 3 3 2 3 14
Greg Hancock 2 2 3 3 2 12
Chris Manchester 3 0 2 2 2 9
Bobby Hedden 2 1 0 2 1 6
Alan Christian 1 2 0 1 0 4
Chris Kerr 0 1 2 0 1 4
Scott Brant 1 3 1 2 3 10
Billy Hamill 3 3 0 3 3 12
Bobby Schwartz 0 0 0 0 0 0
Josh Larsen 2 0 1 1 1 5
Series totals after 2 rounds:
SB Au Tot
Greg Hancock 16 20 36
Billy Hamill 21 14 35
Billy Janniro 18 16 34
Mike Faria 9 19 28
Eddie Castro 14 10 24
Chris Manchester 11 12 21
Scott Brant 12 11 23
Ryan Fisher 10 8 18
Bart Bast 6 9 15
Josh Larsen 7 7 14
Bobby Schwartz 4 4 8
Gary Hicks 8 - 8
Tommy Hedden 5 2 7
Alan Christian - 6 6
Bobby Hedden 1 5 6
Eric Carrillo 3 1 4
Chris Kerr - 3 3
Randy Difrancisco 2 - 2

Where does that leave those who must re-qualify next time I am not sure.  My understanding was that it was worked on total points, which means that either Bobby Hedden or Alan Christian would qualify for the 14th position.   More on that later.

The crowd was not the biggest I have seen at Auburn.  The Civil War and the one night National Championship seems to attract bigger crowds.  The track was good.  It was smooth, no ruts, no clumps of dirt, and like Wednesday at San Bernardino, I witnessed hand-watering taking place.  This old English tradition seems to be catching on, with great results!

Next week will be the final point scoring event of the season (where did the summer go?) then the Track Championship & Youth National Championship, then nothing, until September 20.

Gary Roberts - gary_rob@ix.netcom.com

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