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2003 Fast Fridays Speedway
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Fast Fridays Speedway
Gold Country Fairgrounds
Auburn, California

2003 Season Opener
May 9, 2003 - Fast Fridays, Auburn
By Gary Roberts

Fast Fridays season opened on Friday night with an evening of great racing. Many commented that divine intervention had taken place. Friday was the first dry day after a week of heavy rain, including over 2 inches on Thursday. I was amazed the event took place at all, but the track was absolutely perfect from the first race on, through out the evening.

That was the good news. As frequently seems to be the case however, opening night did not end happily for a number of competitors. Veteran Rich Marcucci sustained a broken leg on the first corner of the first heat, Rachalle Kerr collected a broken arm and Tim Gomez a broken collar bone. Lack of practice, a full moon, six months build up of adrenaline, who knows the reason

It was good to see everyone back again. The crowd was fairly good at the start of the evening but a lot of people left early, since the weather was fairly cold. They missed some great racing.

Scratch Main
1. Bobby Hedden
2. Scott Brant
3. Mike Faria
4. Bart Bast
This race effectively lasted about 50 yards. Bobby got the gate and rode a flawless race. The other three established positions in the first corner and rode a fast but uneventful race thereafter.

Scratch Consolation
1. Tommy Hedden
2. Jim Estes
3. Eric Carrillo
4. Bryan Yarrow
Bryan Yarrow looked very fast on the SECO sponsored machine all evening. But his challenge went away with a machine misfire. Tommy Hedden won from ex-Southern California, now Nevada resident, Jim Estes. Jim hopes to make it every Friday this season and the results fortunately prove a complete recovery from his broken leg.

Handicap Main
1. Billy Hiles (0)
2. Bryan Yarrow (40)
3. Bobby Hedden (50)
Other riders were Tommy Hedden (40), Ivan Sevart (0) and Eric Carrillo (40). Sorry, I missed the finishing order. Billy Hiles outgated Ivan Sevart from the zero yard line, leaving Ivan to fend off the heavy duty competition, while building on the gap between them. Eventually Bryan and Bobby got past Ivan and closed the gap on Billy, but ran out of laps to get past him. Bryan's last ditch effort to catch him caused them to collide in turn one after the chequered flag. They picked themselves up and congratulated one another. This was Billy's first main event win since entering first division 2 years ago.

Handicap Consolation
1. Bart Bast (50)
2. Greg Hooten Jnr. (0)
3. Scott Brant (50)
4. Chad Felicio (40)
5. Mike Faria (50)
6. Jim Estes (20)
Greg Hooten ran a good race, but Bart caught him on the last lap.

Division 2 Main
1. Mark Carrillo
2. Randy Martin
3. Ron Woodsford
4. David Fonts
5. Devon DeFreece
6. Bill Warnock
A good fast, safe win for Mark Carrillo from the 20 yard line. A 4 year veteran from Youth Speedway, this was Mark's first race on a 500. I will be surprised if he is not in Division 1 within a month.

Division 2 Consolation
1. Mike Browne
2. Glenn Scott
3. Doug Mignano
4. Dean Blankenbiller
5. Brian Leventon
6. Neil Facchini

Division 3 Main
1. Greg Searle
2. Mike Achilles
3. Christian Sherfy
Reno, NV resident Greg Searle started Speedway in January this year. He won the main at his first visit to Victorville, did the same at his first visit to Costa Mesa, and made it a hat trick at Auburn. His wife also rode in Division 3 and his son rode in Youth Division 3. A truly dedicated family!

Division 3 Consolation
1. Guy Jessop
2. #184?
3. John Deathrage
There were a lot of new riders, a lot of old riders in new leathers, and a lot of no shows in the program. Add this lot together and I don't feel too bad identifying only 2 of the competitors in this race.

Youths Division 1
1. Paul Johnson
2. JT Mabry
3. Ricky Wells
4. Danny Easley
5. Alex Marcucci
Last year's Youth National Champion, TJ Fowler lost his engine at the start. Tim Gomez took second place in his heat, but fell heavily in the main.

Youths Division 2
1. Ricky Felicio
2. Mitchell Johnson
3. Jay Ricketts
4. Krystal Cramer
5. Tom Fuhrman
Riding his first race on a 250 laydown, Ricky Felicio made easy work of both his heat and the main.

Youths Division 3
1. Ronnie Woodford
2. Cody Ciciarelli
3. Tori Hubbert
4. Dillon Peterson
5. Bryce Olney
6. Mike Bray
Ronnie Woodsford had an easy win from the 50 yard line. It was encouraging to see 3 new youth riders. One was riding the new formula 80cc 2-stroke machine, 2 other riders were riding the new Czech manufactured 125 4-strokes. A recruitment campaign is underway to encourage new youth riders into the sport and these new lower cost machines is seen as a mechanism to do it. Now if only we can find a practice track in Northern California and a place to race on Saturdays, our problems will be solved.

Fast Fridays will run every week until August 29.

Gary Roberts - gary_rob@ix.netcom.com

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