Fast Fridays Speedway
Gold Country Fairgrounds
AMA US Nationals Championship
September 26 2003 - Fast Fridays, Auburn
By Gary Roberts
Last night Fast Fridays hosted the second and final round
of the AMA National Championship. The stands were packed to capacity, and
the racing was first class. The results did not go as I think most were
expecting and even selection of the overall winner came down to a run off,
providing all the drama that one would hope for, from a top event.
From the first round Billy Hamill came in as leader, with Ryan Fisher in
second place, Billy Janniro third and Greg Hancock fourth.
To start with the track was a little slick in some places and tacky in
others, but it soon evened out and hand-watering and dragging every 4 Heats
kept it in first class shape.
Everyone from the first round except Cam Rafferty showed up. Cam did not
qualify in the top 14 in the previous round so would have gone through the
pre-qualification process, and his place was taken by 16 year old Mark
Carrillo. What a season Mark has had! From runner up in the Youth National
Championship last year, into division 2 this year, up into division one, and
finishing the season riding in the National.
Referee Steve "no nonsense" Lucero had a relatively easy night.
A minor change was made to the format of the pre-event qualifier to fill two
floating positions and two reserve spots, on the 16 rider format. This was a
reduction from 5 to 4 races, which did the necessary job.
Wildcard Heat 1
1. Mark Carrillo
2. JJ Martynse
3. Ivan Sevart
4. Chris Kerr
Chris Kerr fell while leading the first Heat and there ended his night.
Wildcard Heat 2
1. Bryan Yarrow
3. Jim Estes
4. Bobby Krips
An easy win for Bryan Yarrow. An injury during the first round prevented him
from scoring enough points to go straight into the event.
Wildcard Heat 3
1. Bart Bardecki
2. J.T. Martynse
3. Jim Estes
4. Ivan Sevart
1. Bryan Yarrow
2. Bart Bardecki
3. Mark Carrillo
4. J.T. Martynse
This put Yarrow and Bardecki into the main program and Carrillo became first
reserve, Martynse second reserve.
Heat 1 - Manchester, B. Hedden, Janniro, Castro
Janniro lost the battle at the gate, but tried every line he knew, for 4
Heat 2 - Hancock, Venegas, Brant, Yarrow
Heat 3 -Faria, Bast, E. Carrillo, Schwartz
Heat 4 - Fisher, T. Hedden, Hamill, Bardecki
Hamill suffered the same as Janniro did in Heat 1.
Heat 5 - Hamill, Manchester, Venegas, E. Carrillo
Heat 6 - Yarrow, Bobby Hedden, J.J Martynse, M Carrillo
First time out Bobby Schwartz fell going into turn one and ended his
evening. In the first re-run Tommy Hedden went down so was disqualified form
J.J Martynse was in for Tommy Hedden, Mark Carrillo in for Schwartz.
Heat 7 - Faria, Janniro, Fisher, Brant
The best race of the night, if not the season. All 4 packed together for 4
laps, Janniro and Fisher swapping places each lap, with veteran Faria taking
Heat 8 - Hancock, Castro, Bast, Bardecki.
Heat 9 - Faria, Yarrow, Manchester, Bardecki
Heat 10 - Fisher, Bast, Venegas, B. Hedden
Heat 11 - Hancock, Janniro, T. Hedden, Carrillo
Heat 12 - Brant, Castro, M Carrillo, Hamill
Mark Carrillo in for Schwartz.
The mistake that cost Billy Hamill his title. Leading the race he found too
much traction coming out of turn four and looped it. He was soon up and back
on, but only after the other 3 had gone past.
Heat 13 - Brant, Bast, Manchester, T. Hedden
Heat 14 - Hamill, Hancock, B. Hedden, Faria
Heat 15 - Janniro, Bardecki, Venegas, M. Carrillo
Mark Carrillo in for Schwartz
Heat 16 - Fisher, Yarrow, Castro, E. Carrillo
Heat 17 - Hancock, Fisher, Manchester, M. Carrillo
Mark Carrillo in for Schwartz
Heat 18 - B. Hedden, Carrillo, Bardecki, Brant
This time it was Scott Brant’s turn to be turn 4 victim. First to last, and
on the final turn.
Heat 19 - Janniro, Hamill, Bast, Yarrow
If Hamill had won, it would have meant a run off with Janniro for the last
place in the A final. Janniro made no mistake at the gate and kept hard
battling Hamill behind him.
Heat 20 - Faria, Castro, Venegas, T. Hedden
Greg Hancock 3 3 3 2 3 14
Mike Faria 3 3 3 0 3 12
Ryan Fisher 3 1 3 3 2 12
Billy Janniro 1 2 2 3 3 11
Billy Hamill 1 3 0 3 2 9
Bobby Hedden 2 2 0 1 3 8
Chris Manchester 3 2 1 1 1 8
Bart Bast 2 1 2 2 1 8
Scott Brant 1 0 3 3 0 7
Bryan Yarrow 0 3 2 2 0 7
Eddie Castro 0 2 2 1 2 7
Charlie Venegas 2 1 1 1 1 6
Tommy Hedden 2 0 1 0 0 3
Eric Carrillo 1 0 0 0 2 3
Bart Bardecki 0 0 0 2 1 3
Bobby Schwartz 0 0 - - - 0
Mark Carrillo (res) - 0 1 0 0 1
JJ Martynse (res) - 1 - - - 1
The numbers broke down conveniently, requiring no run-offs for the A, B, C
and D mains.
D final T. Hedden, E. Carrillo, Bardecki.
Schwartz, non starter, credited with 4th place.
C final Brant, Yarrow, Castro, Venegas
B final. Hamill, Bast, Manchester, B. Hedden
A final. Hancock, Fisher, Janniro, Faria
Series total after 2 rounds
Greg Hancock 14 21 35
Ryan Fisher 19 16 35
Billy Janniro 16 18 34
Billy Hamill 21 12 33
Mike Faria 11 14 25
Scott Brant 12 8 20
Bart Bast 9 11 20
Bobby Hedden 10 9 19
Chris Manchester 8 10 18
Charlie Venegas 7 5 12
Eddie Castro 5 6 11
Tommy Hedden 6 4 10
Bryan Yarrow 1 7 8
Eric Carrillo 3 3 6
Bobby Schwartz 4 1 5
Cam Rafferty 2 0 2
Bartek Bardecki 0 2 2
With only 2 points separating the top 4, the European based Americans were
in a separate class. Ryan Fisher and Greg Hancock, tied on 35 meant a
run-off for the title of AMA National Champion. Ryan got the pole and Greg
the outside. It was a close gate, but Greg was first into the turn and that
was the way it stayed. A well deserved win for Greg, he was certainly the
best rider on the night. A great second place for Ryan, still only 19 and
with an outstanding future. Billy Janniro, who rode hard in both rounds has
certainly done more laps at Auburn over the years than Fisher, Hamill or
Hancock. He left here 3 years ago a good rider, who would occasionally
challenge Faria or Bast and now returns to easily take third place, ahead of
all the regulars. What I am sure is a disappointing fourth for Billy Hamill,
who looked unbeatable in the first round, but was not riding at the same
level last night.
So Hamill and Hancock have, between them, held the AMA National Championship
since the event moved up to Auburn. How much longer can they keep the
youngsters at bay? Janniro and Fisher are more than ready to relieve them of
the title, I for one would not be surprised to see a new name go on the
silverware next year.
It encouraging to see both Billy Janniro and Ryan Fisher come back from
Europe with the ability to ride at the top level. Next season at Fast
Fridays 2001/2002 Youth National Champion T.J. Fowler moves up, along with top
division 1 youth riders JT Mabry and Danny Easley. I expect T.J. Fowler to
quickly rise to become a very competitive division 1 rider. Mabry and Easley
will also be in division 1 before mid season. Northern California Speedway’s
investment in Youth Speedway has really paid off in recent years. In
addition to Janniro and Fisher, Yarrow, Eric and Mark Carrillo, Martynse,
Kerr, Browne, Hooten are all continuing to improve as division 1 riders.
One more event at Fast Fridays before we finally go into hibernation. On
Saturday November 1, they host the third annual USA verses the World. Fast
Fridays promoter Dave Joiner sets off for Europe to recruit his World Team
Gary Roberts - firstname.lastname@example.org