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Fast Fridays Speedway
Gold Country Fairgrounds
Auburn, California

Auburn Track Championship / 2004 US Nationals Youth Championship
September 3, 2004 - Fast Fridays, Auburn
By Gary Roberts

Another very pleasant evening at Fast Fridays in Auburn California for the Auburn Track Championship. The temperature during the day was in the high 80s, but the track seemed to suit most riders. My observation was that there seemed to be less than the usual amount of overtaking.

Unofficial results:

Division 1 Track Championship
Bobby Hedden        3 3 3 3 3  15
Bart Bast           3 3 2 3 3  14
Mike Faria          3 3 1 3 3  13
Chris Kerr          3 2 0 3 3  11
Bryan Yarrow        1 2 3 2 2  10
Chad Felicio        2 3 3 1 1  10
Bob Hicks           2 2 2 2 0   8
Tommy Hedden        0 1 2 2 2   7
Billy Hiles        0 1 3 1 2   7
John Houston        1 0 2 1 2   6
Greg Hooten Jnr.    2 0 1 2 1   6
TJ Fowler          0 2 1 0 1   4
Matt Browne        0 1 1 1 1   4
Bart Bardecki       2 0 0 0 0   2
JT Mabry            1 1 0 0 0   2
Devin DeFreece      0 0 0 0 0   0
Shawn Eldredge res  1           1

The whole event actually came down to heat 12 with Bobby Hedden, Bart Bast, Mike Faria and Chris Kerr. These 4 were out in a class of their own for much of the event, so this was the race that sorted out the result.

Division 2 Track Championship
Alex Marcucci
Shawn Eldredge
Mike Browne
Rachalle Kerr

Division 3 Track Championship
Kell Kerrigan
Dave Quick
Norman Brooks
Danny Poli

This is the end of Fast Fridays regular weekly program. The next event is the third and final round of the AMA National which takes place on September 24

The United States 2004 Youth National Championship

Fast Fridays in Auburn, CA hosted the US 2004 Youth National Championship last night. The track was in good shape, the event went smoothly and at the end of the night, Southern California riders walked away with the top three places. The last Southern Californian to win the event was Ryan Fisher in 1998. Since then, the event has been dominated by Northern California riders.

The unbeaten winner was Southern Californian New Zealander, Ricky Wells. From defeats during his last two visits to Auburn, to a blown number 1 motor this week, things did put Ricky as the number 1 favorite, but when it came down to the competition last night, he scored a 15 points maximum and was not seriously challenged.

The event opened with Krystal Cramer being beaten by New York competitor Mikey Buman in heat 1. Krystal has had a great season at Auburn and this win gave the highly successful New Yorker the boost he needed. However his campaign fell apart, with 3 second places and a fall and subsequent disqualification in his final race. I sincerely hope he is able to return next year, since he proved he has what it needs to win the event. Krystal rode well and only gave away one other point to Ricky Wells, putting her in second place. Third place went to Jason Ramirez, who raced in the Youth National last year, and has come a long way. The first three finishers have at least another two years in the youth class, so their long term prospects look outstanding.

Unofficial results:

Ricky Wells        3 3 3 3 3  15
Krystal Cramer     2 3 3 2 3  13
Jason Ramirez      2 2 3 3 2  12
Jay Ricketts       2 3 3 2 1  11
Paul Johnson       3 2 2 1 3  11
Miles Calvin       0 3 2 3 2  10
Mikey Buman        3 2 2 2 0   9
Ricky Felicio      3 1 1 3 0   8
Ricky Valdez       1 2 1 2 2   8
Ben Essary         1 1 1 0 3   6
Tom Fehrman        2 1 1 0 2   5
Dillon Peterson    1 1 0 1 0   3
Bryce Starks       0 0 2 1 0   3
Tori Hubbert       1 0 0 0 1   2
Joey Holt          0 0 0 0 0   0
Mitchell Johnson   0 0 0 - -   0
Bryce Olney (res)  1 1 0 1 1   4 (5 rides)

What happened to the rest of them?

Paul Johnson and Jay Ricketts were Northern California's top hopefuls. They rode well, but were unable to match the southerners. Ricky Felicio put in 2 good wins, but is still not riding at the level he was before his opening night crash, in which he sustained a broken arm.
Ricky Valdez rode some good races for a rider who had only ridden once before at Auburn. Ben Essary looked a sure winner in 2 races, but stopped in one, because his fuel was not turned on. This was his first National and having seen his progress this year, I expect him to become a serious challenger next year.

Its always good to see Youth Speedway riders progress. Ricky Wells first showed up at Auburn 3 years ago and won what was then the Division 3 National. He admits that his diversionary escapades in Sweden this year on a 80cc bike have not helped his style, but he was the best rider on the night, and deserved to win.

At the end of the 2003 season, 7 of last year's 16 Youth National competitors went to the adult class, making this year's field look very different. Looking to new year, only Miles Calvin and Tori Hubbert will move to the adult class. This leaves a solid group for next year.

So another year of Youth Speedway is over. We hope to run some practice sessions during the off-season and will continue our search for a Northern California practice track, which we recognize is essential if we are to grow youth Speedway.

Gary Roberts - gary_rob@ix.netcom.com

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