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2005 Fast Fridays Speedway
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Fast Fridays Speedway
Gold Country Fairgrounds
Auburn, California

USA vs World
October 28, 2005 - Fast Fridays, Auburn
By Gary Roberts

History was made last night in Auburn, as the World Team beat the USA team by 87 points to 60. Personally, I was expecting the difference to be much greater. Fast Fridays recruited a true World class team.

The World Team was lead by 2004 World Champion Jason Crump, who put on a flawless performance. Ample support was given by current British Champion Joe Screen. Mike Faria rode valiantly, twice managing to finish ahead of Joe. Armando Castagna showed that semi-retirement from Speedway has not slowed him down. Johan Carlsson, aka John Cook, former FIM World Finalist and Swedish Champion had a good night supporting Armando. Steve Johnston scored less than usual. Freddy Lindgren, the youngest member of the team started the evening with an altercation with the turn one crash wall, but later showed his strength.

It was a night that will be remembered for weather conditions that just held up. After heavy rain in the area the past couple of days and much
of Friday morning, there were fairly heavy sprinkles just before and just after the races. It was quite incredible how it held off throughout the races. The track was fantastic all night.

Without former team members such as Hamill, Janniro, Fisher, Bobby Hedden the US team was in for a challenge from the start. Mike Faria and Charlie Venegas, put on a good effort, but at the end of the day, the overall strength of the World Team made the difference. Bart Bast had a good night, until his engine let him down taking him from first to last. Bryan Yarrow and Tommy Hedden had OK times, but Buck Blair struggled.

Unofficial scores:

18 heats, 4 riders per heat, each pair raced each other pair twice.

Tommy Hedden 0 1 2 0 0 3 6
Bart Bast 1 2 3 1 1 0 8
Mike Faria 3 1 2 3 2 0 11
Bryan Yarrow 2 0 1 1 2 0 1 7
Charlie Venegas 3 3 2 3 3 0 14
Bobby Schwartz 0 0
Buck Blair 0 0 0 1 1

The World
Jason Crump 3 3 3 3 3 3 18
Joe Screen 2 2 1 2 1 2 10
Steve Johnston 1 2 0 1 1 5
Freddy Lindgren 0 0 1 0 2 2 5
Armando Castagna 1 3 3 1 3 3 14
Johan Carlsson 2 0 2 2 2 2 8
Bobby Schwartz 1 1

B Main
Castagna, Carlsson, Yarrow, Hedden

A Main
Crump, Faria, Screen, Venegas

Jason Crump showed what it takes to be a World Champion. He is the first non-American to have raced in the US since Peter Collins raced at Ascot in the eighties. This was 8 or 9 years after Peter's WC win. The previous current, or near current non-American WC to race on American soil was Ivan Mauger. This is what made last night a historic event. Those of us fortunate enough to have been there last night will, I am sure, be sitting in a pub somewhere in 20 years time, being able to describe the event to our friends, when we can tell them, I was there!

OK, now for some interesting facts:
Both Mike Faria and Bobby Schwartz have raced against Phil Crump (Jason's Dad).
Bart Bast joined Phil's team, Swindon, a couple of years after Phil retired from British Speedway.
Charlie Venegas raced on the same British League team as Jason a couple of times, as a guest rider.

Youth races, unofficial results

1. Ricky Wells
2. Krystal Cramer
3. Austin Novratil
4. Jay Ricketts

1. Ben Essary
2. Joey Holt
3. Bryce Stark
4. Tom Reich

So the Auburn Speedway season ended on a high. Its now the start of the cultural vacuum, so its back to the opera or the ballet, to fill in the time till next May.

Gary Roberts - gary_rob@ix.netcom.com

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