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2006 Fast Fridays Speedway
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Fast Fridays Speedway
Gold Country Fairgrounds
Auburn, California

AMA / USA Speedway National Series - Round 2

Fast Fridays Auburn California USA - September 1, 2006
By Gary Roberts

AMA / USA Speedway National Series - Round 1

Last night Fast Fridays hosted the second round of the AMA/USA Speedway National Championship Series. The track was good the stands were fairly full and the racing was excellent.

The evening started with the elimination races for the final two places in the event. TJ Fowler looked good in his first race but his motor lost power in the final qualifier. After his second place the previous week in the track championship this performance was disappointing. Ivan Sevart looked good in race 3 leading for 2 laps before crumbling first to Martynse then Mabry then falling on the last lap. Survivors of the elimination races were Shaun Harmatiuk and JJ Martynse. JT Mabry qualified for the reserve position.

Into the main program the first race began badly for Josh Larsen who lost his chain as the tapes went up. In the first corner Greg Hancock established a lead and shut the door on Tommy Hedden who fell. No restart from the referee so Hedden was back up and in the race as Hancock and Hicks took a half lap lead which is how the race ended. Winner of the first round of the series Charlie Venegas got the gate and held the lead for 2 laps but was unable to hold back Billy Hamill. Race 5 brought together the 2 top finishers of the first round Faria and Venegas. Faria fell in the first turn and the referee allowed a full restart. From the outside gate Faria got a bad start putting him in last place out of the second turn. But he got past Larsen and Harmatiuk to salvage 2 points. Veteran Bobby Schwartz outgated Hamill in the next race but Hamill cut on the inside to take back the lead. Hancock again demonstrated his gating power in heat 8 when he left the rest to fight for the remaining positions. Blair took second but Bast and Castro moved under him before the race was over. After 2 races each Hancock Hamill and Yarrow were the only riders unbeaten. Venegas had dropped a point Faria and McConnell were 2 points down.

Into their third races Hamill made no mistakes in spoiling Yarrow’s perfect score. Castro and McConnell tangled in heat 10 forcing a complete restart. Venegas won this one chased hard by Castro while Gary Hicks suffered an engine failure which was to end his night. In heat 11 Bast took another point from Faria. Hancock scored another 3 points in his third ride leaving only himself and Hamill with perfect scores. Venegas and Yarrow were at this stage a point down. At the other end of the scale was California State Champion Josh Larsen. Josh arrived with 2 meticulously prepared bikes but 3 rides later he had scored only one point and he had one motor down on power with a suspected broken ring and the other bike throwing chains.

Into the fourth round of races Castro and Martynse went down in turn one. In the restart Castro battled with Perkins till the latter fell and Josh Larsen took second place. Perkins remounted for third and Martynse fell in fourth. Yarrow and Bast gated in heat 14 and Yarrow took a slim lead on the inside. Bast continued to pursue the outside but lost his second place to Shaun Harmatiuk who had his best night ever at Auburn. Heat 16 was the meeting of the giants with Hancock Hamill and Faria. Hamill got the gate Hancock slotted in behind him and Faria took third. So after 4 rides Hamill remained unbeaten Yarrow Hancock and Venegas were each one point down. Larsen at last took the lead in heat 17 but had McConnell on his tail and Bast a close third. Finally McConnell pulled an enormous wheelie which lost his grip on Larsen. Bast in third place and still non completely recovered from his early season injuries recognizing the skills involved in the miraculous wheelie recovery seemed nervous to pursue his quest for second place. Heat 18 was a great race with Mike Faria and Nate Perkins battling side by side Perkins finished with the much needed win after only scoring 2 points from his previous 4 rides. Heat 19 looked to be another straight win for Hamill until his machine tightened on the final lap allowing Tommy Hedden to take the win. This cost Hamill. Instead of being the only one with a bonus points it meant that both he and Hancock were top scorers on 14 points a piece enabling both to get a bonus point. Heat 20 brought together Hancock Venegas and Yarrow each coming in with 11 points. Since they were already the top scorers behind Hamill the race was for positions in the A main and Hancock needed a win for a bonus point. Positions were established early on with Hancock taking the lead Venegas second and Yarrow third.

The demarcations for the A B C and D finals were clear from the points with no run-offs.

Gary Hicks machine failure made the D final a 3 man event. Blair beat Schwartz out of the gate and Martynse followed for 4 laps. The C main had more movement with McConnell establishing the initial lead but first Castro then Perkins went past him. The B main was again a great race with Faria starting from the pole position leading for the first 2 laps with Tommy Hedden working a path on the outside. Hedden finally got around the outside of Faria to take over the lead for the last 2 laps. The A main went smoothly with Hamill riding a borrowed bike on the pole Hancock in gate 2 then Venegas and Yarrow on the outside. Hancock got the gate Hamill tucked in behind and Venegas behind him. That was the finishing order.

Overall in the series with one further round to take place at Auburn on October 7 Hancock and Venegas share the lead with 36 points Hamill is on 35 Faria 29 and Yarrow 20. So its down to a 3 way battle.

Elimination Race 1: Harmatiuk Mabry Sevart Defreece. (eliminated)
Elimination Race 2: Fowler Martynse Browne Fox. (eliminated)
Elimination Race 3: Martynse Mabry Browne (eliminated) Sevart (eliminated)
Elimination Race 4: Harmatiuk Martynse Mabry Fowler.
Harmatiuk and Martynse qualify for program Mabry is reserve.

Race Results
1: Hancock; Hicks; Hedden; Larsen.
2: Hamill; Venegas; Bast; Perkins.
3: Yarrow; Faria; Castro; Schwartz.
4: McConnell; Harmatiuk: Blair; Martynse.
5: Venegas; Faria; Harmatiuk; Larsen.
6: Hamill; Schwartz; Hicks; Martynse.
7. Yarrow; Hedden; McConnell; Perkins.
8. Hancock; Bast; Castro; Blair.
9. Hamill; Yarrow; Larsen; Blair.
10. Venegas; Castro; McConnell; Hicks.
11. Bast; Faria; Hedden; Martynse.
12. Hancock; Harmatiuk Perkins Schwartz.
13. Castro; Larsen; Perkins; Martynse.
14. Yarrow; Harmatiuk; Bast; Mabry. Mabry substituted for Hicks.
15. Venegas; Hedden; Blair; Schwartz.
16. Hamill; Hancock; Faria; McConnell.
17. Larsen; McConnell; Bast; Schwartz.
18. Perkins; Faria; Blair; Mabry. Mabry substituted for Hicks.
19. Hedden; Hamill; Harmatiuk; Castro.
20. Hancock; Venegas; Yarrow; Martynse.

1 2 3 4 5 T *Series Bonus Point*

Heat Scoring 1 2 3 4 5 T  
Greg Hancock 3 3 3 2 3 14 *
Billy Hamill 3 3 3 3 2 14 *
Charlie Venegas 2 3 3 3 2 13  
Bryan Yarrow 3 3 2 3 1 12  
Mike Faria 2 2 2 1 2 9  
Tommy Hedden 1 2 1 2 3 9  
Shaun Harmatiuk 2 1 2 2 1 8  
Bart Bast 1 2 3 1 1 8  
Eddie Castro 1 1 2 3 0 7  
Shawn McConnell 3 1 1 0 2 7  
Josh Larsen 0 0 1 2 3 6  
Nate Perkins 0 0 1 1 3 5  
Gary Hicks 2 1 0 - - 3  
Buck Blair 1 0 0 1 1 3  
Bobby Schwartz 0 2 0 0 0 2  
JJ Martynse 0 0 0 0 0 0  
*Series Bonus Point              

D Final - Blair; Schwartz; Martynse. Hicks qualified but was a non-starter.
C Final - Castro; Perkins; McConnell; Larsen.
B Final - Hedden; Faria; Bast; Harmatiuk.
A Final - Hancock; Hamill; Venegas; Yarrow.

Series Standings (After 2 of 3 Rounds)

    Rd 1 Rd 2 Total
Charlie Venegas 20 16 36
Greg Hancock 15 21 36
Billy Hamill 16 19 35
Mike Faria 18 11 29
Bryan Yarrow 6 14 20
Eddie Castro 11 8 19
Tommy Hedden 7 12 19
Nate Perkins 9 7 16
Bobby Schwartz 12 3 15
Bart Bast 5 10 15
Josh Larsen 10 5 15
Shawn McConnell 8 6 14
Shaun Harmatiuk 1 9 10
Buck Blair 3 4 7
Gary Hicks 4 1 5
Wieslaw Oskiewwicz 2 0 2
JJ Martynse 0 2 2

Next week is the Gold Country Fair. Friday night is speedway racing with Maita Ford's Golden Speedway Cup and Saturday night there will be vintage speedway and flat track races.

Gary Roberts - gary_rob@ix.netcom.com

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