2007 Fast Fridays Speedway
Gold Country Fairgrounds
2007 AMA Sports/USA Speedway National Championship Series - Round 2
Fast Fridays, Auburn, California USA - June 11, 2007
By Gary Roberts
2007 AMA Sports/USA Speedway National Championship Series - Round 1
Former World Champion Billy "The Bullet" Hamill won all six of his races, including the A Final, to capture Round 2 of the AMA Sports/USA Speedway National Championship Series and take over the ove rall Series lead at the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn, California.
Hamill ran through his heat races unbeaten to collect the bonus series point and also earn the first choice of starting position. The three-time National Champion picked gate one. 1997 World Champion Greg Hancock, who won Round 1 at Costa Mesa, chose gate four. 1998 SRA National Champion Bart Bast selected gate two, which left Tommy Hedden with gate three.
Hamill launched into the lead at the start and went to the cushion for traction and to prevent Hancock from swooping around the outside. His strategy worked as not only did he leave turn two with the lead, but Bast cut underneath Hancock for second while Hedden coasted to a stop with a broken chain. Hancock chased Bast down the backstraight, but parked in turn three and lost precious ground. Hancock didn't give up and valiantly pursued Bast again while Hamill was stretching his lead. Hamill was first to the checkered flag, Bast held off Hancock's last-lap charge to hold onto second by a wheel, and Hedden was credited with fourth. Hamill's victory gave him 39 points in the National Series and Hancock's third place finish brought his Series total to 37.
Seven riders competed in the four-race Elimination Round to determine the final four spots in the Championship field. Since there were four spots instead of the typical two, just qualifying for Elimination Race 4 would put a rider into the field. Kenny Ingalls won the direct transfer, and a spot in the field, by winning Elimination Race 1. J.T. Mabry booked his place by winning Elimination Race 2. Shaun Harmatiuk and Josh West finished first and second, respectively, to take the final two spots in Elimination Race 4. Elimination Race 4 was used to determine where the riders would slot into the field. Ingalls defeated West after a spirited four-lap battle.
The first round of heats began with Bast getting the start while Charlie Venegas was caught out on the outside and drifted to the back of the field. Bast took his first win ahead of Hedden and Ricky Wells while Venegas suffered a last-place finish.
Buck Blair got the best start in the second race, but went wide into turn two and pushed himself and Mike Faria to the outside and to the tail of the pack. West led the first two laps before lifting badly in turn four and handing the lead, and the win, to Harmatiuk.
Hancock led all the way in race three for his first win of the evening and Hamill did the same in race four to conclude the opening round.
The second round started with Hamill making it two in a row ahead of Bast. Hancock ran away to an easy second win in race six. Venegas trapped from the outside and cruised to victory in the next race. Faria held off Bryan Yarrow and Hedden for his first win to end round two.
Bast had an easy win in the bag when Harmatiuk fell and brought out the red flag. Harmatiuk was excluded from the restart. Bast copied his first start and beat Bobby Schwartz for his second win.
Yarrow got a great start and defeated Ingalls for his first win in event ten.
Venegas got the best start in event eleven, but Faria moved him off the inside in turn four and stormed up the inside for the lead. Venegas's efforts to regain the lead proved fruitless as Faria held on for his second straight win.
The last race of round three brought the much-anticipated matchup between Hamill and Hancock. Hamill got the best start from the inside and led into turn one. Hancock tried to find a past and pressured the leader, but Hamill never wilted and earned his third consecutive victory.
At intermission Hamill was on top with nine points; Hancock and Bast were second with eight points each; and Faria and Yarrow were tied with six points apiece.
Bast trapped from the outside and never looked back en route to his third straight win.
In event fourteen Faria got into the tapes and received a costly exclusion. Hamill ran away with his fourth win ahead of Ricky Wells.
Hancock kept himself tied with Bast by defeating Venegas in event fifteen and Hedden concluded the fourth round with his first win.
Hancock began the final round by trapping Faria and Bast and cruising to his fourth win and a position in the A Final. Bast also booked his place in the A Final despite finishing third.
Schwartz drew a rousing ovation with a great start and a smooth victory. Hamill remained perfect by defeating Venegas and Yarrow, whose third place cost him a spot in the A Final.
Hedden needed a win in the final heat to make the A Final and he didn't wilt under the pressure as he scored his second straight win to bring his point total to ten.
The D Final ended abruptly in turn two with a three-rider pileup in which West was deemed the cause and was excluded. Eddie Castro, who had a dismal night, after crashing in the first round, was some consolation by winning the D Final ahead of Nate Perkins and Mabry.
Schwartz blitzed the field at the start of the C Final and led the entire distance for the victory. Blair finished second, Ingalls was third, and Wells finished fourth.
Yarrow and Venegas battled for the lead on the first lap of the B Final before Venegas went down in turn four. Yarrow never was never seriously threatened and took the win with Faria coming in second and Harmatiuk in third.
The final round of the AMA Sports/USA Speedway National Championship Series will be at Fast Fridays in Auburn on Friday, August 31. Hancock will be looking to capture his record-breaking eighth championship while Hamill is seeking his fourth.
Elimination Race 1: Kenny Ingalls, J.T. Martynse, Shaun Harmatiuk, Neil Facchini
Elimination Race 2: J.T. Mabry, Josh West, Dale Facchini
Elimination Race 3: Shaun Harmatiuk, Josh West, J.T. Martynse, Dale Facchini
Elimination Race 4: Kenny Ingalls, Josh West, J.T. Martynse, J.T. Mabry
Scoring 1 2 3 4 5 T
1 - Greg Hancock 3 3 2 3 3 14
2 - Billy Hamill 3 3 3 3 3 15*
3 - Mike Faria 0 3 3 Tx 2 8
4 - Charlie Venegas 0 3 2 2 2 9
5 - Tommy Hedden 2 1 1 3 3 10
6 - Eddie Castro Fx 1 0 1 1 3
7 - Bryan Yarrow 1 2 3 2 1 9
8 - Nate Perkins 2 0 1 0 1 4
9 - Bart Bast 3 2 3 3 1 12
11 - Bobby Schwartz 1 0 2 0 3 6
12 - Shaun Harmatiuk 3 2 Fx 2 0 7
14 - Buck Blair 2 1 1 1 2 7
15 - J.T. Mabry 0 0 1 0 0 1
16 - Josh West 1 2 0 0 0 3
23 - Kenny Ingalls 2 1 2 1 0 6
25 - J.T. Martynse (Res.) 1 - - - - 1
22 - Dale Facchini (Res.) Did Not Ride
*Earned one bonus Series point as top scorer in the heats.
1: Bast, Hedden, Wells, Venegas
2: Harmatiuk, Blair, West, Faria
3: Hancock, Perkins, Yarrow, Mabry
4: (restarted) Hamill, Ingalls, Schwartz, Castro (fell, excluded)
5: Hamill, Bast, Blair, Perkins
6: Hancock, Harmatiuk, Castro, Wells
7: Venegas, West, Ingalls, Mabry
8: Faria, Yarrow, Hedden, Schwartz
9: (restarted) Bast, Schwartz, Mabry, Harmatiuk (fell, excluded)
10: Yarrow, Ingalls, Blair, Wells
11: Faria, Venegas, Perkins, Castro
12: Hamill, Hancock, Hedden, West
13: Bast, Yarrow, Castro, West
14: Hamill, Wells, Martynse, Mabry, Faria (tape exclusion)
15: Hancock, Venegas, Blair, Schwartz
16: (restarted) Hedden, Harmatiuk, Ingalls, Perkins
17: Hancock, Faria, Bast, Ingalls
18: Schwartz, Wells, Perkins, West
19: Hamill, Venegas, Yarrow, Harmatiuk
20: Hedden, Blair, Castro, Mabry
D Final (restarted)
6 - Eddie Castro
8 - Nate Perkins
15 - J.T. Mabry
16 - Josh West (fell, excluded)
11 - Bobby Schwartz
14 - Buck Blair
23 - Kenny Ingalls
26 - Ricky Wells
7 - Bryan Yarrow
3 - Mike Faria
12 - Shaun Harmatiuk
4 - Charlie Venegas (fell)
2 - Billy Hamill
9 - Bart Bast
1 - Greg Hancock
5 - Tommy Hedden
Series Standings R1 R2 T
2 - Billy Hamill 18 21 39
1 - Greg Hancock 21 16 37
3 - Mike Faria 11 16 27
9 - Bart Bast 8 18 26
5 - Tommy Hedden 11 14 25
4 - Charlie Venegas 14 9 23
7 - Bryan Yarrow 10 12 22
14 - Buck Blair 12 7 19
11 - Bobby Schwartz 4 8 12
26 - Ricky Wells 7 5 12
12 - Shaun Harmatiuk 0 10 10
6 - Eddie Castro 5 4 9
8 - Nate Perkins 6 3 9
13 - Josh Larsen 9 - 9
23 - Kenny Ingalls 0 6 6
10 - Shawn McConnell 3 - 3
15 - J.T. Mabry - 2 2
24 - Tim Gomez 2 - 2
16 - Josh West 0 1 1
15 - Gary Hicks 1 - 1
Gary Roberts - firstname.lastname@example.org