Fast Fridays Speedway
Gold Country Fairgrounds
Hancock rides to 2009 National Speedway Championship
By Michael Kirby - Story & Photos
Fast Fridays - AUBURN, CALIFORNIA, October 2, 2009
AMA National Championship Series Round 1
AMA National Championship Series Round 2
After the exciting A Main event rapped up at the Fast Friday’s Motorcycle Speedway Friday night at the Gold Country Fairgrounds concluding an excellent night of racing by all the riders, fans, friends and family came out on the track to congratulate one of the best speedway riders in America. As Greg Hancock stood at the center of the awards podium and accepted his 2009 AMA/USA National Speedway Championship trophy history was made in Auburn as Hancock captured his eighth USA National Speedway Championship. Hancock’s championship win Friday night gives him one more than Auburn’s Mike Bast who was tied with Hancock with seven national titles, and one more national championship than any other rider has ever won in the history of American speedway. “It’s just crazy, to think I equaled his record in 2006 and to come here today and take it, it’s odd, I always thought Mike would be the man to go down in history to win all those titles,” said Hancock. “My plan is to keep racing for a least another year at least, while I’m still feeling as young as I am, I still have the desire is to be the best, and so for me it’s just to keep on going until I can’t do it anymore,” said Hancock.
Hancock interrupted his successful European riding career, where he currently sits fourth in the World Grand Prix Series, to compete in the USA national championship series in America. On hand for the special event in the infield for the A main was Bast, speedway riding legend, who’s career ended in 1984 and a rider that dominated American speedway in the 70s. Bast couldn’t be prouder that his close friend was the rider who broke his 37-year-old record. “You know I set the record years ago and it had to get beat someday and I couldn’t think of a better kid than Greg,” said Bast. “You know the records are out there, you have to set them, so they can to be broken,” he said.
The exciting racing program consisted of five sets of heat races to accumulate points to get into the four main events. Each rider rode against each other at least once then were placed into the mains according to points. The main event series points added to each rider’s points from the previous two rounds and the high points holder was crowned this year’s national champion.
Hancock was perfect in the heat rounds with five wins and 15 points for the night going into the A main. 2008 AMA/USA National Champion Billy Janniro handled all of his heat races with wins until meeting Hancock in event 20, finishing second, and entered the A main with the second highest points of the night with 14. Also in the A main was Charlie Venegas who had tallied 13 points, with three wins and two second place finishes for the night. Venegas, never to be counted out of any race, has been riding well in the last three meetings at Fast Friday’s winning the 2009 Track Championship on September 11th. Fast Friday’s fan favorite Bart Bast also worked his way into the A main after a night of great racing with 11 points. As the tapes went up it was Hancock out of lane one who found his way again to the inside turf in turn one and he held on for the win picking up 20 series points. Behind him left 2008 champ Janniro, Venegas and Bast to battle in out. Janniro was working the middle and outside of the track as he likes to do, but he lost some momentum pushing outside allowing Venegas an inside line that he was able to hang onto finishing second just ahead of Janniro. Venegas added 18 series points and Janniro 16 points to their series totals. Bast finished not far behind Janniro in fourth picking up 14 series points.
The B maim event was won by Bryan Yarrow, the C main won by Matt Becker, and the D main was won by Kelly Kerrigan.
Ever the gentleman, Hancock stayed on the track dripping of champagne and ice water from the celebration until every fan got their picture, or autograph. Every hand was shook and every hug was given as a new great championship became the man to beat.
1-Greg Hancock, 2-Charlie Venegas, 3-Billy Janniro, 4-Bart Bast
1-Bryan Yarrow, 2-Tommy Hedden, 3-Kenny Ingalls, 4-Eddie Castro
1-Matt Becker, 2-Greg Hooten, 3-Mark Carrillo, 4-Tyson Burmeiste
1-Kelly Kerrigan, 2-Dan Faria, 3-Alex Marcucci, 4-Bryce Starks
Results Round 3 3rd Rd Pts 2nd Rd Pts. 1st Rd Pts. Total Series Pts.
Greg Hancock 3,3,3,3,3-15 20+1 20 20+1 62
Billy Janniro 3,3,3,3,2-14 16 18+1 18 53
Bart Bast 2,2,3,3,1-11 14 16 10 40
Charlie Venegas 3,3,2,2,3-13 18 12 8 38
Kenny Ingalls 2,0,2,2,3-9 10 5 16 31
Bryan Yarrow 3,1,1,1,3-9 12 10 5 27
Eddie Castro 2,0,1,3,2-8 9 9 9 27
Ricky Wells 0,0,0,0,0-0 0 14 12 26
Tommy Hedden 1,2,3,2,2-10 11 11 3 25
Matt Becker 2,2,0,1,2-7 8 7 0 15
Gary Hicks 0,0,0,0,0-0 0 0 14 14
Greg Hooten 0,1,2,1,0-4 7 6 0 13
Tyler Burmeister 1,2,2,0,1-6 5 8 0 13
Jimmy Fishback 0,0,0,0,0-0 0 0 11 11
Mark Carrillo 0,3,1,1,0-5 6 3 0 9
Shawn McConell 0,0,0,0,0-0 0 0 7 7
Bobby Schwartz 0,0,0,0,0-0 0 0 6 6
Bryce Starks 0,1,0,0,1-2 1 4 0 5
Alex Marcucci 1,1,1,0,0-3 2 2 0 4
Buck Blair 0,0,0,0,0-0 0 0 4 4
Kelly Kerrigan 0,0,0,2,1-3 4 0 0 4
Mike Faria 0,0,0,0,0-0 0 0 2 2
Nate Perkins 0,0,0,0,0-0 0 1 1 2
Photos By Michael Kirby
||Winners podium-(L-R) Trophy Girl Kyla Champ, Greg Hancock, Trophy Girl Alex Guzman, Billy Janniro, Bart Bast celebrate Hancock’s 2009 AMA/USA National Championship victory.
Hancock won the 2009 championship with 62 series points, Janniro defending his 2008 title, was second with 53 series points and Bast was third in series points with 40.
||Greg Hancock and seven time national champion Mike Bast talk with track announcer Mike Rooney.
||A Main start, (L-R) Bart Bast, Charlie Venegas, Billy Janniro, Greg Hancock.
||Billy Janniro and Charlie Venegas.
||L_R Tommy Hedden and Billy Janniro.