Fast Fridays Speedway
Gold Country Fairgrounds
Hedden back with a Scratch Main Event Win
Fast Friday’s Motorcycle Speedway
Michael Kirby (Story & Photos)
Auburn, California - July 8, 2011
Well it didn't take Auburn's Tommy Hedden long to get back into racing form and win the Fast Fridays scratch main event Friday night at the Gold Country Fairgrounds track. On a spectacular night of racing filled with numerous racing mishaps that kept emergency personnel scrambling, Hedden proved he was back. Hedden a longtime Fast Fridays favorite has been sidelined since last season recovering from an injury and was just cleared to race three weeks ago. Hedden battled into the scratch main event with a win in his scratch heat race, a second place finish in his scratch semi-final heat and then he lined up against Billy Janniro, Charlie Venegas, and Bart Bast for the final race of the night. Hedden riding out of gate two got a good start and was out front from turn one to the finish flag four laps later. Janniro and Bast each tried to get ahead of Hedden without any success. "To beat Billy you have to get a good start and you have a chance, if you don't that's it," said Hedden.
Janniro riding on barrowed bikes all night showed he does have a kink or two in his armor. The current USA National Speedway Champion finished third in the scratch main event and did not make the handicap main event for the first time this season. Bast finished second and Venegas was fourth. Janniro leads the current Division I points standings at Fast Fridays with 1226 followed closely by Bast with 1164 and Charlie Venegas with 819.
Alex Marcucci won the handicap main event in a tight exciting race with Auburn's Bob Hicks. The twenty-five-year old Marcucci has paid his dues, coming up through the junior program and was 2003 Junior National Champion. He is riding impressively this season, right there each week. Off the 20 yard line Marcucci held off a hard charging Hicks who finished second followed by Bart Bast who finished third.
Add Dustin Berdolt's name to the growing list of riders in Division II that are keeping that division heated up and exciting. Berdolt topped Tyler Warren who finished second and Mellor who was third in Division II. Division III was won by Bryce Taddy. Taddy is a newcomer this season at Fast Fridays but is proving to be a player in Division III. Taddy finished ahead of Kevin Chapman who was second and Bill McCloskey in third.
Auburn's David Mersaroli who is also racing his first Fast Fridays season won the Youth Division. The fifteen-year-old has won five youth main events so far this season. Mersaroli defeated Luke Becker in second and Jamison Dilkey who finished third.
In a annual nostalgic event Billy Meister of Alta took the vintage division checkered flag. The event featured riders, mostly retired, riding vintage speedway racing machines. Meister started racing speedway bikes in 1971 in Southern California, and wore the same racing leathers he wore when he started racing.
In two weeks on July 22 at Fast Fridays the annual team challenge North vs. South Classic will take place. Special this year will be world speedway-racing champion Billy Hamill leading the south team. Look for this to be an exciting night of team speedway racing action at Fast Fridays.
Results from Fast Friday's for 7-8-11
Division 1 Scratch Main Event
1-Tommy Hedden, 2-Bart Bast, 3-Billy Janniro, 4-Charlie Venegas
Division I Handicap Main Event
1-Alex Marcucci, 2-Bob Hicks 3-Bart Bast
Division II Main Event
1-Dustin Berdolt, 2-Tyler Warren, 3-Robert Mellor
Division III Main Event
1-Bryce Taddy, 2-Kevin Chapman, 3-William McCloskey
1-David Mersaroli, 2-Luke Becker, 3-Jamison Dilkey 4-Colton Hicks
1-Billy Meister, 2-Bobby Hedden
Photos Michael Kirby
||Tommy Hedden (L) and Bart Bast (R) start a handicap heat race early in the evening. Hedden back racing for just three weeks this season due to an injury went on to win the Scratch Main event.
||Nevada City resident Alex Marcucci is racing well this season and won the Handicap Main event Friday night..
||Auburn's David Mersaroli won the Youth Main event the fifth this season for the 15 year old in his first speedway season at Fast Fridays.
||The start of the scratch semi-final heat pitted (L-R) Billy Janniro, Alex Marcucci, Tommy Hedden, Matt Drury. Hedden (second from right) finished in the semi-final and went on to win the Scratch Main event.
||Billy Meister won the annual nostalgic vintage event. Meister started his racing career in 1971. The event featured mostly retired riders on vintage speedway bikes.