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2012 Fast Fridays Speedway
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Fast Fridays Speedway
Gold Country Fairgrounds
Auburn, California

Fast Fridays Season Opener
By Michael Kirby (Story & Photos)

Fast Friday's Motorcycle Speedway in Auburn hit the ground running opening the 2012 season Friday night with an exciting racing program featuring over 75 riders in three adult divisions, two youth divisions, pee-wee division, and the Run What U Brung contest. After the off-season break the most of the riders were getting their bikes tuned, and adjusting to the track, but after the first few races were underway and everyone got the first night jitters out of the way the racing was non-stop action and well appreciated by the Fast Friday's fans that filled the arena.

Topping the list of must see division one riders back this year is 2011 AMA USA National Speedway Champion Billy Janniro. Riding with a big number one on his back and out to defend his current national championship, Janniro is definitely the man to beat again this season. Janniro holds three AMA USA National Championships and is charging into the 2012 season looking to add a fourth. Also back are hometown favorites Bart Bast, Chris Kerr, Tommy Hedden, Bryce Starks and Bob Hicks, that on any night with a good gate can take Janniro down. Bryan Yarrow, Greg Hooten, Alex Marcucci and Daniel Faria are also threats and experienced riders, back and tough to beat.

In Friday nights scratch program Janniro worked his way into the main event with first place finishes in all his heat races and drew lane two in the main. Also finding his way into the scratch main was Greg Hooten, who looked impressive all night with two second place finishes in his heat races, drawing the inside lane one. Bryan Yarrow was back riding solid with a win and second place finish in his heat races, in lane three, and in the outside lane was crowd favorite and veteran rider Bart Bast who also had two first place finishes in his semi heats. Right out of the gate Janniro was on it. Beating Bast to the inside lane on turn one, Janniro grabbed the lead and never wavered. Bast trailed closely looking for a miscue or chance to pass that never came. Janniro led all four laps with Bast following a bike length or two behind. Yarrow and Hooten put on a good show working third and fourth behind Bast. At the flag Janniro was first, Bast was second, Yarrow third and Hooten was fourth.

In the handicap program Janniro struggled a little. Again riding off the 60-yard again this year, he won his first race then fell in the semi-final and transferred to the handicap consolation race that he won. Auburn's Bryce Starks won Handicap main event with an impressive ride followed by Chris Kerr, and in third Bart Bast.

Division II action sees 2011 Fast Friday's Track Champion Tyler Warren, and familiar riders Rachelle Kerr, Mike Achilles, and Charlie Haines back racing in this action packed division. But the night belonged to Derik Denzin who won the DII main event followed by second place finisher Danny Turner, and in third place was newcomer George Snodgrass.

Division III included many new riders making their speedway debuts and is sure to be a fun division to watch. Friday night's action saw newcomer Paul Sandburn take the checkered flag, followed by Kevin Smith in second and third place belonged Shane Szuh.

Returning rider David Mersaroli won the Division I Youth main event, Luke Becker was second and in third was Louie Mersaroli.

Next week Fast Friday's Motorcycle Speedway hosts round one of the Extreme Sidecar series along with the regular division speedway-racing program. Up from Southern California will be Joe Jones and his band of ten adrenaline seeking Extreme Sidecar teams tearing up the dirt oval at the Gold Country Fairgrounds on their 1000cc three wheeled bikes.

Results from Fast Fridays 5-11-12

Division 1 Scratch Main Event
1-Billy Janniro, 2-Bart Bast, 3-Bryan Yarrow, 4-Greg Hooten

Division I Handicap Main Event
1-Bryce Starks, 2-Chris Kerr 3-Bart Bast

Division II Main Event
1-Derik Denzin, 2-Danny Turner, 3-George Snodgrass

Division III Main Event
1-Paul Sandburn, 2-Kevin Smith, 3-Shane Szuh

Youth Division I
1-David Mersaroli, 2-Luke Becker, 3-Louie Mersaroli

Photos By Michael Kirby

2012 Fast Fridays Speedway Auburn's Bart Bast goes into turn two just ahead of Auburn's Tommy Hedden Friday night. Bast was second in the scratch main event behind Billy Janniro.
2012 Fast Fridays Speedway Auburn's Bryce Starks won Handicap Main Event.
2012 Fast Fridays Speedway Billy Janniro was back defending his 2011 AMA USA National Championship at Fast Friday's Motorcycle Speedway opening night in Auburn at the Gold Country Fairgrounds. Janniro won the scratch main event.
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