Fast Friday's Motorcycle Speedway
When the dust settled over Auburn's Fast Fridays Motorcycle Speedway at the Gold Country Fairgrounds after an incredible evening of racing that included 51 races and riding mishaps too numerous to count, Gino Manzares, Bart Bast and Bob Hicks emerged has big winners.
In a very exciting annual event that kicks off the championship programs held at Fast Friday's Manzares won a evening long six race battle and was crowned the 2012 AMA Under 21 National Champion. The 19-year-old from Southern California made the journey north and was nearly perfect scoring 17 out of 18 possible points in the 12 rider program to claim the championship. Manzares was perfect with 15 points after the semi-finals, and lined up against Auburn's Bryce Starks a two time U-21 national champ, Austin Novratil the 2011 U-21 national champion and Auburn's Tyler Warren. Manzares drew the outside lane four, Starks drew lane three and brought 14 points into the final, Warren came into the night's finale with nine points and drew the inside lane, and Novratil sat in lane two with 11 points. Each rider was after the final three points of the evening, but Manzares was definitely in a commanding position though racing out of the outside lane.
As the tapes went up it was a two-man race from the beginning with Novratil taking the lead, and Manzares on his tail. The boys went at it hard for all four laps, but Manzares could not find a way around the skilled Novratil. Starks had an outside line misstep in turn one and struggled to come back into contention but gave close chase following in third. Novratil and Manzares rode wheel to wheel in a final fast lap but Novratil held Manzares off and took the checkered flag finishing the night third with 14 championship points. Manzares had to settle for second place in the final race but picked up the championship win with 17 points one shy of a perfect evening. Starks finished the race third and second in the championship with 15 total points and Warren with a good effort finished fourth with 9 total championship points. Manzares will also grab a qualifying spot in the World U-21 Championships held in Europe next year and chance to race against the best under 21 speedway riders in the world.
The regular program at Fast Friday's was just as exiting as the championship program as local favorite Bart Bast picked up his second Division I scratch main event win of the season. Bast finished ahead of second place finisher Mike Faria in the final that saw two restarts the result of wheel movement before the tapes went up. Tommy Hedden and Charlie Venegas were moved back 10 yards for the start. Faria, also a Fast Fridays favorite from Southern California, is just getting familiar with the Auburn track again after a absence from racing up north, rode a good race and finished second. Venegas was third and Hedden was fourth. Bast has appeared in 12 scratch main events so far this season and leads all Division I riders with 1793 season track points. Hedden is second in season points with 1557 followed by Billy Janniro with 1510.
The Division I handicap main event was won by Auburn's Bob Hicks who did a great job of keeping 2011 national speedway champion Billy Janniro at bay in the final handicap race. Hicks, riding off the 40-yard line picked up his second Division I handicap main event win of the season. Janniro was second and Bast was third.
Paul Sanburn, a consistent rider in Division II main events this season, won the Division II main event and took his first trip to the winner's podium this season. Sanburn is second in Division II season points with 441 just behind Derik Denzin who has 523. Auburn's Mike Achilles was second in the Division II main event and Charlie Haines was third. Kevin Smith topped Division III main event Friday night followed by Eddie Marsalla who was second and Auburn's Glenn Scott in third. Shane Szuh leads Division III season points with 642. Daniel Casey won the Youth B main event followed by Colton Hicks who finished second and Alex Sterling who was third.
Results from Fast Friday's for 8-17-12
Photos By Michael Kirby
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