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

Fast Friday's Motorcycle Speedway
Gold Country Fairgrounds
Venegas wins big at Fast Friday's
By Michael Kirby (Story & Photos)

Charlie Venegas, a veteran speedway rider with 24 years of speedway racing experience and championships honors to numerous to list, is back racing at Fast Friday's Motorcycle Speedway. Venegas missed most of the season at Fast Friday's but is back in a big way, and will be a force to deal with in the upcoming Fast Friday's track championship next week and the 2012 AMA National Speedway Championship on September 28 at the Gold Country Fairgrounds.

Venegas pulled off a rare feat Friday night at Fast Friday's by winning both of the Division I scratch and handicap main events. Venegas is riding well and is fresh off a second place finish Wednesday night in the California State Speedway Championship held in Southern California.

In the scratch program Venegas worked his way into the main event with a heat race win and a second place finish in his semi-final race. Venegas drew the outside lane and faced Bob Hicks in lane three, Billy Janniro in lane two and Tommy Hedden in lane one. As the starting tapes went up Janniro and Hedden bumped a little in turn one and in a rare occurrence Janniro went down. Referee Shawn Eldredge called for a restart. Again as the race started Hedden and Janniro tangled in turn one and Janniro again went down, this time without a nod from the referee for a restart. Hedden continued but Janniro was out of the final race of the night. Venegas on the outside took advantage of the situation and took over first place and ran on the inside line just ahead of Hedden for the remainder of the race. Hedden finished second and Hicks was third.

In the handicap program Venegas found his way to the main event with a third place finish in his heat race, and two second place finishes in his semi-final heats. Venegas was racing off back yardage along with Janniro, Bart Bast and Hicks. Ryan Bast was racing off the 10 yard line. Janniro had mechanical problems on the first turn as sparks flew from his bike and was forced out. Venegas took the lead and held off Bast for the six lap race. Bast finished second, and Hicks was third. Venegas capped a great night of racing with wins in both main events, and is sure to figure in the upcoming championship nights.

Janniro who added another trophy to his collection Wednesday night in Southern California winning the California State Speedway Championship came out on top in the Challenge Elimination Championship. Four of the five Challenge Elimination Series round winners squared off in the championship. Bryan Yarrow, Bob Hicks, Tommy Hedden along with Janniro were finalists in the championship. Absent was Greg Hooten. The four series round winners lined up for the one lap races which eliminated the last place finisher until the final two riders ran off in a two lap race for the championship. Yarrow was the first to retire, Hicks left next leaving Janniro and Hedden to battle it out for the championship. Janniro was on and his gates good and he led Hedden for both laps to cinch the challenge championship.

Friday night was the final night to gather season track points and qualify for the track championship next week. Bart Bast leads Division I with 2091 as of last week, Tommy Hedden follows with 1791 and Hicks has gathered 1751 points. The top 16 riders in season points in Division I will be entered in the track championship. Derik Denzin leads Division II with 548 points followed by Paul Sanburn with 505 and Chris Casey with 477. Division III is led by Shane Szuh with 692 followed by Eddie Marsalla with 559 and his brother Kyle Marsalla follows closely with 542 points. The top 8 riders in Division II and Division III will enter their respective divisions track championships.

Jamison Dilkey topped Division II with a first place finish in the main event for the second week in a row, and looks to be one of the riders to beat next week in the Division II track championship. Paul Sanburn was second. Kevin Smith was first in the Division III main event, Eddie Marsalla was second, and Kurt Kornchuck was third. Luke Becker took the checkered flag in the Youth A division main event and will favor heavily in the Youth National Championship also staged next week at Fast Fridays. Louie Mersaroli was second and his brother David Mersaroli was third. Seven-year-old Sterling Martin won the Youth B main event. Martin along with his brother Alex moved up from the pee-wee division and have shown to take to the bigger bikes well. Colton Hicks was second and Daniel Casey was third.

Results from Fast Friday's for 8-31-12

Division 1 Scratch Main Event
1-Charlie Venegas, 2-Tommy Hedden, 3-Bob Hicks

Division I Handicap Main Event
1-Charlie Venegas, 2-Bart Bast, 3-Bob Hicks

Division II Main Event
1-Jamison Dilkey, 2-Paul Sanburn

Division III Main Event
1-Kevin Smith, 2-Eddie Marsalla, 3-Kurt Kornchuck

Youth A Main Event
1-Luke Becker, 2-Louie Mersaroli, 3-David Mersaroli

Youth B Main Event
1-Sterling Martin, 2-Colton Hicks, 3-Daniel Casey

Run What U Brung
1-Robert Curry

Photos By Michael Kirby

2012 Fast Fridays Speedway Sterling Martin won the Youth B main event. Martin 7, has wasted little time adjusting to the bigger bikes since moving up from the pee-wee division earlier this season with impressive finishes.
2012 Fast Fridays Speedway Billy Janniro won the Challenge Elimination Series Championship Friday night at Fast Friday's outlasting Bryan Yarrow, Bob Hicks and Tommy Hedden.
2012 Fast Fridays Speedway Charlie Venegas (L) edges Bart Bast (R) in a heat race. Venegas went on to win both the Division I handicap and scratch main events.
2012 Fast Fridays Speedway Auburn's Bart Bast (L) leads all Division I riders in the season points race with 2091 as of last week. Bast will figure heavily in the Fast Friday's track championship September 7. Pictured Bast leads Bobby Hedden (R) out of turn one in a heat race.
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