Fast Fridays Speedway
Gold Country Fairgrounds
Fast Friday's Motorcycle Speedway
Gold Country Fairgrounds
Fast Fridays Opens 2013 Season
By Michael Kirby (Story &Photos)
AUBURN, CALIFORNIA, May 10, 2013
If Friday night was any indication of the exciting motorcycle racing season Fast Fridays is presenting then Northern California speedway fans are in for a wild ride. Fast Fridays opened the 2013 season Friday night with a bang for the near capacity crowd at the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn. Racers got back into the swing of things, working the bugs out of their bikes after a long off season in the early part of the night. Friendships were renewed for riders and Fast Fridays regulars as the racing got under way. Aside from two accidents on the track, one that required an ambulance ride to the hospital, the night was perfect. The Auburn weather could not have been better for an evening of exciting motorcycle racing.
Billy Janniro was back at Fast Fridays and wasted little climbing to the top in the Fast Fridays scratch program. Janniro claimed the Division I scratch main event after transferring to the scratch semi by placing second to Bob Hicks in his first scratch heat. Janniro then put the hammer down with a win in the scratch semifinal defeating Bart Bast, Charlie Venegas, and Bryan Yarrow who finished in order behind him. Janniro then found himself outside in lane four for the final race of the night against the fastest men of the night who also worked themselves into the night's finale. Tommy Hedden was in lane one on the inside, Bast was in lane two, and Hicks sat in lane three at the start line.
As the tapes went up it was Hedden that got inside on turn one forcing Janniro to go on the high side of the blue groove on the inside of the track. Hedden did a great job of keeping the past national champ on the outside, but Janniro hung tight, playing it cool just waiting for his opportunity. Bast and Hicks followed closely, always in striking distance, also hoping for a chance to work into the lead. On the third lap of the four lap race Hedden gave Janniro his chance when hitting a rough spot in the track and spinning out. Janniro took over from there taking the lead as he led Bast and Hicks to the checkered flag. Bast was second, Hicks third and Hedden was fourth. After just one night of racing it's evident that Janniro is going to be the man to beat in the scratch program again this season.
In the Division I handicap program the story was a little different. Janniro riding off the 60 yard line struggled. With lower yardage skilled riders like Jim Lewis, Ryan Bast, and Daniel Faria, Janniro had trouble getting to the lead, in fact Janniro failed to reach the handicap main event Friday night. It was Charlie Venegas the seasoned veteran riding off the 40 yard line that claimed the Division I handicap main event. He was followed by Ryan Bast who had a good night in second, and Bart Bast who finished third. Venegas finished third in his first handicap heat race and first in his handicap semi to get to the handicap main.
In the ever popular Run What U Brung division it was Lars Katrlik of Colfax that brought the crowd to their feet in an exciting race. Katrlik, a long time crowd favorite at Fast Fridays, always brings applause from fans because he competes in this division against every kind of souped up shiny dirt bike for the trophy. But Friday night after two seasons of week in and week out trying Katrlik beat the crowded field to win on his beefy, loud, and low to the ground Harley Davidson road bike. "I have been trying for two seasons to win and finally tonight it happened," said Katrlik. The race was stopped for an injury and in the restart Katrlik pulled off the long awaited victory. Let's hope Katrlik has figured out how to win and he keeps finding the checkered flag, because the crowd just loves this guy on his big Harley.
Division II was topped by Colton Duncan, Chris Popanz was second and Mike Achilles was third. The eighteen year old Duncan who has steadily worked his way up from division III also won the trophy dash. Third division was won by David Mersaroli, followed by his brother Louie Mersaroli in second and Kyle Porteous in third. The Mersaroli brothers, of Auburn, are off to a great start, moving up from the youth division this season and now riding the 500cc bikes in division III. Look for these guys to make their way into division II in the future. The youth main event was on by Luke Becker and runner up was Colton Hicks. Both Becker and Hicks are promising impressive young riders.
Results from Fast Friday's for 5-10-13
Division 1 Scratch Main Event
1-Billy Janniro, 2-Bart Bast, 3-Bob Hicks, 4-Tommy Hedden
Division I Handicap Main Event
1-Charlie Venegas, 2-Ryan Bast, 3-Bart Bast
Division II Main Event
1-Colton Duncan, 2-Chris Popanz, 3-Michael Achilles
Division III Main Event
1-David Mersaroli, 2-Louie Mersaroli, 3-Kyle Porteous
Youth A Main
1-Luke Becker, 2-Colton Hicks
Run What U Brung
150cc Class - Division 2
1st Kyle Cunningham
2nd Alex Martin
150cc Class - Division 1
1st Sterling Martin
2nd Colton Hicks
3rd Landon Norton
Photos By Michael Kirby
||Auburn's Bart Bast leads his cousin Ryan Bast (rear) and Bryce Starks (L) in a heat race at Fast Fridays on opening night Friday. Bast finished third in the handicap main event and second in the scratch main event.
||Billy Janniro wheelies across the finish line on his victory lap after winning the Division I scratch main event.
||Billy Janniro won his first Division I handicap heat race to start the evening. Janniro went on to win the Division I scratch main event establishing himself as the man to beat again this year at Fast Fridays.
||David Mersaroli won his first Division III race after moving up from the youth division this season. Mersaroli's brother, Louie Marsaroli finished second in the Division III main event and was also racing his first race out of the youth division.