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2014 Fast Fridays Speedway
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Fast Fridays Speedway
Gold Country Fairgrounds
Auburn, California

25 Lap Handicap Main Night
Fast Friday's Motorcycle Speedway, Gold Country Fairgrounds
Ryan Bast is Fast Fridays Ironman
By Michael Kirby (Story & Photos)

YouTube Video By Anthony Bernardi

Auburn has long been known as the Endurance Capital of the World, and hosts many events of athletic prowess featuring participants covering unreal distances on bicycles, horses or on foot. On Friday night Fast Fridays Motorcycle Speedway at the Gold Country Fairgrounds staged their own version of another type of amazing endurance event and an extreme physical feat. The 25 lap handicap main event featured 12 qualifying riders racing as fast as they could for 25 laps around Fast Friday's famous dirt oval, over four times the distance of the regular six lap main event. The handicap distances were doubled, season points were doubled and purses for the riders were also doubled.

As the riders rolled out for the night's finale, track staff helped them find their doubled handicap positions on the track. Veteran riders were the furthest back with Tommy Hedden and Bob Hicks 80 yards back, Charlie Venegas and Bart Bast were 100 yards back and current AMA National Speedway champion Billy Janniro was over half way back around the track 140 yards away from the start line. Others riders filled in from the starting line back. Official AMA starter Kevin Clark, in town to start the Sacramento Mile, did the honors and started the endurance feat.

As the tapes went up the dozen riders were off. After a couple of laps the back yardage guys made their moves as dust from the track filled the air. Keeping count of the laps requires the work of several track officials as the riders pass and some drop out. Mechanical problems and fatigue are the main issues for failure in this event. Speedway bikes are made for much shorter distance racing and pushing bikes to these extremes can be harmful to the engines. Running out of fuel is also a hazard if the race has any delays.

With about five laps to go Nick Dion took a hard crash into the wall and racing was stopped as Dion collected himself and a restart was ordered. Ryan Bast who had led the event since the second lap was placed first for the restart, Bob Hicks was second and Bart Bast was third. Of the 12 riders that started the race only six came to line up for the staggered restart. Starter Clark sent the tapes up and the race continued. Ryan Bast held onto his position and Hicks and Bart Bast followed for the last five laps unable to pass to the finish line and they finished in that order. "The first one I rode in two years I led for about the last 15 laps until my cousin (Bart Bast) under me on the last lap," said Bast. "You just have to stick on that pole and not let go. That red light kind of helped me, it let me rest a minute and gather my thoughts, he said.

Fast Fridays also ran a complete racing program. Billy Janniro, who is adjusting to a dryer track in the summertime heat, rode the blue groove and cruised to win the scratch main event, his eighth of the season. Bob Hicks, riding well, rode to a second place finish in the scratch main event and also finished second in the 25 lap handicap ironman main event, and Bart Bast was third.

On top of Division II Friday night was local Colfax rider Jamison Dilkey who won his first main event of the season. Dilkey led David Mersaroli who finished second and Kevin Marsalla who was third in Division II. "Last week I was in So. Cal. Racing at the Pirate Speedway and I did really good down there, and that was just a huge confidence builder for me," said Dilkey. "This was my first main event win of the season." Division III was again topped by Will "The Farmer" McCloskey. That makes four Division III main event wins and two in a row for the consistent top-three Division III finisher. This win was off the 30 yard line so look for McCloskey to move to Division II with just one more Division III main event first place finish now off the 40 yard line. Lawrence McNutt was second and Harlan Bast was third.

Blake Borello picked up his first main event win of the season in the 250cc Youth division. Chase Guerrero was second and William Fike was third. In the 150cc Youth A division Alex Martin was first, Kyle Cunningham was second and Sterling Martin was third. Landon Collins was first in the 150cc Youth B division, Anthony Dion was second and Greg Moore was third. Roy Turner took advantage of a unfortunate fall just before the finish line by Jay Fodrini to take the win in the Run What U Brung event.

Fast Fridays Results for 7-25-14

Division I Scratch Main Event
1-Billy Janniro, 2-Bob Hicks, 3-Bart Bast, 4-Charlie Venegas

Division I Handicap Main Event (25 Lap)
1-Ryan Bast, 2-Bob Hicks 3-Bart Bast

Division II Main Event
1-Jamison Dilkey, 2-David Mersaroli, 3-Kyle Marsalla

Division III Main Event
1-William McCloskey, 2-Lawrence McNutt, 3-Harlan Bast

Youth A 250cc Main Event
1-Blake Borello, 2-Chase Guerrero 3-William Fike

Youth A 150cc Main Event
1-Alex Martin, 2-Kyle Cunningham, 3-Sterling Martin

Youth B 150cc Main Event
1-Landon Collins, 2-Anthony Dion, 3-Greg Moore

Run What U Brung
1-Roy Turner

Photos By Michael Kirby

2014 Fast Fridays Speedway Ryan Bast lines up for the 25 lap handicap main event finale Friday night at Fast Fridays. Bast led the race after the second lap and held on to take the ironman event win.
2014 Fast Fridays Speedway Billy Janniro won the Division I scratch main event, making the win his eighth scratch main event win of the season.
2014 Fast Fridays Speedway Jamison Dilkey (left) racing in the Division II main event. Dilkey won the event, his first of the season, followed by second place finisher David Mersaroli (right).
2014 Fast Fridays Speedway Alex Martin won the 150cc Youth A main event.
2014 Fast Fridays Speedway Ryan Bast racing in an early handicap heat race. Bast had an exceptional night with first place finishes in all his races in the handicap program including the 25 lap handicap main event.
2014 Fast Fridays Speedway Will McCloskey made it two wins in a row in the Division III main event, this week riding off the 30 yard line.
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