Fast Fridays Speedway
Gold Country Fairgrounds
Challenge Series Round 1
Fast Friday's Motorcycle Speedway,
Gold Country Fairgrounds
Bast & Becker Win Main Events
By Michael Kirby (Story & Photos)
AUBURN, CALIFORNIA, May 15, 2015
YouTube Video by Anthony Bernardi
Auburn’s Bart Bast, a veteran rider with over 30 years of Division I speedway racing experience and Luke Becker a up and coming young speedster in his first year of Division I racing both scored main event wins at Fast Fridays Motorcycle Speedway in Auburn Friday night. There is no denying that there is a surging youth movement at Fast Fridays, but there is no substitute for experience and maturity and Bast proved that Friday night as he won the scratch main event.
In the scratch program Bast was unbeatable. He won his heat race, transferred to his semi and also won that race against the like of Tommy Hedden, Broc Nicol and Greg Hooten. Moving to the scratch main event, Bast lucked out on the lane draw and drew lane one. In lane two was Bob “Bad Boy” Hicks who was second in his heat race and also won his semi-final. Lane three was taken by Auburn’s Tommy Hedden who worked his way to the night’s finale with a win in his heat race and second place finish in his semi-final. Outside in lane four was five time national champ Billy Janniro. Pretty tough competition and all serious veterans.
As the engines roared and riders readied, Hedden a little eager jumped the gun and rolled into the tapes before referee Mark Joiner started the race, which disqualified him. Hedden reluctantly left the track and at the restart Bast jumped inside at turn one and just held his ground refusing to give up anything on the inside. Janniro pestered him outside but the determined Bast just held his ground keeping Janniro outside. Janniro fell back a little and there was Hicks to deal with. Hicks slipped by Janniro when he went just a bit wide and high and turned on the gas to take second place but was still a good ten yards behind Bast. “I knew it was going to be hard to pass, and the start and draw was definitely the key,” Bast said. “It’s nice to get the first one (win) out of the way, there is a lot of young guys coming up and it’s good to know I can still hang with them,” he said. Bast proved to be the fastest man of this night followed by Hicks and Janniro took third.
Continuing his youthful charge in Division I, sixteen-year old Luke Becker picked up his first Division I main event win of the season in the handicap program. Becker, adding 10 yards to his starting position next week with the win, won all his handicap program races including the main event. Auburn’s Tyler Warren was second, JT Mabry was third and Greg Hooten was fourth.
Auburn’s Bryce Starks won the first round of the Challenge Elimination Series Friday night. The series is five rounds and a championship. Five riders race one lap off the line with the last place finisher eliminated. The final two riders race for two laps and the winner grabs a spot in the championship round on August 28. Charlie Venegas was the first to fall, Tommy Hedden was next, Bob Hicks was third and that left Starks and Billy Janniro to battle on the final two lapper. Starks went inside though both were close in turn one but Janniro took the high place on the track and swung wide to pass which allowed Starks the inside line to the checkered flag and a place in the championship round.
For the second week in a row Eddie Marsalla stood on the winner’s podium with the Division II trophy. Marsalla moved himself back to the thirty yard line next week with the win but is up for the challenge. Moving to Division I is a goal for Marsalla and the way he’s is riding it could happen this season. “Next week I will be starting on the thirty yard line moving back ten yards each week so far,” Marsalla said. “The move to Division I is a big step but a long term goal I want to earn,” he said.” Marsalla took the main event win in honor of his brother Kyle Marsalla who also races at Fast Friday’s who was recently diagnosed with a serious illness and is unable to ride this year. Jamison Dilkey was second and David Mersaroli was third. Dorian Jewett was first in Division III, followed by John Gauthreaux and Harlan Bast.
In the Youth divisions Colton Hicks won the 250cc A division. Hicks, a chip off the old block must be picking up tips from his father Bob Hicks, and has really upped his game from last year. The thirteen-year old who seems to have grown a foot since last year won for the second week in a row, this week by nearly half a track length. In the 250cc B division Landon Norton won the main event. Sterling Martin won the 150cc A division main event and fan favorite Enzo Sorani won the 150cc B division main event. Needing some competition in the Run What U Brung event, Jay Fodrini again walked away with the Run What U Brung hardware for the second week in a row. Jamison Dilkey picked up the Trophy Dash win.
Next week Fast Fridays welcomes the Extreme Sidecars for the first of five visits to the Gold Country Fairgrounds track. The spirited riding two person teams mount 1100cc three wheeled bikes providing some outrageous racing thrills for Fast Fridays fans. The sidecars are fan favorites and a must see.
Fast Fridays Results for 5-15-15
Division I Scratch Main Event
1-Bart Bast, 2-Bob Hicks, 3-Billy Janniro, 4-Tommy Hedden - DQ
Division I Handicap Main Event
1-Luke Becker, 2-Tyler Warren, 3-JT Mabry
Division II Main Event
1-Eddie Marsalla, 2-Jamison Dilkey, 3-David Mersaroli
Division III Main Event
1-Dorian Jewett, 2-John Gauthreaux, 3-Harlan Bast
Youth A 250cc Main Event
1-Colton Hicks, 2-Kyle Cunningham, 3-Blake Borello
Youth B 250cc Main Event
1-Landon Norton, 2-Sammy Tetrault, 3-Richie VanderMeeden
Youth A 150cc Main Event
1-Sterling Martin, 2-Cameron Krezman, 3-Alex Martin
Youth B 150cc Main Event
1-Enzo Sorani, 2-Timmy Dion, 3-Gregory Moore
Run What U Brung
Photos By Michael Kirby
||Riders in the scratch main event Friday night at Fast Fridays were (l-r) Billy Janniro, Tommy Hedden, Bob Hicks and Bart Bast in lane one. Bast went on to pick up his first main event win of the 2015 season.
||Seemingly untouchable, Auburn’s Colton Hicks picked up his second in a row first place finish in the Youth 250cc A main event so far this season.
||Auburn’s Bryce Starks (front) grabbed the first spot in the Challenge Elimination championship on August 28 by holding off Billy Janniro in round one Friday night. Starks is pictured here in an early heat race with Bart Bast (right) and PJ Byrne (rear).
||Folsom’s Eddie Marsalla was first in the Division II main Friday night. The win was his second in a row for this season.
||Luke Becker continues his great debut in Division I with a win in the Handicap main event Friday night. Becker has really made his present known since moving into Division I from the youth programs this season.
||Sterling Martin won the Youth 150cc A main event.