Fast Fridays Speedway
Gold Country Fairgrounds
Sidecar Series Round 2
Fast Friday's Motorcycle Speedway,
Gold Country Fairgrounds
Extreme Sidecars Return
By Michael Kirby (Story & Photos)
AUBURN, CALIFORNIA, June 12, 2015
YouTube Video - by Anthony Bernardi
What a difference a week makes. Last Friday night the Fast Fridays Motorcycle Speedway in Auburn was deluged with thunderstorms at race time. This week our steaming hot California weather returned and so did the faithful Fast Fridays fans and the hot speedway racing at the Gold Country Fairgrounds.
The Extreme Sidecars, led by Joe Jones, veteran sidecar rider and keeper of the American sidecar racing torch, returned to Auburn and thrilled Fast Friday’s fans on their second of five visits to the Gold Country Fairgrounds track. The teams ride 1000cc three wheeled motorcycles in the opposite direction on the track at lighting fast speeds tightly next to each other and it’s really something to see. The rider on the back hangs off the motorcycle and drags on the ground helping to pull the motorcycle through the turns. Longtime Fast Fridays announcer and ex-speedway champion Mike Rooney surprised the crowd by suiting up in his old leathers and jumping on the back of Joe Jones bike for one of the heats. Five teams were on the program Friday night and the team of Joe Jones and Tom Summers took the main event. The Extreme Sidecars will make three more appearances this season at Fast Fridays.
In the Division I program Billy Janniro and Auburn’s David Mersaroli picked up main event wins. Janniro added another notch to his season speedway belt at Fast Fridays with a convincing scratch main event win, and Mersaroli grabbed his first main event win of the season in the handicap main event.
As the track is becoming more to his liking each week, Janniro was able to work the thicker outside lines in his trademark style and won the scratch main event. The national champ was undefeated in the scratch program and drew lane one for the nights finale. Janniro faced some tough competition against veterans Charlie Venegas in lane two and Bart Bast in the outside lane four. Rounding out the foursome was upstart division I rider young Luke Becker in lane three. As the tapes went up Janniro shot to turn one but did not go inside but wide and immediately put some distance between the other riders. Janniro never really did ride inside, staying outside in his play land adding distance with each lap. Becker, Bast and Venegas rode in a pack working for second, third and fourth 15 yards back. In a scene so familiar at Fast Fridays, Janniro rode a wheelie across the finish line taking the checkered flag. Becker was second, Venegas third and Bast fourth. Janniro has made every scratch main event this season winning three.
As most regulars at Fast Fridays know, the Mersaroli twins, David and Louie, began their speedway careers in the youth divisions four years ago and have steadily worked their way through the ranks and are now players in Division I and Division II. Friday night David Mersaroli picked up his first Division I handicap main event win. Mersaroli looks to have put it together with first and second place finishes in his heat and semi-final races and winning the main event. “I focused on staying on the pole and holding my line and that was the key,” said Mersaroli. For his labors Mersaroli earned himself 10 yards and will now start on the 10 yard line next week. Tyler Warren was second and Luke Becker was third.
Dalton Leedy 17, of Riverside made the trip north to test his skills at Fast Fridays. Leedy rode in the Division I handicap program and the Division II program Friday night winning the Division II main event. Leedy was undefeated in Division II winning his heat race and the main event. “I’ve been up here a few times, we race two nights a week down there and try to come here as much as possible,” Leedy said. Leedy is the second under 21 rider to come to Fast Friday’s in two weeks to ride the track in preparation for the AMA Under 21 Championship August 28. “I’m trying to get as much track time as possible up here for the under 21’s, Leedy said. Last week Gage Geist made the trip north to check the track and also won the handicap main event. Derik Denzin finished second and Nick Dion was third.
Rick Shafer who has not raced at Fast Fridays since 2003 and looked like he has not lost anything off his game won the Division III main event Friday night. Shafer won his heat race and beat John Gauthreaux and Dorian Jewett to the finish line in the main event. Only time will tell if the 57 year old pilot from Vacaville is making a comeback.
In the Youth divisions Kyle Cunningham won the Youth 250cc A division main event and Landon Norton won the Youth 250cc B division main event. The 150cc Youth A division main event was topped by Enzo Sorani. The nine-year old Grass Valley resident has quickly become a fan favorite at Fast Fridays. The win was Sorani’s second of the season. Sammy “The Bullet” Waddell, another fan favorite at Fast Fridays, picked up his second Youth 150cc B main event win in as many weeks. Derik Denzin won the Trophy Dash.
Fast Fridays Results for 6-12-15
Division I Scratch Main Event
1-Billy Janniro, 2-Luke Becker, 3-Charlie Venegas, 4-Bart Bast
Division I Handicap Main Event
1-David Mersaroli, 2-Tyler Warren, 3-Luke Becker
Division II Main Event
1-Dalton Leedy, 2-Derik Denzin, 3-Nick Dion
Division III Main Event
1-Rick Shafer, 2-John Gauthreaux, 3-LC Veale
Youth A 250cc Main Event
1-Kyle Cunningham, 2-Dylan Wagner, 3-Chase Guerrero
Youth B 250cc Main Event
1-Landon Norton, 2-Anthony Dion, 3-Sammy Tetrault
Youth A 150cc Main Event
1-Enzo Sorani, 2-Landon Collins, 3-Cameron Krezman
Youth B 150cc Main Event
1-Sammy Waddill, 2-Colton Nelson, 3-Timmy Dion
1-Derik Denzin, 2-Lawrence McNutt
1-Joe Jones/Tom Summers
Photos By Michael Kirby
|| Five teams made the trip to Fast Fridays, thrilling a packed house with their extreme riding.
||Sammy “The Bullet” Waddill won his second Youth 150cc B main event in two weeks.
||Auburn’s Kyle Cunningham won the Youth A 250cc main event, his first of the season. Colton Hicks has dominated this division and his absence Friday night opened the program up a bit for several other riders.
||Extreme Sidecar teams Joe Jones/Tom Summers (left) and Robert Curry/Laurie Curry (right) get close during Friday night’s racing. Jones and Summers won the sidecar main event.
||Billy Janniro gets a push off to start the scratch main event. Janniro won the main event-the third of the season for the current national champ.
|| Auburn’s David Mersaroli (front) leads Colton Duncan (left) and Thomas Reich (right) in a handicap heat race Friday night. Mersaroli picked up his first handicap main event win.
||Visiting from Southern California, Dalton Leedy won the Division II main event. Leedy looks to be a major player in the Under 21 National Speedway Championships on August 28 at Fast Fridays.
||Landon Norton won the Youth B 250cc main event.