Fast Fridays Speedway
Gold Country Fairgrounds
1273 High Street
Fast Friday's Motorcycle Speedway,
Gold Country Fairgrounds
Bast, Marsalla and Estes Win Track Championships
By Michael Kirby (Story & Photos)
AUBURN, CALIFORNIA, September 9, 2016
YouTube Video - Thanks to Anthony Bernardi
Its championship time and with the Gold Country Fair as a backdrop and a one hour earlier start time Fast Friday’s Motorcycle Speedway presented their 2016 Track Championships Friday night in Auburn. The top 16 riders in Division I and the top eight riders in Division II and Division III squared off to determine who would be season track champions in their respective divisions. Riders in all divisions worked all season to accumulate points to make the final cut and be included in the championship program. The championship in Division I was decided by points won in five scratch-four lap championship rounds of racing, winner being the rider with the most points at the end of the evening.
Having a nearly perfect night Auburn’s Bart Bast capped a great season winning the 2016 Fast Fridays Motorcycle Speedway Division I track championship. Also, adding to a successful season, Bast won the season point’s race by 300 points over second place season points finisher and current national champion Billy Janniro. Considered one of the most consistent riders at Fast Fridays with over 35 years of racing experience, Bast lost only one point in Friday night’s championship program at the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn. The win marked the sixth time in his storied career Bast has been the top rider of the season at Fast Fridays. “I can’t complain, for an old guy, I don’t know how much I got left in me but I’m still hanging with the kids,” Bast said. “This season was kind of like tonight-consistent. I made every scratch main event this year, I only won one, but I was in all of them,” he said. Bast is part of the Bast family, one of the most recognized names in speedway racing in America.
Also in the hunt for the championship and having a stellar night was Charlie Venegas, another veteran rider with a long resume of championships. Venegas only dropped three points and ended the five round championship with 12 points tied with Dillon Ruml. Ruml 17, has been making trip north from Southern California accumulating points at Fast Fridays. Along with his brother Max Ruml are part of a young up and coming group of very competent riders making a name in speedway racing today. Tied after the five rounds with Venegas the two faced a run-off for second place, with Venegas having the edge over Ruml and picking up second place. Ruml finished third overall.
Division II and Division III championship was determined by eight riders (top points finishers in their divisions) split into two heats with the top two finishers of each moving into the final championship round, winner taking all. The races were all scratch format championship races different than the handicap races normally seen in division II and III during the season. This was the final night of racing for season for Division II and III.
Eddie Marsalla who was riding in both the Division I and the Division II championship programs won the Division II track championship surviving a crash marred final. In the final were Marsalla, Mike Achilles, William McCloskey and Shawn Eldredge. Once the race got under way Eldredge and McCloskey tangled in turn three both riders going down. Eldredge was ruled at fault and was disqualified from the competition. A lap later McCloskey rolled off the track leaving Marsalla and Achilles to finish the race. Marsalla held the lead and finished the champion with Achilles second in a very exciting finale. “It feels good, actually it’s a redemption from last year when I made the final and had a bad race and got fourth,” said Marsalla. Marsalla also finished ninth in the Division I championship.
Jeremy Estes who began his first full speedway season this year won the Division III championship. Estes was undefeated Friday night with a win in his heat race to advance to the final and faced Ray Holt Jr. Jr., Hunter Morris and Cameron Beck. Beck crashed and did not finish the race. Holt Jr. gave a good try but Estes held him back taking the win. Estes began his season in division III, moving to division II mid-season and then even got one division I ride last week. “It’s not the division I want to be in, but hey, you have to take’em as you get them,” said Estes. “Because I promoted into division II so late in the season I still had enough points to make the top eight and championship in division III, it was a good night.”
Championship racing continues next week at Fast Fridays with the 2016 AMA Grand Final National Championship. Billy Janniro leads the championship after three rounds and will be defending his sixth national championship. Southern California’s Max Ruml is closely chasing just 10 points behind Janniro, looking for his first national championship and could be the spoiler grabbing what would be Janniro’s seventh national championship. Championship racing at its best and sure-not-to-miss event.
Fast Fridays Track Championship Results 9-9-16
1-Bart Bast 2-Charlie Venegas 3-Dillon Ruml 4-Luke Becker 5-Bob Hicks 6-Bryan Yarrow
7-Broc Nicol 8-Tommy Hedden 9-Eddie Marsalla 10-Kurtis Hamill 11-Gage Geist
12-Russell Green 13-PJ Byrne 14-Jamison Dilkey 15-Nick Dion 16-Shawn Eldredge
1-Eddie Marsalla 1-Mike Achilles 3-William McCloskey 4-Shawn Eldredge
1-Jeremy Estes 2-Ray Holt Jr. Jr. 3-Hunter Morris 4-Cameron Beck
Photos By Michael Kirby
||Auburn’s Bart Bast (front) won his sixth Fast Fridays Track Championship Friday night in Auburn. Pictured in a early race with Kurtis Hamill.
||Charlie Venegas finished second in the track championships.
||Eddie Marsalla was the winner of the Division II track championship
||Jeremy Estes (right) won the Division III track championship. Estes was promoted to Division II mid-way through the season but qualified for the Division III championship program. Pictured racing against Ray Holt Jr. Jr., (left) who finished second.
||Dillon Ruml took third place in the championship.
||Track champions celebrate their great night of racing on the winner’s podium Friday night. (From left) Charlie Venegas who finished second, Bart Bast who won the event and was crowned Division I track champion, and Dillon Ruml who finished third.