Fast Fridays Speedway
Gold Country Fairgrounds
1273 High Street
AMA Speedway National Youth 250cc and 150cc Championship
Fast Friday's Motorcycle Speedway,
Gold Country Fairgrounds
Gold Country Fairgrounds
Palmese and Lightcap Win Youth Championships
By Michael Kirby (Story & Photos)
AUBURN, CALIFORNIA, July 21, 2017
YouTube Video - by Anthony Bernardi
If you came to Fast Friday’s Motorcycle Speedway in Auburn at the Gold Country Fairgrounds on Friday night and paid for your admission at the gate, you surely got your money’s worth. The fantastic Fast Friday’s staff not only staged two AMA Youth National Speedway Championships but also ran an exciting Division I, Division II and Division III program as well, 55 races total.
Sebastian Palmese was flawless as he won the 2017 AMA 250cc Youth National Speedway Championship for the second year in a row. The 14 year old from Mission Viejo journey north with his impressive racing resume and with the goal of repeating his win last year and hanging onto that number one plate for at least another year. The 250cc championship was decided from a 16 rider field in 20 heat races with the rider with the most points after the 20 heat races winning the title. Palmese was perfect with 15 points winning all of his five heat races and was never really challenged. Riding with a slight air of confidence that only a current national champion can have Palmese’s riding ability is years beyond his age. Watch for this kid to be tearing it up in the adult division in the not so distant future.
Landon Norton 13, of Folsom is a familiar name to Fast Friday’s fans finished second in the 250cc championship. Norton scored 12 points dropping only three points in the heat races. To decide third place a run-off was needed. Finishing the heats tied with 11 points each, Jake Isaac, Sterling Martin and Cameron Krezman rolled to the line to decide third in the run-off. Isaac came out on top of the run-off grabbing third place, Krezman took fourth place with a second place in the run-off and Martin took fifth place in the championship with a third place finish in the run-off. Palmese was nearly speechless after the traditional throw in the air from his crew and family. “It feels amazing, I am just so happy right now,” Palmese said. “I came in feeling real good; last year I had a broken wrist.”
In the 150cc AMA Youth National Speedway Championship another Southern California rider came north for the title with a perfect night. Slater Lightcap 12, of Long Beach topped the 150cc field. Lightcap was third in the AMA championship in 2015 and second in the AMA championship last year before upping his game to take the title this year. The 150cc championship was decided in a 12 rider championship race format. Twelve riders raced in 12 heat races scoring points then the top eight riders transferred to two semi finals rounds. The first and second place finishers from each of the semi finals then transferred to the AMA final race with the winner becoming the 2017 AMA Youth National Speedway champion. In the final were Lightcap, Luke Whitcomb, Travis Horn and Jose Navarette. Lightcap was in lane one and got another great gate and held on for the win. Whitcomb was second, Horn third and Navarette fourth. “We came eight hours to have a good race and get the podium, the track was awesome, Joiner (Dave), did a great job, two years ago I was third, last year I was second and this year I got first,” Lightcap said. “Next year I will be on a 250cc.”
It was a great youth national championship and all the riders put a fantastic effort in trying to become the national champs. They may be smaller in size and riding smaller bikes but what you're watching are tomorrows adult champions in the making. All the kids rode well, were sportsmen, put on a great show and are well deserving of a big pat on the back.
In the adult program, Billy Janniro continued his rein in the scratch main event. With his win Friday night his total is seven scratch main event wins so far this season, dominating the scratch program. Janniro won his heat race, had some trouble with Bryan Yarrow in their semi-final finishing second to Yarrow, but got it back in the main with a win. Austin Novratil was second, Bart Bast was third and Yarrow was fourth.
Continuing his upward climb at Fast Friday’s Blake Borello won the handicap main event, his second in a row. Borello is riding in both the second division and first division and doing a great job, with top finishes in both divisions. Louie Mersaroli was second and Bryan Yarrow was third.
Second division was won by a very happy Nick Dion. Off the 50 yard line Dion picked up his first Division II main event win. Dion won his heat race and then the main for a perfect night. Borello was second and Shawn Eldredge was third. Also winning his first main event, Jake Estes won the Division III finale. Ray Holt Jr. Jr. was second and Casey Cornilsen was third. Estes off the start line also won his heat race and the main. Estes will be looking at picking up a 10 yard handicap next week.
2017 AMA Youth National Championship 250cc
20 Heat Race Format (Winner scores most points)
1-Sebastian Palmese 3 3 3 3 3-15
2-Landon Norton 3 2 1 3 3-12
3-Jake Isaac 1 3 2 2 3-11 (Run-off)
4-Cameron Krezman 2 1 3 3 2-11 (Run-off)
5-Sterling Martin 3 2 3 3 0-11 (Run-off)
2017 AMA Youth National Championship 150cc
12 Rider Championship Format (Champion is winner of Final Race)
1-Slater Lightcap, 2-Luke Whitcomb, 3-Travis Horn, 4-Jose Navarette
Scratch Main Event
1-Billy Janniro, 2-Austin Novratil, 3-Bart Bast, 4-Bryan Yarrow
1-Luke Becker, 2-Tommy Hedden, 3-Charlie Venegas, 4-Russell Green
Handicap Main Event
1-Blake Borello, 2-Louie Mersaroli, 3-Bryan Yarrow,
4-Russell Green, 5-Billy Janniro, 6-Tommy Hedden
1-Luke Becker, 2-Bart Bast, 3-Daniel Faria, 4-Jamison Dilkey, 5-Eddie Marsalla
Division II Main Event
1-Nick Dion, 2-Blake Borello, 3-Shawn Eldredge, 4-Lawrence McNutt, 5-Matt King, 6-William McCloskey
Division II Consolation
1-Brian Leventon, 2-Mark Achilles, 3-Jon Curry
Division III Main Event
1-Jake Estes, 2-Ray Holt Jr., 3-Casey Cornilsen, 4-Peter Pecorilla, 5-Les Veale, 6-Tim Dion
Division III Consolation
1-Steven Sagen, 2-Michael Bretzing, 3-Joey Rosselit
Photos By Michael Kirby
||Sebastian Palmese was in winning form early in the 2017 AMA Youth National Speedway Championship at Fast Fridays in Auburn. Palmese was perfect and won the 250cc championship for the second year in a row.
||After a third place finish in 2015, and a second place finish in 2016, Slater Lightcap finally got his first 2017 AMA Youth National 150cc Speedway Championship. Lightcap had a perfect night with wins in every race.
||Slater Lightcap (center) holds his number one place high on the winner’s podium Friday night after winning the AMA 150cc Youth National Speedway Championship. Also celebrating are second place finishers Luke Whitcomb (left) and third place finisher Travis Horn (right).
||Sebastian Palmese (center) with his number one AMA 250cc Youth National Speedway Championship plate celebrates with sparkling cider with second place finisher Landon Norton (left) and third place finisher Jake Isaac (right) on the winner’s podium at Fast Fridays.
||In the adult program which also ran Friday night along with the Youth National Championships Billy Janniro picked up his seventh scratch main event win of the season.
||Nick Dion picked up his first Division II main event win Friday night. Dion won his heat race as well as the main event.