Fast Fridays Speedway
Gold Country Fairgrounds
1273 High Street
Challenge Elimination 4
Fast Friday's Motorcycle Speedway,
Gold Country Fairgrounds
Gold Country Fairgrounds
Janniro and Hedden take main events
By Michael Kirby (Story & Photos)
AUBURN, CALIFORNIA, August 11, 2017
Speedway veterans ruled at Fast Friday’s Motorcycle Speedway Friday night in Auburn at the Gold Country Fairgrounds. Seven time AMA Speedway National Champion Billy Janniro, on the eve of the third round of the 2017 AMA Championship Speedway Series, scored another scratch main event win. Proving again to be the fastest man of the night for the ninth time this season, Janniro looked primed to continue to lead the championship series.
Janniro faced Tommy Hedden, Charlie Venegas and Bart Bast in the finale. Janniro was in the outside lane four. Hedden was in one, Bast in two and Venegas was in lane three. As the tapes went up at the gate a restart was called by referee Steve Lucero. A rider moved before the tapes went up and the guys lined up again. This time Venegas blew through the tapes leaving early and was disqualified. On the third start Bast immediately went to the inside and Janniro took the outside position and used it to his advantage. Hedden trailed. Janniro worked his way around Bast on the high side and dropped inside increasing his lead with each lap. Two laps ahead of Bast, Janniro pulled it into his signature finish line wheelie taking first place. Bast was second and Hedden third.
In the handicap main event it was a little different story. A veteran speedway rider with a career that began in 1983, Tommy Hedden scored his second handicap main event win of the 2017 season. Riding lately with renewed vigor Hedden transferred to the main with two third place finishes in his heat and semi-final races. But off the 50 yard line in the main event he put the hammer down in probably the best race of the evening dueling with Janniro. Janniro was on the outside trying to pass Hedden but Hedden stuck with it and out rode Janniro to the finish line. Bast dropped in between the two veterans after Janniro had to concede the race to Hedden for second place and Janniro took third. “It feels good; Bill Warnock has got me on a good bike. Billy (Janniro) and I had a good race in the handicap main and the scratch semi, we were battling all night but he got me in the scratch main.”
The Challenge Elimination Series winner for round five is Charlie Venegas. Another veteran speedway rider with a lengthy resume, Venegas out dueled Russell Green, Daniel Faria, Bryan Yarrow and Jamison Dilkey and will take the last spot in the challenge championship on August 25. The premise is five riders ride a series of one lap scratch races with the last place finisher dropped. This continues until just two riders are left and they race for two laps to win a spot in the championship. Dilkey went first, Yarrow was next, Faria followed them rolling to the center of the track leaving Venegas to battle Green. Venegas got a good gate and cruised to the finish. Green tried but Venegas without mistakes made it look easy.
Venegas will join Luke Becker, Tommy Hedden, Louie Mersaroli and Billy Janniro in the final Challenge Elimination Championship. Becker was injured in round two of the AMA National Speedway Championship and may not be able to ride in the challenge championship. If he cannot, Green who finished second to Venegas in Friday’s round will fill his spot.
Shawn Eldredge, won the Division II main event. A veteran rider of many years, Eldredge rides off the 60 yard line in Division II and does double duty filling in the Division I program riding in the handicap and scratch programs. For the second time this year Eldredge pulled off the D-2 top prize. Eldredge has the help of his wife Jody Jacklett in the pits every week and he enjoys the sport as a exciting hobby. “I’m comfortable here in Division II on the 60 yard line,” Eldredge said. Lawrence McNutt who seems to be able to find a podium spot almost every week took second and Rick Shafer was third. These guys are at the top of their game and with an average age of 55 are winning this division.
On the other end of the spectrum newcomer 16 year-old Chance Grove is lighting up Division III. In Grove’s second week racing on a speedway bike he took top honors winning the Division III main event. Grove was undefeated Friday night also winning his heat race. Grove is in transition from motocross and flat track racing to a speedway bike and doing a great job already. “I started racing BMX, then motocross and then flat track, my dad used to race speedway and I was encouraged to try it,” said Grove. “Casey Cornilsen was second and Peter Pecorilla was third.
Cameron Krezman was the top youth rider winning the youth main event. Krezman is no stranger to the winner’s podium and on a good night is tough to beat. Second was Timmy Dion and third was Chase Kangas. Kyle Cunningham won the youth consolation main event followed by Anthony Dion and Greg Moore.
Fast Fridays Results for 8-11-17
Scratch Main Event
1-Billy Janniro, 2-Bart Bast, 3-Tommy Hedden
1-Bryan Yarrow, 2-Russell Green, 3-Daniel Faria
Handicap Main Event
1-Tommy Hedden, 2-Bryan Yarrow, 3-Billy Janniro, 4-Bart Bast, 5-Blake Borello, Eddie Marsalla
1-Russell Green, 2-Dave Fonts, 3-Daniel Faria, 4-Charlie Venegas
Division II Main Event
1-Shawn Eldredge, 2-Lawrence McNutt, 3-Rick Shafer, 4-William McCloskey, 5-Casey Cornilsen, 6-Jeremy Estes
Division II Consolation
1-Nick Dion, 2-Charles Haines
Division III Main Event
1-Chance Grove, 2-Casey Cornilsen, 3-Peter Pecorilla, Others-Jake Estes, Tim Dion, Les Veale
Youth Main Event
1-Cameron Krezman, 2-Anthony Dion, 3-Greg Moore, 4-Sammy Tetrault
Youth Consolation Main
1-Kyle Cunningham, 2-Timmy Dion, 3-Chase Kangas, 4-Dakota VanderBroeder
Challenge Elimination (Round 5)
1-Charlie Venegas, 2-Russell Green, 3-Daniel Faria, 4-Bryan Yarrow, 5-Jamison Dilkey
Photos By Michael Kirby
|| Sixteen year old Chance Grove of Foresthill is making an immediate impact on Division III winning the main event Friday night. It is only the second time Grove has raced a speedway bike.
||Charlie Venegas won the fifth spot in the Challenge Elimination Series Championship.
||Billy Janniro picked up his ninth scratch main event of the season.
||The Division II main event was restarted after a crash. Lawrence McNutt (left) and Casey Cornilsen (right) were leading at the time of the crash and headed the group for the re-start.
||Coming out of turn two (left-right) Greg Moore, Anthony Dion and Cameron Krezman get in tight during the youth main event. Krezman won, Dion was second and Moore third.
||The start of the scratch main event (left-right) Billy Janniro, Charlie Venegas, Bart Bast and Tommy Hedden. Janniro won the race.