Fast Fridays Speedway
Gold Country Fairgrounds
1273 High Street
Hooligans V Twin Race Night
Fast Friday's Motorcycle Speedway,
Gold Country Fairgrounds
Gold Country Fairgrounds
Janniro and Bast Thrill Fast Fridays Fans
By Michael Kirby (Story & Photos)
AUBURN, CALIFORNIA, August 25, 2017
Friday night the five winners of the Elimination Challenge Series rounds came together for the long awaited Elimination Challenge Championship at the Fast Friday Motorcycle Speedway at the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn. The Elimination Challenge is a series of one lap scratch races with the loser dropped for the competition. Five riders whittle down to just two riders then they race a two lap race for the title. Friday night the winners of the five rounds that played out during the season lined up on the start line for the championship.
Russell Green, Tommy Hedden, Louie Mersaroli, Billy Janniro and Charlie Venegas were the round winners that made the championship. As the gate went up on the first race Janniro got the inside and never let up for the first win. Venegas was the first to go out. Instant repeat on the second and third races with Mersaroli and Hedden being dropped and Janniro taking the checkered flag for the win both the second and third races. That left the survivors Janniro and Green to race for the championship in the two lap finale. Out of the gate it was same result as the previous races with Janniro handling Green and cruising to winning the 2017 Challenge Elimination Series Championship. Janniro was undefeated winning all four races. Green did fare very well against Janniro but could not match Janniro’s experience on the Fast Friday’s oval.
Janniro was also amazing in the scratch and handicap programs. On his rear tire in a wheelie for much of the night pulling all the power he could from his engine Janniro rarely let off the gas in any of his races. In both the handicap program and scratch programs it was Janniro and Auburn’s Bart Bast that really put on a show.
In the handicap main event Bast was really on it and though Janniro got ahead of him on the outside Bast would not let up and continued to pester Janniro riding on his tail for the entire race. Janniro took the win but clearly had to work to keep Bast in check. Bast was second and Blake Borello was third. Both Janniro and Bast start on the 60 yard line, the deepest handicap of all the riders.
In the scratch main event it was a little different story. It was still the Bast/Janniro show and another fantastic race between these two veteran riders. Bast lined up in lane one, Bryan Yarrow was in gate two, Janniro was in three and Tommy Hedden was in four. As the tapes were about to go up Yarrow misjudged the gate and rolled early and was expelled. That left just Bast, Janniro and Hedden to vie for the fastest man of the night title.
The gate went up the second time and this time it was clean with Bast getting a great gate. He got inside and skillfully protected his turf. Hedden got on him first and tried to pass then Janniro came outside to pass Hedden and dropped in behind Bast and again it was Bast and Janniro going at it again. Janniro got right on Bast inches from is bike side by side, but Bast still was able to keep ahead of him. Janniro went all in making a last second push at Bast at the finish line and it was too close for anyone to call. Referee Steve Lucero who has the best view made the call giving it to Bast by just inches. “I made a good start and that was key but even that’s not good enough to beat Billy (Janniro),” Bast said. “Tight races like this are just fun, they’re what keep me coming win, lose or draw. I didn’t know who won, I’m just glad it was four laps and not five.”
Janniro also currently leads the Division I Fast Fridays track points race with 1967 points before Friday night’s tally. Russell Green is in second with 1593 and Tommy Hedden is at 1520.
Southern California’s Michael Wells made the long trip up to Auburn to test his skills on a 500cc bike in Division II. The last time Wells rode here he was in the 2016 AMA Youth National Championship last year on a 250cc bike and placed second. Wells made the miles count winning the Division II main event. Charlie Haines was second and William McCloskey was third. Holding the track points lead in Division II is Lawrence McNutt with 686 followed by Shawn Eldredge with 585 and McCloskey with 578. Again these points do not reflect Friday night’s results.
Excited to pick up his second Division III main event of the season for Ray Holt Jr. Jr. is a huge understatement. The smiling fifty seven year-old was happy to stand on the winner’s podium trophy in hand. Holt finished second in his heat race to transfer to the main event. “The track was a little sticky in certain spots and everyone was riding different ways but mainly I was just picking them off one by one,” said Holt. Second was Aaron Sorani and third was Casey Cornilsen. Cornilsen leads division III in track points though with 783, followed by Holt with 690 and in third is Peter Pecorilla with 518.
The youth main event was won by Cameron Krezman, second was Landon Norton and third was Aidan McNutt. The race included a few nervous moments when Anthony Dion who was leading the race by a wide margin and had the win in the bag took a very serious fall in turn three. On the ground for a few minutes the young warrior slowly stood with the help of paramedics and mom and dad. Dion gave the cheering crowd a few waves as he slowly left the track. Brother Timmy Dion took the youth consolation main event, followed by Dylan Wagner, Sammy Tetrault and Dakota VanderBroeder.
Fast Fridays Results for 8-25-17
Scratch Main Event
1-Bart Bast, 2-Billy Janniro, 3-Tommy Hedden, 4-Bryan Yarrow (DQ)
1-Charlie Venegas, 2-Louie Mersaroli, 3-Russell Green, 4-Daniel Faria
Handicap Main Event
1-Billy Janniro, 2-Bart Bast, 3-Blake Borello, 4-Tommy Hedden, 5-Bryan Yarrow, 6-Jeremy Estes
1-Louie Mersaroli, 2-Daniel Faria, 3-Russell Green, 4-Charlie Venegas, 5-Eddie Marsalla
Division II Main Event
1-Michael Wells, 2-Charlie Haines, 3-William McCloskey
Division II Consolation
1-Mike Achilles, 2-Nick Dion, 3-Lawrence McNutt, 4-Rick Shafer, 5-Brian Leventon
Division III Main Event
1-Ray Holt Jr., 2-Aaron Sorani, 3-Casey Cornilsen, 4-Peter Pecorilla, 5-Chance Grove
Youth Main Event
1-Cameron Krezman, 2-Landon Norton, 3-Aidan McNutt, 4-Anthony Dion
Youth Consolation Main
1-Timmy Dion, 2-Dylan Wagner, 3-Sammy Tetrault, 4-Dakota Vandenbroeder
Challenge Elimination Championship
1-Billy Janniro, 2-Russell Green, 3-Tommy Hedden, 4-Louie Mersaroli, 5-Charlie Venegas
Photos By Michael Kirby
||Timmy Dion won the youth consolation main event.
||Bart Bast turned it up a couple of notches placing second in the handicap main event and winning the scratch main event by inches in a great race with Billy Janniro.
||Ray Holt Jr. won the Division III main event for the second time this season.
||Russell Green (left) and Billy Janniro (right) in the final race of the Challenge Elimination Championship Friday night. Janniro won the championship ending the season long elimination series.
||Cameron Krezman won the youth main event.
||Michael Wells (right) won the Division II main event. It was the first time Wells has raced a 500cc bike at Fast Fridays.