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1999 Fast Fridays Speedway
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Fast Fridays Speedway
Gold Country Fairgrounds
Auburn, California

1999 Season Opener
Fast Fridays Speedway, Auburn, CA
Friday May 7, 1999
From Gary Roberts and RC Jones

An enormous crowd witnessed some more great racing at Auburn's opening night. It looked like there were more people than at last year's National. There was still a line of them coming in 30 minutes after the racing had started. Maybe they'll get there earlier next week!

The track was well prepared, consistent, and many of the riders described it as grippy. Several racing lines were used, enabling plenty of good competitive racing, with a lot of overtaking. Up among the top division one riders was Ryan Fisher, whose father confessed to me afterwards that he is still experimenting with gearing and considered Ryan's performance far from his maximum capability. Last year the main event was dominated by Bart Bast and Mike Faria. I suspect that there are currently a number of riders capable of winning, and I would predict competition being closer this season.

1997 Mike Faria

Along with the large crowd, there was also a large number of new riders among both junior and full size classes. The third division was grossly over-subscribed, putting the promoter in the difficult position of turning riders away, or over filling the races. He chose the latter, and we got to witness a 12 man third division heat. Needless to say, it had to be re-started so many times that it took longer than two 6 man heats would have done. The nine man main had five restarts. These events were spectacles for the crowd, but really not much fun for the riders. The increasing interest in the sport that has been maintained by Auburn's consistently growing crowd and the number of new riders is a great encouragement.

Similar to Costa Mesa's opening night, there were a number of nasty looking accidents. Rachalle Kerr hit the wall hard and it took her a long time to get up. Latest report is that nothing is broken but she has a few bruises.

My reports in the past have focused a lot on the junior riders, because I firmly believe that this is the future of our sport. There were several new division 3 riders and the other two divisions were well supported. Never far behind Ryan last season, Eric Carrillo goes into this year as favorite. He finished third in his heat and retired in the main event. Both second division races were lead start to finish by Tim Gomez from Southern California. He was riding Ryan Fisher's old Junior bike and looked exactly the same as Ryan did five years ago. He was incredibly fast and won both races by more than half a lap. His father told me that they hope to come up at least once a month this season. The div 3 main was won by 11 year old Danny Easley riding his first ever Speedway race.

Moving out of Juniors this year were Ryan Fisher, mentioned above, Matt Browne, who managed a fourth in his division 2 heat putting him in the div 2 consolation, where he failed to make the top 3. The other promoted Junior, Donny Robinson had a similar placing in his div 2 heat and went on to win the div 2 consi.

The div 3 main event was an endurance test won by first time out on a Speedway bike, flat-track racer, Don Webster.

In the scratch part of the program, there was plenty of great racing and a few surprises. Pat Linn showed great form holding off Charlie Venegas for four laps, while Charlie in turn held off 1998 "double Nationals" number 4, Bobby Hedden. On form Tommy Hedden beat Bart Bast in his heat and Bart had a hard battle for a couple of laps before he got past Ryan Fisher. Billy Janniro looked super fast at the end of last season and at Costa Mesa a couple of weeks ago, but was unable to qualify behind Mike Faria and Chad Felicio.

The Handicap part of the program was won by Ian Essary who started from the zero yard line and won his heat, his semi final, then the main unchallenged. Expect him to be moved back next week!

Results: (apologies for incomplete results and possible errors, it all went by too fast!)

Division 1 Scratch Main
1. Mike Faria
2. Charlie Venegas
3. Tommy Hedden
4. Bart Bast

Division 1 Scratch Consi
1. Chad Felicio
2. Robert Curry
3. Jim Sisemore
4. Pat Linn

Division 1 Handicap Main
1. Ian Essary
2. Ian Ferris
3. Charlie Venegas
4. Mike Faria
5. Matt Becker
6. Tommy Hedden

Division 1 Handicap Consi
1. Jim Sisemore
2. Bart Bast
3. Ryan Fisher
4. Billy Janniro
5. Dave Faria
6. Bobby Hedden

Division 2 Main
1. Mike Browne
2. Eric Veal
3. Glenn Scott
4. John O'Connell

Division 2 Consi
1. Donny Robinson
2. Dave Booth
3. Shawn Eldridge

Division 3 Main
1. Don Webster
2. Brian Ballard
3. Ivan Sevart

Division 3 Consi
1. Jamie Hughes
2. Donny Powell
3. Geno Bellino
4. Harry Bradwell
5. Billy Dixon

Jr. Division 1.
1. Bryan Yarrow
2. Chris Kerr
3. AJ Jones
4. JJ Martynse
5. Robert Curry
6. Eric Carrillo (ef)

Jr. Division 2
1. Tim Gomez
2. Anthony Marcucci (who was it? Anthony Martinez or Alex Marcucci )
3. Ray Linn
4. Brenton Bast
5. JT Mabry

Jr. Division 3
1. Danny Easley
2. Mark Carrillo
3. Paul Johnson
4. Chris Smith
5. Amanda English

Although I've lived in America for 17 years, I frequently still get caught off guard, by political correctness. What is OK one year may not be acceptable the next. Perhaps I have become over conscious of it, but the "Wild West Show" in the intermission somehow seemed inappropriate. The concepts of drunkenness, suggestions of debauchery, and violence with guns, are currently out of synch with the position of the pendulum of political correctness! Not only that, it was slow and boring. It might have brightened up a golf or cricket match but the people there were Speedway fans!

Gary Roberts - gary_rob@ix.netcom.com

Report from RC Jones

Auburn May 7th, 1999 - Opening Night

Well another great speedway season started Friday night in Auburn. Riders with new leathers, babes with new breasts, a wonderful night of racing. Bobby and Tommy Hedden along with Bob Hicks were decked out in brand new look alike Kevlar's from Peterich Cycles. Interestingly enough Tommy was the one to get into the scratch main. The place was jammed packed full, I have never seen that big a crowd for an opener. The weather was great even though it cooled off quite a bit and shorts were not the hot typo hot tip was purchasing a season ticket, unfortunately I am not on the mailing list... Oh well maybe next year.. LOL LOL...

Everyone's eyes were on Ryan Fisher as he made his Division I debut. Ryan was put on the 30 yard line for the handicap heat and had Mike Faria and Charlie Venegas behind him. Ryan followed Pat Linn for a lap and a half then slipped past when Linn went to wide. Ryan ran in front as Faria slowly gained on him. Then Faria snuck past and Venegas came up to sandwich Ryan between him and Faria, Ryan held firm and was able keep Venegas behind him at the finish it was Faria, Fisher and Venegas. The handicap semi final that Fisher was in ended in a photo finish for third and the last transfer to the main event. Fisher had held the third spot for most of the race but coming out of turn 4 heading for the checkered it was Fisher, Bobby Hedden and Bart Bast in a mad scramble for that transfer spot, and Hedden managed a half a wheel over the other two. In the handicap consi Ryan finished third behind Jim Sisemore and Bestride's scratch ride was only the heat race as he fell victim to Bart Bast and Tommy Hedden.

Other interesting items included defending champ Bart Bast with his problems winning, picking up only one win on the night and that came in the scratch consi. Mike Faria looked up to form with three first place finishes and winning the scratch main to top off his night.

The halftime show was something that maybe could have waited until later in the season. It was a wild west type show with saloon girls and gunslingers and a robbery of the saloon and the gunfight with everyone left dead. All participants were dressed as in the 1800's; but with the Colorado high school massacre so recent I was put off by the show.

Mike Rooney the announcer kept the crowd in stitches as there were so many new division 3 riders even he could not keep up with them. So Mike resorted to letting them announce themselves from the starting grid. Lots of fun, a great night of racing and it should be a show stopping season.

RC Jones

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