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

1999 25 Lap Main Event
Fast Fridays Speedway, Auburn, CA
Friday July 2, 1999
From Gary Roberts

Ryan Fisher wins the Handicap Event!

Another great evening of racing at Auburn. Some extremely good racing, some riders back after absence, some riders missing. Back was Tommy Hedden, returning from a back injury. Missing were Div.1 Junior hero Eric Carrillo and Pat Linn.

A very pleasant warm summer evening followed a couple of days of over 100 degree weather. The warm evening accompanied by a fairly strong wind dried out the track. But it didn't stop some great racing. Mike Faria showed in his first handicap heat that the outside line of the track worked just as well as any other line, when he swept around Charlie Venegas, Ian Essary and Rick Shafer, to win his first heat.

The big event was the 25 lap race, the ultimate Speedway endurance race. I understand that last year the handicapping distances were left as they would be for a regular handicap main, advantaging the high handicap riders. No the case this year, with Bast, Faria, Sisemore, Bobby Hedden, Venegas and Janniro all starting half a lap behind the tapes.

At the end of the first lap, leader was zero yard rider Scott McNeil. Second to ninth laps leader and looking very comfortable was 44 year old Rich Marcucci. After that the leader was a very confident, and very much in control, 15 year old Ryan Fisher, and that was how it stayed until the end. On lap 19 Charlie Venegas made somewhat of a challenge, but looked like he was tiring, lost ground over it and settled for second place.

Most interesting was that as far as I know, nobody ran out of fuel. A number of riders, especially the ones with laydowns were concerned about the capacity of their fuel tanks for the distance and were hoping for a couple of red flags during the race, to enable a top up, but it didn't happen.

Historians will look back at this as Ryan's first major achievement on a full size bike.

Unofficial results:

Scratch Main
1. Mike Faria
2. Bart Bast
3. Bobby Hedden
4. Ryan Fisher

Scratch Consi
1. Ian Ferris
2. Billy Janniro
Jim Sisemore and Charlie Venegas also qualified for this race but were non starters.

25 lap Handicap Main
1. Ryan Fisher
2. Charlie Venegas
3. Bart Bast
4. Ian Ferris
5. Rich Marcucci
6. Mike Faria
7. Bobby Hedden
8. Scott McNeil
9. Jim Sisemore
10. Billy Janniro

Division 2 Main
1. Ivan Sevart
2. Rachalle Kerr
3. Tom Adams
4. Harlan Bast Snr.
5. Don Webster
6. Mike Browne
More hardware for the Bast family trophy cabinet! Ivan Sevart (Bart's sister's son) moved from third to second division and won his heat and the main.

Division 2 Consi
1. John O'Connell
2. Shawn Eldridge
3. Josh West
Matt Browne, Scott Olney and Glenn Scott were in the race, but were non-finishers. This was Josh West's first evening of racing after a 2 year absence.

Division 3 Main
1. Kevin Fereira
2. Ron Woodsford
3. Greg Hooten Snr.
4. Bill Dixon
5. Brian Leventon
6. Mark Thomas
7. Mark Woodward
8. Richard Mellor
This was Kevin Fereira's second div. 3 main win in a week.

Division 3 Consi
1. Craig Boone
2. John Knapp
3. Mark Blasey
4. Rich Mignano
5. Harry Bradwell
6. Bill Warnock
7. Vince Bertolucci
8. Mike Douglass

Division 1 Juniors
1. Bryan Yarrow
2. AJ Jones
3. Jon Curry
4. JJ Martynse
5. Chris Kerr

Division 2 Juniors
1. Greg Hooten Jnr.
2. Brenton Bast
3. Ray Linn
4. Alex Marcucci
5. JT Mabry

Division 3 Juniors
1. Chris Olney
2. T J Fowler
3. Mark Carrillo
4. Danny Easley
5. Chris Smith
6. Amanda English

I had the pleasure of meeting Lance Darsow, a Colorado rider, whose name came up during my research of the California Junior Speedway program of the early 1980s, in preparation for writing my Hamill and Hancock biography. Lance drove down with Shawn Hurley, another Colorado rider, who I had met at Costa Mesa around 5 years ago. I admired their spirit of adventure driving 1000 miles each way to come to California for a weekend of Speedway.

Gary Roberts - gary_rob@ix.netcom.com

From Ryan Evans - Sideways31@aol.com
Let me be the first from Southern California to congratulate Ryan and an outstanding performance. Of course, I wasn't there, but I've seen a lot of these "long distance" races and it takes a lot of stamina and concentration to even last that long, let alone win the damn thing!!!!Even more impressive to me was that he made the Scratch Main, though. Getting in there with the big boys is what really proves his ability. I'm looking forward to September for the grand return to Costa Mesa of Ryan Fisher!!!!

From: David Yost OtisEleva@aol.com
Gary Roberts' report of the events at Auburn Speedway last night illuminate a couple of points:
First, how valuable the speedwaybikes@onelist is to the sport. I did not attend last night because I was busy getting ready for the holiday. After reading Gary's report of the 25 lap event, I was appalled that I did not make the effort to attend. The information on Speedway coming over the internet is truly beneficial to the sport.

Second, we see how exciting and stimulating it is to have new blood (Ryan Fisher) in the sport. With total credit to all the riders; young, old, new, veterans, this, after all, a spectator's sport. And "fans" love controversy and intrigue. They like to compare and contrast. Evaluate. Praise. Condemn. It doesn't matter what the sport is, if you are not a participant, then you're a fan. And fans have to participate, in a "fan" way. If things just stayed the same, year-after-year, things would get pretty stale. So, if the new guy is named Ryan Fisher, or Eric Carrillo, or Leonardo whatever, it's just really good for the sport! The sport needs more fans, more interest, and more $$$$$$$$$. Congratulations to Ryan Fisher, and congratulations to the guy who beats Ryan the next time around. Or, who doesn't. It's a great sport!

Gary- thanks for the very informative reports. NEXT WEEK I'LL BE THERE!

With reference to the questions on the handicap distances for the 25 lapper: Faria, Bast, Sisemore, B. Hedden, Janniro and Venegas started opposite the tapes. Ryan Fisher was on a nominal 30 yard handicap, so started from 60 yards. Ian Ferris and Rich Marcucci were on a nominal 20 yard handicap, so started from 40 yards. Scott McNeil started on the zero yard line.

Ryan's progress this season is nothing short of outstanding. Equally important, during both his successes and his failures, he has demonstrated true professionalism. Full credit must also go to the Joiners at Fast Fridays who had the vision to put him in the 500 class, one year early. I believe this experience has been invaluable to Ryan.

In answer to our cynical friend who is not quite up to speed yet with Ryan's capabilities, here are the facts. During the course of Friday night in the scratch races, Ryan beat Bobby Hedden, Rich Marcucci, Scott McNeil, Bill Janniro and Ian Ferris. How long do we have to wait for him to win a scratch main. Not long, at this rate!

Gary Roberts - gary_rob@ix.netcom.com

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