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

1999 Week 13
Fast Fridays Speedway, Auburn, CA
Friday July 30, 1999
From Gary Roberts

Charlie Venegas wins the Main Event!

A regular evening at Fast Fridays with the usual selection of riders, plus a few Southern remnants from last week's Civil War, who must have had a good time and decided to come back for more. Amazingly, they all looked a lot better this week!

Wandering round the pits, looking very out of place was Billy Janniro, in a wheel chair. Billy broke both his leg and his ankle at Cal Expo last week, while avoiding running over Chris Manchester. I hope he is fit for the AMA National.

Again this week there were unfortunately, casualties. Third division rider Clark Caravella broke his leg after finding traction doing a practice start in preparation for his heat race.

Charlie Venegas 1997

Unofficial results:

Scratch Main
1. Charlie Venegas
2. Gary Hicks
3. Mike Faria
4. Bart Bast
It was good to see Gary Hicks back again this week. He put on a great show trying to get by Charlie, first on the inside then on the outside. He looked like a different rider to his performance last week. I talked to him after the races and asked him what went wrong last week. He said that this week he brought his own laydown GM, whereas the previous week he was riding Rick Shafer's Jawa, the same one that Greg Hancock rode the previous week.

Scratch Consi
1. Bobby Hedden
2. Jim Sisemore
3. Ryan Fisher
4. Dukie Ermolenko
This race provides an example of how much more competitive the Northern California racing scene has become. Bobby Hedden and Jim Sisemore were third and fourth in points most of last year. Here they are, relegated to the Scratch Consolation. During the Scratch semi-final, Ryan Fisher, the newcomer, very nearly took Bart Bast's place in the Scratch Main. Dukie, who actually put on a very respectable show in last week's Civil War made up the Consi. To me this says that there must be 4 riders who rode in the average Consi last year who didn't make it this year. Competition is definitely heating up in Northern California.

Handicap Main
1. Chris Manchester
2. Tommy Hedden
3. Gary Hicks
4. Bobby Hedden
5. Ryan Fisher
6. Dukie Ermolenko
Chris Manchester started at the front of this Handicap Main and was still at the front at the end of the race. He looked a different rider to last week. He showed the same style he demonstrated when he won the 1992 US National.

Handicap Consi
1. Robert Curry
2. Jim Sisemore
3. Bart Bast
4. Mike Faria
Bob Hicks came out, jumped the start, appeared to move back to a greater yardage, then went back to the pits. I don't know if he was disqualified or decided to withdraw. Charlie Venegas qualified but was a non starter.

Division 2 Main
1. Bob Newby
2. Tom Adams
3. George Snodgrass
4. Rachalle Kerr
5. Tom Odekirk
6. Mark Thomas
At Bob Peters' funeral, back in January, Bob Newby told me that he had decided to take a year off. I was surprised. He was a top Division 2 contender last year. But he plans to come back and race every week next year. His absence has clearly not been of detriment to his riding.

Division 2 Consi
1. Richard Powell
2. Ivan Sevart
3. Mike Browne
4. Scott Olney
5. Terry McCurdy
6. Don Webster

Division 3 Main
1. Vince Bertolucci
2. Kevin Fereira
3. Ron Woodsford
4. Harry Bradwell
5. Robert Mellor
6. Bill Dixon
7. Mark Blasey
8. Mike Achilles

Division 3 Consi
1. Greg Hooten Senior
2. Gary Hubbert
3. Bill Warnock
4. Art Anglade
5. Kerry Connor
6. Lenny Bourassa
7. Kimi Valentine
8. John Knapp

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

Division 2 Juniors
1. JT Mabry
2. Alex Marcucci

Division 3 Juniors
1. Danny Easley
2. Mark Carrillo
3. Paul Johnson
4. Amanda English
5. Jeff Butler

Although Cal Expo is having their last one of the season next weekend, Fast Fridays still has more than another month before the end of the season. But that means there are only 5 events. Where has it gone? Next week Billy Hamill makes his return, after a 4 year absence from Auburn. He is surely coming along in preparation for his AMA National Championship attempt in September. Greg Hancock was here for the same reason a couple of weeks ago.

The line up for the National was announced last week. It comprises Billy and Greg, Josh Larsen, Warren Diem, the winner of the New York State qualifier, plus the top 8 Northern Californians, plus 4 Southern Californians. The selection of the Southern Californians will be by invitation. It has all the makings for an even greater night than last year's AMA National.

Gary Hicks assured me that if he is one of the Southern California invitee, he will be sure to bring his own bike!

Gary Roberts - gary_rob@ix.netcom.com

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