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

1999 Week 16
Fast Fridays Speedway, Auburn, CA
Friday August 20, 1999
From Gary Roberts

It is always unfortunate for the sport to see a fine rider like Charlie Venegas disqualified for unfair riding. Charlie claims to have learned such tactics in the British League. If that's the case, it is probably a useful insight for Ryan Fisher, because that is clearly where he is destined. In his scratch semi-final he beat Bart Bast and Mike Faria. All this is his first season of riding a 500 and he is still only 15 years old. He gated well and they could not catch him. Even after losing so much ground in his first bend "incident" with Charlie, he was visibly closing the gap with the 2 front runners.

To me what is equally impressive as his riding, is his calm, non-complaining, take "everything in his stride" approach to his racing. Of all the bombs that have been set off in his face this season, I have not heard him complain once, I have not seen him show any annoyance. He just puts it behind him and concentrates on his next challenge.

I would like to have seen the same restraint from the gentleman who confronted the referee, after this race. John Grant, the referee did not see the first corner incident and after the race was first verbally insulted, then physically shoved, by a man who is twice John's size. Every referee makes mistakes. John makes less than most. Most of the riders respect him most of the time. The referee's job is the worst job going at a Speedway track and the Auburn promoters, riders and crowd are not just fortunate, but extremely privileged to have a referee as competent as John Grant. Such treatment, is not the way to keep him.

Unofficial results:

Scratch Main
1. Bobby Hedden
2. Ryan Fisher
3. Bart Bast
4. Charlie Venegas

Scratch Consi
1. Mike Faria
2. Tommy Hedden
3. Robert Curry
Chris Manchester qualified for the race, but was a non starter.

Handicap Main
1. Ryan Fisher
2. Ian Ferris
3. Mike Faria
4. Robert Curry
5. Paul Orlandi
6. Tommy Hedden

Handicap Consi
1. Chad Felicio
2. Bart Bast
3. Bobby Hedden
4. Ian Essary
Chris Manchester and Charlie Venegas were non starters
Chris won his scratch heat, in perfect style but was victim of a horrendous accident earlier in his scratch semifinal. He was in third place, following Bobby Hedden, ahead of Robert Curry. Coming into turn one, Curry did not turn, but ran upright into Chris. Curry went down and Chris straightened up and went straight to the wall at full throttle. Fortunately he managed to bail off, but his bike hit the wall doing significant damage. He did not ride again afterwards.

Division 2 Main
1. Rachalle Kerr
2. Donny Powell
3. Ivan Sevart
4. Mark Thomas
5. Mike Browne
6. Shawn Eldridge

Division 2 Consi
1. Bill Newby
2. Matt Browne
3. Shawn MacDonald
4. John O'Connor
5. Harlan Bast Snr.
6. Glenn Scott

Division 3 Main
1. Jamie Hughes
2. Robert Mellor
3. Greg Hooten
4. Ron Woodsford
5. Brian Ballard
6. Art Anglade
7. Bill Dixon
8. Kevin Fereira

Division 3 Consi
1. Mike Achilles
2. David Baker
3. John Knapp
4. Brian Leventon
5. Bill Warnock
6. Mike Douglass
7. Les Veale
8. Harry Bradwell

Division 1 Juniors
1. Eric Carrillo
2. Jon Curry
3. Bryan Yarrow
At the beginning of this season I thought the division 1 juniors was going to be boring without Ryan Fisher. Eric Carrillo had always ridden in Eric's shadow and I thought he would automatically inherit the number 1 slot, unchallenged. He has won most events this year, but it has not been unchallenged. Bryan Yarrow has also put on great show. This week they rode neck and neck for 3 laps until Brian overshot a corner an Jon Curry jumped in to take second.

Division 2 Juniors
1. JT Mabry
2. Alex Marcucci
3. Greg Hooten
4. Justin Boyle
5. Brenton Bast

Division 3 Juniors
1. Mark Carrillo
2. Paul Johnson
3. Danny Easley
4. Amanda English
5. Jeff Butler
Danny Easley led by a comfortable margin until turn 4 of the last lap and fell down. Mark Carrillo and Paul Johnson got by in the time it took him to remount.

For many of the Northern California riders, this was the last ride of the season.

Next week, August 27 is the Auburn track championship. Ahead in points again this year is Bart Bast. The only difference this year is that Bart has not won a single scratch main event. Winners this year have been Mike Faria, Charlie Venegas and Bobby Hedden. As the most frequent Auburn Track Champion and Auburn Points Champion, Bart must be among the favorites, but the other three will be there too. It should be an interesting night. As well next week is the 2nd and 3rd division track championship races, and the Junior National Championship.

The following week, September 3 is the AMA National. 8 top Northern Californians, 4 top Southern Californians, top New Yorker Warren Diem, and making up the numbers are Billy Hamill, Greg Hancock and Josh Larsen. What a line up!

Gary Roberts - gary_rob@ix.netcom.com

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