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2002 North America Speedway History
Part 3 Northern California

2002 Part 1 - 2002 Part 2

DEC 2002

Chris Kerr gets Shurtech sponsorship.

Dave Shurtz of Shurtech is providing sponsorship for the 2003 season to a young Northern California rider, Chris Kerr. Chris, a former Youth Speedway rider since the age of eight, moved up to ride a 500 during the 2000 season. Chris had a good season in 2002, but continually struggled to keep his machinery competitive. Now on a brand new Shurtech bike, could the 2003 season be Chris's big breakthrough in US Speedway? He is already seen by many as one of the next generation of Americans to join the procession across to Europe. Shurtech is also providing sponsorship to Northern California rider Billy Hiles and Southern California Youth rider, Tim Gomez.

Dave Shurtz first got involved in Speedway when Doug Sparks of SECO Racing sent him tickets to the 2001 AMA National Championships in Auburn. Dave really enjoyed the show and decided to recruit Doug Sparks to implement Shertech's involvement into Speedway for the 2002 season. So for the 2002 season Shurtech sponsored Youth National Champion, T.J. Fowler. In their second season they have increased their number of riders and expanded the levels of support. Shertech, who is a firm believer in mentoring programs, has also made a commitment to stay involved with the Youth and Peewee programs to assist the future champs of Speedway.  

Chris Kerr and Billy Hiles will be participating in all Fast Fridays events with the option of participating in the Coors Light National Championships in Costa Mesa if either of them qualifies. As for San Bdoo, it depends on the existence of this venue. They would make any trip to be a part of a Charlie Venegas promoted venue. Shertech is happy to announce that they have   picked up a Southern California Youth rider for the 2003 season. Tim Gomes of Hesperia, California is the latest addition to the Shertech Racing Team. Being part of the Youth program is very important to the Shurtech organization.

What does Shurtech do?

Shurtech Mechanical Services is a Northern California based Heating and Air-Conditioning Sales and Service Company. Shurtech offers Environmental Management Services to commercial facilities by means of Preventive Maintenance Programs for their Environmental Comfort Systems as well as unit replacement. Being electronically tied into building management systems allows Shurtech to monitor, diagnose and control Building Management Systems from their office.  Remote communication saves both time and money for Shurtech and their customers making this technology a win- win situation. For the home owner, Shurtech offers residential Preventive Maintenance Programs, unit replacement and new home installation featuring various brands of Heating and Cooling systems from all price ranges to fit anyone's budget. For the Speedway fan, Shurtech offers an additional 10% off all service calls and repairs.  Shertech's customers range from property owners, building management groups, home owners, city government buildings, restaurants, computer rooms, any location requiring comfort and/or environmental control. 
Shurtech has sixteen employees and has an annual revenue of about 2 million dollars.   

I would like to say a big thank you to Shurtech, for their support to Chris, Billy and Tim specifically and to Speedway in general. It is guys like Shurtech who keep Speedway alive in the USA.

September / October Update

Finally! Speedway books can be found at the tracks or order HERE!!!

Turn One Magazine information can be found at HERE!!!

After my return from Europe on Monday we now have a great line up of world class riders coming to Auburn California's Fast Fridays Motorcycle Speedway, Friday night, November 1st. You won't want to miss this event! Perhaps the best lineup of speedway talant in America.

The World Team:
Andy Smith - Great Britian
Bartek Bardecki -Poland
Armando Castagna - Italy
Joachim Kugelmann - Germany
Ronnie Pedersen - Denmark
Tony Kasper - Czech Republic
Robert Sawina - Poland
Kenneth Bjerre - Denmark

USA Team:
Billy Hamill
Billy Janniro
Ryan Fisher
Bobby Hedden
Tommy Hedden
John Cook
Bart Bast

Race format will be like North Vs South. 20 heats with two Mains.
The local weather forcast: cool nights with warm clear days.

Dave Joiner
Fast Fridays Motorcycle Speedway
Auburn, California

The World Team:
> Andy Smith - Great Britian - British Grand Prix star and currently in the top 20 in GP standings.

> Bartek Bardecki -Poland - Has been running the courses in California with pretty decent success. Has more short track experience than the rest of the World team.

> Armando Castagna - Italy - One of the nicest guys in speedway. Italian champ many times, has raced at Auburn last year and won the Argentine challenge this past winter. Also British Premire League experience at Reading.

> Joachim Kugelmann - Germany - German long track specialist, possibly also runs in the Danish leagues. 7th in last year's German Championship.

> Ronnie Pedersen - Denmark - some GP experience, Danish leagues and probably has Polish or Swedish League experience.

> Tony Kasper - Czech Republic - Has ridden for Eastbourne in British Elite League and I think has some GP experience. 17th in the world in 2000.  Also rides for Masarna in Sweden and Gniezno in Poland.

> Robert Sawina - Poland - Teammate of Billy Hamill's at Smederna in Swedish Leagues. Teammate of Tony Rickardsson on the Polish League Team - Torum.  Sawina had the 20th highest points per match average (7.26) in the Polish league. R.Sullivan had the highest average (10.92).

> Kenneth Bjerre - Denmark - British Premire League with an 8+ average at Newcastle. Is described as an 18 year old Danish sensation, which makes his 8+ league average for Newcastle even more impressive. He also finished 9th in this years Under 21 Championship.

Championship draw for round 3 National Championship Speedway Series

September 20th. Auburn, California

1 Schwartz
2 Bast
3 Christian
4 Hicks
5 T Hedden
6 Fisher
7 Brant
8 Janniro
9 Q 1
10 Hancock
11 Castro
12 Faria
13 Q 2
14 Hamill
15 Manchester
16 Larsen
17 Hiles
18 Carrillo
19 Severt
20 B Hedden
21 Yarrow
22 Kerr
23 Krips
24 Difrancesco

August Update

2002 Final Northern California AMA Points

Division 1


Division 2


Division 3

1 B. Hedden 1820
2 B. Bast 1748
3 Faria 1307
4 Brant 1286
5 T. Hedden 1065
6 Yarrow 1004
7 Felicio 999
8 Manchester 739
9 Carrillo 695
10 Christian 630.5
11 Kerr 602.5
12 Martynse 550
13 Sevart 488
14 Browne 438
15 Hooten 378.5
16 R. Curry 338
17 Janniro 286
18 Essary 237
19 Orlandi 226
20 Hiles 170
21 Marcucci 145.5
22 Ermolenko 135
23 Bardecki 123
1 R. Kerr 470
2 D. Baker 469
3 Defreece 453
4 Snodgrass 425
5 Mellor 418
6 Warnock 363
7 Silva 353
8 Curry 333
9 Browne 300
1 McBain 555
2 Chandler 536
3 Blankenbiller 498
4 Sharp 489
5 Gutzke 477
6 Achilles 472
7 Botsford 417
8 Baker 390
9 Mullenix 371

We are having speedway races at the Missoula Fairgrounds in Missoula, Montana on Sep 7 and 8. R aces on both half mile and short track (1/10th mile).

Sep 7 - 8 am - 2 p.m.   1/2 mile practice
Sep 7 - 7 p.m. short track
Sep 8 - 12 p.m. half mile

I know you are a million miles away in California, but I thought I would let you know in case there are some speedway nuts out your way who would like to do the half mile.

The track is as near to perfection as you will ever find, super smooth cushion track. We have raced speedway on it 5 times within the last two years.

My email is brendanf@montana.com phone 406-777-5161

The Moran Brothers book will be available from the Fast Fridays T shirt shop tomorrow night. $25 plus tax.
Written by Brian Burford, it tells the story of Shawn and Kelly's lives and the pleasure they brought everyone around them.

AMA National Series Results are here

Fast Fridays announced that the wildcards for the AMA National Series are:

Bryan Yarrow
Chris Kerr
Randy Kripps
Alan Christian
Billy Hiles
Randy Difrancesco
Tommy Hedden
Ivan Sevart

These same riders will be the wildcards for all 3 rounds.  A pre event qualifier will determine which riders fill the 15th and 16th slots in the National Round event.   After the first rounds the 15th and 16th finishers will go back into the wildcard pool for the second round and finishers 1-14 go straight to the National Second Round event.  The same process will be used to fill the 15th and 16th slots for the third round.

The Northern California Youth Speedway Committee is proud to announce the competitors for the Youth National Speedway Championship, which will be hosted by Fast Fridays at Auburn, California on August 30.
The competitors are:
Ricky Adams, Chicago Park
Justin Boyle, Long Beach
Mark Carrillo, Newark
Krystal Kramer, Newport Beach
Danny Easley, Loomis
Ricky Felicio, Orangevale
TJ Fowler, Palermo
Tom Fuhrman, Newcastle
Tim Gomez, Hesperia
Mitchell Johnson, Auburn
Paul Johnson, Auburn
JT Mabry, Santa Rosa
Alex Marcucci, Grass Valley
Hunter Morris, Carmichael
Jay Ricketts, Sacramento
Ricky Wells, Yorba Linda
Bruce Bast, Auburn
RJ Becerra, Concord

July Update

Starting position draw held for 2002 AMA National Speedway Series

On July 17 AMA Sports conducted the "draw" for starting positions in round one of the 2002 AMA National Championship Speedway Series, and riding numbers have been assigned accordingly to the first 14 riders who have accepted invitations to compete in the series.

The riding numbers for the August 14 opening round of the series are as follows:

No. 1 - Billy Janniro, Vallejo, CA
No. 2 - Bart Bast, Auburn, CA
No. 3 - Greg Hancock, Balboa Island, CA
No. 4 - Eddie Castro, Ojai, CA
No. 5 - Chris Manchester, Reno, NV
No. 6 - Ryan Fisher, Norco, CA
No. 7 - Josh Larsen, Monrovia, CA
No. 8 - Eric Carrillo, Newark, CA
No. 9 - Bobby Schwartz, Costa Mesa, CA
No. 10 - Gary Hicks, Riverside, CA
No. 11 - Scott Brant, Riverside, CA
No. 12 - Bobby Hedden, Folsom, CA
No. 13 - Billy Hamill, Monrovia, CA
No. 14 - Mike Faria, Reno, NV
No. 15 - TBD
No. 16 - TBD

The 15th and 16th riders for the field, along with two reserve riders, will be determined by a five-heat pre-qualifying round. Pre-qualifying will open the action when the 2002 AMA National Championship Speedway Series kicks off on Wednesday, August 14, at Arrowhead Speedway at the Orange Show Fairgrounds in San Bernardino, California.

The series will continue on Friday, August 16, at Fast Fridays Speedway in Auburn, California, which will also host the series finale on September 20.


PICKERINGTON, Ohio - AMA sports, in cooperation with Fast Fridays Motorcycle Speedway and Arrowhead Speedway, has announced expansion of its National Speedway Championship program.

The 2002 AMA National Speedway Championship - historically a season - ending, ONE Night event will adopt a tripleheader format, with two events in August ant the series finale in September.

The 2002 AMA National Championship Speedway Series will open on Wednesday evening, August 14, at San Bernardino, California. Round two of the series will take place 48 hours later, on Friday, August 16 at Fast Fridays Motorcycle Speedway in Auburn, California. The series finale will also be staged in Auburn, September 20, which for several seasons has hosted the AMA's premier Speedway events.

"We are delighted to be working with two premier Speedway venues to launch this exciting new series," said AMA Vice president Bill Amick. The traditional sudden - death format or our championship is undeniable exciting, but the series format will be fairer to the riders and also allows us to showcase their talents in the sport's premier markets of Northern and Southern California.

Speedway Motorcycle Racing is one of the oldest forms of motorcycle competition, and features powerful, methanol - burning dirt track machines on short dirt ovals. The machines are lightweight and have no brakes, which makes for spectacular broadsides as riders negotiate tight corners in frantic four - lap sprints.

Speedway is viewed as a niche motor sport in America, and there are only about 100 "first division" riders racing domestically. But the US makes up in quality what it lacks in quantity, and has an impressive record in international competition. Since 1980, US riders have won five speedway World Championships. Two of those champions, Californians Billy Hamill (1996) and Greg Hancock (1997) will headline a stellar field for the 2002 AMA National Champion Speedway Series.

Hancock and Hamill are among the world's elite Speedway competitors, and will take time from their Grand Prix and league commitments in Europe to return home for the AMA - sanctioned series. Invitations have also been issued to a pair of exciting young American internationals, Billy Janniro and Ryan Fisher, who are Hamill's teammates at Coventry, England Elite Speedway league.

The European - based contingent will be formidable, but will have their hands full with home - based riders such as former National Champions Mike Faria, Bobby Schwartz, Bart Bast and Chris Manchester.

Under a new format developed for the 2002 AMA Championships, 14 riders will be seeded into a 16 - rider field for the series opener. The final two positions, plus two reserve positions, will be awarded to the top finishers in a "first half" pre-qualifying program.

Once the field has been trimmed to 16 riders, there will be a series of 20 qualifying heats with four riders in each heat. Each rider will race five times and will meet each of the other 15 riders once.

Points earned in the 20-race qualifying rounds will determine seeding into the championship round, where the winner of the "A" main will be the overall event winner. AMA National points will be awarded to all riders who qualify for the championship round at each of the three AMA Nationals


Friday night July 19th is the annual Civil War.

The North team comprises:
1n Bart Bast
2n Billy Janniro
3n Mike Faria
4n Chad Felicio
5n Bobby Hedden
6n Tommy Hedden
7n Bryan Yarrow
8n Chris Kerr

Riding for the South will be:
1s Josh Larsen
2s Bobby Schwartz
3s Chris Manchester
4s Eddie Castro
5s Gary Hicks
6s Randy Difrancesco
7s Scott Brant
8s Charlie Venegas

Gates open at 6.30, the first race is at 8pm

June Update

2002 AMA National Championship Series

This year the AMA National Championship will be determined, not by a one night event as has been the case in the past, but by a 3 round series.

The dates are:

Aug 14  Arrowhead Speedway, San Bernardino, Round 1
Aug 16  Fast Fridays, Auburn, Round 2.
Sep 20  Fast Fridays, Auburn, Round 3.

Each round will comprise 14 nominated riders plus 2 qualified riders, plus 2 qualified reserves.

The qualification process for the 2 qualified riders and 2 qualified reserves is as follows:

There will be 2 heat races each comprising 5 riders, the winner transferring to a main, the second and third going to a semifinal. Top 2 out of the semi final go to the main. Winner and runner up of the main take slots 15 and 16 in the championship event. 3rd and 4th place riders are reserves to the championship event.

The championship event will be a regular 16 rider 20 heat, championship format, followed by A B C and D main event races.

Rider selection is by invitation. The first four invitations have been sent out to Messers Hamill, Hancock, Janniro and Fisher. Hamill and Hancock have confirmed acceptance and will attend all 3 rounds.

More details to follow.

April Update:
As the start of the season gets closer, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that May 10 is the opening night at Fast Fridays. The bad news is that currently, Fast Fridays is the only track to run in Northern California. The return on Sideways Saturdays to Dixon did not happen. We desperately need more Speedway up here, but for the time being, we will have to wait.
The line up for Fast Fridays opening night certainly has a pleasant surprise. Remember Alan "Crazy" Christian? Rumor is, he is making a come-back and will be riding an Ed Rose bike on opening night. Alan's son will also be making his appearance in third division.

Awards Banquet Notes: The junior riders did a great job, selling raffle tickets. There was a bunch of raffle prizes that were very generously donated and I understand over $1000 was raised. 

There were so many prizes that Dave Joiner and Mitchell Johnson (junior rider) continued giving prizes all the time through dinner. 

Rider points fund checks were given to Fast Friday's top 10 riders in each of the three divisions, totaling over $4000.

2001 Rookie of the Year - Bryan Yarrow

2001 Most Improved Rider of the Year - Tom Adams

2001 Sportsman of the Year - Gary Roberts

Bobby Hedden's mum did a great job in organizing the food.   It was excellent, there was more than enough crab.  Dinner was served by junior speedway riders.  Altogether it was a very enjoyable evening out.

Northern California Speedway racing kicks off again on May 10 at Fast Fridays in Auburn.

Sideways Saturdays is working with the Dixon Fairgrounds board to resurrect Speedway in Dixon on Saturday nights from June 1 to August 17.

2002 will be an interesting season for Junior Speedway.  We now have more kids in the program than at any time in the past, and its time to make some changes.  Look out for a total re-vamp of the Junior National Championship.  More details on that later.

Fast Fridays Annual Award Banquet was held on January 26 and was the biggest ever.

On April 7 Fast Fridays will hold their Spring Fling, where riders can sign up for the new season.

The season opener at Fast Fridays will take place on May 10.  See you all there!

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