Fast Fridays Speedway
Gold Country Fairgrounds
Fast Friday's Motorcycle Speedway,
Gold Country Fairgrounds
Fast Fridays Opening Night
By Michael Kirby (Story & Photos)
AUBURN, CALIFORNIA, May 8, 2015
YouTube Video by Anthony Bernardi
Fast Friday’s Motorcycle Speedway racing fans got a glimpse of what looks like is going to be a great season Friday night at the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn. As many awaited to see how the new crop of younger riders moving up to Division I this season would fare the underclassmen did not disappoint and showed the seasoned veterans that this year will a whole new ballgame and they intend to shake things up a little. For speedway fans this means some great racing.
A good crowd filled Fast Fridays McCann Stadium and after the singing of the national anthem that opening the 20th season of Fast Fridays things got good real fast. Sixteen-year old Luke Becker of Brentwood, a staple in the youth division until this year showed up in a big way.
In the handicap program and scratch programs Becker came out swinging and held his own against the seasoned veterans. In the handicap program Becker won his first Division I race at Fast Fridays riding off the 10 yard line. Becker transferred to the handicap semi and proved it was no fluke and again took the first place checkered flag. In the scratch program Becker again won his first heat race against veterans Charlie Venegas, Ryan Bast and JT Mabry. Bad luck struck in the scratch semi for Becker when he took a hard fall on turn one right out of the gate. After a few tense moments Becker got off the track with the help of crew but could not return to finish the semi and was out of the scratch program. “Overall it was just a great night, I was not expecting to make the semi’s,” said Becker. “It is going to be a great season, we have so many young riders coming up at the same time, the under 21 national championship is going to be absolutely crazy,” he said. Becker finished the night with a great showing and a second place in the handicap main event.
Winning the handicap main event was another young rider who is in just his second year of Division I racing. Broc Nicol 17, up from Southern California picked up his first hardware of the new season in impressive style during a great season start. Placing third in his handicap heat race and winning his semi the young man faced some heavyweights in the handicap main event including veterans Bart Bast and Tommy Hedden. Showing racing savvy beyond his years Nicol held on for the win and the young riders scored a one-two punch as Becker took second. Another young rider looking fast this year is Auburn’s Tyler Warren who grabbed third.
In the scratch program finale it was all veterans and Bryan Yarrow turned in a stellar performance picking up a win in the scratch main event. Yarrow of Vallejo, who started racing juniors in 1994 but took time off last year for career opportunities but is back this year not missing a beat. Yarrow had first and second place finishes transferring to the scratch main event. There he faced Bob Hicks, five time national champ Billy Janniro, and Bart Bast. It was all veterans in this race and not a one nervous about being in the final race of the evening. Drawing the inside lane, Yarrow took the lead on the inside and only had to worry about Janniro who from lane four was pestering him on the outside. Yarrow refused to yield and held his line forcing Janniro to stay outside. Janniro came inside once trying to nudge past Yarrow but he kept just ahead of him and pulled out the win. Janniro was second, Bast third, and Hicks fourth. “Tonight was awesome, I came here tonight not expecting anything, just to ride and have fun,” Yarrow said. “It just kept getting better and better, I haven’t ridden for a while. In the final I saw Janniro and knew that if I gave him the room he was going to go faster than me, so I just held my line,” he said. Yarrow proved to be the fastest man of the first night.
Division II looks to shape up to be exciting this year as many riders were back blowing off the dust on the first night of the season. Eddie Marsalla, a veteran of several seasons took first place. Undefeated for the evening Marsalla won his heat race then led Louie Mersaroli and Michael Achilles across the finish line in the main event. In Division III with much crowd approval seventy nine year old Harlan Bast won the main event. Bast riding in his 47th speedway season beat John O’Neil who finished second. Back this year after several years off Auburn’s Billy Parino grabbed third.
The youth movement is alive and well as Fast Fridays presents two 250cc divisions, two 150cc divisions and a pee-wee division each week that is sure to continue to produce some talented up and coming riders. Auburn’s Colton Hicks and Chase Guerrero picked up their first 250cc division wins of the year. Landon Collins and Timmy Dion also scored wins in the 150cc divisions. Jay Fodrini won the popular Run What U Brung main event.
Fast Fridays Results for 5-8-15
Division I Scratch Main Event
1-Bryan Yarrow, 2-Billy Janniro, 3-Bart Bast, 4-Bob Hicks
Division I Handicap Main Event
1-Broc Nicol, 2-Luke Becker 3-Tyler Warren
Division II Main Event
1-Eddie Marsalla, 2-Louie Mersaroli, 3-Michael Achilles
Division III Main Event
1-Harlan Bast, 2-John O’Neill, 3-Billy Parino
Youth A 250cc Main Event
1-Chase Guerrero, 2-Sammy Tetrault, 3-Richie Vandermeeden
Youth B 250cc Main Event
1-Colton Hicks, 2-Kyle Cunningham, 3-Landon Norton
Youth A 150cc Main Event
1-Landon Collins, 2-Cameron Krezman, 3-Alex Martin
Youth B 150cc Main Event
1-Timmy Dion, 2-Enzo Sorani, 3-Colton Nelson
Run What U Brung
Photos By Michael Kirby
||Bryan Yarrow-Bryan Yarrow takes a victory lap around the track after winning the Division I scratch main event.
||Harlan Bast 79, won the Division III main event. Bast, riding since 1968, proves that sometimes old guys do really do rule.
||Sixteen-year old Luke Becker riding in his first season in Division I had an outstanding evening. Becker had three first place finishes and was second place in the handicap main event.
||Broc Nicol (left) and Bryan Yarrow (right) celebrate their wins Friday night on the Fast Fridays winner’s podium. Nicol won the handicap main event and Yarrow the scratch main event.
||Broc Nicol (left) and Bryan Yarrow get going against each other in an early evening heat race. Both riders scored main event wins Friday night.
||Weimar’s Jay Fodrini won the Run What U Brung main event.