Fast Fridays Speedway
Gold Country Fairgrounds
1273 High Street
North vs South Civil War Challenge
Fast Friday's Motorcycle Speedway,
Gold Country Fairgrounds
North Team wins 25th North-South Challenge
By Michael Kirby (Story & Photos)
AUBURN, CALIFORNIA, July 15, 2016
The North and South teams before the event Friday evening at Fast Fridays.
The South (left-right) Dillon Ruml, Austin Novratil, Broc Nicol, Shawn McConnell, Charlie Venegas (not pictured Aaron Fox) and referee David Joiner.
The North (continuing left-right) Billy Janniro, Tommy Hedden, Luke Becker, Bart Bast, Bryan Yarrow and Daniel Faria.
A very talented North squad prevailed 74-65 never once trailing an equally talented South team in the 25th annual Fast Friday’s Motorcycle Speedway North vs. South Challenge Friday night at the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn. The North team now owns the bragging rights for a year and have also avenged a loss last year to the South. This year’s victory for the North puts the overall North vs. South Challenge tally at 16 wins for the North and nine wins for the South. The popular event is one of the longest running speedway team racing competitions in America. For 25 years a handpicked team from Southern California has ventured to Auburn to race against our hometown boys from Northern California.
The North team this year paired Billy Janniro and Luke Becker, Bart Bast and Bryan Yarrow and Tommy Hedden and Daniel Faria. The South teamed Aaron Fox and Broc Nicol, Charlie Venegas and Shawn McConnell and Austin Novratil and Dillon Ruml. The all scratch racing format is scored by points won by the pairs of riders from each team racing against each other during six rounds of heat races. Teams get three points for a win, two points for second, one point for third and no points for a fourth place finish. The teams then place two riders from each squad in two final main events where the scoring increases making lead changes exciting to the finish and a final tally. Janniro and Becker were the high scorers for the North with 37 combined points and Janniro also led the North in individual points with 20. Austin Novratil and Dillon Ruml led the South with a combined total of 35 points, and Aaron Fox led the South team and was the overall high point’s holder for the evening with 21 points.
The score remained fairly close for the first three rounds with the North leading the South by only four points at 29-25. In the fourth round in heat 10 and 11, Bast and Yarrow added four and Janniro and Becker added five bringing the score to 38-28 North leading. In heat 12 Ruml and Novratil fought back for the South with first and third finishes bringing the tally back to a manageable 40-32. In heat 13 Janniro and Becker again added a one-two punch with a first and second place finish pushing the score to 45-33 the largest margin of the evening so far. In heat 14 the South used the Joker maneuver to try to keep in the game by doubling Aaron Fox’s ride in that heat with the strategy. The rules state that any team that is six points or more behind can insert a Joker and double the score of that rider for that race once during the meeting. The move worked for the South as Fox won that heat giving him six points combined with one more point for Broc Nicol’s third place finish made seven South points for that round and brought the score to 47-40, but with the North still leading. Heat 17 and 18 were more nails in the coffin as the North dominated the scoring with a combined 9 points for those rounds and left the score sitting at 62-49 going into the bonus main events.
The North sent Bart Bast and Tommy Hedden to the line for the B main event against the South’s Dillon Ruml and Shawn McConnell. From the gate it was a two man battle between Ruml and Bast with Ruml holding onto his lead and winning the race, Bast was second, McConnell third and Hedden fourth bringing the score to 66-55. Going into the A main event the South would need a miracle. Billy Janniro and Luke Becker rolled up for the North and Aaron Fox and Austin Novratil lined up for the South. Fox fought hard to contain Janniro and succeeded as he and the national champ made the four laps. Fox picked up the six points for first place, Janniro pulled in five for second place, Novratil got four and Becker three. The final score ended up 74-65 giving the North squad the win and bragging rights for the year until the two teams meet again next year and the challenge is renewed for the 26th time. “This is definitely a big part of the season and since last year coming off a loss it made us just want to work that much harder,” Becker said. “Coming out on top makes everything good and everyone happy, we did it for the fans.”
In the Youth program Sebastian Palmese won the Youth A 250 main event, Gregory Moore won the Youth B 250 main event. Alex Martin topped the Youth 150 A main event and Colton Nelson won the Youth B 150 main event. Jon Curry won the Run What U Brung main event.
North vs. South Challenge Results 7-15-16
North 74 South 65
Billy Janniro 3 3 2 3 2 2 5-20
Bart Bast 3 2 2 3 2 3 3-18
Luke Becker 2 1 3 2 3 3 3-17
Tommy Hedden 1 1 1 2 2 2 1-10
Bryan Yarrow 1 1 1 1 1 1-6
Daniel Faria 0 2 0 0 0 1-3
Aaron Fox 0 3 3 1 6 2 6-21
Austin Novratil 3 0 DQ 3 3 1 4-14
Dillon Ruml 2 3 1 1 0 0 4-11
Charlie Venegas 2 2 3 0 0 3-10
Shawn McConnell 0 0 2 2 1 DQ 2-7
Broc Nicol 1 0 0 0 1 0-2
Youth 250 A Main Event
1-Sebastian Palmese, 2-Cameron Krezman, 3-Colton Hicks
Youth 250 B Main Event
1-Gregory Moore, 2-Landon Norton, 3-Aidan McNutt
Youth 150 A Main Event
1-Alex Martin, 2-Sterling Martin, 3-Slater Lightcap
Youth 150 B Main Event
1-Colton Nelson, 2-Sammy Waddill, 3-Keelan Venegas
Run What U Brung
Photos By Michael Kirby