It was a night of championships at Auburn's Fast Fridays Motorcycle Speedway Friday night at the Gold Country Fairgrounds. In an aggressive program that included over 50 scratch races five season championships were won on the Fast Friday's dirt oval.
The Fast Fridays Championship riders were chosen by the top season point's winners in each division. Division I brought out their top 16, Division II and III had their top eight, and the 250cc and 150cc AMA Youth National Speedway Championships included their top 12 riders racing for the winners circle. In Division I each race winner received 3 points, second place two points, third place one point and fourth place zero. The winner was determined by the rider with the most points at the end of the program. Division II and III had one heat race each then a main to determine the champion. The youth championships were scored by heat race points with the four riders with the most points after 12 rounds going into a final winner take all race.
In the Division I Fast Fridays track championships, it was Billy Janniro that came out on top. But the win was not easy. After five rounds of scratch racing and being beaten by Bart Bast in the last one, Janniro and Bast tied with 14 points one shy of perfect. Bast was beaten only once by Charlie Venegas in an earlier race. The tie forced an exciting two-man run-off to determine the championship. Bast had managed a stunning win over Janniro in the last heat race, but Janniro held him off in the run-off to win the championship with 17 points. Bast finished second with 16 points. "Bart has always been strong, but lately he's put something together, he's putting it down," Janniro said. "Bart a great competitor, he made me work for it tonight." A tie for third forced a run-off between Bryan Yarrow and Venegas. Yarrow took third after chasing Venegas all race to just nip him at the finish line in a last second effort leaving Venegas fourth place in the championship.
The 2013 AMA 250cc Youth National Speedway Championship was won by 14 year-old Dillon Ruml of Orange Ca. Ruml was fresh off winning the 2013 California State Junior 250cc championship last week in Southern California. He entered the final race for the championship with 10 of 12 possible points. Also working their way into the final was Luke Becker with a perfect score of 12 points, last year's junior national champ Broc Nicol with 10 points and Kurtis Hamill with seven points.
It was Becker and Ruml tight together in the first turn bumping just a little with Becker holding the inside line and forcing Ruml outside. Hamil and Nicol followed the two front runners waiting for a break. Riding hard Becker took a fall on lap three and Hamill also went down leaving Ruml out in front with Nicol giving chase. Ruml took the checkered flag, Nicol was second, and Hamil picked up his bike and made the finish line before Becker for third. "I knew I could pull it off, but coming out of lane four like that I kind of had a rough start at the beginning," Ruml said. "It was fun."
In the AMA 150cc Youth National Speedway Championship it was Sebastian Palmese scoring a perfect night of racing. Palmese won all his heat races and came into the national final holding 12 points facing Sterling Martin who also was perfect for the night. Also working into the final was Dylan Wagner with 10, and Auburn's Kyle Cunningham with 8 points. It was anyone's race but it was the 10 year-old Palmese who rode with confidence all night after winning the 150cc California State Championship last week who picked up the championship. Finishing a great year, the eight-year old Martin finished second, Wagner was third, and Cunningham fourth.
Chris Popanz wrapped up a good year of speedway racing winning the Division II track championship. Popanz struggled last year with injuries, but put together a solid 2013 season capped with Friday night's prize. Louie Mersaroli was second, David Mersaroli third and Paul Sanburn was fourth. Lawrence McNutt won the Division III track championship followed by Harlan Bast in second, Glenn Scott third and John Peters fourth.
Fast Fridays Championship Results for 9-6-13
Division I Fast Fridays Track Championship
250cc Youth National Speedway Championship
150cc Youth National Speedway Championship
Photos By Michael Kirby
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