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2014 Fast Fridays Speedway
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Fast Fridays Speedway
Gold Country Fairgrounds
Auburn, California

Season Opener
Fast Friday's Motorcycle Speedway, Gold Country Fairgrounds
By Michael Kirby (Story & Photos)

YouTube Video by Anthony Bernardi

Billy Janniro and Auburn's Bart Bast came out swinging as the 2014 Fast Fridays Motorcycle Speedway season opened Friday night at the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn. A good crowd turned out for an overdue fix of exciting speedway racing action after the long off season. Janniro, Bast and the other Fast Fridays riders did not disappoint as the reigning USA National Speedway Champion Janniro won four of the six races he entered, and Bast, last year's Division I Fast Fridays track champion won five of his six races. Of the two races Janniro lost it was Bast who he followed to the finish line. Bast was able to figure a way around Janniro in their scratch semi-final and in the handicap main event.

In the Division I scratch main event Janniro would not be denied and it was the only race Bast lost during the evening. Janniro riding out of the inside lane was able to keep Bast, who started in lane two, at bay to pick up the win. Janniro led all the way with Bast tightly on his rear wheel the whole race as the standing crowd cheered for the two man race. Bast finished second, followed by Auburn's Tommy Hedden and Ryan Bast who finished fourth. "The track was great tonight, Bart's an awesome competitor, I told him we have to switch off all season long doing this," Janniro said.

The handicap main was a different story. Bart Bast, lined up on the 40 yard line, and Janniro started back on the 50 yard line for the final race in the handicap program. Both men worked their way through the lower yardage rider traffic to again challenge each other for the win in front of the other riders. Bast held steady on the inside as Janniro tried to pass on the outside, but Bast outlasted Janniro in the six lap race to take the checkered flag as Janniro closing in at the finish line. "I can't complain, five firsts and a second, it's always nice to get the first night out of the way," Bast said. "It's good to make sure we didn't lose something over the winter time, you know we're not getting any younger."

Division II saw Louie Mersaroli, come out on top as he picked up his first win of the season. Mersaroli finished second in his heat race to transfer to the main and come away with the win. In just a few years Mersaroli and his twin brother David Mersaroli have worked up from the junior divisions to be major competitors in Division II. Chris Popanz, 2013 Division II track champion, finished second and Colfax's Nick Dion was third. Auburn's William McCloskey pulled off a season opening win in Division III followed by Eddie Marsalla in second and Lars Kotrlik finished third.

Youth veteran Luke Becker 15, topped Colton Hicks who finished second in the Youth 250 main event followed by Chase Guerrero who finished third. Sterling Martin finished first in the Youth 150 A division main event and Anthony Dion picked up his first 2014 win in the Youth 150 B division. Thomas Reich picked up the win in the ever popular Run What U Brung main event.

Fast Fridays Results for 5-9-14

Division I Scratch Main Event
1-Billy Janniro, 2-Bart Bast, 3-Tommy Hedden, 4-Ryan Bast

Division I Handicap Main Event
1-Bart Bast, 2-Billy Janniro, 3-PJ Byrne

Division II Main Event
1-Louie Mersaroli, 2-Chris Popanz, 3-Nick Dion

Division III Main Event
1-William McCloskey, 2-Eddie Marsalla, 3-Lars Kotrlik

Youth A 250cc Main Event
1-Luke Becker, 2-Colton Hicks, 3-Chase Guerrero

Youth A 125cc Main Event
1-Sterling Martin, 2-Sebastian Palmese, 3-Alex Martin

Youth B 150cc
1-Anthony Dion, 2-Aidan McNutt?, 3-Landon Collins

Run What U Brung
1-Thomas Reich

Photos By Michael Kirby

2014 Fast Fridays Speedway Bart Bast (left) and Billy Janniro (right) watch for the start tapes to go up as the Division I main event begins during the 2014 season opener of Fast Friday's Motorcycle Speedway at Auburn's Gold Country Fairgrounds Friday night. Both Janniro and Bast had excellent nights, Janniro winning the scratch main event and Bast winning the handicap main event.
2014 Fast Fridays Speedway 2013 USA National Speedway Champion Billy Janniro leads Bryce Starks coming out of turn two Friday night. Janniro won the Division I main event.
2014 Fast Fridays Speedway Auburn's William McCloskey leads a restart in the Division III main event Friday night. McCloskey won the event for his first win of the season.
2014 Fast Fridays Speedway Sterling Martin picked up a win in the Youth 150 division.
2014 Fast Fridays Speedway Auburn's Bart Bast won five of his six races in Friday night's Fast Friday's Motorcycle Speedway action.
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