Fast Fridays Speedway
Gold Country Fairgrounds
Sidecar Series Round 4
Fast Friday's Motorcycle Speedway,
Gold Country Fairgrounds
Bast and Hicks in Fast Fridays Finales
By Michael Kirby (Story & Photos)
AUBURN, CALIFORNIA, August 1, 2014
Friday night Auburn's Bob Hicks finally broke into the winner circle this season at the Fast Fridays Motorcycle Speedway in Gold Country Fairgrounds. Hicks, a 25 year veteran of speedway racing, had a exceptional night winning the Division I handicap main event and finishing third in the Division I scratch main event. The win was Hicks first main event win of the season though he's a consistent top three main event finisher and should never be counted out in any race. Hicks had a third place finish in his handicap heat race and a second place finish in his handicap semi to transfer to the main. Riding off the 40-yard line Hicks was able to come through lower yardage handicap traffic, grab the inside line and keep ahead of Bart Bast and speedway master Billy Janniro until he took the checkered flag. "I got off to a slow start, but I put together a new bike two weeks ago and got second in both main, I feel more comfortable on it and just hope to finish out the season strong," said Hicks. Bast followed him across the finish line second and Janniro finished third.
In the Division I scratch main event it was Bart Bast who was able to keep Billy Janniro at bay, which he did by grabbing the inside line of the slick track and using everything he had to out maneuver Janniro in the final race of the night. For Bast, considered by many to be one of the most consistent riders at Fast Fridays, it was his second scratch main event win of the season. Six times this season Bast has finished second in the scratch main event, four of those were following Janniro across the finish line. This week is was Janniro who was second and following up his outstanding race in the handicap main Bob Hicks finished third. Charlie Venegas was fourth. It should be noted and big time congratulations go out to Venegas. A veteran of over 27 years of racing, Venegas notched his 300th career Division I scratch main event win in Southern California Wednesday night, at the Industry Racing speedway track.
In what seemed like a night of firsts Shawn Eldredge also picked up his first Division II main event win of the season. Eldredge, after a long dry spell put it together to pull off the victory. Eldredge, who also race in the Division I handicap program, was second in his heat race to transfer to the main event and managed to keep ahead of speedster David Mersaroli for the win. Mersaroli was second and Nick Dion coming off a first place finish last week was third. "Yeah, this is my first main event win of the season. I think the last time I won a main event was eight, nine or ten years ago, a long time," Eldredge said with a laugh. "Some nights everything works, the bike works the track works and you win," he said.
Back from a serious injury and on his first night of racing Eddie Marsalla won the Division III main event. Harlan Bast was second and John Peters was third. Crowd favorite Lars Kotrlik won the popular Run What U Brung main event on his Harley-Davidson.
In the Youth 250cc division it was a Southern California invasion, as Gage Geist, Kurtis Hamill, Dillon Ruml all made the trip north to Fast Fridays. It was Geist who pulled off the win in the main, also his first at Fast Fridays this season. Luke Becker was second and Ruml was third. Kyle Cunningham was first in the Youth A 150cc division, Sterling Martin was second and Dylan Wagner was third. A crowd favorite in the Youth B 150cc Charlie Trana grabbed his second main event win. Landon Collins was second and Gregory Moore was third.
Always popular at Fast Fridays is the Extreme Sidecars, a wild troupe of speedway daredevils who made their fourth of five appearances in Auburn Friday night. On 1000cc three wheeled superbikes with two riders and no brakes five teams of racers including one woman's team thrilled the Fast Friday's crowd. The team of Joe Jones and Jonny Glover won the sidecar main event. Jones and Glover celebrated their win with exciting, dirt throwing donuts on the track as the crowd roared approval.
Fast Fridays Results for 8-1-14
Division I Scratch Main Event
1-Bart Bast, 2-Billy Janniro, 3-Bob Hicks, 4-Charlie Venegas
Division I Handicap Main Event
1-Bob Hicks, 2-Bart Bast 3-Billy Janniro
Division II Main Event
1-Shawn Eldredge, 2-David Mersaroli, 3-Nick Dion
Division III Main Event
1-Eddie Marsalla, 2-Harlan Bast, 3-John Peters
Youth A 250cc Main Event
1-Gage Geist, 2-Luke Becker 3-Dillon Ruml
Youth A 150cc Main Event
1-Kyle Cunningham, 2-Sterling Martin, 3-Dylan Wagner
Youth B 150cc Main Event
1-Charlie Trana, 2-Landon Collins, 3-Greg Moore
Sidecar Main Event
Joe Jones/Johnny Glover
Run What U Brung
Photos By Michael Kirby
||Bob Hicks (center) leads David Mersaroli (left) and Bart Bast (right) in a handicap heat race. Hicks went on to win the handicap main event, his first of the season.
||Bart Bast won the Division I scratch main event, his second of the season. Bast is also second in season track points after last week racing action.
||Shawn Eldredge picked up his first Division II main event of the year.
||Youth B 150cc Division rider Charlie Trana won the main event.
||The sidecar team of Joe Jones and Jonny Glover took the Extreme Sidecar main event. A Fast Friday's crowd favorite the sidecars put on an exciting program.
||Bart Bast (right) awaits the starting tapes to go up as the Division I scratch main event gets under way. Bob Hicks is in lane four (far left) and Billy Janniro was in lane two (center) Charlie Venegas was penalized 10 yards for an early start.. Bast went on to win the main event.