Fast Fridays - Janniro and Starks ride to victory in main eventBy: Michael Kirby, Fast Fridays Correspondent
Friday night in Auburn was a little warm for most folks, but for speedway fans the hot weather at the Gold Country Fairgrounds was perfect for a night of speedway racing action at Fast Fridays.
The highlight of the night was the last qualifying round for the final spot in the Challenge Elimination Series. Four other riders have already secured a spot in the championship race on August 31 at Fast Fridays.
Vying for the last spot was Bryan Yarrow, Alex Marcucci, Bryce Starks, Daniel Faria and Devon DeFreece, who lined up for the one-lap scratch races.
The last-place finisher in each heat was retired. Faria was the first to go, DeFreece went down next, and Marcucci held on but was eliminated in the third heat.
Left to fight it out for the final spot were Yarrow and Starks in the two-lap finale. Starks struggled with the start, and Yarrow took advantage of his miscue. Starks gave chase but was unable to catch him and Yarrow took the checkered flag and grabbed the last remaining spot in the Challenge Elimination Championship. Yarrow joins Tommy Hedden, Bob Hicks, Greg Hooten and Billy Janniro in the championship Aug. 31.
Auburn’s Bryce Starks was on fire after a three-week absence from Fast Fridays. In the handicap program he was unstoppable, winning all his heat races before holding off Billy Janniro in a thrilling handicap main event to win his third handicap main event of the season. Janniro finished second, and Bart Bast was third.
Janniro again worked his way into the scratch main event this week with a first and second-place finish in his heat races. He drew the No. 3 gate for the start and lined up next to Bryan Yarrow in gate two and Tommy Hedden who drew the inside lane one. Bart Bast was on the outside in lane four. As the tapes went up, Bast rocketed from the outside gate with a great start to the inside line in turn one.
Losing traction around turn two, Janniro took advantage of Bast’s predicament and moved into the lead. Hedden slipped into second place and gave chase inches from Janniro in the turns, with Bast following closely in third. Bast was able to maneuver past Hedden a lap later but could not catch Janniro who won the event.
Janniro now has eight scratch main event wins for the season. Bast sits on top of the Fast Fridays’ season points list as of last week with 1650; Hedden is second with 1440 followed by Billy Janniro with 1365.
In the “you don’t see that every day” category at Fast Fridays, Division I had a couple of father-son match-ups during the program. Harlan Bast riding up from Division II was matched up against his son Bart in a scratch heat race, and Mike Faria up from Southern California also was pitted against his son Daniel Faria in a handicap heat race and in the handicap main event.
With many family members racing motorcycles together at Fast Fridays, the tradition lives on and the passion for speedway racing is shared among many family members.
In the second division main event Colton Duncan again took top honors for the third week in a row. Duncan held on to the win over Paul Sanburn who was second, and Derik Denzin was third. Denzin leads the season points race in Division II as of last week with 469 followed by Chris Casey with 426 and Sanburn is in third with 387.
The Division III main event was won by Kurt Kornchuk followed by Kevin Smith and Shane Szuh was third. Szuh leads the Division III points race with 587, Kyle Marsalla has 434 and Eddie Marsalla has totaled 403. For three weeks in a row Auburn’s David Mersaroli has won the Youth A Main event. Luke Becker was second and visiting Southern California rider Broc Nicol was third. Colton Hicks riding with some deep starting yardage and seemingly unstoppable again captured the Youth B Main event. Sterling Martin was second and Jeremiah Barrow was third.
Results from Fast Fridays for Aug. 10
Division 1 Scratch Main Event
1-Billy Janniro, 2-Bart Bast, 3-Tommy Hedden, 4-Bryan Yarrow
Division I Handicap Main Event
1-Bryce Starks, 2-Billy Janniro, 3-Bart Bast
Division II Main Event
1-Colton Duncan, 2-Paul Sanburn, 3-Derik Denzin
Division III Main Event
1-Kurt Kornchuk, 2-Kevin Smith, 3-Shane Szuh
Youth A Main Event
1-David Mersaroli, 2-Luke Becker, 3-Broc Nicol
Youth B Main Event
1-Colton Hicks, 2-Sterling Martin, 3-Jeremiah Barrow
Run What U Brung