Janniro’s AMA title caps banner year

Fast Fridays
By: Michael Kir Journal Speedway Correspondent
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The 2010 AMA/USA Speedway National Championship was Billy “The Kid” Janniro’s to lose. Going into the final round of the national championship series Friday night at Fast Friday, the savvy rider was the man to beat, as he has been all season long. Janniro had another perfect night with 15 points in the qualifying round, winning all his heat races, and only a serious miss-step could have derailed his efforts to earn another title. Seeded in the A main event as the night’s top points man, Janniro claimed his second USA/AMA National Speedway Championship, repeating his performance in 2008. On a championship roll this year, Janniro would not be denied this major racing accomplishment. He was crowned the SRA National Champion last month in Costa Mesa and the California State Champion at the City of Industry Speedway. Janniro has three times been runner up for the AMA title, last year losing to former world champion and eight-time U.S. national champion Greg Hancock. Janniro entered the night with 20 series points from round one, a point ahead of Charlie Venegas who scored 19 points on July 23 in Auburn. Close behind Venegas were local favorite riders Bart Bast and Tommy Hedden, The top 14 series point riders from round one were seeded in the qualifying round of 20 heat races with two additional riders who earned a place through a four heat elimination round. When the dust settled and the championship main final events began, it was Janniro who again proved he was the best speedway rider in America. In the A Final was Janniro, Venegas, Bast, and Bryan Yarrow. Janniro chose lane one, Venegas grabbed lane two, Yarrow took three and Bast was on the outside. From the second the tapes went up nothing was going to stop Janniro, and with lighting quick reflexes and perfect timing he got the best gate, took the lead inside on turn one, and never let off. Outside of an occasional glance back to check where everyone was, Janniro cruised to a four lap national championship victory. “This time I was real focused and it worked, and I came out on top,” said a very happy Janniro after the race. “This is my second time being national champion. It feels good — the first one wasn’t a fluke.” Finishing in the order they hit turn one, Venegas finished second, Yarrow third and Bast fourth. Hedden was first in the B Final and the C Final was won by Eddie Castro. Brad Pappalardo won the D Final.