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Kane gets the call to Sweden

After dominating Fast Fridays’ youth division, Meadow Vista rider will compete on international stage
By: Todd Mordhorst Journal Sports Editor
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Tanner Kane never figured speeding around the track at Fast Fridays each week would lead to the opportunity to jet halfway around the world and test his skills on an international stage. The 15-year-old from Meadow Vista will take his six years of experience to Sweden next month to join Greg Hancock’s team and compete for the FIM’s Speedway Youth Gold Trophy. “I had just gotten home from school and my dad told me and it was really surprising,” said Kane, who will be a sophomore at Colfax High in the fall. “It’s definitely going to be different. The speedway there is a lot bigger than it is here. It’s going to be a challenge, but I just want to have fun, have a good experience.” Hancock was looking for a rider to fill out his team for the event and consulted Fast Fridays’ owner Dave Joiner. He tabbed Kane, who has been one of the top youth riders in Auburn for several years. Tanner’s father Tom said the chance to join Hancock, who is currently the top-ranked rider in the British Grand Prix Series, and have the experience in Europe was too good to pass up. “Greg’s providing the bikes and he’s No. 1 or 2 in the world right now,” Tom said. “It’s expensive, but an opportunity like that is so cool.” Kane was torn between commitments this summer. He plays running back for the Falcons’ junior varsity football team and will miss a team camp while he’s in Sweden. “That is hard, but this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Tanner said. Kane has been going to Fast Fridays since he was a toddler. His father got into the sport after crossing over from his racing career in flat track, cross country and motocross. Tanner began racing at age 9 on a 125 cc bike and now rides a 250 cc. Along with football, Tanner plays baseball and is on the Colfax snowboarding team. But when Fast Fridays is in season, his passion is the dirt oval. “I just like being out there riding and being with good people,” Tanner said. “We just have fun.” Kane already has three wins this season in the Youth Division I class at Fast Fridays. He said one veteran rider in particular has made an impression on him over the years. “I really look up to Bart Bast,” he said. “I try to ride like him.” Tanner has sponsorships from Lippert Construction, his grandfather Don Lippert, Gary Davis, Project4 and Matt Hilgenberg of Speed and Sport. When he squares off against top riders from the Czech Republic, Poland, Australia and England, Kane will get a taste of what a future in the sport might look like. Several riders from Auburn’s track have gone overseas to pursue professional speedway careers, including current national champion Billy Janniro. “I’ve put some thought into it, but I’m not sure,” Kane said of a future in pro racing. “If I wanted to do it, I’d do my best and train really hard. Right now I’m just enjoying riding.”