Yarrow and Nicol are the champions at Fast FridaysBy: Michael Kirby, Fast Fridays correspondent
For speedway fans, it doesn’t get much better than Friday night at Fast Fridays Motorcycle Speedway at Auburn’s Gold Country Fairgrounds. With four championships up for grabs, forty-plus scratch races and the Extreme Sidecars, the racing action was non-stop, fast and exciting.
On the line for the racers was the 2012 Fast Fridays Track Championships in Division I, II and III. Sixteen of the top Division I riders and the top eight Division II and Division III riders were after the championship in their divisions.
The Junior National Championship also brought together 15 of the best junior riders after the 2012 AMA Youth National Speedway Championship.
Bryan Yarrow came out on top in the Division I track championship after breaking a three-way points tie in a run-off. Yarrow, Charlie Venegas and Auburn’s Bart Bast were locked in a tie after 20 races with 13 points each.
Yarrow, racing out of the outside gate, got a great start and was able to beat Bast and Venegas to the inside in turn one and skillful rode the four laps flawlessly to win the track championship.
Bast finished second and Venegas was third. Auburn’s Bob Hicks was fourth in points and 2011 AMA National Champion Billy Janniro was fifth.
The evening was the final night of racing before the 2012 National Speedway Championship on Sept. 28 at Fast Fridays, when the top 16 riders will again face off in a similar format for the big prize.
With the talent in Division I, all it takes is a small mistake or bike failure, losing a single heat race, to fall out of contention for a championship title.
Yarrow, Bast and Venegas were all just two points off perfect nights with their 13 points, finishing with three first-place and two second-place finishes in the five rounds of racing.
Auburn’s Jamison Dilkey won the Division II track championship. Dilkey has rode well all season starting out in Division III and advancing to Division II in June. He won his heat race to advance to the main event.
He faced Colton Duncan, Derik Denzin and Auburn’s Mike Achilles, who also won his heat race to advance to the main.
It was Kevin Smith who took home the Division III track championship trophy. Smith was able to outlast Shane Szuh, who finished second, Glenn Scott who finished third and Nick Dion who was fourth. This is only the second year Smith has been involved in speedway racing.
Southern California rider Broc Nicol won the 2012 Youth National Speedway Championship. The 14-year-old Nicol made the trip up north worthwhile as he picked up the championship trophy with a perfect evening of five first-place finishes tallying 15 points.
Brothers Max and Dillon Ruml, also from Southern California, chased Nicol closely throughout out the evening. The only time Max Ruml lost was when he met Nicol in heat race seven. Nicol has been racing since 2010 and is just coming off a second place finish in the California State Championship Youth 250cc division last week.
Max Ruml was second with 14 points and Dillon Ruml was third with 13 points. Look to see many of these up and coming juniors in the adult divisions soon, there are some really talented young speedway riders moving up through the youth programs.
The Extreme Sidecars made their fifth and final appearance at Fast Fridays with an exciting program. The team of Joe Jones and Jonny Glover won the sidecar main event. Jones even took Fast Fridays announcer Mike Rooney on the back of his 1000cc three-wheeled bike for a heat race.
It was an exciting night of racing and many Gold Country Fairgoers came over for a look, many for the first time, to see speedway racing at its best.
Up next on Sept. 27 is the 2012 National Speedway Championship at Fast Fridays and on Oct. 12 the USA will take on world riders in the season finale.
Results from Fast Fridays
Fast Friday’s Track Championships
1-Bryan Yarrow 13+3, 2-Bart Bast 13+2, 3-Charlie Venegas 13+1, 4-Bob Hicks 12, 5-Billy Janniro 12, 6-Tommy Hedden 11, 7-Mike Faria 8, 8-Greg Hooten 7, 9-Bobby Hedden 7, 10-Alex Marcucci 6, 11-JJ Martynse 5, 12-Danny Faria 4, 13-Ryan Bast 4, 14-Tyler Warren 2, 15- Devin Defreece 2, 16-Derik Denzin 1.
1-Jamison Dilkey, 2-Colton Duncan, 3-Michael Achilles, 4-Derik Denzin
1-Kevin Smith, 2-Shane Szuh, 3-Glenn Scott, 4-Nick Dion
2012 Youth National Speedway Championship
1-Broc Nicol 15, 2-Max Ruml 14, Dillon Rump 13, 4-Louie Mersaroli 11, 5-David Mersaroli 11, 6-Colton Hicks 9, 7-Luke Becker 8, 8-Sterling Martin 8, 9-Jeremy Faria 6, 10-Jeremiah Barrow 6, 11-Daniel Casey 6, 12-Amador Orosio 5, 13-Dylan Wagner 4, 14-Alex Martin 2, 15-Logan Hedden 2.