June 30, 2023
Fast Friday’s Motorcycle Speedway
Michael Kirby Story and Photos
Auburn California, known as the Endurance Capital of the World for the world class endurance events staged in canyons and roads just outside their doorstep. The Auburn State Recreation Area offers trails for running, biking and rafting on the American Rivers. The historic races like the 100-mile Western States Endurance Run and the 100-mile Tevis horse ride have put us on the world map as a place for athletes to test their strengths.
Not to be left out Fast Friday’s Motorcycle Speedway each season stages their endurance event for one night. This year’s grand finale handicap race was sponsored by Casey Liston of Hot Shots Detailing, and 25-Lap Handicap main event has become an endurance test for speedway riders each year and for the bikes they ride. Typically, a handicap race is six laps long and these specialized motorcycles are not designed to operate for much longer. This race is not only a test for the riders but also their machines fuel being a big concern.
Louie Mersaroli 27 came through again as Fast Friday’s iron man winning the 2023 season 25-lap main event Friday night. The win was Mersaroli’s second iron man win in a row having won last season’s endurance feat. Mersaroli has won three of the last four 25 lap endurance races finishing second three years ago running out of fuel on the last lap and pushing his bike across the finish line.
This year all the Division I riders in the handicap program qualified for the race. All handicap starting positions are doubled so some riders started halfway across the track. Mersaroli started on the 80-yard line, the only other rider further back was Broc Nicol who started on the 100-yard line. Doesn’t really make much difference though because there is time in a 25-lap race to make up the distance.
Chase Kangas and Greg Moore, low yardage guys, led for quite a few laps with Kangas out front. But Mersaroli, no stranger to this competition worked his way through the crowd to the lead by the 10th or so lap and took control. Followed closely by Timmy Dion in second and Blake Borello in third. Not far behind him and closing in was Broc Nicol watching the action open up as riders rolled off the track unable to finish for mechanical reasons. Mersaroli keeping his cool and using drawing on his experience just settled in and calmly increased his lead making no errors. Borello passed Dion to second place and Nicol passed into third place and that’s the way it ended. Mersaroli picked up his second 25 lap win in a row, Borello was second and Nicol was third. Drenched in sweat Mersaroli stood on the track as the crowd cheered his incredible feat.
In the scratch program Billy Janniro was the fastest man of the night again for the second week in a row winning the scratch main event. The win was his third of the season and he seems to be hitting his stride this season at Fast Friday’s. Janniro was perfect for the night with wins in his heat and semi-final races to make the main. Out of lane one Janniro and Broc Nicol were out front when Blake Borello took a nasty tumble near the end of the last first lap. Referee Steve Lucero called for a restart and the boys lined up again minus Borello who was unable to secure another bike for the restart. Janniro and Nicol went at it but it was really Janniro’s race as he led Nicol to the finish line. Nicol was second and Louie Mersaroli was third.
Sammy Tetrault, in his first race of the season outside of a couple of sidecar rides picked up the win in the support class main event. Tetrault won his heat race and then the main event. Finishing second was SOS teammate Lawrence McNutt and John Peters was third.
The sibling rivalry continues with the Rearick Brothers in the Youth 150 division. Each week the brothers come out to race and one or the other wins the main event. This week older brother Wesley Rearick picked up the win for the second week in a row. Riley Rearick did not go down easily though with a last-ditch effort nearly catching his brother at the finish line for second place. Leeann Emerson was third. With the Youth 250 division impacted by injuries Jameson Hutchinson ran unopposed for the win in the main event.
In the Fast Friday’s season point’s race as of last week Louie Mersaroli holds a slim lead over Billy Janniro in Division I. Mersaroli has tallied 921 points and Janniro holds 912 points. Blake Borello has 861 points. In Division II John Peters leads with 384 points, Aidan McNutt has 240 points and Davey Shay has 221 points. Division III is led by Catherine Moore with 400 points, Cody Aker with 330 points and John Gauthreaux has 303 points.
Next week the Fast Friday’s speedway racing action continues with Round 4 of the Team Challenge Series as Team M-45 will try to catch Team Law Tigers in their ongoing season long grudge match. “Fast Friday’s Motorcycle Speedway the place to be on Friday Nights.”
Results for 6-30-23
Division I Scratch Main Event1-Billy Janniro, 2-Broc Nicol, 3-Louie Mersaroli, 4-Blake Borello
Division I 25 Lap Handicap Main Event
1-Louie Mersaroli, 2-Blake Borello, 3-Broc Nicol
Support Class Main Event
1-Sammy Tetrault, 2-Lawrence McNutt, 3-John Peters
Youth 250 Main Event
Youth 150 Main Event
1-Wesley Rearick, 2-Riley Rearick, 3-Leeann Emerson