Fast Friday’s Motorcycle Speedway
Michael Kirby Story and Photos
It was a showdown at Fast Fridays Motorcycle Speedway Friday night in Auburn Ca. when an invasion of Southern California riders made the long journey north to challenge local riders on their home turf. For two of the So-Cal racers the trip was worth every mile. Dillon Ruml and Slater Lightcap both won main events and took home trophies. Of the four Division I Southern California riders Ruml, Lightcap, Broc Nicol and Mark Fillebrown only Nicol, who races here weekly this season, knows the track on the dirt oval at the Gold Country Fairgrounds well. It was the first time this season for the other riders.
In the scratch main event, of the four riders that qualified, three were from down south. Ruml won both his heat race and his semi-final to get a seat was in lane two. Lightcap, who also won his heat race and semi-final and drew lane three, Nicol, won his heat race and was second in his semi-final was in lane one. Billy Janniro was the only local rider to earn a spot also with a win in his heat race and a second-place finish in his semi-final and rounded out the field in lane four. Nursing a badly injured ankle from a mishap racing at Costa Mesa last weekend was given a ride to the start line unable to walk without pain. Ruml, with a great gate was out front from the start and the rest of the riders played catch up for the four laps unable to catch the former AMA Youth National Speedway champion. Nicol was second, Lightcap was third and Janniro dropped out of the running.
In the handicap program Lightcap, also from Southern California prevailed. Also, a former AMA Youth National Champion Lightcap was handicapped on the 20-yard line. The speedy and skillful Lightcap was perfect in the handicap program winning his heat race, semi-final and the handicap main event. Bart Bast riding off the 30-yard line was second and Louie Mersaroli was third. The main event was made interesting by a crash in turn one with Mersaroli and Ruml going down and Ruml hitting the wall. Ruml was penalized 10 yards and moved back to the 40-yard line for the restart by referee Steve Lucero.
In the Division II main event it was again Chase Kangas who stood alone on the winner’s podium. Kangas has won every race in Division II this season even being moved back moved back on the start line each week. Kangas began the season on the zero line and was moved back to the 10-yard line for the first race of this week. With another win in his heat race Lucero placed him on the 20-yard line and Kangas still pulled off an impressive win. He is now still undefeated in the DII program for the season. Aidan McNutt was second and John Peters was third.
John Gauthreaux made it to the winner’s podium in Division III. It’s been a long time coming but persistence paid off for Gauthreaux. He won both his heat race and the main event to take home the trophy. Catherine Moore was second and Mike Newham was third.
Young Darren Armbruster seems to have a lock on the Youth 250 division. Starting on the 50-yard line this week after being moved back 10 yards each week he wins has not slowed him down. Armbruster continues to dominate the division with this week’s win and has yet to lose a race so far this season. Jameson Hutchinson was second and Caden Cavirkas was third.
The Youth 150 division main event was one of the most exciting races of the evening. Brothers Wesley and Riley Rearick were locked in a fierce battle going the four laps of the main event side by side inches apart until Wesley Rearick inched ahead of his little brother for the win as the crowd cheered. Riley Rearick took second and Matthew Wright was third. Wesley starts on the 30-yard line; Riley is on the zero and Wright way back on the 50-yard line. Great racing by the Rearick brothers as they turned in one of the best races of the evening.
Team racing was back at Fast Friday’s with one of five rounds before the Team Challenge Final championship on August 19. The set-up pits pairs of riders against each other scoring points for finishing position after racing. Strategy and planning play a big part of the competition as the pairs of team riders work together to score the most points in each round. This week Team M-45 and Team Law Tigers ended up tied behind wins from Blake Borello for the Law Tigers and Daniel Faria for Team M-45. The score ended up after round one Law Tigers 6 and M-45 6.
Next week the Team Challenge continues with round two. On June 9 the popular Legends and Vintage Night come to Fast Fridays. The action continues all summer at Auburn’s tricky dirt oval.
Results for 5-26-23
Division I Scratch Main Event
1-Dillon Ruml, 2-Broc Nicol, 3-Slater Lightcap, 4-Billy Janniro
Division I Handicap Main Event
1-Slater Lightcap, 2-Bart Bast, 3-Louie Mersaroli
Division II Main Event
1-Chase Kangas, 2-Aidan McNutt, 3-John Peters
Division III Main Event
1-John Gauthreaux, 2-Catherine Moore, 3-Mike Newham
Youth 250 Main Event
1-Darren Armbruster, 2-Jameson Hutchinson, 3-Caden Cavrikas
Youth 150 Main Event
1-Wesley Rearick, 2-Riley Rearick, 3-Matthew Wright
Team Challenge Series (Round One)
Team M45-6 Team Law Tigers-6