Fast Friday’s Motorcycle Speedway
Gold Country Fairgrounds
World wins USA vs. World
By Michael Kirby (Story & Photos)
AUBURN, CALIFORNIA, October 12, 2019
Fast Friday’s Motorcycle Speedway wrapped up another fantastic season with their annual USA vs. The World international finale meeting Saturday night in Auburn at the Gold Country Fairgrounds. The World team again came out on top for the second time in a row winning the 19th international event 63-48 held at Fast Friday’s. Coming into Saturday’s contest the USA team was looking to avenge their last year’s 57-52 loss to The World, but it was not to be and the World again posted a win over the USA 63-48. This brings the overall total score to 12 wins for the USA and seven wins for the World.
The event is a team racing format, with two riders from each team scratch racing for 18 heat races scoring three points for a win, two points for second place, one point for third place and zero for fourth. The team scoring the most points at the end of the 18 heats is the winner.
Scheduling challenges with league championship racing dates in Europe allowed only three international riders to make the trip to America this year. Tero Aarnio (Finland), Robyn Aspegren (Sweden) and Ricky Kling (Sweden) all professional riders from Europe made the journey to Auburn for the meeting. Rounding out the World team from the United States was Max Ruml, Gino Manzaras and Carlos Venegas.
Ten-time AMA National Speedway Champion Billy Janniro headed the USA team along with Bart Bast, Anthony Dion, Bryan Yarrow, Tommy Hedden and Russell Green. All excellent, experienced speedway riders and making a very strong team.
The USA team jumped out ahead on the first race with Janniro scoring a win and the score was 4-2. Several rounds of heats tied at 3-3 left the score 13-11 after four rounds. In heat five the World’s Kling and Venegas combined for four points leaving the scored now knotted up at 15-15. In heat six Aarnio and Ruml combined for five points and tide had begun to turn leaving the score now at 20-16, World leading. After the World scored five points in heats eight, nine and ten and four points in heat 11 leaving the score at 42-24 and it was looking dim for the USA.
Dion for the USA team went down hard coming out of turn two and was sidelined for the evening with an injury. Rules allow for a substitute when a rider is injured and several were made for the USA in Dion’s place. Down more than six points the USA was allowed a one-time joker substitute, allowing one rider to sub and double his finishing points. In heat 12 Janniro stepped up and made the most of the joker move winning heat 12 and picking up six points and along with teammate Green’s one point, the USA scored 7 points bringing the score to World 44, USA 31. The closest the score would ever get again would be 11 points with the World leading in heat 16 and 17. Aspegren and Manzaras poured it on in the last heat scoring 5 points giving the World the 63-48 win.
High scorers for the evening were Gino Manzaras leading the World team scoring 14 points followed closely by Ruml who scored 13 points. European riders Aarnio and Aspegren each scored 9 points for the World. Janniro led the USA team with 20 points including the six joker points, Bast scored 12 and closely behind him Green added 11 for the USA.
In the youth divisions Timmy Dion won the Youth 250 main event and Levi Leutz won the Youth 150 main event.
There was some very good racing and along with the good natured international ribbing and a year’s worth of bragging rights for the World the night was very successful and fun for all, fans and riders, and a great way to finish the 2019 Fast Friday’s season.
2019 USA vs. The World Results
The World 63 USA 48
Series Total USA 12 wins/The World 7 wins
The World 63
Gino Manzaras (USA) 3 3 2 3 1 2-14
Max Ruml (USA) 2 3 3 3 Exc 2-13
Carlos Venegas (USA) 3 3 2 2 2 0-12
Tero Aarnio (Finland) 0 2 2 2 2 1-9
Robyn Aspegren (Sweden) 0 0 3 1 2 3-9
Ricky Kling (Sweden) 0 1 1 0 3 1-6
Billy Janniro 3 2 3 (3+3) 3 3-20
Bart Bast 2 2 1 1 2 1 3 -12
Russell Green 2 1 1 1 3 2+1-11
Tommy Hedden 1 0 0 0+1 0-2
Anthony Dion 1 1-2
Bryan Yarrow 1 0 0 0 0 0-1
Youth 250 Main Event
1-Timmy Dion, 2-Landon Norton, 3-Dylan Wagner
Youth 150 Main Event
1-Levi Leutz, 2-Landon Brady, 3-Darren Armbruster