July 28, 2023
Fast Friday’s Motorcycle Speedway
Michael Kirby Story and Photos
More than halfway through the 2023 Fast Friday’s Motorcycle Speedway season the racing on Auburn’s tricky dirt oval just keeps the action on coming. Though it approached 100 degrees during the day at race time the evening is perfect to settle back and enjoy an excellent racing program at the Gold Country Fairgrounds.
Friday night Louie Mersaroli came alive winning the Division I scratch main event. Nick-named “Iron Man” after winning the grueling 25 lap main event back on June 30 was back with the win. Mersaroli won his scratch heat race, finished second place in his semi-final to Billy Janniro to get to the main event.
Drawing the inside lane for the start, Mersaroli got a great gate as the tapes went up and was in the lead in turn one and built on that lead as the four lap race progressed. Dogged by Broc Nicol following a few bike lengths back, Mersaroli was not troubled and expanded his lead to the finish line with a convincing win. Nicol was second, Janniro was third and Blake Borello was fourth. The win marks the second scratch main event this season win for Mersaroli.
Alex Martin got his first main event win this season in the Division I handicap main event. Racing at Fast Friday’s since he came up through the youth ranks, the 18-year-old and past Youth 250cc AMA National Champion in 2021, Martin began racing in 2010 and professionally in 2021. Second place in his handicap heat race and then first in his semi-final, Martin is handicapped on thirty yard line. Martin survived several crashes in the first lap of the main event involving himself, Billy Janniro and Bart Bast. The mishaps kept Bast and Janniro out of the restart. With a little more room to move around after the restart Martin prevailed and picked up the win. Chase Kangas leading most of the race was second and Broc Nicol was third.
John Peters picked up another win in the Division II main event. Peters, who has been getting a lot of laps lately in Division II, the Support Class and now some Division I rides, had a perfect night with a first place win in his heat race and then moved on to the main event with a win. Cody Aker came in second in the main event followed by Ray Holt Jr. in third. Look for Peters to continue his upward climb with more Division I rides.
With one previous Division III main event win this season and numerous second place main event finishes, speedway trooper Catherine Moore picked up another main event win Friday night. The Fast Friday fan favorite and younger sister of Greg Moore who also races at Fast Friday’s, began speedway racing in 2020. Moore who is handicapped on the 10-yard line had a perfect evening winning her heat race then transferred to the main event for the win there also as the crowd gave her a rousing cheer as she crossed the finish line. Antonio Coffman was second and Hunter Castillo was third.
Visiting Levi Leutz from Southern California put on a great show off the 60-yard line in the Youth 250 division racing against Jameson Hutchinson in a two rider Youth 150 division. Leutz had Hutchinson’s number for the first two heats but ran into trouble in the main event when Hutchinson figured a way to stop Leutz. With Hutchinson on the zero line, the yardage distance was just too much for Leutz to overcome and Hutchinson rode perfectly to keep ahead of Leutz for the win. Great show for both of these young riders.
In the Youth 150 division young Riley Rearick pulled off another main event win. The win is his third main event in a row. Usually, Riley and his brother Wesley Rearick go at it head-to-head, but this night Riley seemed to have the advantage. Riley rides on the 40-yard line and Brother Wesley is handicapped on the 50-yard line. After a crash between Leeann Emerson and Rider Domenici in the main event brought on a line restart with Riley and Wesley in the one-two lead positions.
With just two laps left Riley held on for the win, Matthew Wright was able to work into second place followed by Wesley Rearick in third. Now the Rearick brothers will both be on the 50-yard line next week and with Wright on the 60-yard line will surely make it interesting racing in the Youth 150 division.
Round five of the Team Challenge brought M-45 a little closer to Team Law Tigers and set up a great final championship. The score going into round five was Law Tigers-29 Team M-45-19. Team M-45 had strong performances by Alex Martin and Blake Borello in heat two with combined score of five points and three more points from teammates Bart Bast and Broc Nicol in heat one adding eight points to their score. Team Law Tigers added four points to their tally with Billy Janniro adding three with a win and Greg Moore adding one more. That brought the ending score after five rounds with the Law Tigers still leading 33-27 over Team M-45 but sets up an exciting championship round on August 19.
Next Friday August 4 Fast Friday’s is where you want to be as the Extreme Sidecars roll into to town with their special brand of high-octane speedway racing. Always exciting and a must see for die-hard fans. This is the final round before the AMA Extreme Sidecar National Championship on August 2.
Results for 7-28-23
Division I Scratch Main Event
1-Louie Mersaroli, 2-Broc Nicol, 3-Billy Janniro, 4-Blake Borello
Division I Handicap Main Event
1-Alex Martin, 2-Chase Kangas, 3-Broc Nicol
Division II Main Event
1-John Peters, 2-Cody Aker, 3-Ray Holt Jr.
Division III Main Event
1-Catherine Moore, 2-Antonio Coffman, 3-Hunter Castillo
Youth 250 Main Event
1-Jameson Hutchinson, 2-Levi Leutz
Youth 150 Main Event
1-Riley Rearick, 2-Matthew Wright, 3-Wesley Rearick
Team Challenge Series (Round Five)
Team M45-8 Team Law Tigers-4
Total (Rounds One-Five)
M-45-27 Law Tigers-33