Fast and furious: Auburn speedway racers gearing up for new season

By: Matthew Kimel, Journal sports editor
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A large contingent of riders showed up Saturday for Fast Fridays' kick off barbecue and first practice of the season.

Some 70 riders, including 20 pee wees, revved their engines and worked on their turns in advance of the 8 p.m. May 10 season opener at the Gold Country Fairgrounds.

“It was a good turnout,” said Dave Joiner, owner of Fast Fridays. “We got a lot of new riders.”

Among those new to the Auburn track is Charlie Trana, a 6-year-old from Folsom who has been riding for two years.

“He’s always riding at the house and always asking about Fast Fridays,” said Charlie’s father, Toby. “So we’re finally giving it a try.”

Joiner said part of the appeal for youngsters is getting to ride with standout Billy Janniro, a three-time AMA National Speedway Championship winner.

“Everybody looks up to him,” Joiner said of Janniro. “It’s also a lot of fun for the kids to race in front of the fans. Boys and motorcycles go together well and they get to be with the big kids.”

The upcoming season will feature several new attractions. More bands are scheduled to perform on race nights and there will also be more sidecar series.

And for the first time ever, Fast Fridays will hold an event between the track championships/youth national championship and the AMA/USA National Speedway Championship Series Final when it hosts an Extreme Sidecar Extravaganza Final on Sept. 20.

On July 18, the track is hosting a Chamber Mixer with a special speedway show. The season finale is set for Oct. 11 when the U.S.A. takes on the world. 

Some of the track’s sponsors this season include Magnussen’s of Auburn, Budweiser and Mel Dawson Oil.

The Pit Side Café will be serving Old Town Pizza this season.

Another practice will be held next Saturday at 4 p.m.

Reach Matthew Kimel at Follow him on Twitter@matthewkimel