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USA triumphs in international speedway match-up

October 14, 2013

The following is an industry press release...

When five European speedway riders arrived in Auburn and teamed with Auburn’s Bryce Starks to challenge six of the best riders in USA speedway racing it wasn’t for a giant trophy, a big payday or a prestigious championship. What was at stake in this year’s USA vs. the World speedway challenge was bragging rights for another year and some good old exciting racing fun.  

Fast Fridays Motorcycle Speedway closed out the 2013 racing season with a great exhibition of speedway racing and international fellowship as the USA challenged the World riders on the Gold Country Fairgrounds track in Auburn Friday night. The rivalry and international grudge match continued in its 12th meeting with the record going into Friday night’s race at eight wins for the Americans and three wins for the World.  Friday night the USA team riders again proved to be pretty tough and nearly unbeatable on their home turf defeating the World 61-50.

Fast Friday’s owner David Joiner again assembled an impressive and talented World team of experienced overseas riders that included Robin Aspegren of Sweden, Mads Korneluissen of Denmark, Lewis Bridger, Jason Bunyan, and Danny Halsey of England. All of these riders currently race professionally for teams in Europe.  Rounding out the six man World team was Auburn’s Bryce Starks. For Friday night’s action Aspegren was teamed with Korneluissen, Bridger with Bunyan and Halsey with Starks. Only Bridger had raced at Fast Fridays in previous USA vs. World challenges. 

Challenging the World on this year’s team for the USA was current national speedway championship Billy Janniro, Charlie Venegas, Bart Bast, Ryan Bast, Bryan Yarrow and Tommy Hedden. Janniro was teamed with Venegas, Bast with Bast and Yarrow with Hedden.

The format was simple; the riders rode in pairs and raced against each other in 18 scratch heat races, two riders for the USA against two World riders. They scored three points for a win, two points for a second place finish, one point for a third place showing and nothing for fourth. The match would be decided by most team points at the end of the 18 heat races.

For the USA Janniro again proved to be invincible winning all of his heat races and scoring a perfect 18 points. Not far behind Janniro Bast tallied 17 points for the evening losing only one race with a second place finish to Korneluissen in heat race eight. For the World it was England’s Bridger who scored a team high 15 points. Korneluissen backed him with 13 points World points. The World team of Bridger and Bunyan scored the nights highest with 24 points. Janniro and Venegas scored a team high of 23 for the USA. “It was a really good night, you’ve really got to try hard against the Europeans,” Janniro said. “You want the results to get back to Europe so they know you can still hang with them.”

The USA team led from the first heat race, but in heat race nine a Bridger Joker substitution and first place finish gave the World team a combined seven points (six points for Bridger’s win and teammate Bunyan scored one). That closed the gap between the teams to just three points at 30-27 midway through the meeting, the closest the teams would be during the race. It was short lived though as the USA team used their experience on their home town track and pulled ahead for good. The World team made two other tactical substations in heat races 14 and 16. The biggest challenge most European riders have racing in America is adjusting to the shorter track length.  “The racing here is not like back home, it’s totally different,” Swedish rider Aspegren said after the race. “It’s really fun coming over here, I don’t want to go home,” Aspegren joked. Aspegren was making his first trip to the United States and planned to make the most of his week here sightseeing in Northern California.

By the end of the evening USA won the event 61-50 but there were really no winners or losers. The theme of the evening was an appreciation of speedway racing by riders and fans and a spirit of competitive camaraderie embraced by both teams.   

USA vs. World Results 10-11-13
USA-61/World 50
Billy Janniro-3 3 3 3 3 3 -18
Bart Bast 3 3 2 3 3 3-17
Tommy Hedden 1 1 2 3 3 3-13
Bryan Yarrow 3 2 0 1 0 0 -6
Charlie Venegas 1 0 2 1 0 1-5
Ryan Bast 0 1 0 0 1 0-2

Lewis Bridger 2 2 6 1 2 2-15
Mads Korneluissen 2 3 3 2 1 2-13
Jason Bunyan 1 1 1 2 1 2 1-9
Robin Aspegren 0 0 1 0 2 2 1-6
Danny Halsey 2 0 1 2 0 0-5
Bryce Starks 0 2 0 0 DNR DNR-2

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