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Local Race Report: Big Time Speedway at El Dorado County Fairgrounds

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This past Saturday, March 15, Big Time Speedway held their second annual grass track speedway event at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds. The intent of Big Time Speedway founders Steve & Steve was to bring back inexpensive, grass roots (no pun intended) motorcycle racing. Their low entry fee ($20 for initial racing class and $10 for each subsequent one) enables families and mildly curious riders to put their motorcycles, ATV’s and lawn mowers (?) on the track to have some fun without breaking the bank.

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More than 80 competitors raced in a dozen classes that ranged from 50cc pee wee beginners to world class, legit speedway champions like Billy Janniro and Ryan Bast. The most entertaining class appeared to be the adult mini’s, in which two dozen (allegedly) grown men did battle mounted on mini bikes. For this particular class, Janniro put up $100 of his own money for a winner take all purse. I’d like to report who won it, but I was laughing so hard at the on track antics, that I lost focus.

Two additional crowd pleasing classes were Riding Mowers and the Sidecars. The mowers had stock looking frames but were drastically lowered and completely overhauled drivelines. They were surprisingly fast, but took a beating on the grass track. They ordinarily race on groomed dirt tracks, owing to their limited ground clearance and no suspension. The two sidecar rigs in attendance were mechanically amazing, as both were equipped with 1000 cc engines; one being of the 4-cylinder Gixxer variant and the other a v-twin TL. They had so much power that throttle control was really the name of the game on the grass/dirt track.

Truly, a written report does not do this event justice, but you can scratch the surface by checking out the slide show. To really enjoy it, keep an eye on their itinerary and be sure to come out and watch. Rumor has it they’re working on an event for the autumn, so perhaps we won’t have to wait another year. I have a little Honda ATC gathering dust… Hmmmm.
Until next time, stay tuned and upright,
Jack

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