At 46, Bart Bast is one of the oldest racers at Fast Fridays Motorcycle Speedway, a flat track in Auburn.
But he's conceding nothing to his younger competitors in Division I. In fact, Bast leads the point standings despite having just one scratch main-event victory halfway through the season.
Well, Bast will concede one thing. Bumps and bruises from crashes don't heal as fast as they did when the 18-time season points champ started competing against his older brother Mike, his father, Harlan, and uncle Homer.
"I definitely feel it more when I crash," said Bast, a 1985 graduate of Placer High School. "I tangled with my cousin, Ryan, last week in the semis, and that hurt. It still hurts (the following Tuesday night). I still have a couple of charley horses."
But Bast was able to get back on his motorcycle without brakes to win his first scratch main of the season. He holds a 121-point lead (1,170-1,049) over Auburn's Tommy Hedden with seven Fridays remaining.
Bast consistently finishes in the top three, whether it's the scratch main event, in which riders start on the same line, or the handicap main, in which faster riders start behind the line in 10-yard increments.
"It's actually been a bad year for me," Bast said. "I went a month without a scratch-main win, and that's the first time that's happened in probably 20 years."
He said his lead over Hedden and his 232-point advantage over Billy Janniro in third place probably would be larger had he not had rare mechanical issues such as broken chains and electrical malfunctions.
Bast said he's excited to see a new generation of riders in Division I led by 21-year-old Auburn rider Bryce Starks.
"He's riding much better," Bast said. "The division is getting mixed up, which is a good thing. It's not the same four guys."
Harlan Bast, Bart's dad, still races every Friday, and he's in his late 60s.
Bart Bast said he'll keep racing as long as he's healthy and competitive.
"As long as I still have a good chance of winning a scratch main, I'll race," he said.
BMR to Ohio
With another off week on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West schedule, Bill McAnally Racing will take its lead car and driver to Columbus (Ohio) Motor Speedway for the Napa Auto Parts 150 on Saturday night.
The K&N Pro Series East event will mark the first time BMR has been to the one-third-mile paved oval just south of Columbus.
The Nostalgia Reunion Drags will be held today and Saturday at Sacramento Raceway. The event also will feature top fuel Funny Cars and dragsters on Saturday.
Other divisions include 7.0 Pro Dragsters, 6.90 Nostalgia Pro Comp, A/Fuel Dragsters, Jr. Fuel Dragsters, Nostalgia Eliminator 7.60, Nostalgia Eliminator 8.60, Nostalgia Eliminator 9.60, A/B/C and D division gas and pre-1984 hot rods.
Mark Billingsley covers local motor sports for The Bee. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.