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Fall Nationals Ends Season at Chico
By Troy Hennig, SDS Media Relations
CHICO, CA (9-28-12) - It does not seem to matter what sprint car Sean Becker drives at Chico because the outcome continues to be the same. Tonight, Becker drove the potent Menne Motorsports #75 back into victory lane during night number one of the Fall Nationals. "It was such a pleasure to drive this car tonight," said Becker. "I am very thankful to have had the opportunities to drive great cars the last part of this season." Even though Becker won the main event the drive of the night had to belong to Jonathan Allard. Allard started the main event in 18th and drove up to a second place finish. "I tightened the belts and just tried to hang on tonight," Allard joked when asked how he was able to pass that many cars tonight. Rico Abreu came home in the third spot tonight. Abreu said, "I am a little worn out after that race tonight. It was fast out there and I just tried to avoid the holes the best I could." The track was outstanding again tonight and offered the fans a real treat. It's a cliché but the main event was one of the best of the season and electrified the crowd. The post-race buzz from the grandstands was as exciting as it had been all year.
The 30 lap main event started with 24 cars. Big props to 16 year old driver Carson Macedo who showed tonight he has a bright future. Macedo won the seven lap dash that earned him the right to start from the pole position of the main event. Macedo led the first four laps of the main event before getting passed by Becker. While he did drop to eighth at the finish, Macedo should be credited for a great night overall and I expect big things in the future from this kid. On lap eight is when Abreu moved into the second spot. Tim Kaeding quickly raced his way up to third on lap nine and challenged Rico for the second spot. Red flag flew on lap 10 when Shane Golobic hooked a rut and flipped in turn four. Up to that point, Golobic had been one of the fastest cars on the track and was very impressive to watch. On lap 12 Kaeding got around Abreu for second. Abreu returned the favor on lap 19.
The final 10 laps were great as the top three now had company from Jonathan Allard. Everything stayed the same in the running order until lap 28. Kaeding went from third to the lead. Becker fell to second, Allard moved to third and Rico fell to fourth. As Kaeding went into turn three he got bottled up behind a slower car and almost spun out. This allowed Becker to go back by for the lead. Kaeding slipped to fourth and was never able to recover. Becker led the final lap with Allard right on his bumper. Abreu rounded out the top three. Kyle Hirst was so fun to watch tonight. He ran the top, bottom or wherever he could to try to make things happen. Hirst ended up with a fifth place finish.
Garen Linder was another driver who did an admiral job hanging in the top five most of the night. On lap 28 he finally slipped out of the top five but still held on for a sixth place finish. Mason Moore brought his car home in seventh place tonight. Andy Forsberg passed eight cars in the final 10 laps to finish in ninth. Greg DeCaires secured the 10th place finish.
Cole Wood started the night off by turning the fastest lap in qualifying at an 11.921. It was his first fast time award at Chico. Linder, Abreu, Macedo and Kaeding all won their respective heat races. Allard won the 12-lap B main. Mark Tabor Jr. won the 8-lap C main event.
Terry Schank Jr. won for the 49th time driving the Joe Hunt Magneto's #1. "Tomorrow night we will try to make it 50," said Schank Jr. in victory lane. Schank is fresh off his championship in the Joe Hunt Magnetos Wingless Sprint Shootout Series and also just won his third consecutive Pepsi night trophy at Chico. Billy Wallace seemed to have the race won but on lap 16 he clipped the big white tire in turn four that sent him upside down. Due to all the attrition during the main event Wallace was still credited with a seventh place finish. The race itself was a long event slowed by numerous yellows and a few red flags. The main event had 18 drivers start the race but only six finished. Taylor Nelson enjoyed a career best second place finish tonight. I was proud to see him get a solid finish. Rowdy McClenon brought his car home in the third spot tonight. Gary Nelson Jr. and Angelique Bell rounded out the top five. Bell and McClenon were heat race winners tonight. Colton Slack turned the fastest lap of the night during group qualifying at a 13.903.
Mitch Machado picked up another hard fought win at Chico. "All the credit goes to the guys who are standing behind me in victory lane," said Machado. Brent Lawrence led for a good part of the main event tonight and received accolades from Machado. "I was so proud of how well Brent ran tonight. We talk on the phone about set ups. I enjoy good competition," said Machado. Lawrence led until lap eight. Machado took over the lead and never looked back. Late in the race Jake Vantol passed Lawrence for second. Bill Hall enjoyed a solid night to finish fourth. Chris Lewis rounded out the top five. Kevin Ward won the first heat while Machado picked up the win in heat two.Full results are at www.silverdollarspeedway.com