February 19, 2016
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Willie Croft Double's Down at Brownell
By Troy Hennig
CHICO, CA (4-19-13) - Sacramento's Willie Croft led all 25-laps to win the 6th Annual Bill Brownell Memorial Friday night at Silver Dollar Speedway. The traditional race always attracts a strong field of cars and offers a $2500 pay day for the main event win. With the win, Croft has now won two main events in a row. Last Saturday he won at Placerville Speedway. "It felt special to win this race," said Croft. "The whole night went good for us; we qualified fourth, transferred out of the heat and got to start on the front row." Croft drove his Holy Smoke Barbeque/Butler Built/Shark Racing Engines/K&N/FK Rod Ends #29. "My whole Tri C crew and the Lamar family was here tonight so even though I ran my own car it still felt like I am working with a real team," said Croft. Big thanks to Shane Scott and Withrow Motorsports for their continued support of this event.
The race was marred by a few red flags and numerous caution laps during the 25-lap race. In fact, after a lap eleven roll over by John Bunch, the officials decided to open up the track for fuel only to the remaining competitors. The night started off on a somber note when Andy Forsberg seemed to do an easy roll over in turn one during his heat race; however, when the car came to a stop so did Forsberg conciseness. Safety crew did a great job handling the situation and getting him safely out of the car. Forsberg was then transported to nearby Enloe Hospital where he went through numerous tests and a CAT scan. All tests were normal and they released Forsberg about 11 p.m. that night. "I remember one of the safety crew coming over and asking me how I felt," said Forsberg. "The next thing I remember is being lifted out of the car on a stretcher. Obviously, I wasn't firing on eight cylinders for a while."
Sean Becker shadowed Croft for the entire main event. "At times I felt the pressure from Sean," said Croft. "I just knew if I held my line and hit my marks that is was going to be hard for Sean to pass me." While Croft and Becker stayed one and two for the entire race, Rico Abreu was able to move up throughout the field. Abreu started 11th but finished the race in the third spot. Australian sprint car champion Todd Wanless not only earned quick-time but also showed how talented he is in a sprint car. Wanless made the rare Chico start and finished fourth. Chico's Brad Bumgarner was solid all night and finished fifth. Keith Bloom earned the hard charger of the night by starting in the 15th spot and finished sixth.
Ryan McDaniel is as good as it gets in the dirt modified division. With his father tuning the car and the track as slick as it was tonight, McDaniel put on a great show. Chico's Richard Papenhausen was just as good. In fact, he was a little bit quicker than McDaniel as the laps wound down. On the final lap Papenhausen drove to the bottom and tried to beat McDaniel to the checkered flag. While it provided the best race of the night, McDaniel was able to hold on for the win.
Courtney Dozier bested a good field of Winged Economy Sprint cars. Dozier was able to hold off Tony Richards, who has been the dominate car over the last two years at Chico. Eleven cars signed into the pit area during the night. Ten cars were able to make start of the main event. The track was tricky in turn four and this caused numerous accidents, primarily in turn four.
Taylor Nelson led the Perma-Zyme wingless cars to the green flag. Nelson led the field of seven cars for the first half of the race. A caution bunched the field back up and this allowed Ron Laplant the chance to take the lead from Nelson with a nice pass down the back straight. Laplant led the field with a few laps to go but ultimately was not able to hold off defending track champion Rowdy McClenon. With two laps remaining McClenon made the winning move and took the lead. When the checkered waived it was McClenon picking up his second win of the year at Chico.
Nine Hobby Stocks battled it out for 15 laps during their main event. Jared Flower had the early lead before spinning out in front of the field. That gave the lead to Russell House. Duane Osburn was the driver on the move and quickly closed in on House. Late in the race House Osburn made a great pass to get around House. Osburn led the final few laps for the win.Racing continues next Friday, April 26, with the Enterprise Rent-A-Car and JP's Paint and Body Works point race #4.