SEPTEMBER | 3-6 | 2014
61st Annual GOLD CUP
RACE of CHAMPIONS
WORLD of OUTLAWS
Sprint Car Series
California Sprint Car
Civil War Series
Joe Hunt Magnetos
Wingless Sprint Car Series
Sean Becker Wins David Tarter Memorial
By Triy Hennig
CHICO, CA (6-7-13) - It doesn't take a dummy to realize no matter what track conditions he is dealt with, Sean Becker is a winner. It's an attitude that few are able to comprehend as they continue to wallow around in self-pity and playing the blame game. David Tarter didn't have much when it came to a sprint car operation. He was just glad to be there. He loved racing but more importantly he loved racing at his hometown track. Tonight, it was only fitting that a driver with the same self-resilience won the race in honor of Tarter. Becker won the 35-lap, $3500 to win main event at Silver Dollar Speedway in front a grandstand full of fans who were there to support the Tarter family and enjoy a good night of dirt track racing.
With that said, Becker was not by any means the fastest driver on the track. Sacramento's Kyle Hirst was the class of the field for the first 26 laps. Hirst survived a lap 12 altercation when two slower cars spun in front of him. Hirst tried to avoid the carnage but his left front wheel clipped another car. Under the red flag it was discovered that the left front tire had lost all of its air. Hirst decided to let it ride and continued to lead the next 14 laps until the unthinkable happened again. Local product BJ Martin had spun in turn four. Once again this happened right in front of Hirst. It was too late for Hirst to avoid the stopped Martin and contact ensued. Even though Hirst continued on, the damage had been done. Hirst's right side muffler had been ripped off. By rule, this is an automatic disqualification.
One could say that if any driver on this night had a right to be angry or upset about anything, it was Hirst. However, once Hirst knew he had been disqualified, he stopped his car in turn four and emerged from the driver's cockpit. He proceeded to walk around to the front of his car and acknowledge the fans in the turn four bleachers. It is where the Tarter family has sat for years. The turn four crowd erupted and it was an amazing moment. It takes a lot of character to do what he did. Even though he had to be dejected, he manned up, and did the right thing. He did what David would have wanted him to do.
Becker was the new leader. He had nine laps to fend off Andy Forsberg for the win. While it was so nice to see a strong showing of King of the West drivers on hand, selfishly, it was also gratifying to watch the two Friday night boys up front.
While Becker and Forsberg ran up front, behind them the racing was fierce. There was $1,000 on the line for the hard charger award. At one point during the race, three different drivers had at one lap or another, passed the most cars. In the end it was 16th place starting Peter Murphy who finished sixth and won the award and cash.
The big guy Jason Statler was fun to watch tonight. He was very competitive up front and made a beautiful move late in the race to secure the third place finish. Evan Suggs also had his best finish of the year with a fourth place run. It was awesome to see Evans and Statler support the Tarter race. Jonathan Allard started 13th and ran the #0 up to fifth.
Becker crossed the checkered flag with a three car-length advantage. Becker is also well respected in our sport. Instead of pulling onto the front stretch, he pulled his sprint car right in front of David Tarters blue truck and his sprint car. It was another touching moment that the crowd just absolutely loved. The first driver to congratulate Becker was Michael Tarter. Tarter had finished the race in the ninth spot but he too pulled in near Becker and wanted to give Sean a big hug. Howard and Shelly Tarter also embraced Becker. Becker was presented the beautiful David Tarter Memorial winners plaque designed by Tim Grant and you could see the emotion in his eyes when he wrapped his hands around it.Becker's night was financially rewarding as he led all six laps to win the special 6-lap dash for cash presented by HighRace 24 hr. Towing, The win was worth $1,000. Andy Forsberg started the night off by winning his second Tyler Wolf fast time award of the year and picked up another $100 bonus. Bud Walberg led all the laps to win the B main event. Allard, Murphy and Adam Brenton were the three heat race winners during the night. A total of 23-cars supported the Tarter event. Full results can be found here at www.silverdollarspeedway.com