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Three to Go at Chico
By Troy Hennig
CHICO, CA (7-28-13) - And then there were three. This Friday night, August 2nd, will mark the third from last Wells Fargo point championship racing of the year. How quickly a season can dissipate. Five racing divisions will entertain the fans during point race #15.
It has been a long summer push. This Friday's race will mark the ninth weekend in a row of racing at the Silver Dollar Speedway. After this Friday night the speedway will give a much needed break to the fans, drivers and staff. No races are scheduled for August 9th. This break will hopefully allow an emphasis on the final two nights in August giving us a strong car counts and fan attendance.
Heading into this Friday nights race the 410 winged sprint car division is led by one man, part shark, and the most recent winner in a sprint car at Chico. Roseville's Sean Becker holds a 36-point advantage over his nearest competitor Auburn's Andy Forsberg. Chico's Brad Bumgarner is in the third spot. Bumgarner has been racing for a long time; however, he is in the midst of his best racing finishes of his career. In the past six sprint car shows at Chico, Bumgarner has a 3.6 average finish. He has secured three second place finishes over that time, yet, has not found victory lane. This past Friday night he led for the first half of the main event until he was passed by Becker. While he did go on to finish a solid second his post-race Twitter response summed up his feelings by writing, "Second Sucks."
Even though Becker is dominating the championship point fight, the David Tarter Rookie of the Year battle has heated up. Chico's Michael Tarter holds a slim five-point advantage over Anderson's Keith Bloom Jr. Corning's Bud Walberg is looking to finish out the year strong. Walberg has competed in all nine events this year. Bad news for Chico's Jason York as it looks like his season is over with. The previous Friday night his motor blew up on the track and it will be an expensive proposition to fix it.
Front grandstand gate will open at 6 p.m. with racing slated to start at 7 p.m. Adult general admission is $13.00, senior and juniors are $11.00. Children ages 6-11 are $6.00 while kids 5 and under are free. For more information call the track office at 530-350-7275.
The four supporting classes include the dirt modifieds, winged economy sprints mini stocks and hobby stocks. The modifieds fell flat on this past Friday when only five cars reported. Yet, all five drivers were champions. Only five points separate the top three. Duane Cleveland leads the standings with 299 total points. Chico's Richard Papenhausen is in second, just three points behind. Ryan McDaniel won the most recent modified main event and is trailing Cleveland by five points.
Kyle Standley has emerged as the big point leader of the winged economy division. He holds an astounding 51-point advantage over veteran Ron Wyman. While the championship might already be decided, Wyman has his hands full with numerous drivers. Wyman only leads Shawna Overton by four points and Jason Standley by ten markers.
For the eighth time this season the Hobby Stocks will converge at the speedway. Sacramento's Brian Compton holds a 16-point advantage over David Pierce. Kyle Allen is the only other driver to compete in all seven point shows. Allen is third in points. Tough competitors Jared Flower and Jesse Skidmore round out the top five in points as we head into this Friday night.Can Misty Castleberry remain perfect? In four races she has won every heart race and main event at Chico. No driver in the history of the race track has finished a season undefeated in heat race and main event results. This past week the local television did a story on Castleberry and her run to perfection. She leads Preston Irvin by 38-points and Galen Hainlin by 60-points.