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Chadwick, Abreu and Laliberte Score Silver Cup Wins
by: Troy Hennig
CHICO, CA (3-8-14) - Neither rain, wind or lack of sleep was going to interfere with promoter Dennis Gage and his finely tuned staff of workers to get the second night of Silver Cup completed and in the books. The Saturday night race attracted 86 different race teams and over 1300 fans in the main grandstand side. When it was all said and done, crowd favorite Rico Abreu scored an impressive win in the winged 360 main event. Kellen Chadwick was absolutely perfect in winning the challenging dirt modified main event. It was his second consecutive Silver Cup championship. The Joe Hunt Magnetos Wingless Sprint Shootout winner was Tommy Laliberte who drove a solid race and was fun to watch.
Racing will resume this Friday night at Silver Dollar Speedway with point race #1 featuring winged 360 sprints, dirt modifieds, street stocks and hobby stocks. Pit gate will open at 4 pm and front gate at 6 pm.
A staggering 43 dirt modifieds entered the Saturday night show. Tonight marked the first round of the Nor-Cal Dirt Modified Challenge. Throughout the entire night, the modifieds put on a second to none show featuring close racing and high speed drama. Defending and two-time Silver Cup Champion Ryan McDaniel led at the start of the 30 lap main event. McDaniel has amassed 37 career main event wins at Chico since 1999. It was evident from the start, however, that the car to beat was Kellen Chadwick. On lap four Chadwick passed Troy Folger for second. From lap six to lap eleven Chadwick and McDaniel raced side by side. Their determination to take the lead coupled with their understanding of not crashing each other was fun to watch. On lap 13 Chadwick finally edged ahead of McDaniel and took the lead. After that moment Chadwick was a rocket ship and extended his lead. The battle for third on back was intense. Monte Bischoff, Duane Cleveland and Nick DeCarlo all were vying for the third spot. On the final lap, Folger drove around McDaniel and solidified the second spot. McDaniel came home in the third position. With two laps remaining DeCarlo passed Bischoff for fourth. At the finish Chadwick held a 1.506 second advantage.
With the large car count, two B main events were needed. Winning the first 8-lap B main was Duane Cleveland. Finishing second was Roger Lorenzini. In the second B main event Kyle Casson beat Riley Simmons. Both cars transferred to the feature event.
Ryan McDaniel, Randy McDaniel, Kellen Chadwick and Troy Folger were each victorious in their eight lap heat races. Nick DeCarlo turned the fastest lap in qualifying. His lap was 15.860.
Andy Gregg and Rico Abreu started on the front row. Gregg got the whole shot and took the lead. Justin Sanders passed Abreu on the second circuit. On lap five Sean Becker, last night's winner, moved into the third spot. Abreu slipped back to fourth. While Gregg continued to lead and work his way around the tricky surface Becker moved around Sanders to secure the second spot. Gregg had secured a decent lead while maneuvering through slower traffic. The outcome of the race changed dramatically when a late race caution bunched back up the top five. On the restart, Abreu thrilled the crowd as he found a groove around the outside of Sanders and Becker to grab the second spot. On the next lap Abreu passed Gregg for the lead. The final few laps saw Abreu extend his lead. On lap 28 Becker as able to pass Gregg for the second spot. Those two had a spirited battle to finish out the race. Sanders held on to finish in the fourth spot. Kyle Hirst made some moves and worked his way into a fifth place finish. The hard charger of the night was Matt Peterson. The Wilton based driver started 17th and parked his Miller Lite #p37 in the seventh spot at the checkered.
Andy Forsberg cruised to an easy win in the 12 lap B main. Following him into the feature event was Carl Droivold, J J Hickle and Jayme Barnes. Herman Klein, Sean Becker, Kyle Hirst and Steven Tiner were all victorious in heat race action.
Abreu was the quickest in qualifying as he turned a 12.982. A total of 28 winged sprint cars competed in the nights racing action.The Joe Hunt Magnetos Wingless Sprint Shootout Series kicked things off with 15 drivers competing on the final night of Silver Cup. Tommy Laliberte was the class of the field. He turned the fastest lap in qualifying, 14.990, won the first heat race and went on to lead every lap of the main event. It was an impressive feat to say the least. Joe Stornetta was also as impressive. The young driver is always competitive and drives as hard as anyone in the series. He finished in the second spot. Chico's Taylor Nelson turned in one of his best races of his young career. Nelson ran a solid third all night. Shane Myhre had a good night and finished fourth. Veteran Terry Schank Jr. started ninth and finished fifth. Last night's winner and defending champion Scott Hall won the second heat race.