Champions Crowned at Chicoadmin
CHICO, CA (8-26-16) – Five drivers were crowned champions at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico on Friday night. Sean Becker wrapped up his sixth track championship and fifth in a row in the 410 winged sprint car division. Becker once again had a stellar year driving the Menne Motorsports/Cherry St. Mini Storage #75 to three wins and numerous top five finishes.
While Becker won the season long battle it was Bud Kaeding who shined during the nights racing action. Kaeding marched from his eighth starting spot and won the exciting 25-lap feature event. Kyle Hirst was just as impressive. The Paradise driver started 10th and finished second. Hanford’s DJ Netto made his first start in the famed #3c and drove it home to a third place finish. During the event second place Chase Majdic spun and collected fourth place Andy Forsberg. A big collision took place between the two, but after some concern both drivers walked away.
Kalib Henry’s night went astray when he suffered a flat right rear tire during the feature but earlier in the night he blistered the track in qualifying by turning an 11.174. It was the fastest lap recorded during a Friday night race since 2011.
There is something special about Brian Cooper. Tonight he not only one the IMCA sport mod feature race but backed that up by winning the hobby stock main event. Cooper is as talented as anyone at Chico. Speaking of talented wheel man, his brother Todd Cooper can now call himself a champion. Todd won the 2016 IMCA Sport Mod championship by a mere seven points over Jerry Bartlett. Todd scored the most top five finishes this season at Chico with six out of his eight starts. With the win in the IMCA Sport mods Brian ended the season with three feature victories. Mark Abouzeid, Howard Law and Phillip Shelby also scored wins during the IMCA Sport Mod season at Chico. The race itself was spectacular. Phillip Shelby and Brian Cooper swapped the lead late in the event. Laps 15 through 18 were as good as any laps that we saw this season. Cooper took the lead for good on lap 18 and went on to win the event. Bartlett brought his #00 home in the third.
While Brian Cooper won the Hobby Stock main event, Todd Hemman should be commended for a strong runner up finish. Hemman shadowed Cooper the final half of the event and was really close in securing his first win. Brian Compton ended up winning his third Hobby Stock championship even though a mechanical failure ended his night prematurely. Compton still had an unbelievable year winning six of the eight main events. Brad Ray was the other driver able to win a main event this season.
The Street Stock main event and championship came down to one point. Phillip Shelby won the race but it wasn’t enough as Shawn Smith finished second and captured the title by just one mere point. Shelby earned his fifth win on the season but Smith had the most consistent finishes. Phil Marino, Brent Hall and Gary Newman rounded out the top five. The race length was extended to 21 laps because of a yellow thrown as the leaders were coming to the checkered flag. Because of that situation, the race needed to be ended with a green then white then checkered finish.
The wingless sprint championship also came down to one championship point. Terry Schank Jr. came into the night with a staggering 42-point lead over Angelique Bell. All Schank needed to do was start the main event. Unfortunately for Schank, he had an engine failure in hot laps and was never able to take the heat race or main event green flag. Bell went on to win her eight lap heat race giving her 5 points. She now knew what she needed to do; finish third or better and she could win the championship. At one point during the 20 lap main even she led the race. She eventually fell back to third but as she crossed the checkered flag it was official that Bell was the champion. She becomes the first female sprint car racer to win a sprint car championship in Chico. Bell won the title by just one point. Jeremy Wilson drove a great race and won the event. Tony Richards made a late surge to the top but came up short and finished second. Wilson won the event by over three seconds. He had the #46 up on the cushion and drove a great race.