Entertaining Golden State Challenge Series point battle set to resume at Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial this Saturday with plenty of goodies & money on the lineadmin
The driver who has hounded Walker in this early season however happens to be three-time Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial champion Jonathan Allard of Chico. The two-time & defending King of California has finished runner-up during all three of Walker’s wins, including the most recent event where he led all but the last lap until Walker was able to get by on the final circuit to steal the win away in exciting fashion. Allard’s very first career GSC victory came at the Bradway in 2001 while driving for Rick Wright and his most recent win in ’05 came during his first year driving the Williams Motorsports No. 0. The 32 year-old goes into the night having not won a feature with the series since early May last year and he’ll certainly be trying to change that at the biggest event of the season, in addition to trying to chip away at Walker’s six point advantage.
The all-time winningest driver at the Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial is none other than 13-time King of California Brent Kaeding, who goes into the evening sitting third in the Golden State Challenge Series standings, just 11 points behind Walker for the top spot. In 2007 the Campbell driver led all 40 laps at the Bradway aboard his Al’s Roofing Supply No. 69 to give him his fourth career win at the prestigious event, tops of all drivers. The living legend is one of the lone remaining drivers who have raced against Dave Bradway Jr. and it’s always a race he seems to get his elbows up at. “BK” claimed victory in the GSC season opener at Placerville and a win this weekend will go a long way in helping him close in on the point lead.
Golden State Challenge Series rookie driver Kyle Larson will come into the Bradway with momentum following three straight top five finishes and a current points placing of fourth, 25 digits back of leader Tyler Walker. The 16 year-old Elk Grove resident scored a pair of very big California Sprint Car Civil War Series victories at Silver Dollar Speedway last season, including a win during the annual fair race held over Memorial Day weekend. In 2007 Larson drove his Vertullo Racing No. 83v to a ninth place finish at the Bradway, during what was his very first year in the sprint car ranks. The talented youngster will look to breakthrough for his first career Golden State Challenge Series victory on Saturday and with the strength he’s shown so far this year, there’s a very good possibility that he might just do so.
Completing the top five in the GSC standings going into Saturday evening is 2004 Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial titlist Jason Statler of Grass Valley. The driver of the DF Rios Construction No. 00 has had a consistent start to the year that includes a pair of runner-up finishes in GSC competition, as well as a weekly victory in Watsonville. “The Big Guy” has always said that winning the Bradway is one of his all-time highlights in racing due to the meaning behind the event. Making that win even more special is the fact that it also came during the same year he won the King of California championship.
Current Silver Dollar Speedway point leader Kyle Hirst of Loomis has had a strong start to the year and will make his second GSC start of 2009 this weekend, having won three main events already in the young season. The Hirst family was instrumental in getting the Bradway Memorial off and running in the early years and it’s a race that the 21 year-old wants to win as much as any. The driver of the GP Development No. 6 came very close to claiming victory at the Bradway last year until contact sent him off the track with less than 10 laps to go in the feature. Hirst was very impressive in winning the Bill Brownell Memorial at Silver Dollar Speedway on April 24 and he’ll no doubt be charging hard this weekend.
USAC National Sprint Car & Midget driver Brad Sweet will certainly be a favorite this Saturday to win his first career Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial. The 23 year-old finished runner-up at the Silver Cup in Chico earlier this year aboard the Rod Tiner Racing No. 83 and is always strong when coming back home, following the extensive experience gained running on the road with USAC. The Grass Valley native picked up his second career Golden State Challenge Series victory in July at Silver Dollar Speedway last season and was also victorious at Tulare’s Trophy Cup in late October. Sweet finished a career best second at the Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial in 2007 and he’ll no doubt be at the front of the field on Saturday. Car owner Rod Tiner won the Bradway Memorial in 1998 with brother Randy at the helm of his always potent No. 83 sprint car.
A sentimental favorite for this weekend would have to be the Friends & Family Racing x1, which is co-owned by Alan Bradway, the brother of the late Dave Bradway Jr. In addition to that, the other co-owner of the car is Steve Tuccelli, who is married to Karen Bradway, the sister of Alan and Dave. The driver of the F&F sprinter is young Mason Moore who impressively battled for the lead with Kyle Hirst & eventual winner Tim Kaeding over the first half of the Bradway Memorial feature last year, before finishing ninth at the checkered while driving his family owned No. 22.
Oroville’s Sean Becker, the ’06 Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial champion, will make his first Golden State Challenge Series start of the season this weekend at the helm of the Brian Sperry Racing No. 51. The former King of California & Silver Dollar Speedway track champ picked up the California Sprint Car Civil War Series title last season to make him the first driver to hold all three of the “major” Northern California sprint car championships currently going. It’s always a pleasure to have Becker compete with the series due to his skills on the track and easy going personality off it.
Knoxville, Iowa’s Wayne Johnson will surely throw his name into the mix, as he makes his first career Golden State Challenge Sprint Car Series start at this weekend’s Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial in the H.A.M. Construction No. 35a. The veteran driver has made the A-main at the Knoxville Nationals six straight times and has made a pair of starts at the Silver Dollar Speedway, with those coming at last years Pacific Sprint Fall Nationals & this years Mini Gold Cup. “I’ve really like Chico when I’ve ran there and can’t wait to go back,” Johnson said earlier this year in the pits at the Tulare Thunderbowl. “Chico’s a fun little joint and you can really get your elbows up and do some racing there.”
Elk Grove’s Bobby McMahan has had a successful return to the full-time winged sprint car ranks this year and has tallied a pair of runner-up finishes at Silver Dollar Speedway to put him second in the Feather Falls Casino standings. The driver of the Racing for the Troops No. 26 will be gunning for his first career Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial victory as he makes his first GSC start of the season. McMahan came closest to winning the Bradway in 1996 when he battled his brother Paul over the final laps, before crossing the stripe in second aboard the Bumgarner Racing No. 88.
Former World of Outlaw regular Jason Solwold will be another top contender at the Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial as he’s expected to be at the wheel of the Roth Motorsports No. 83jr on Saturday. The Mount Vernon, Wash veteran scored a third place finish aboard the 83jr with the World of Outlaws in Tulare earlier this season and was victorious during a Gold Cup Race of Champions prelim feature in 2006 at Silver Dollar Speedway while driving the Carnahan Motorsports No. R19. Solwold adds more big name flare to what’s shaping up to be a huge night of racing.
The most stacked field of the season is expected at the Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial on Saturday and will also include defending Silver Dollar Speedway track champ Andy Forsberg of Auburn, Scotts Valley’s Evan Suggs, Campbell’s Bud Kaeding, Chico’s Brett Miller, Jason York, Brad Bumgarner, Matt Shelton & Robby Whitchurch, Sacramento’s Willie Croft, Roseville’s Colby Copeland, Calistoga’s Mike Benson, Grass Valley’s Mark Hall, Ripon’s Brandon Carey and more.
The Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial pays tribute to fallen race car driver Dave Bradway Jr. who lost his life in a sprint car crash at Skagit Speedway’s Dirt Cup in 1987. It is the biggest event of the season for the Golden State Challenge Series and packs extra money and goodies all night long. The track has also added an extra $1,000 to the winners share once again to bring the winning take up to $4,000. In addition to that Dave and Diane Durica have once again collected lap money and each lap of the main event and B-main will pay $100 to be distributed among the top three each lap. The leader of the lap gets $50, second $30 and third $20.
Also involved this year will be Larry Tinker with Fast Track Wings whose donations will total $2,580. The A-main winner will receive an HRP Top Wing, second place will receive Winters Front Hubs, third place will receive a Winters Mag. Bell Housing and Torque Ball and the fourth through 24th place finishers will receive $30 cash each. Fourth through 16th in the b-main will also receive $20 cash a piece. The heat winners and the dash winner will also be awarded with an HRP Nose Wing and the hard luck driver will be rewarded with an M&W Top Wing Tree Stand.
In addition to that Larry & Jennifer Moles from Southern Pacific Farms have also put up $500 for the hard charger in the main event. Southern Pacific Farms donations will total $1,000 combined with hard charger and lap money in the main events.
If that wasn’t enough Scott Chastain, owner of the NMI Industrial Contractors No. 24 driven by Tyler Walker, has put up $500 for the driver who sets fast time in qualifying. Extra money on the line in qualifying always makes for an action packed session to begin the night. Other giveaways as of press time are 12 fuel jugs courtesy Scribner Plastics and Torsion Bar Stops to the fifth place finisher in the B-main courtesy Nor Cal Performance.
Sponsoring the heat races for the seventh consecutive season will be the internet based fan group known as Hoserville. Each heat race winner will receive a right rear tire & five sleeves of tear offs from Hoserville. Each driver will also receive a plaque to keep, as well as plans to possibly have trophies for the driver to give to a child in the grandstands. Hoserville has been a part of the heat races at the Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial since 2003 and it has grown to be a fun part of the night each year. Visit the home of Hoserville at the Northern California Sprint Car Forum located at http://www.hoseheadforums.com/forum~forumId~10.htm
Brand new Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial T-shirts will be on sale this year so be sure to see the Durica’s to purchase one to commemorate this years event. New stickers will also be available in addition to the new shirts.
The front gate will open at 5pm on Saturday with adult tickets being $17, juniors $12 and children $5. The Silver Dollar Speedway is located on the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds in Chico, California. More info can be found at http://www.silverdollarspeedway.com and http://www.goldenstatechallengeseries.com