Golden State Challenge 410 Sprint Car Series heads for double-header weekend at Silver Dollar Speedway with 26th annual Tribute to Gary Patterson on tap this Saturdayadmin
CHICO, CA (7-21-09) – With just five races remaining in the 2009 Golden State Challenge Series season the extremely close fight for the King of California title will resume during an exciting two-night show at the Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico this Friday and Saturday July 24 and 25.
The weekend as a whole will feature bonus money being put up by David Vodden and Thunder Hill Raceway Park with $900 being awarded to the driver who scores the most points over the two nights of action. The extra money has become an annual part of the two-night late July event at SDS and past weekend winners of the bonus include Tyler Walker, Tim Kaeding and Ronnie Day.
Saturday night’s event will also mark the 26th annual Tribute to Gary Patterson, which is being held at the Silver Dollar Speedway for the second time. Known as the “Dancing Phantom,” the “Preacher,” the “Hostile Hippie” or just simply “GP,” Patterson was one of the most colorful characters of his time and was a winner of multiple races including the Gold Cup Race of Champions, the Dirt Cup in Washington and the Turkey Night Grand Prix.
Patterson unfortunately lost life his life in a sprint car crash at the Calistoga Speedway on Memorial Day weekend 1983 and an event in his memory had been held at the half-mile track ever since, up until last season when the Tribute to GP was moved to the Silver Dollar Speedway. The Patterson Family will also be donating a $1,000 to the winner on Saturday night from last years T-shirt sales, bringing the winners take up to a cool $4,000. New commemorative event T-shirts will also be on sale this weekend.
Coming into this pivotal weekend of action the top three in the Golden State Challenge King of California Sprint Car Series standings are separated by just seven points, with Campbell’s Brent Kaeding finding himself in the lead for the first time since April after winning his fourth main event of the season last Saturday in Antioch. “BK” brings his Al’s Roofing Supply, High Five Pizza No. 69 into the Silver Dollar Speedway looking to continue his recent string of success that includes three wins in the past five GSC races.
Over the Fourth of July weekend Kaeding picked up his all-time leading 88th Silver Dollar Speedway victory, which also includes four wins apiece in his career at the Mini Gold Cup and the Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial, as well as two in the Pacific Sprint Fall Nationals. Last season the 13-time King of California brought home a stout fourth place finish during the World of Outlaw sanctioned Gold Cup Race of Champions at SDS and he is also tied with Steve Kent for the most wins in the Tribute to Gary Patterson, with four career triumphs at the event.
Sitting just five points behind Kaeding for the lead in the GSC standings is Los Angeles, CA’s Tyler Walker, who one year ago during the two-day late July event picked up his very first career Silver Dollar Speedway victory when he passed World of Outlaw legend Sammy Swindell on a late restart. “We’ve been close to winning races here, but have had a lot of tough luck so it feels amazing to finally get one in Chico,” Walker said after climbing from the car last season.
This year the driver of the SC Motorsports, NMI Industrial Contractors No. 24 has picked up a series leading six main event wins and is coming off a strong runner-up finish during the GSC event at the Chico bullring over the Fourth of July weekend. Walker was also on way to claiming victory at the Tribute to Gary Patterson last season, until hitting a rut coming to the white flag, which relegated him to a second place finish at the checkered. “T-dub” will be searching to add to his career win total at the track this weekend as well as looking to chip away at Kaeding’s lead.
Coming into the Silver Dollar Speedway third in the Golden State Challenge Series standings and just seven points out of the lead is locally based driver Jonathan Allard. The two-time and defending King of California looked to be on way to victory and re-taking the point lead last weekend in Antioch, until a spin in traffic with just seven laps to go ultimately resulted in an eighth place finish. Allard will be searching for a strong weekend at the track he cut his teeth at early in his career and still runs on regular basis.
The Chico native picked up his 38th career Silver Dollar Speedway win last Friday during a Feather Falls Casino weekly 410 event and will look to parlay that momentum into this weekend. Allard captured his lone GSC victory so far this year at SDS when he passed Brad Sweet on the final lap during the Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial in May aboard his Williams Motorsports, Platinum Powder Coating No. 0. The 32 year-old was also the winner of the Tribute to Gary Patterson in 2007, the final time it was held in Calistoga.
Scotts Valley’s Evan Suggs ranks fourth in the Golden State Challenge Series standings as he continues to search for his first career 410 victory. The 22 year-old picked up a career best second place finish with the series just two weeks ago in Santa Maria and is coming off a sixth place result last Saturday night at the Antioch Speedway. The driver of the Suggs Racing, Lucas Oil Products No. 33e scored his career best Silver Dollar Speedway finish of fourth during the late July double-header at the track in 2007.
Going into this weekend following a strong run in Antioch last Saturday is Elk Grove’s Kyle Larson, who rounds out the top five in the Golden State Challenge Series standings as he continues his rookie campaign with the tour. The 16 year-old charged forward last Saturday and brought home a solid third place finish in the main event on an extremely tricky and slick surface. In May Larson drove his Vertullo Racing, Starr Property Management No. 83v to his third career Silver Dollar Speedway victory and he’ll be looking for more of the same this weekend at the quarter-mile bullring.
Ripon’s Brandon Carey will continue his rookie season with the Golden State Challenge Series as well this weekend at the Silver Dollar Speedway sitting sixth in the standings, just 18 digits behind Larson for the fifth spot. The youngster has recently scored a pair of career best fourth place finishes with GSC aboard his Carey Racing, Vernon Transportation Company No. 55 and will look to put himself in position to take home his first career win this weekend.
Campbell’s Bud Kaeding will make his return to GSC competition this week after missing last Saturday’s event in Antioch. The 29 year-old driver will compete in a USAC Silver Crown Series event in Indiana on Thursday, before catching a flight back to California in time to run the double-header at the Silver Dollar Speedway this weekend. When the Golden State Challenge Series last visited Silver Dollar Speedway on July 4 Kaeding drove his Alviso Rock, K&N Filters No. 29 to victory for the first time at the track since 1997.
Former King of California Jason Statler comes into the weekend with momentum following his third runner-up finish of the Golden State Challenge Series season last Saturday night in Antioch. “The Big Guy” has consistently put his DF Rios Construction, YAK Graphics No. 00 towards the front of the field this season and recently scored a pair of fifth place finishes at the Silver Dollar Speedway over Fourth of July weekend. The Grass Valley driver has won eight main events in his career at the Chico quarter-mile and will look to add to that total this Friday and Saturday.
Current Feather Falls Casino 410 point leader Bobby McMahan will make his third outing of the season with the Golden State Challenge Series this weekend. The Elk Grove veteran recently picked up his first main event win of the year aboard the Racing for the Troops, World Environmental No. 26b and currently holds a 24 point lead in the Silver Dollar Speedway standings. In his career McMahan has won six main events with GSC, which puts him in a tie for 15th on the all-time list with younger brother Paul McMahan and Rio Linda’s Randy Tiner. The 1996 NARC Speedweek champ was also the Golden State Challenge Series runner-up in 1997.
Other drivers expected to take part in some of the weekend’s action at the Silver Dollar Speedway this Friday and Saturday will include ’05 King of California Sean Becker of Oroville, Loomis, CA’s Kyle Hirst, Auburn’s Andy Forsberg, Grass Valley’s Mark Hall, Chico’s Brett Miller, Jason York, Robby Whitchurch and Brad Bumgarner, Fremont’s Brent Bjork, Fresno’s Mike Stallings and more.
Saturday’s Tribute to Gary Patterson will also feature trophy giveaways courtesy Mancamp Motorsports and Twin Cities Trophies. The winner of each heat race and the dash will stop on the front stretch and do an interview, before going up to the stands and giving away two trophies to a pair of kids.
The front gate will open at 5pm with qualifying scheduled for 6:30 and racing at 7 each night. All seating will be general admission with adult tickets costing $17, juniors $12 and children $5. The Silver Dollar Speedway is located at 2357 Fair Street on the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds in Chico, California.
More info on the events can be found at http://www.goldenstatechallengeseries.com and http://www.silverdollarspeedway.com
For more information on Gary Patterson please visit http://www.garypattersonracing.com/index.htm