Todd Cooper and Mark Abouzeid Get Sport Mod Wins at Chicoadmin
CHICO, CA (9-10-16) – The Sport Mods provided two nights of entertaining on track racing Friday and Saturday night at the 63rd running of the Gold Cup in Chico. The Saturday night finale offered $500 to win and produced 16 competitors going for the Gold Cup win.
2016 track champion Todd Cooper was the show. Cooper led all the completed laps and survived numerous restarts during a caution plagued event. In fact, of the 20 scheduled laps, only 17 were completed because the competitors were given 20 laps or a 20 minute window to complete the race. After the final caution waived, it was decided that time had expired and Cooper was the winner. At one point late in the race, Mark Abouzeid was able to get alongside Cooper for the lead. However, the yellow flag came out and Cooper remained the leader. “It feels good to finally get a win in Chico after winning the track championship earlier this year,” said Cooper. “I had a good time racing here tonight and I want to thank my team and family.” Abouzeid was humbling in victory lane. “Obviously I would have loved to race to the full 20 laps but hey that racing and I am just happy to have a good weekend,” said Abouzeid. James Lipke started 10th and drove a solid race to finish in third. Paradise driver David Pierce finished in the fourth spot. Pierce started 12th. Coming home in the fifth spot was 15th starting Raymond Benkowski. Phillip Shelby won the first heat race while Brian Cooper dominated the second heat. Brian was running second in the main event when a mechanical issue sidelined him later in the event.
On Friday night, nine sport mods entered the nights racing action. While there were fireworks on and off the track, in the end cooler heads prevailed and Chico’s Mark Abouzeid got the popular win. Abouzeid started dead last in the nine car 20-lap main event. With a handle full of laps remaining, Abouzeid passed Howard Law for the lead. Abouzeid held on to win but post-race was confronted by a visibly upset Law. Law even took some of his anger out on Abouzeid’s car as the two circled around the track. “I’m not sure why he is so upset,” said Abouzeid referring to Law’s post-race antics. “I love this track and to win in front of my hometown fans at Gold Cup means a lot to me.” Law did secure the second spot. Raymond Benkowski finished in the third spot. Clinton Earl won the lone eight lap heat race.