Veteran Vs. Youth in Chico’s Sprint Car Divisionadmin
CHICO, CA (5-12-09) – This year Silver Dollar Speedway has a nice mix of veteran sprint car drivers mixing in up with the youth of our sport. It’s the necessary thing to not only keep the sport fresh but the youngsters should be grateful to have some of these veterans to look towards for advice. Coming into the sixth point race for the Friday night Feather Falls Casino point championship ASA Sanctioned racetrack a 42-year-old veteran leads the 410-winged standings. Bobby McMahan sits atop the leader board with a two-point lead over teenager Colby Copeland. These two represent what is great about the past and present of sprint car racing.
Moore Insurance Services Inc., owned by Garth Moore, is sponsoring the night of racing. Moore’s company offers in assisting with employee benefits and individual planning. He is also assisting with some nice things for the grandstand crowd this Friday night. Rolling Hills Casino is one of the sponsors on the Moore owned #22 sprint car driven by his son Mason, and they are giving away roughly 90 items to the crowd on Friday night. Mason, a teenager just completing his senior in high school, just spoke at Princeton Elementary this past Monday on the importance of doing well in school and setting goals. One of the rules in the Moore household is that if Mason did not make honor roll he was not allowed to race. This is something Mason told the elementary children. Mason signed about 150 autographs and was well received by the students and faculty.
Racing is set to begin at 7 pm. Sprint car qualifying will be the first agenda of the night. Front grandstand gate will open at 6 pm. Pit gate opens at 4 pm. Adult general admission into the main grandstand is $12.00. Juniors and seniors are $10.00 with children $5.00. After the racing action fans are invited to meet and greet their favorite drivers in the pit area.
The year 1982 gave us Michael Jackson’s Thriller album that became the biggest selling album in the history of music sales. The movie E.T. captivated audiences with young and old alike. It also started the Michael Jordan era. Jordan was still wearing a University of North Carolina Tar Heels basketball jersey when he knocked down an 18-foot jump shot that sealed the win in the National Championship game over the Georgetown Hoyas. This is the same year that Bobby McMahan started racing.
Through the years McMahan became one of the top sprint car drivers on the West Coast. His career driving sprint cars on dirt ended in 1998. In 1999 he drove sprint cars on pavement before moving into the USAC Silver Crown Series in 2000. For the next three seasons he traveled with the Silver Series before ultimately steeping aside in 2002. During the next six year McMahan only sat inside a racecar in two different occasions. That all changed in August of 2008 when car owner Steve Harris, who McMahan also works for, offered him a chance to race at Kings Speedway in Hanford. Since then, it’s been like he had never left dirt track racing. McMahan’s hot start in 2009 has earned him the point lead coming into this weekend.
Chasing McMahan is Colby Copeland who just recently turned 17 years old in March. The difference’s between the two are staggering. McMahan’s racing career started in 1982. Copeland was born in 1992. McMahan is headed to Salinas on Saturday to watch his daughter, enrolled at Sierra Junior College, play in a softball tournament. Copeland is a junior at Oakmont High School in Roseville. McMahan served as the President of a � midget-racing track in Rio Linda. During that time is when Copeland started racing as a youngster at that track. Even with the six year lay off from driving McMahan is entering his 21^st year of driving open-wheel sprint cars. Copeland is competing in his second year as a sprint car driver. However, they both do share one common factor. Each wants to win the 2009 Silver Dollar Speedway track championship.
Chico’s Jimmy Pettit holds a commanding 13-point lead over former track champion Brandon Davis. Each drivers have had a good start to the season but it’s been Pettit’s one win and finishing inside the top five on all three occasions this year to give Pettit a nice cushion in the points. After taking last season off to race more locally, the Rohnert Park driver returns this season driving for car owner Dave Johnson. One-point behind Davis is Orland’s Taylor Simas. The Chico St. Sophomore had to borrow a car supplied by Meyers Brothers Racing to keep in the title hunt. Simas is hoping to get his motor back for this weekend so his family car is ready to race. Jay Youngman is a talented driver from Grass Valley and is currently tied with Simas. Scott Hall rounds out the top five in points. As of press time it is uncertain if Hall will be able to make this Friday night. He had a horrific looking accident Friday night that saw him fly throw the air after riding over another competitors wheel.
It feels like it’s been forever since the last time the street stock raced at Silver Dollar Speedway. Truth-be-told it will be 40 days since the likes of Phil Marino and Heather Bartlett have had the chance to rub fenders. This Friday joining Marino and Bartlett should be Richard Workman, Joe Longmire and Rich Chapman. Hopefully another strong car count will energize the crowd.
Inquires can be handled by calling the track office at 916-969-7484.