McMahan Gets First Win at Chico in 13 Yearsadmin
CHICO, CA (7-10-09) – Friday night the fans at Silver Dollar Speedway saw something that took 13-years in the making and it left a lot of people very happy. Bobby McMahan led all 25-laps to win his 11th career main event at Silver Dollar Speedway and his first in 2009. More importantly though, it was his first winged sprint car main event win at Chico since 1996, some 13 years ago. “The last time I won at Chico I was holding Sean (his son) in my arms now he can look me right in the eyes standing up,” said McMahan. “This whole team starting with Steve Harris and all of our supporters for the Racing For The Troops program has been amazing this year. It feels great to be back in victory lane at Chico again,” said McMahan. Three divisions entered the night of racing at the ASA Sanctioned Silver Dollar Speedway.Grass Valley driver Billy Wallace led all 20-laps of the wingless main event. It was his first win in 2009 at Silver Dollar Speedway during the Feather Falls Casino Friday night championship series. “The track got real fast and narrow. I tried to go up top but it was pretty rough,” said Wallace. “I’d like to thank my dad for this win.”
The streak continues for Mark Abouzeid. The dirt modified driver known as “The Rocket Man” once again lived up to his billing. Abouzeid won his fifth main event in a row at Chico and is the only dirt modified driver to visit victory lane during the 2009 points season. “It takes a tremendous effort from my crew to make this happen,” said Abouzeid. “We are sure going to give it everything we got to keep the streak alive.”
McMahan started on the pole position of the 25-lap main event. He knew with the fast track conditions that getting the lead was very important at the start. McMahan got the jump over Andy Gregg and led the first of many laps to come. Gregg is a solid driver. He practices at home on a sprint car simulator to try and hone in his driving skills. Tonight all of the practice and his hand eye coordination paid off. Gregg shadowed McMahan all race long. At one point he closed to the inside of McMahan and it looked as if the battle for the lead was shaping up while the two leaders were dicing with slower cars. However, on lap 10 Kyle Harris stopped in turn four and brought out the yellow. This cleared the track for the leaders and provided McMahan with a nice view of the hammer down racing surface. Three laps later a red was needed when Cody Smith flipped off turn two. Smith was making his maiden voyage in a winged sprint car.
The final 12 laps were finished caution free. McMahan never made a mistake that allowed Gregg any chance of closing in. Kyle Hirst made some nice moves and worked his way into a third place finish. However, once he crossed the line he parked the GP Development #6 in turn two. Hirst then jumped out of the racecar and rolled on the ground signaling he was on fire. Once things calmed down for Hirst he showed some minor burns on his legs and feet but was able to shake off the pain and head home that night. Sean Becker finished in the fourth spot while Mark Hall rounded out the top five. The hard charger of the night was second year driver Colby Copeland. This kid continues to impress and passed an impressive 12 cars in route to an eighth place finish.
Eric Ashley led the first two laps of the dirt modified main event. Yet, on a lap two caution he was sent back to the third spot because he jumped the original start. This gave the lead to Mark Abouzeid. It was not an unfamiliar spot for Abouzeid. With an open track in front of him Abouzeid did what he does best at, leads. Abouzeid led the charge to the green flag restart and never looked back. His nearest challenger was Richard Papenhausen the former two-time track champion. Papenhausen had a serious look to the inside of Abouzeid but was never able to pull off the pass. On lap 10 Papenhausen looked to have a motor let go and stopped on the track. With ten laps to go it was all but in the bag for Abouzeid. He crossed the finish line over two-seconds ahead of John Abbott. Third place went to Darin Ruley. Travis Peery and Mark Haas rounded out the top five.
Billy Wallace led wire-to-wire in the 20-lap wingless main event. The only stoppage during the race happened on lap 17 when current point leader Jimmy Pettit stopped in turn four. He was scored in the eighth spot at the end of the race. Wallace held a comfortable lead for most of the race. Travis Moore returned to action and ran a solid second. He looked fast in a clean looking racecar. Justin Funkhouser enjoyed a solid night of racing. Funkhouser started seventh and worked his way up into a third place finish. It was good to see him and his family have a nice strong run. Terry Schank Jr. and Taylor Simas rounded out the top five. Moore and Wallace each won heat races for the wingless sprints.
Travis Peery and Darin Ruley were winners in the dirt-modified heats.
Brett Miller, Mark Hall and Colby Weisz all picked up heat race wins in the winged sprint car ranks.
McMahan picked up his first fast time honors for the year by turning a lap of 12.744.