Becker wins Pacific Sprint Cup Feature Event
[b Point leader Becker takes home first career Pacific Sprint Cup victory]
Wingless Champion Pettit claims victory in Wednesday night Wingless Cup race
[i By Bill Sullivan, Handy Racing Promotions, Inc.]
CHICO, CA – The 2009 Gold Cup Race of Champions officially opened Wednesday night at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico with the annual Civil War Sprint Car Series $3000 to win Pacific Sprint Cup and the Wingless Sprint Car Invitational event.
The Winged Sprint Car portion of the program is the crown jewel of the traveling Civil War Sprint Car Series and draws the top 32 drivers in the present Civil War Series point standings. The Wingless Sprint Car portion of the program drew 29 entrants to the event that paid $1000 to win.
In the Civil War Sprint Car “Pacific Sprint Cup” a lengthy series of caution flags delayed the A-feature. When the checkered flag eventually flew, Oroville’s Sean Becker added a Pacific Sprint Cup victory to his already successful racing resume.
“I knew early on that tires were going to be a concern here tonight,” said Becker. “We had rubber down on the track early and in those final laps I was pretty much half throttle out there just saving my tires. Fortunately everyone else had to do the same thing.
Wednesday’s event saw the red flag immediately after the green flag as a multi car melee occurred in the second turn. The incident involved pole sitter Shane Golobic, Willie Croft, Kyle Hirst and Kenny Allen. Hirst went on his side in the incident that greatly adjusted the line up for the restart.
After another pair of failed starting attempts the event was aligned single file putting series point leader Sean Becker on the pole ahead of Auburn’s Andy Forsberg who clipped the tire on the latest version of the opening lap to fall out of contention.
Once the green flag eventually waved and stayed out, Becker assumed the lead position where he was challenged as early as the opening lap by former Civil War champion Greg DeCaires who was aboard John Taylor’s #35 sprint car for this one particular night.
With one lap complete, Becker distanced himself from the field while third place runner Colby Wiesz moved to the inside of turn four to take the second position from DeCaires. With four laps complete the yellow flag flew once again when RC Smith spun into the infield on the backstretch with damage. The incident then became an open red flag to allow teams to fuel up due to the lengthy series of laps under caution.
When the race restarted, Weisz fell out of the second position to draw a caution flag and allow DeCaires to resume the bridesmaid position behind Becker for the restart. Becker distanced himself once again when the race resumed and tire wear became a concern for every competitor as the track became extremely dry due the high temperatures and excessive caution laps.
With 14 laps complete, DeCaires fell out of second place due to lost right rear tire. Bishop fell out of third place at the same time and tried to veer off the track as fourth place runner Mike Henry went to the outside to avoid a collision. Henry struck the pit side wall and tire barriers head on to draw a red flag.
With curfew nearing and tire wear a concern, track officials shortened the event to a 20-lap distance on the restart. During the final six laps Becker held off Sacramento’s Herman Klein in the closing laps. Stephan Allard held off the challenges of Steven Tiner and Kyle Larson to the finish line to claim third place. Larson finished fourth followed by Tiner at the checkered flag.
In preliminary Civil War action on Wednesday, Andy Forsberg of Auburn of was the fastest lap of the night with an 11:893 second lap.
The first heat race of the evening was won by Placerville’s Jimmy Trulli who slid below Chico’s Kenny Allen in turn four of the second lap. Trulli finished ahead of Allen, Kyle Hirst, Brett Rollag and Colby Wiesz.
Herman Klein led all 10-laps of the second heat race of the night. Klein was followed across the line by Myles Bishop. Bishop, however, was penalized for not reporting to the scales following the finish and put to the rear of the finishing order. Justyn Cox was officially scored in the second position followed by Andy Gregg, Shane Matthews and Stephen Allard.
Mike Henry claimed the win in the third heat of the night. Henry was trailed by Shane Golobic, Mike Benson, Kyle Larson and Greg DeCaires. The final heat of the night was claimed by Steve Tiner who took the lead at the waving of the green flag and maintained it until the checkered flag. Point leader Sean Becker claimed second followed by R.C. Smith. Willie Croft made a final lap pass on Mason Moore to steal the fourth transfer position.
Wednesday’s B Feature was claimed by former four time Civil War Champion Andy Forsberg of Auburn. Forsberg was chased to the finish line by Greg DeCaires, Colby Wiesz, Myles Bishop and Bradley Terrell.
In the Joe Hunt Magnetos wingless cup event, Mason Myers of Brown’s Valley led the first 24-laps of the race. After taking the white flag, Myers felt the pressure of newly crowned Silver Dollar Speedway Champion Jimmy Pettit of Chico. Pettit moved in on Meyers in turns one and two to slip beneath the leader to take the lead and steal the checkered flag. Pettit was followed across the line by Myers. The hardcharger of the night was Bobby McMahan of Elk Grove who drove from 15th to third. Cody Myers finished in fourth followed by Scott Hall.
“I really used my patience out here tonight,” said Pettit. “I had a chance to get by Myers earlier and I decided not to take the chance. Later he gave ma about two inches too much and I was able to get by him.”
In preliminary action in the wingless division, Marc Mackay of Cameron Park posted the fastest time of the night with a 14:506 second lap. In the first heat of the night Cody Myers held off Kody Smith, Marc Mackay, Brett Youngman and Jay Youngman
Tom Dupont held off a hard charging Terry Schank Jr. in heat two followed by Tim Sherman Jr, Josh Bates and Doug Hardy Heat three was claimed by Bobby McMahan followed by Jimmy Pettit, Taylor Simas, Billy Wallace and James Sweeney
BJ Martin won the final heat of the night followed by Devon Ostheimer, Jason York, Mason Myers, Josh Viera
The B feature was claimed by BJ Martin who held off the efforts of Devon Ostheimer, Jason York, Mason Myers and Josh Viera.
Hoosier Racing Tires Civil War Sprint Car
Fast time: Andy Forsberg, Auburn 11:893
Heat 1; Jimmy Trulli, Kenny Allen, Kyle Hirst, Brett Rollag, Colby Wiesz
Heat 2; Herman Klein, Justyn Cox, Andy Gregg, Shain Matthews, Stephen Allard
Heat 3; Mike Henry, Shane Golobic, Mike Benson, Kyle Larson and Greg DeCaires
Heat 4; Steven Tiner, Sean Becker, RC Smith, Willie Croft, Mason Moore
B Main: Andy Forsberg, Greg DeCaires, Colby Wiesz, Myles Bishop, Bradley Terrell
A Main: Becker, Klein, S. Allard, Larson, Tiner
Joe Hunt Magnetos Wingless Sprint Cars
Fast time: Marc Mackay, Cameron Park 14:506
Heat 1: Cody Myers, Kody Smith, Marc Mackay, Brett Youngman, Jay Youngman
Heat 2: Tom Dupont, Terry Schank Jr., Tim Sherman Jr, Josh Bates, Doug Hardy
Heat 3: Bobby McMahan, Jimmy Pettit, Taylor Simas, Billy Wallace, James Sweeney
Heat 4: BJ Martin, Devon Ostheimer, Jason York, Mason Myers, Josh Viera
B Main: Scott Hall, Scotty Dupont, Jay Youngman, Josh Viera, Mitch Miller
A Main: Jimmy Pettit; Mason Myers, Bobby McMahan, Cody Myers, Scott Hall
Submitted By: Bill Sullivan