Shark Attack in Chico; Becker backs recent Civil War point lead with win

By Bill Sullivan /Civil War Series Media Relations
Shark Attack in Chico; Becker backs recent Civil War point lead with win
Photo by Stevem Cox {}
CHICO, CA (5-13-11) - The fire breathing sprint cars of the Hoosier Racing Tires Civil War Sprint Car Series made their first appearance of 2011 Friday night at the famed Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, California. The event marked round three of the 14 race series that visits six California tracks and when the final checkered flag flew of the night The Shark, Sean Becker of Antelope had claimed his first victory of the season.

"This series has gotten so tough this past year, it's hard to win one of these races," said Becker, a former Silver Dollar Speedway Champion and a two time Civil War Series Champion. "Everyone has stepped it up and is competitive so it's not a deal where anyone can come out here and dominate this deal anymore. Scott Miller and the crew gave me a great track tonight and I can't thank them enough."

At drop of the green flag Placerville's Jimmy Trulli jumped off the pole position and charged into the lead as Becker shuffled to the low line and tucked in behind the leader. In the first three laps of the race Becker drove inches behind Trulli and on the fourth lap got a close look at the lead and the two raced side by side for the lead just as a yellow flag came out to delay the race.

On the ensuing restart, Becker continue to chase Trulli for the lead and on the eighth lap he made another move to the low side of turn four and slid beneath Trulli. The two raced side by side down the front stretch and Becker overtook the lead entering the first turn.

"After my first try down low I wasn't sure I would get another one, honestly I thought I might have lost the race right there when that yellow came out because he knew what I was going to do," said Becker. "When I got underneath him again it was a good clean race and I was able to make it work down the front stretch but Jimmy gave it everything he had."

While Becker and Trulli raced their way into lapped traffic, John Michael Bunch of Paradise was working hard to maintain his third place position over Johnny Herrera of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Herrera was making a rare Civil War appearance as he prepares for several West Coast ASCS appearances later this season. On lap 21 his pressure on Bunch concluded when the two collided in turn two and Herrera spun to draw the yellow while Bunch was able to continue.

Once the race went back under the green flag, Becker distanced himself from Trulli by placing several lapped cars between Trulli and himself While Auburn's Andy Forsberg worked his way into the mix. Forsberg started sixth in the field and was in the right place at the right time. On the final lap Trulli became caught up in lapped traffic on the backstretch when he was forced into the infield tire barriers to fall out of contention for the lead.

As Trulli fell out of the top running, Bunch advanced into the second position while Forsberg powered into third at the checkered flag. Sacramento's Herman Klein finished in the fourth position followed by Alissa Geving of Penngrove who started ninth and rounded out the top five.

"This was a really dry slick track tonight and that's not something I'm use to up here but the care was set up perfectly," said Becker. "I really want to congratulate John Michael Bunch, don't what happened with Trulli on that last lap but those guys got up to second place and that's great for them. This win really helps us build some momentum to come back here with in two weeks."

In preliminary action on Friday night, Andy Forsberg was the fast qualifier of the night, posting 12:076 second lap. Herman Klein of Sacramento was second quick with a 12:095. Mike Henry of Citrus Heights timed in the third position with a 12:253 followed by Johnny Herrera of New Mexico in fourth with a 12:254 and Nicole Miller of Elk Grove who rounded out the top five with a 12:317.

In the first heat race of the night, Steven Tiner of Visalia powered off the inside of the second to take a lead that would ultimately lead to victory in the 10-lap qualifier. Tiner was followed across the line by R.C. Smith of Biggs, Forsberg, Jeremy Burt of Grass Valley and Colby Wiesz of Colfax.

The second heat race of the night, Becker made an exciting charge to the finish line to take the win. Becker started fourth in the race and moved in behind early leader Cody Lamar of Rio Linda. On the final lap of the race Becker made a charge to the high side and powered around Lamar to steal the win at the line. Lamar finished in second followed by Brett Rollag of Rohnert Park, Klein and Shawn Wright of Fresno.

Heat race three was claimed by Calistoga's Mike Benson who started on the pole and led all ten laps. At the finish line Benson was followed by Tyler Wolf of Redding who made a last turn charge for the lead. John Michael Bunch of Paradise finished third followed by Placerville's Jimmy Trulli and Mike Henry of Citrus Heights.

The final heat race of the night was dominated by former Silver Dollar Speedway Rookie of the Year Kyle Hirst of Elk Grove. Hirst was followed across the line by Billy Wallace of Grass Valley, Herrera, Chase Johnson of Penngrove and Dan Menne of Fort Jones.

The 12 lap B feature had drivers driving very tenderly to navigate their way around the dry slick track that fell victim to the afternoon winds. Mike Henry of Citrus Heights drove his way to the victory and transferred into the A feature with second place runner Alissa Geving of Penngrove. Wiesz was third followed by Miller and Menne.

Following Friday's race, the Civil War Sprint Car Series will return to Silver Dollar Speedway for battle number four over the upcoming Memorial Day Weekend. The event will take place on Sunday night, May 29. This event will take place in conjunction with the annual Silver Dollar Fair and offers a bargain that is second to none on admission. Watch or for upcoming information.
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Tagged with Sean Becker, Civil War Sprint Car Series, Silver Dollar Speedway