2017 Awards Banquet
November 18, 2017
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Jimmy Trulli Nets Popular Win on Night Two
By: Elijah Jones
CHICO, CA (9-5-13) - On Wednesday Night, Jimmy Trulli was upside down in turn one of his heat race, and was done for the night. The team thrashed all night and the next day to get the car ready for Thursday Nights USAC Western Classic Series Race. All their hard work paid off though as Trulli led all 30 laps en route to the very popular victory amongst the fans and even other drivers. "This is my first win without the wing, and to do it at Gold Cup is really special. I lost my brakes on lap 19 but was still able to hang on for the win." Stated an overjoyed Trulli in Victory Lane.
Jimmy Trulli started on the Pole of the A-Main and on the start would jump out to lead lap one. Before a second lap was completed Bud Kaeding came to a stop with a flat left rear tire following contact with Geoff Ensign on the start. Once the race was restarted, only one lap would be completed before the red flag flew for Shawn Wright who took a nasty ride down the front straightaway. Also involved was the 56k of Scott Hall. Once the race got back under way they would go 21 laps non-stop. Until Terry Schank Jr. would get caught in the slick stuff in the middle of turn 3 and spin directly in front of the leaders, Trulli was able to get by but second place Andy Forsberg would not be so lucky. As he was collected with front end damage. Once the race was back underway it was all Jimmy Trulli in the 360 power plant dominating the final seven laps of the race to pick up the victory. Austin Liggett, also running the 360 Motor ran a strong race and finished in the second position. Ryan Bernal ran a consistent race by finishing third. The highlight though for Bernal was being crowned the USAC Western Classic Sprint Car Champion for the year. Bernal overcame a lot of adversity this week and almost didn't make it to race as he didn't have any rides lined up for Gold Cup until Wednesday! The top five was completed by Kyle Hirst in fourth and Geoff Ensign in fifth. The drive of the night has to go to Tony Hunt who started the race in the 23rd position and finished all the way up in the 6th position. Good stuff from the eleven time USAC champion. Geoff Ensign was the fastest driver in qualifying with a time of 14.354. Heat Race Victories were claimed by Brett Rollag, Chad Boespflug, and Main Event Winner Jimmy Trulli.
The first ten laps of the USAC/BCRA Midgets Main Event were intense. Jonathan Henry would lead the first 8 laps from outside the front row. But behind him during those initial laps drivers were throwing sliders, bumping and banging all over the track. Ronnie Gardner would catch Henry on lap 7 the two would do battle for two laps until Gardner would be able to get by. A lap later though the red flag would fly as Shane Golobic got tangled up with a lapped car in turn two and went for a wild ride off the edge of the racetrack. Shane would walk to the ambulance under his own power. Once the race was back underway though it was all Ronnie Gardner winning the Main by a full straightaway over, Jake Swanson in second, Scott Pierovich in third, Matt Streeter came home in the fourth slot, and Jonathan Henry would fade back to fifth. Ronnie Gardner was fastest in time trials with a time of 14.511. Heat Races were claimed by Trey Markham, Matt Streeter, and Gregg Bragg.
The Dwarf Car Main Event got off to a very rough start as it took many attempts to get the race underway. But once it got going it turned out to be a great race. Chuck Conover led the opening three laps of the event. Jeff Fitch would make the pass of Conover but his lead was short-lived as Ryan Winter wasted no time getting to the lead. On lap 7 Winter moved in to the lead and would go on to win the race. It got interesting though coming down to the checkers as he tangled with two lapped cars and would spin across the finish line. Shawn Jones came home second tonight after starting 19th, a very impressive run by Jones. Jeff Fitch would fade back to third, Kevin Bender was scored fourth, and Jeremy Blackshere would round out the top five. Heat Race victories were taken by Ryan Winter (after Heat 1 winner Shawn Jones was DQ'ed for losing a muffler during the race), Jeremy Blackshere, and Kevin Bender.
There were many Vintage Hardtops that came out tonight to run some at speed laps around Silver Dollar Speedway. Jim Perry was the fastest car on the track and would take the checkered flag in their main event. It was a very different and great experience for the fans to see some of these cars on the track.Two nights down, two nights to go for the 60th Annual Gold Cup Race of Champions. Tomorrow night the STP World of Outlaws Sprint Cars invade the Silver Dollar Speedway. Tim Kaeding looks to win his third straight WoO feature in front of his home state crowd, and Donny Schatz will try to continue his push towards the top of the WoO points standings. If you don't already have your tickets, get them now and meet us out at The Silver Dollar Speedway for Night Number Three of The 60th Annual Gold Cup.