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Pits Open: 3pm, Racing: 6pm
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Pits Open: 2pm, Racing: 6pm
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by Troy Hennig
CHICO, CA (4-28-17) - Auburn's Andy Forsberg earned his 47th career sprint car main event win Friday night at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico. While Forsberg benefitted from a front row starting spot, he had to deal with a determined DJ Netto for most of the 25-lap main event. In fact, on a few double file restarts, Netto passed Forsberg and led for a few laps. In the end, Netto spun around late in the race to give the lead back to Forsberg for good. Chico's Michael Ing once again continued to impress. Ing is on the verge of grabbing his first career sprint car win. Tonight, he ran second to Forsberg, yet, near the end of the event Ing was just as fast as the leader.
The fans were treated to a great main event filled with lots of passing. The three drivers who entertained the crowd included 11th starting Sean Becker, 17th starting Kyle Hirst and 16th starting Dominic Scelzi. All three drivers had mechanical gremlins all night. They fought through the adversity and never gave up. Becker passed eight cars in route to his third-place finish. Hirst passed the most cars and gained 13 spots to finish fourth. Scelzi grabbed a top five finish in route to passing 11 cars.
Logan Seavy and Jake Wheeler brought out the only red flag of the race. As the two raced into turn three on lap 19, there was contact and they both flipped in spectacular fashion. Both drivers emerged from their badly beaten race cars and walked away to a thunderous ovation from the crowd.
It was good to see Kalib Henry back at Chico. He won the first heat race. Forsberg won the second heat race. Netto paced the field in qualifying and turned a blistering 11.222.
Terry Schank Jr. swept the wingless division tonight by winning the heat race and main event. Schank Jr. dominated the racing action. In both races, Tony Richards was second. Last week's winner Casey McClain finished a solid third in the feature. Angelique Bell went for a wild ride about the half way point of the main event. Her car was wrecked but she was uninjured.
The IMCA Sport Mods put on the best show of the night. The race between Brian Cooper and Phillip Shelby was breathtakingly close. In fact, as the two raced towards the checkered flag it was anyone's guess who was going to win. Somehow Cooper found enough traction to shoot past Shelby by less than a car length. It was a crowd-pleasing finish that is starting to become the normal for this tight knit division. Ninth place starting Mark Abouzeid got back in the saddle tonight and drove up to a solid third place finish. Tyler Rodgers continues to be a front runner and after some adversity finished in the fourth spot. Justin Foux is emerging into one of the top drivers each Friday night. Foux came home in fifth tonight. Rodgers won the first heat while Todd Cooper picked up the win in heat two.
Phil Marino is on a roll. The former two-time track champion has stepped up his game in a bigtime fashion. Marino won the 20-lap street stock main event. In doing so, Marino has won the first three in a row championship point race at Chico. Out of towner Mitch Machado provided some competition for Marino, but was never able to get around for the lead. Corey Hall has been consistent this season and has one of the better cars to beat Marino in the future. Brent Lawrence won the first heat race. Machado picked the second heat race win.
The Earl's Plumbing main event featured it all. The rivalry between Brian Compton and Kyle Allen increased after the two were battling for the lead and ended up hooking bumpers together. The two cars were unable to unhook from each other and Allen led the pair into the pit area. That gave the lead to James West. West went on to win, but a post-race rules infraction was found and West was disqualified. Shannon Collins was credited with the win. It was a delight to see Collins in victory lane for the first time. He seemed humbled and happy at the same time. Kyle Allen won the lone heat race.Full results can be found on www.silverdollarspeedway.com