Forsberg Gets Second Win of the Year at Chico By: Troy Hennig (Chico, CA 8-16-02)…Auburn’s Andy Forsberg had suffered through early season disappointments at Silver Dollar Speedway that ultimately led the A & A Stepping Stone #92 sprint car to take some time off in the middle of the season to regroup and regain their focus. Since returning, Forsberg won a 30 lap Civil War race on June 14 at Silver Dollar Speedway and now returns to victory lane after leading all 25 laps of the 410 sprint car main event. “It’s been a long tough season up here but I have to give credit to my crew guys tonight because they tried something different and the changes seemed to work. I think we figured something out for the upcoming Gold Cup Race of Champions here in Chico and I’m really excited,” said Forsberg.
Forsberg took advantage of his front row starting position and took the early lead away from fellow front row starter Ryan Flynn. Before the race completed one lap the red was displayed when rookie driver Kelly Chambers flipped in turn one. In only his second night of driving a sprint car Chambers emerged from the wreck and proceeded to give his crew high fives. When interviewed about his first flip in a sprint car Chambers said, “That was awesome, even better than a rodeo.”
The race restarted with the same scenario of Forsberg getting the lead. Chico’s Stephen Allard quickly moved into second and proved to be Forsberg’s only challenger of the night. Lap 13 brought out a caution when two Chico drivers, Jonathan Allard and John Gray, collided on the front stretch with Gray limping off the back straight and coming to a stop. Allard continued and finished fifth while Gray suffered in eleventh. Racing continued with a good battle being fought between Sacramento’s Sean Becker and Colfax’s Colby Weisz for third spot. Weisz rarely races in Chico but tonight he looked like a seasoned driver and finished fourth prompting his best finish this year at the track. Becker, the top rookie all season at Chico, held off Weisz for the third spot. Behind them were Flynn and Destiny Hays racing for the fifth spot, however, each would be passed by Jonathan Allard resulting in Flynn finishing sixth and Hays in seventh.
Up front it was Forsberg still leading the charge but things got dramatically close on lap 19. While Forsberg was marred in heavy traffic, Stephan Allard was able to close the gap and soon was right on his bumper. Forsberg went into turn one on the bottom while Allard went to the top. For a split second it seemed as if Allard had the faster car and might get by Forsberg until a yellow flag came out and relegated everything. John Gray had spun off the track on lap 21. This put Forsberg in front for the restart and with a clear track ahead of him he was able to easily hold off Allard for his second win of the year.
“I need to thank my sponsor A & A Stepping Stone and Stop n Go Sanitation along with Basalite Concrete Products for all their help this year and I want to thank all of the fans who continued to support me even when we were going through our tough times.”
Earning top honors in sprint car qualifying was John Gray with a 12.696. Forsberg had a great night by winning heat race number one while it was Stephen Allard winning heat two. Of course, those drivers went on to finish one and two in the main event.
Fast Time: John Gray: 12.696
Heat 1: Andy Forsberg, Ryan Flynn, Gray, Destiny Hays, Rick Hirst
Heat 2: Stephen Allard, Sean Becker, Bernie Sloop, Jonathan Allard, Colby Weisz
A Main: Forsberg, S. Allard, Becker, Weisz, J. Allard, Flynn, Hays, Sloop, Carl Enns, Stuart Krum, Gray, Bud Walberg, Eddy Lewis, Scott Steele