Chico's Stephen Allard victorious in Civil War #3 at Twin Cities Speedway MARYSVILLE, CA- Due to heavy rains back in March, the first appearance of the Hoosier Racing Tires California Sprint Car Civil War Race Series at Twin Cities Speedway in Marysville was delayed until this past Friday, May 23 which was the third round of the 14 race series. Those fans that the holiday traffic to visit "Northern California's Action Track" likely found it worth the wait as 46 cars packed the pit area and Stephen Allard of nearby Chico bested the talented field to become the third different driver in as many events.
With a collective total of nearly 16,000 horsepower tearing up the tight quarter mile for the feature event, the green flag saw immediate action as fast qualifier Tim Kaeding and Herman Klein became tangled in opening lap traffic in turn two, sending both drivers upside down before collecting Mark Hall in the red flag incident. No drivers were injured in the accident and both Klein and Kaeding retired with damage.
The second attempt at the official start saw Ricky Wondergem jump to the front of the pack from the pole position to distance himself from Allard, Mike Henry and Sean Becker in the opening lap. With five laps complete, the top four drivers were each separated by several car lengths and Wondergem approached lapped traffic two circuits later. Despite the heavy lapped traffic around him, Wondergem appeared to be unaffected by the thick field and maintained a healthy lead of several car lengths over Allard who raced an equally safe distance ahead of Henry, Becker and Jimmy Trulli. With 17 laps in the book Wondergem finally became slowed by the traffic and allowed Allard to close in on his position.
As a heated battle looked to begin between Wondergem and Allard for the lead lapped traffic ultimately cost Wondergem the lead on the 20th lap when Kyle Schild spun in the fourth turn and Wondergem, with no place to turn, collided with Schild to bring out the yellow flag and allow Allard to assume the lead. Wondergem retired to the pit area with damage to his machine from the collision.
With ten laps remaining for the restart, Allard put the hammer down in his #35W to work himself to a lead of several car lengths over Grass Valley's Mark Hall while defending series champion Mike Henry of Sacramento worked to hold off the efforts of Sean Becker for the third position. At the 22 lap mark the yellow flag waved again when Jeff Halleib spun to the infield of turn one with minor front end damage before making repairs and returning. On the restart, Allard resumed his low line driving style around the heat torn race surface but only two laps were scored before Becker spun in the fourth turn and collected Jimmy Trulli in the fourth turn to draw the yellow once again. With the waving of the penultimate green flag, Allard maintained the point but it was Henry making moves as he overtook Hall for the bridesmaid position and set his sights on the lead just before David Robinson Jr. rolled over in turn one while racing in the seventh position.
On the final restart of the evening, Allard held the lead position by hugging the low groove of the track which became extremely rutted in the final circuits, preventing a late race charge by either Henry or third place runner Williams. At the finish it was Allard followed by Henry and Williams. Chuck Gurney Jr. drove from 12th to finish 4th ahead of Geoff Duppman who started in the 18th position and charged to the top five.
"It was pretty hairy out there, the track was really rough," said Allard. "I was expecting anyone to just blow by me anytime but I held on for the ride. I thought about going to the high side but I was worried I'd catch a rut and someone would get underneath me."
Despite a late race charge into second place and a near pass for the lead, Henry was pleased with his second place finish after several weeks of hard luck at Placerville Speedway and Civil War events. "I had a good look at the lead when I pulled beside him just before that yellow but the caution came out," said Henry. "I need long runs in a race like this and there just wasn't enough time for another long run, we're happy with our second place tonight after these past few weeks"
In the 12-lap B-main event Rick Williams of Castro Valley muscled from the pole position into the lead with Chuck Gurney Jr. of Livermore in tow. Sacramento's Kyle Schild and Jeff Hallieb held the top four transfer positions in the early laps and the race went under the yellow flag on lap four when Matt DeMartini and Mike Benson tangled and stalled in the first turn. With just one lap complete on the restart a second caution flag came out when Scott Russell went airborne on the front stretch and came to rest on his wheels before retiring from the event.
The third attempt at the restart was plagued by yellow as well when Steven Tiner, Pat Harvey Jr. and Dave Angus collided in the fourth turn, an incident which ended only Tiner's evening with damage. Only seven laps remained when the green flag came out again and it was Williams taking charge of the field with Gurney, Halleib and Schild in tow. Colby Weisz put the pressure on Schild for the remaining laps attempting to make the transfer and holding off Destiny Hayes simultaneously. At the checkered flag it was Williams, Gurney, Hallieb and Schild transferring into the feature with Weisz and Hays rounding out the top six positions.
The C-main on Friday night sent the top two drivers into the B-feature. At the waving of the green flag in this event pole sitter Mark Tabor Sr. took the green but immediately started to fall back in the field while second place starter Steven Tiner of Elverta jumped into the lead and maintained it through the non-stop 10-lap event event. At the checkered flag Tiner was followed by Mike Benson who started in sixth followed by seventh place starter Steve Watts, Greg DeCaires who started eighth but was unable to transfer in the limited laps. Mike Monahan rounded out the top five after starting 11th. The ten lap heat races off the evening were action packed Friday night.
Race Summary Hoosier Racing Tires Civil War Sprint Car Series Round #3 of 14 Twin Cities Speedway, Marysville, California
CAR COUNT: 46
TOP QUALIFIERS (top 10): 1) Tim Kaeding -12:156 2) David Robinson Jr.- 12:405 3) Rick Williams - 12:456 4) Chuck Gurney Jr. - 12:487 5) Sean Becker - 12: 524 6) Kyle Schild - 12:525 7) Willie Croft - 12:539 8) Steve Fehrman - 12:539 9) Herman Klein- 12:562 10) Korey Lovell - 12:569
HEAT 1 (10 laps): Jeremy Phillips; Herman Klein; Tim Kaeding; Sean Becker; Jeff Halleib; John Griffin; Jim Richardsen; Robert Stice; Mark Tabor Sr.; Colby Weisz; Matt DeMartini; Scott Russell.
HEAT 2 (10 laps) : Mark Hall; Geoff Duppman; Korey Lovell; David Robinson Jr.; Steven Tiner; Kyle Schild; Mike Benson; Destiny Hays; Bradley Sweet; Justin Johnson; Richard Brace Jr.
HEAT 3 (10 laps) : Chad Riolo; Stephen Allard; Jimmy Trulli; Willie Croft; Billy Wallace; Steve Watts; Rick Williams; Chris Wilson; Pat Harvey Jr.; Marc Mackay; Mike Monahan.
HEAT 4 (10 laps): Andy Forsberg; Chris Scott; Mike Henry; Ricky Wondergem; Greg DeCaires; Chuck Gurney Jr.; Steve Fehrman; Dave Angus; Jeff Parady; Troy DeGaton; Mark Tabor Jr.
C-MAIN (10 laps): Tiner; Benson; Watts; DeCaires; Monahan; Tabor Sr.; Stice; Parady; Richardsen; Griffin; Tabor Jr.; Mackay; Brace; Johnson.
B-MAIN (12 laps): Williams; Gurney; Hallieb; Schild; Weisz; Hays; Wilson; Wallace; Degaton; Watts; Fehrman; Sweet; Harvey; Angus; Tiner; Russell; DeMartini; Benson.
A-MAIN (30 laps):Allard; Henry; Williams; Gurney; Duppman; Riolo; Forsberg; Lovell; Croft; Halleib; Trulli; Schild; Hall; Becker; Robinson; Phillips; Wondergem; Chris Scott; Klein; Benson.
NEXT EVENT: THIS SUNDAY, MAY 25-ROUND #4, SILVER DOLLAR SPEEDWAY, CHICO