Becker Wins His First Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial at Chico
By: Troy Hennig - (Chico, CA 5-13-06)…Sometimes things are just meant to
be. Two months before the racing season
started in California the defending King
of California Sean Becker was without a ride for the 2006 campaign. At the same time, Tom Fisher and Kyle Main of
Grass Valley, CA were in the
process of looking for a driver and deciding their plans for the season. The Grass Valley team wanted to run
a limited schedule based around Silver Dollar Speedway’s schedule. Becker was focused on trying to defend his
title. Luckily for the two parties
involved, they were able to meet in the middle and join forces. It so far has started out better than a Hollywood feel-good script. The team had already won the opening two
nights of point racing at Silver Dollar Speedway but that was nothing compared
to what this team accomplished tonight.
In only their fifth race together as a team Becker drove the #35m JEI
chassis sponsored by Cherry St. Mini Storage, A1A Muffler, Rolling Hills
Reality and Lee Watson Inc. into victory lane and became a first time winner of
the Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial. Becker
and team took home roughly $5500 for the win consisting of the $3,000 regular
payday win, an extra grand from JPM Motorsports and extra lap money bonus that
are a tradition during the Bradway Jr. event.
A record 52 Golden State Series King of California sprint cars
entered the Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial event.
Becker earned the
win when he passed Chuck Gurney Jr. on lap 21 of the 40-lap race. The track took some serious rubber during the
main event. In victory lane Becker’s
tire was worn down to the core. “I was
driving so slow just to keep the tire from wearing down too fast,” said Becker
in victory lane. “When I got out of the
car the first thing I did was look at the right rear and give
it a kiss for lasting.” Jonathan Allard,
a three-time winner of the event, finished in the second spot. Cool, CA driver Brad Sweet finished third, a Golden State best for him. Becker also said into George Hague’s infield
microphone, “When I first starting talking with crew chief Lee Watson he said
‘I want to win the Bradway’ and I said ‘you’re being pretty optimistic since we
haven’t even raced together yet’.” He
later added, “ So I am happy for him and it’s such an honor to win this
race.” It is the teams
third win in five races. This
partnership shows us that when one-door closes another will open up somewhere
down the road.
Chuck Gurney Jr.
led the first lap of the main event.
Becker was second and Jonathan Allard third. With the track in rubber down mode the field
quickly stretched out single file.
Everyone was equalized due to the one lane racetrack. However, this track went on to provide the
fans with an exciting show that wasn’t over until the checkered flew. On lap 19 Gurney Jr. had caught the back of
the pack when his first of two fateful events happened. Willie Croft spun right in front of Gurney
Jr. who was forced to the infield, spun around but kept going. With the yellow waiving he moved back into
the lead with great driving ability.
Two laps after the
restart Becker was able to get around Gurney Jr. for the lead. On lap 27 the first of five right rear
blowouts occurred when Kyle Hirst came to a stop in
turn one. Four laps later, Gurney Jr. came to a stop. His
right rear tire was flat and he would give up second place. In moved Allard followed by Brad Sweet.
With tire issues
the biggest concern of all, it was unbelievable to find out after the races
that Sweet was given a used tire to start the race on from Johnny Gray’s
team. Sweet’s right rear tire had been
raced on during a heat race with Gray.
While Sweet hung on for the third place finish, during a post race quick
inspection of right rear tires, his seemed to hold up the best during the main
More concern was
felt on lap 37 when two more cars brought out the yellow. Brent Kaeding, running sixth at the time, and
fourth place Shain Matthews each wore through their
right rear tire. With just three laps to
go Becker, Allard and Sweet along with their crews had to be wondering how much
tread was left. The three survived the
final laps and finished in their running order.
Behind them were Dennis Moore Jr. and Mike Henry. An extra $100 was presented to the night’s
hard charger. It wound up being Jason Statler who started 20th and finished
tenth. Steve Swarmer,
representing the Pennsylvania Posse, donated the money.
Brent Kaeding led
all 12 laps to win the B main event and transfer into the feature. Colby Weisz was
second, driving a car partially owned by Dave Bradway Jr.’s
brother Alan. Brian DeRuyter was third and Johnny Gray was fourth. Kyle Hirst and Jeff
Delte were the final two transfers.
Robert Ballou won the 10 lap C
main event. Delte
followed him across the line and into the B main. It was a very impressive night for Delte who was the only car to transfer from the C, B and
into the A main. He finished 19th
in the feature main. Throughout the
night he ran 62 main event laps between the C, B and A features. Big Daddy’s Race Center donated money to
the last place finisher of this race.
During the night Hoserville CA, an Internet
message board fan site, donated a right rear tire and five sleeves of tear offs
to the heat race winners. The winner
also was interviewed on the front straight and then asked to give the trophy to
a young fan in the stands. Heat race one
winner Willie Croft and heat two winner Peter Murphy were able to do this. Because of time constraints heat race three
winner Brett Rollag and Ronnie Day were not stopped
on the front stretch. John’s Racing
Photo’s and ManCamp Motorsports also donated things
to give away to the children. Gus Welty donated money to the last place finisher in heat
Tom Rolfe Trucking put up $500 for the night’s fastest lap in
qualifying. For the fourth time in a row
at Chico in 2006 Jonathan Allard earned the
fast time award with an 11.902. Of the
51 cars to make a qualifying lap, he was the only driver in the 11-second
Big thanks need to go
out to Dave and Dianne Durica for handling all of the
lap sponsor money. John and Robbie
Padjen for throwing in an extra $1,000 for the main event winner. Hoserville CA, Fast Trak Wings, Scribner Plastics, Tom Rolfe
Trucking and the countless people who donated their hard earned money into the
Dave Bradway Jr. lap money. We are lucky
to be involved with such a great sport and so many caring people.
Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial Race – May 13, 2006
Jonathan Allard – 11.902
Willie Croft, Allard, Andy Forsberg, Jason Statler,
Peter Murphy, Billy Wallace, Dennis Moore Jr., Brad Furr, Colby Weisz
Brett Rollag, Shain
Matthews, Chuck Gurney Jr., Mike Henry, Jon Maiwald
Ronnie Day, Roger Crockett, Brad Sweet, Sean Becker, Kyle Hirst
C Main: Robert Ballou, Jeff Delte,
Carl Droivold, Craig Stidham,
Danny Ochs, Jason York, Stuart Krum, Pat Harvey, Eddy Lewis,
David Silveria, Chris Masters, Mark Workentine, Gary Hurley
Becker, Gurney Jr., Matthews, Allard, Moore Jr., Sweet, Forsberg, Henry
Brent Kaeding, Colby Weisz, Brian DeRuyter,
Johnny Gray, Kyle Hirst, Delte,
Stephen Allard, Ballou, Destiny Hays, Robbie Whitchurch,
Kevin Sharrah, Doug Lippincott,
Maiwald, Andy Gregg, Tony Silveria
A Main (40 laps): Becker, J. Allard,
Sweet, Moore Jr., Henry, Forsberg, Weisz, Crockett,
Murphy, Statler, DeRuyter,
Furr, Day, Kaeding, Gurney Jr.