Sean Becker Fearless in Chico Main Win

By: Troy Hennig

            (Chico, CA 5-7-2005)…Oroville’s Sean Becker went beyond the limits of a sprint car driver Friday night and fearlessly drove to victory lane at Silver Dollar Speedway.  It was a wicked and wild racetrack as a total of six drivers got upside down throughout the nights racing action.  Two of the five happened in qualifying and one was in hot laps.  Needless to say, the track was tough but Becker was tougher.  He passed Andy Forsberg, Jonathan Allard and Jason York in route to get the lead by lap 15.  All of these passes were done by riding the cushion and holding on for dear life while battling with slower cars.  Becker brought home the R.P.M. Motorsports #10 in victory lane for the second time this season at Chico.  Allard finish second while York was third.  Forsberg brought the final red of the night when he went through the series of ruts in turn one that ultimately put him on his lid.  With the red flag being displayed for Forsberg, the officials decided curfew had come and gone and the checkered was waived.  Forsberg was scored it the tenth spot.  

            The “big one” happened at the start of the sprint car main event.  Eight cars were involved in a wreck when outside front row starter Korey Lovell spun coming off turn four.  Seven cars were unable to sneak by and crashed on the front straight.  The race restarted with Shain Matthews filling in the vacant spot for Lovell.  He took the lead going into turn one but hit the ruts entering and flipped coming out of turn two.  Red flag was needed again.  The next restart had Jason York moving into the outside front row spot and this time he took the lead and kept it for a while.  A series of cautions flew on lap three and six.   Kevin Sharrah had a flat tire and stopped on the track.  On lap six Gerrold Hopping slid through the infield for another stoppage.  At this point the race was shortened to 20 laps because of the looming 11 p.m. curfew.  The race resumed with York as the leader, Jonathan Allard in second and Forsberg in third.  This is when Becker began to make his move.  He shot by Forsberg on the outside during lap 10 and the next time by got by Allard.  He followed York for five laps until he once again drove to the outside and took the lead.  A caution waived on lap 16 when Korey Lovell stopped for the second time.  The top four spread out nose to tail while each driver was trying to massage their cars through the bumps in the track.  With the white flag waiving, Forsberg went into turn one and flipped.  The red was thrown and was followed by the checkered to end the race and give Becker the win.  With the win Becker creeps back into the points lead.

            Following Becker across the line it was Allard and York.  In fourth spot was Jim Richardson, who scored his first top five at Chico on a Friday night since the turn of the millennium.  Matt Shelton’s night started off with a flip in hot laps.  He then finished last in the heat race, which placed him outside of row 11 on the original start.  However, the main event was a shinning moment for Shelton and the Chico native finished fifth, giving him his best finish ever on a Friday night points show.  John Gray rebounded from an early yellow to finish sixth followed by Bernie Sloop, Eddy Lewis and Willie Croft.  Croft was involved in the first eight car pile up and came back to finish ninth.

            Shain Matthews electrified the crowd by winning the third and final heat race.  Matthews passed Eddy Lewis and Brian Boswell on the last lap to get the popular win.

            Jonathan Allard out drove the rest of the field to win heat two.

            Jim Richardson won heat race number one.

            Andy Forsberg started the night off by turning quick time.  His lap was a 11.656.


Fast time: Andy Forsberg: 11.656.

Heat 1: Jim Richardson, Forsberg, Kyle Hirst, Sean Becker, Korey Lovell

Heat 2: Jon Allard, Bernie Sloop, Doug Lippincott, Kevin Sharrah, John Gray

Heat 3: Shain Matthews, Eddy Lewis, Brian Boswell, Robert Stice, Jason York

A Main: Becker, Allard, York, Richardson, Matt Shelton, Gray, Sloop, Lewis, Croft, Forsberg, Sharrah, Lippincott, Troy Hovey, Stice, Lovell