By Bill Sullivan /Civil War Series Media Relations
CHICO, CA (5-29-11) – Before the background of the colorful Silver Dollar Fair and the capacity filled grandstand of enthusiastic fans it provided, the Hoosier Racing Tires Silver War Race Series and the Silver Dollar Wingless Sprint Cars provided entertainment that was second to none Sunday night at the famed Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico. In the end one of the regions future legends celebrated in victory lane with another driver has already earned that legendary status quo.
Known as “Mr. Excitement” to his peers and colleagues in the sport, Auburn hot shoe Andy Forsberg drove his way to his second victory of the season in the 2011 Civil War Sprint Car Series here. With the win the five time series champion becomes the first repeat winner of the season in the premier traveling series for winged sprint cars. Forsberg celebrated in victory lane with the legendary Jimmy Sills who now hails from Elverta. Sills drove to a hard earned victory in the Silver Dollar Wells Fargo Series Wingless Sprint Cars
All season long the traveling Civil War Sprint Car Series has been impressive in the way of car counts at each event where it competes. Sunday evening was by far the most impressive yet as a total of 49 cars qualified on the Silver Dollar clay. Another impressive aspect, the evening prior to the event the Chico area underwent heavy rains and in the morning hours track officials questioned if the race would even take place due to the saturated ground and flooded facility. It was the teamwork of track promoter Dennis Gage and his crew and that of the Silver Dollar Fair that converged to make sure the show did go on.
“A lot of people don’t realize how hard it is to put a track together, especially when you have bad weather working against you,” said Forsberg. “Sure we all like to complain about track conditions where ever we go but let me tell you guys something; to put this track together today considering what happened here last night is pretty amazing. This race is important because it brings a lot of new faces to the track with the fair and hopefully if they like what they see they come back on Friday nights.”
Sunday’s crowd that packed the Silver Dollar grandstands was by far one of the most enthusiastic in recent history. Like Forsberg attested to, when the checkered flag flew all of them undoubtedly left the fairgrounds feeling well entertained to say the least.
Following all of the preliminary events, the 30-lap feature event for the Civil War Sprint Cars got off to a wild start with multiple red flags flying before the official green ever came out. Former Champion Mike Henry was the first driver to roll over and pause the start. Placerville’s Jimmy Trulli was the second victim of a traffic jam in turn four. Both racers were down for the count with great damage to their cars. When the official green flag eventually did fly, Forsberg started on then outside of the front row and made good use of the position as early as the first lap.
Charging ahead of pole sitter Herman Klein of Sacramento, Forsberg took a lead he would never relinquish in the event that ran all but it’s final six laps due to time constraints. Klein challenged Forsberg throughout the race and closed in within striking distance on several occasions as the two seasoned wheelmen dueled in lapped traffic along with third place runner John Michael Bunch of Paradise and two time champion and point leader Sean Becker of Antelope.
Once Sunday’s race was under the green flag it didn’t come without incident. In his heated battled for third place with Becker, Bunch took a wild tumble in the second turn to draw a red flag. Jeremy Burt of Grass Valley also suffered a damaging rollover that ended his night with just four laps complete.
In the waning laps of the race, Forsberg was challenged by Klein who closed in lapped traffic. Shane Geologic moved into the mix late in the race as he charged into the third position to pressure Klein. At the 24 lap mark a final caution forced officials to draw the checkered flag. Forsberg picked up the win followed by Klein, Golobic and Robbie Whitchurch of Chico.
“This race wore me out tonight, 49 cars is really something,” said Forsberg. “I heard Herman Klein was coming up fast behind me but this F&F car was perfect tonight, I could run almost anywhere. I hope everyone here tonight liked what they watched and will come back and support this place on Friday nights.”
In the Silver Dollar Wingless Sprint Cars, Sills drove an exciting race to the victory as well. Driving for car owner Charlie Mars, Sills took the lead from the pole position over second place starter Braeden Enos and never relinquished the top spot for the 20-lap affair.
With six laps down, Sills raced his way into lapped traffic as Enos closed in on the leader. Fourth place starter Scott Hall of Lincoln, Sills’ nephew, was determined to catch his high speed family member and give him a run for his money. Hall overtook Enos for the second position and tucked beneath Sills to challenge for the lead on several occasions, they even banged wheels at one point and took part in a friendly game of bumper tag during a yellow that was well enjoyed by the crowd.
As the race continued, Sills eventually broke into a healthy lead as Hall faded back a pair of position with overheated brakes. At the finish line Sills took the win ahead of Kyle Hirst of Sacramento who raced both classes Sunday. Cody Myers of Browns Valley finished in third followed by Hall and Alex Schutte.
“We’re having fun in this wingless class this year,” said Sills. “Charlie gives me a really good car to drive wherever we go. It’s always fun to come here to Chico for the fair race. The crowd is great and racing is usually pretty intense too with new drivers showing up. We had a good run tonight and I think we put on a great show for the fans too.”
Action will return to Silver Dollar Speedway on Friday night, June 10 as the Wells Fargo, Hoosier Tires, Riebes Auto Parts championship season resumes. The Civil War Sprint Car Series will new prepare for a special weeknight event at Placerville Speedway on Wednesday, June 8th as Placerville Speedway hosts the popular ‘Wild Winged Wednesday.” For more information on Silver Dollar Speedway log on to www.silverdollarspeedway.com. For further information on the Civil War Series check out www.civilwarsprints.com.