Forsberg Flies to Fall Nationals Triumph at Chico
Troy Henning, CHICO, Cal. (October 1, 2016) – The 2016 racing season at Silver Dollar Speedway has come and gone; however, it was a bit of déjà vu for the drivers and fans who attended the final show. After 40 competitive laps, Auburn’s Andy Forsberg won the $5,000 to win, 25th Annual Fall Nationals in Tribute to Stephen Allard. Forsberg won the 2015 version of the race and his connection to the Allard family in undeniable. “Stephen and I were fierce competitors on the track,” said Forsberg. “But not a lot of people knew how close of friends we were behind the scenes.” With the win, Forsberg now has 150 career sprint car main event wins. Forty-four of those wins have come at Silver Dollar Speedway and he is now a three-time Fall Nationals Champion. “I am not sure what more fans could ask for tonight, we had over 50 cars, a great race track and multiple lead changes over the 40-laps. Man, I love this place,” Forsberg said into the microphone held by Elijah Jones.
The 24-car starting field was led to the green flag by Sean Becker. The Oroville native just picked up his sixth track championship and could be considered the favorite going into the main event. On lap three restart it was Forsberg’s turn to take the lead. With the track in prime shape the race featured multiple grooves that allowed drivers the opportunity to drive where they wanted. On lap eight Becker took the lead back. Third place starting Kyle Hirst drifted back to fourth on lap 13 but within two laps he charged around the top and took the lead on lap 15. Forsberg fell back to third but, then he too, found the top groove to his liking and drove around Becker and Hirst to get the lead back on lap 18.
D.J. Netto had another solid weekend. On Friday night he drove up to a fourth place finish. Tonight he started fourth and for the first half of the event he ran in than spot. But just past the half-way point, his #3c came to life and he passed both Becker and Hirst while moving into the second spot. The final 15 laps played out with Forsberg trying to negotiate slower cars while Netto tried to reel him in. On the final two laps Forsberg was caught behind a few cars and Netto closed in. The white flag lap featured Netto making one last ditch around the top of the track in turn three. Netto closed to Forsberg’s bumper at the line but couldn’t pass him coming out of turn four. Forsberg won, followed by Netto and Hirst.
Former World of Outlaw champion Jason Meyers finished in the fourth spot. Becker slid back a bit but still ended up with a fifth place finish. Jonathan Allard at one point was in fourth but a late race altercation with another car moved him back to sixth. Greg DeCaires was solid as usual and finished seventh. Friday night winner Dominic Scelzi came home in the eighth spot. Willie Croft battled back to a ninth place finish. Justin Sander rounded out the top 10.
Bud Kaeding completed the alphabet soup. He charged out the C and B main events to start 24th in the A main. Kaeding then survived an early wreck to come back and finish 11th. By doing so, Kaeding earned the $100 Hard Charger award from the Allard family.
D.J. Freitas won the 12-lap B main event. Herman Klein won the 10-lap C main event.
With 52 cars lining the pit area, the drivers and officials decided to the split qualifying. Colby Copeland turned an 11.888 in group one to earn $100 bonus award from the Allard’s. Kyle Hirst turned an 11.867 in group two and won the other $100 award.
With money collected by t-shirt sales, Ken and Debbie Allard donated $1300 back into the purse. They paid $100 each to quick time, heat race winners, dash winner, and the C, B and A main event winners. The also gave a $100 to the Hard Charger, longest tow and hard luck, that went to Cody Smith.
The third year in a row Lovleen Allard sold shirts in honor of Stephen with the proceeds going to S.A.V.E. Her moniker for her Stephen is Always Remembered Never Forgotten.
Thirteen spec sprint cars turned out for the final race of the year. At the end of the hotly contested 20 lap feature a familiar face ended up in victory lane. Orland’s Tony Richards won the race and did a great job. Richards continues to be one of the top drivers in the non-wing series. Casey McClain drove up through the field and finished second. McClain has shown talent in both a non-wing and winged sprint car in 2016. Cody Fendley did a great job and finished third. Fendley is one of the bright spots in the non-wing division. Motorcycle ace Chris Kerr was fourth and Jeremy Wilson was fifth. The wingless main event was really good and featured some top notch driving skills. All of those involved should be proud of the show they gave the fans.
Full results are available at www.silverdollarspeedway.com
(Photo courtesy of RCM Design)