By Gary Thomas
Chico, CA – May 1, 2012…Much of the attention in Northern California sprint car racing will be focused on the Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico this Saturday night when the Cancen Oil KWS Series presented by Goodyear invades the track for the 22nd annual “Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial.”
The “Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial” pays tribute to the fallen race car driver, who lost his life in a sprint car crash at Skagit Speedway’s Dirt Cup in 1987. Bradway Jr. was a driver destined for stardom in sprint car racing and the event held in his memory has become a cornerstone for 410 Sprint Car racing in California.
In total there will be over $30,000 in cash and contingency prizes handed out at the “Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial” on Saturday and will attract one of the strongest fields of the season.
Dave and Diane Durica have once again collected lap money and each lap of the A-main and Last Chance Qualifier will pay $100 to be distributed among the top three each lap. The leader of the lap gets $50, second $30 and third $20. Lap money has been a staple of the Bradway Memorial over the years and always adds a special element to the event.
Butler Built Performance has also donated $500 to the winner’s share of the Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial so the 40-lap A-main on Saturday will pay a minimum of $3,500 to win.
Heat race winners will also earn an extra special perk thanks to the fan group “Hoserville,” who have been a part of the “Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial” for the past nine seasons. Each heat race winner will receive a Goodyear right rear tire and five sleeves of tear offs. Each driver will also receive a trophy to hand out to a child in the stands.
The hard charger award for the 40-lap A-main is currently at a solid $600, which will give drivers starting near the back of the field even more reason to get their “elbows up” and come to the front. Last season Roger Crockett was the hard charger at the Bradway, carving his way from 18th to second. The hard charger in the feature will also receive the usual $200 certificate from Pit Stop USA.
The fast time award for the night is named in honor of “Carwash” Mike Avilla and as of press time was up to an amazing $1,125. Chico’s Jonathan Allard has taken home the fast time prize each of the past four years at the “Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial” and in that span has captured a staggering total of $4,500. Fast time as always will also earn a $100 certificate from BR Motorsports & a custom KWS license plate courtesy Grant’s Fine Art.
A fully stacked field of 410 Sprint Cars is set to hit the Silver Dollar Speedway clay on Saturday and will include former Bradway Memorial winner Shane Stewart of Bixby, Oklahoma. Stewart won the event in 2010 after an entertaining fight with Jonathan Allard over the duration of the 40-lapper.
The reigning ASCS National champion will be aboard the familiar Paul Silva Motorsports No. 57 that he has raced to much acclaim and accolades over the last few seasons. Stewart charged to a runner up finish at the Knoxville Nationals last year and also won the 360 Nationals at the famed track for the second straight season.
Cancen Oil KWS Series presented by Goodyear point leader Tim Kaeding is a certain favorite this weekend in the Roth Motorsports No. 83 sprint car. The defending “King of the West” has won two of the first three events this season and will be in search of a third Bradway Memorial victory on Saturday.
Chico’s Jonathan Allard and Campbell’s Brent Kaeding are tied for the most “Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial” wins with four apiece and currently stand second and third in the KWS standings. Allard was the winner with KWS in Marysville two weeks back and Kaeding is coming off a strong second place finish last Saturday in Placerville.
More former winners of the Bradway Memorial expected in the field will include ’04 victor Jason Statler, ’06 winner Sean Becker of Oroville and defending event champion Peter Murphy from Clovis. Statler goes into the weekend ranking seventh in the KWS points and Murphy is eighth, while Becker makes his first series start of the season.
Other top-10 drivers in the KWS standings geared up for the “Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial” are Scotts Valley’s Evan Suggs, ’09 Silver Dollar Speedway track champion Bobby McMahan, Fremont’s Shane Golobic and Sacramento’s Willie Croft. Last season Croft came close to winning the event for the first time in his career, before brake issues with just five-laps left in the feature took away that opportunity.
Loomis driver Kyle Hirst is always a sentimental favorite at the “Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial” and will be gunning for his initial win at the prestigious event on Saturday. The outlaw kart graduate has come close twice before in his sprint car career, including last season, where he led the feature until contact in lapped traffic left him upside down and out of the race.
The Hirst family was instrumental in getting the Bradway Memorial up and running and is a race that the 24-year-old wants to win as much as any for his family.
More entrants looking to take home the big money on Saturday will include Placerville’s Andy Gregg, Fresno’s Craig Stidham, Redding’s Tyler Wolf, Chico’s Brad Bumgarner, Kenny Allen, Jason York & Kevin Sharrah, Fair Oaks Chad Compton, Rio Linda’s Cody Lamar, Prunedale’s Justin Sanders, Paradise’ John Michael Bunch, Auburn’s Richard Brace Jr., Oakhurst’s Doug Gandy, Rio Vista’s Danielle Simpson, Laton’s Geoffrey Strole and many more.
The Nor Cal Auto Racing Alumni will also be holding their annual bbq and Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Saturday at the fairgrounds. The gathering will begin at 11am with lunch hosted by Dennis & Sandy Gage starting at noon. The awards portion of the event will begin at 1pm. Inductees this year include Dwayne Starr, Brent Kaeding, Cliff White and Bill Riggins. Old timers not forgotten include Johnny Williams & Blackie Roberts.
The front grandstand gate at the “Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial” will open at 5pm on Saturday, with qualifying around 6:30pm and racing beginning around 7pm. All seating is general admission for the event with adult tickets costing $20, juniors $15 and children $6.
The Silver Dollar Speedway is located on the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds, a half-mile west of SR 99 on Park Ave in Chico, California. For more information on the Silver Dollar Speedway visit the track website at http://www.silverdollarspeedway.com
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