Becker Wins 3rd Annual Brownell Memorial

silver dollar Speedway chico

From Troy Hennig

Oroville driver Sean Becker won the 25-lap main event at Silver Dollar Speedway on Friday night. It was Becker’s first win of the year during the Feather Falls Casino / Riebes Auto Parts / Hoosier Tire point championship series. “I think it’s meant to be,” said Becker in victory lane when asked about three former go-kart drivers winning a race in tribute to Bill Brownell. “Every time I was at Cycleland and saw Bill he always had a smile on his face. He loved watching all of us at Cycleland and enjoyed it even more when he got to watch us here at Silver Dollar.” Brownell was one of the original founders of Cycleland Speedway and in later years developed a strong bond with many people at the Silver Dollar Speedway.

Adding to the night was the return of 55-year-old Shane Scott. The seven-time track champion came out of semi-retirement to race in honor of his friend Bill Brownell. Scott also said that he wanted to race a sprint car when he was 55. When asked on the front straight if we will see him return to the cockpit of a sprint car when he is 60, he responded by saying, “Not a chance.” The crowd really enjoyed Scott back at the track. After the heat races were complete, Scott came out and did a few memorial laps and then stopped on the front stretch. It was a great way to give Scott a chance to thank the fans, talk about Brownell and enjoy the moment for one last time. Scott thanked Alan Handy, the Moore family, Withrow’s Motorsports and JP’s Paint and Body Works for being involved with the Bill Brownell Memorial and keeping his memory alive. Scott not only raced but was a winner tonight. He led all eight laps to win the first heat race. At one point during the main event Scott held down the fifth spot but a mechanical failure ended his night prematurely.

Terry Schank Jr. won an exciting wingless main event. Schank Jr. picked up his second win of the year at Chico. Jimmy Pettit led the first part of the 20-lap main event. It was good to see Pettit lead the race tonight. The defending champion has been held out of victory lane all season. Billy Wallace was also in the mix. Wallace is as good as it gets when it comes to the wingless division. Wallace ran with Pettit for most of the night. Schank Jr. began to pick at Wallace for second. Those two battled for a few laps before Schank Jr. got around Wallace. He then set his sights on Pettit. Schank Jr. dove to the inside and made it happen. Schank Jr. was now the leader and in control of the race. He led the final few laps to pick up the win. Pettit finished in second. Wallace was third. Orland’s BJ Martin moved up to a fourth place finish. Travis Moore rounded out the top five. Heartbreak city for Justin Funkhouser tonight. Justin’s father recently passed away and he had to spend a lot of money to get the car back to the speedway tonight. In the heat race he didn’t even get one lap in before he was caught up in a wreck. On lap two of the main event Funkhouser and another driver made contact sending Funkhouser off the track with a broken front end. Hopefully he can rebound and come back out soon. Pettit won the first heat race while Wallace won the second heat.

Randy McDaniel led the dirt modifieds off turn four and took the lead going into turn one. McDaniel led the first lap. Behind him was Jeff Olschowka and Mark Abouzeid. A few laps into the main event it was clear that McDaniel was the car to beat. The race took a turn for the worse when a mechanical failure sent Olschowka into the turn four grandstand wall. Olschowka was banged up but was alert and talking to safety personal a few moments after the wreck. The racing resumed with McDaniel up front. McDaniel looked really strong tonight. He led the final half of the race without incident and won his second feature event of the year at Chico. Abouzeid came home second and was followed by Darin Ruley.

Mason Moore led the 18-car starting sprint car field to the green flag, but it was the outside front row driver who took the lead. Sean Becker moved around Moore and led the first lap. Moore settled into the second spot. Charging into the picture was Brett Miller. The Chico driver made some impressive moves during the early part of the race. Colby Copeland had a strange night that saw him spin twice and get disqualified from the event. Brad Bumgarner has mechanical issues and pulled off the track after a few laps. Bumgarner won the second heat race but stopped on the back stretch after the race was over. He elected to start at the rear of the field and then pulled off. Jeff Griffin won the third sprint car heat race. He carried that momentum into a ninth place finish in the main event.

Andy Forsberg moved up to the seventh spot after starting 17th. His night ended on lap 15 when he was forced into the infield and lost all the positions he had passed. Jason York was the nights fast time qualifier. Yet, York missed a top five finish in his heat race and without a B main tonight, that put him in the 16th spot for the main event line up. York did a nice job to move his way towards the front during the 25-lap race. York finished eighth. Mark Hall was a driver who benefited from some others misfortune. Hall ran a solid race to finish fourth. Tyler Wolf rounded out the top five. Wolf did a tremendous job tonight. An early yellow for Kevin Sharrah sent him to the back of the field. However, Sharrah did not give up and worked his way back to a sixth place finish. Up front it was all about Becker. He led all 25-laps to get the win. Moore finished second and Miller was third. All three are graduates of Cycleland Speedway. Moore is the inaugural winner of the event.

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