From Troy Hennig
It’s only fitting that on Chico Volkswagen Night at the Silver Dollar Speedway four former champions lead their respective divisions. Volkswagen offers a championship personal driving machine while the speedway is geared with champion drivers. This Friday night, July 16, the Feather Falls Casino / Riebes Auto Parts / Oxford Suites / Coors Light / Hoosier Tire will feature the 410 winged sprints, dirt modifieds, wingless sprints and street stocks. Each division should be loaded with talented drivers ready to attack the famed quarter-mile clay oval.
Front grandstand gate will open at 6 pm. Sprint car qualifying is slated to start around 6:30 pm with racing to follow. Adult general admission is $12.00. Seniors and Juniors are $10.00 while children are $5.00. A full night of racing is planned with heat races and main events for all four divisions.
Chico’s Jason York leads the 410 winged sprint car division. York, the track champion in 2000, leads Chico’s Brett Miller by a slim six-point advantage. Both drivers while vying for the championship are also looking for their first main event win of the year. Both are eager to win and will not rest until their car ends up in victory lane. Redding Tyler Wolf and Grass Valley’s Mark Hall had a successful previous Friday night and moved ahead of rookie Kenny Allen. Allen had held the third spot in the points. Allen now sits in the fifth spot. Chico’s Kevin Sharrah has battled his way back into the sixth position in points. Mason Moore, coming off a second place main event finish last Friday, is in the seventh spot. Mechanical failure shut down Brad Bumgarner last Friday. He started the main event but pulled off after just two laps. Last weeks main event winner Sean Becker sits in the ninth spot and former champion Andy Forsberg completes the top ten order.
The dirt modified division had an error in the point system that was corrected Friday night. Randy McDaniel was not credited with championship points from a previous race. With the points added to his overall total he is now the leader. McDaniel, a four-time champion of the race track, won the 20-lap main event last Friday night. That marked his second win in five tries this year. Darin Ruley, who had been the championship leader before McDaniel’s points were adjusted, sits second. Ruley is just seven points behind. Wade Kennemore has shown to be a tough consistent racer this season. He has been in the top five all year and now finds himself in third. Chico’s Mark Abouzeid and Marysville’s Jeff Olschowka are tied for fourth.
Mark Abouzeid is the reason behind our annual Chico Volkswagen night at the speedway. Abouzeid operates the Chico Volkswagen lot in downtown Chico with his wife Amy and a crew of many that deliver exceptional service and great prices on new and used vehicles. Abouzeid tries to make the night a family, customer and employee fun filled event. His daughter sings the National Anthem on this night also. Abouzeid, known as the Rocket Man, has one win this year during the championship season.
Santa Rosa’s Terry Schank Jr. and Chico’s Jimmy Pettit are tied for the wingless point title. Pettit is the tracks defending champion while Schank Jr. picked up his first wingless title last season also. Schank has an advantage in main event wins this year but Pettit has been a consistent finisher and good in heat race action. Grass Valley drivers Jay and Brett Youngman sit third and fourth in points. Team Youngman are ready to get into victory lane before this season ends. Rowdy McClenon rounds out the top five in points
Heather Bartlett holds a comfortable lead over Redding driver Scott Rogers going into Friday’s event. Bartlett has three of the six wins this year. Bartlett can also stake claim to being the tracks most popular driver. Fans continue to come out in droves to support the female champion. The other wins have gone to Chico’s Phil Marino. Bartlett is the defending track champ while Marino holds two titles in his career at Chico. Even with the wins Marino sits in the third spot. Marino leads by example. His cool and calm demeanor shows off his veteran driving skills when it comes to racing at the speedway. A student of the game, Marino is always ready for the challenge when it comes to racing Rogers, Bartlett and the entire street stock field of cars. Rogers has been fast but needs a break to help get the popular Ford driver into victory lane. Joe Longmire could be the most consistent street stock driver over the last three years. He is always near the top when it comes to main event finishes. Longmire holds down the fourth spot. Matt Magenheimer rounds out the competitive street stock racing.
Silver Dollar Speedway continues to be the place to spend with your family Friday nights in Chico. For more information call the track office at 916-969-7484.