From Troy Hennig
Chico, CA — (4/22/11) — Fort Jones driver Dan Menne won the 4th Annual Bill Brownell Memorial sprint car race at Silver Dollar Speedway Friday night. Menne made the most of his first appearance of the year at Silver Dollar Speedway by capturing the main and being able to add his name to the perpetual Bill Brownell trophy. “We made some changes after the heat race and it really made a difference in the main event,” said Menne in victory lane. Chasing Menne to the checkered flag was Sean Becker and Andy Forsberg. Withrow’s Motorsports and seven-time track champion Shane Scott were sponsoring the night in memory of Bill Brownell.
John Michael Bunch started off the sprint car night by turning the quickest lap in qualifying with an 11.022. With that lap time, Bunch is now the fastest driver to turn a lap in the regular season of qualifying.
Sean Becker won the first eight lap heat race while Tyler Wolf won the second heat race. In the first heat race Brett Miller was in the second spot and chasing after Becker for the lead when his car got just a bit loose. He tried to correct it and the car’s right rear tire dug into the surface and did a quick but nasty roll over in turn four. Miller got out of the car and surveyed the damage. Unfortunately the damage was too much and the team scratched from the rest of the nights racing action. A total of 15 winged sprint cars showed up for point race #3 during the Wells Fargo Friday night championship season.
The sprint car main event lined up with Menne on the pole position while Brad Bumgarner lined up his outside. Menne won the drag race into turn one and took the lead heading down the back stretch. Andy Forsberg had a tough start when he was forced off the edge of the race track in turn four. He completed a series of 360’s and kept going without bringing out the yellow. On lap four Brent Steck flipped upside down. It was the youngster first event on the season at the speedway. On the restart, Becker charged around Bumgarner for second. With Becker trying to close on Menne, Forsberg was battling his way up through the field also. Forsberg ultimately moved around Mason Moore and Robbie Whitchurch in consecutive laps. Another caution flew for David Tarter and Steck in turn four. Tarter continued while Steck was sent to the pit area. Menne was poised to handle Becker chasing him on the restart and cruised out to a comfortable lead. Becker was all by himself in second. Forsberg drove a valiant race to work his way back into the third spot. Up front it was all Menne. He held a comfortable lead at the checkered flag to get his first win of the season.
The Dirt Solution Limited Late Model Series 20-lap main event was as good of a race that we have seen all year. Ken Micheli took the early lead but by lap five it was Jerry Bartlett who took over the top spot. Bartlett moved into the lead after starting in the third row. On most times we have seen the Late Models race at Chico when Bartlett takes the lead it was lights out for the rest of the drivers. Yet, tonight it was another driver who would steal Bartlett’s thunder. Live Oak’s Matt Micheli started in the fourth row but by lap 11 he had moved into the second spot. On lap 15 the race was slowed when David Larabee spun in turn four. On the restart, Bartlett got a good start but Micheli seemed a bit faster. On lap 17 Micheli made his move. The two raced side by side for a stretch until Micheli eased up the track coming out of turn two and cleared Bartlett for the lead. On the following lap Larabee spun again to the slow the race. The crowd was really into the race and gave the top two a nice round of applause. Micheli led the final two laps without any problems and won the race. Bartlett was second followed by Ken Micheli. Matt Micheli won the first heat race while Bartlett was able to win the second race. A total of 11 limited late models attended their first race of the year at Chico.
Chico’s Phil Marino made it two for two in the street stock action. Marino led by a straight away at the end of the 20-lap main event. Kevin Lesch finished in the second spot while Heather Bartlett battled her way back into a third place finish. Bartlett had spun to begin the main event and spent the rest of the race charging back through the field. Scott Rogers won the first heat race and was going to start on the front row of the main event but his car did not start. Marino dominated the second heat race to give him a clean sweep during the night. Finishing behind Bartlett in the fourth spot was Gary Newman. Kevin Ward rounded out the top five.
Chico’s Richard Papenhausen won the 20-lap dirt modified main event. Papenhausen survived a lot of carnage and attrition to get the popular win. Only a handful of modifieds were around at the end of the race. Following Papenhausen across the line was Nevin Kennemore. Oreste Gonella finished in the third spot. Kevin Pendergrass came across in the fourth spot while Randy McDaniel was credited with fifth. Randy won the first heat race. Mark Abouzeid won the second heat race. During the main event Abouzeid was side swiped by Wade Kennemore in turn two. Kennemore then pushed Abouzeid all the way down the back straight and into the infield area near turn three. The officials disqualified Kennemore for rough driving while Abouzeids car was done for the night because of all the damage.
Sprint Car Results
Fast Time: John Michael Bunch – 11.022 (new regular season track record)
Heat 1: Sean Becker, Robert Stice, Colby Copeland, David Tarter, Mason Moore
Heat 2: Tyler Wolf, Andy Forsberg, Brad Bumgarner, Dan Menne, Robbie Whitchurch
A Main: Menne, Becker, Forsberg, Bumgarner, Whitchurch, Moore, Stice, Wolf, Richardson, Tarter, Brett Rollag, Copeland, Brent Steck
Heat 1: Scott Rogers, Heather Bartlett, Gary Newman, Kevin Ward, Bill Hall III
Heat 2: Phil Marino, Kevin Lesch, Terry Lawrence, Mike Slightom Joe Longmire
A Main: Marino, Lesch, Bartlett, Newman, Ward, Workman, Hall III, Kevin Berns, Slightom, Longmire, Lawrence
Heat 1: Randy McDaniel, Wade Kennemore, Oreste Gonella, Mike Compton Jr., John Sloan
Heat 2: Mark Abouzeid, Richard Papenhausen, Kevin Pendergrass, Jeff Olschowka, Nevin Kennemore
A Main: Papenhausen, N. Kennemore, Gonella, Pendergrass, McDaniel, Sloan, Olschowka, Abouzeid, W. Kennemore, Compton Jr.
Dirt Solution Limited Late Models
Heat 1: Matt Micheli, Tom Arbogast, Doug Grandbois, George Magenheimer,
Heat 2: Jerry Bartlett, Matt Magenheimer, Ken Micheli, Jason Englund, David Larabee
A Main: M. Micheli, Bartlett, K. Micheli, G. Magenheimer, Grandbois, G. Magenheimer, Larabee, Arbogast, Pace