by Troy Hennig
CHICO, CA – MAY 4, 2011…Local businessman and sprint car enthusiast Tom Rolfe is excited to start the inaugural Tom Rolfe Trucking International Dash for Cash this Friday night at Silver Dollar Speedway. “I am excited to be part of something new at my home track,” said Rolfe. “It’s something that I think we be exciting for the fans and allow us to see who is the better of the sprint car drivers.” The concept will feature two Australian sprint car drivers against two of the top locals in a four car, six-lap dash, with the winner taking home $500.00.
Racing for the Americans on Friday night are the two top point earners after the first four rounds of racing at Chico. Oroville driver Sean Becker is currently leading the Friday night Wells Fargo point championship. Becker has secured two of the four main event wins and just recently won his 31st career main event at Chico. “I don’t think anyone can say that Sean is not one of the best drivers in the past ten years at our race track,” said Rolfe. Joining Becker will be Chico’s Robbie Whitchurch. Currently second in points, Whitchurch has won a main event in each of the past two seasons at Chico. Just this past Friday night, Whitchurch turned the fastest lap in qualifying.
Racing for team Australia is Sydney natives Peter Murphy and Ian Madsen. Murphy now lives in Clovis, CA but still considers Australia his home and is honored to be a part of the special race. “Fans often ask us who is better, the American drivers or the Australian drivers,” said Murphy. “I guess fans will have to come out to Chico this Friday night and see for themselves.” Murphy has visited victory lane at Silver Dollar Speedway nine times, however, his last win came in 2006.
Making his first career start at the famed speedway is the other Australian hopeful Ian Madsen. The 26-year-old is making his first California trip and excited about racing at Chico. “I have heard a lot about this place and really excited to be getting a chance to be a part of the first dash for cash,” said Madsen. Last year he won four main events and won the New South Wales Championship. Madsen is going to be a fixture around Northern California until the end of June and then he plans to travel with crew chief Lee Watson and the Grenade Gloves, Turn Key Construction, A.R.T chassis sprint car to the mid-west region.
Adding to the excitement, Silver Dollar Speedway’s new promoter Dennis Gage will permit any sprint car fan with a CURRENT Australian I.D. card or drivers license free into the main grandstand to this Friday nights race only. “It would be nice to have some of the Australian fans here to root for their drivers,” said Gage.
Front grandstand gate opens at 6pm. Racing scheduled to start at 7pm. Adult general admission is $12.00. Juniors and seniors are $10.00 while children are $6.00. Joining the 410 sprint cars will be the dirt modifieds, late models and dwarf cars.
On Saturday night the Golden State King of the West 410 sprint cars will invade the speedway along with the dirt modifieds. The race is billed as the 21st Annual Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial. It will feature an inflated purse and extra bonus money for the 410 sprint car drivers.