Andy Gregg Dominates Chico Sprint Main Event

silver dollar Speedway chico

From Troy Hennig

Chico, CA — AUGUST 12, 2011) — Placerville’s Andy Gregg woke up Friday expecting it to be just a normal day at work. Then his cell phone rang. On the other end was an opportunity to come to Chico and drive the Bill Bell owned Coors Light Racing / Care Free Pool #1x. Gregg was excited for the opportunity and accepted the ride. Roughly 10 hours later the entire 1x team was standing in victory lane and Gregg was beaming with exhilaration. “I have to thank the entire Bell family and Brian Cannon Motorsports for giving me the chance to drive this car,” said Gregg. “This thing was a pleasure to drive.” He then, jokingly said, “I think Brett Miller might have to look for a new ride.” Miller, the normal driver, had a schedule conflict that did not allow him to drive the car tonight. The extra long victory lane interview concluded when he said, “Plus I finally beat Andy Forsberg at Chico!”

Point race #13 was presented by Riebes Auto Parts. Riebes Auto Parts is our official auto parts store. Other winners on the night included Mark Abouzeid, Phil Marino and Jeremy Blackshere.

With a light winged sprint car field the drivers and officials decided to scrap qualifying and run a two heat race format based on finishing points and passing points. After the heat races were complete, the top six in points re-drew for starting spots in the main event. By luck of the draw David Tarter and Andy Forsberg started on the front row. Gregg lined up in row two but there was no doubt that at the start of the race, he was the fastest car on the track. Forsberg took the lead going into turn one but Gregg sailed around him coming out of turn two. It was lights out from there on out. Gregg was never seriously challenged. Sean Becker once again put on a show for the fans. Becker passed cars at will and during a late race caution lined up in the second spot behind Gregg for the restart. The little drama that this provided was quickly extinguished when Gregg powered away and went on to lead by four to five car lengths at the checkered. Becker was second. Forsberg held off Tyler Wolf for third. Unofficially, Wolf will lead Forsberg by two championship points.

Mark Abouzeid led all 20-laps to capture his fourth win of the year at Chico. With the win, Abouzeid narrows the championship gap to just one point behind Richard Papenhausen. The two champions have squared off against each other all year. Their championship battle will continue this Friday night. The Rocket Man was joyous in victory. “We brought out an oldie but goodie tonight,” said Abouzeid referring to an older chassis that the team brought out tonight. “The car really preformed well and I am looking forward to the final two nights.”

Phil Marino returned from a semi-vacation from the speedway to dominate the street stock main event. Marino seemed to be refreshed and excited to be back at the track. “I wanted to take some time and just clear my mind of racing,” said Marino. “It feels good to get back into victory lane and I will try to win the Pepsi Trophy again in a few weeks.” Richard Workman drove a solid race and had one of his best finishes of the year when he crossed the checkered flag in second. Shawn Smith continued his string of top five finishes by coming home in third. Gary Newman is as solid as they come. A fourth place spot was another good finish by the #73. Paradise masher Kevin Ward had an up and down night that saw him bring out a yellow for a flat tire. He rebounded from starting at the rear and ran his way back up to a fifth place finish. Championship point leader Kevin Lesch had mechanical problems and exited on lap 17. He was credited with a tenth place finish.

Jeremy Blackshere led all 20-laps to win the Dwarf Car main event. It was his first win of the year at Chico. It marked the fourth appearance by the traveling Dwarf Car division. A light group showed up tonight. Only eight cars made the main event start. Blackshere jumped out to the early lead and never looked back. Behind him Ryan Winter held down the second spot for the entire 20-lap distance. Mike Grenert won the heat race but was unable to get out of the third spot all race long. Fourth went to Kevin Bender and fifth was Scott Dahlgren. “I have to thank my family and crew,” said Blackshere in victory lane.

Racing continues this Friday night with the annual Kids Bike Night at the Speedway. All kids 11 and under will be admitted free. They will also receive a free coupon for popcorn and a small soda. There will be two brand new bmx style bikes to raffle off and all kind of prizes for the kids.

For complete results of tonight’s event please visit and search for Silver Dollar Speedway.