APRIL | 10 | 2010
Defending champion Becker looks to bring A-game for third title quest
by Bill Sullivan, Handy Racing Promotions Inc. Media Relations
HRP Photo by Steve La Mothe
PLACERVILLE, CA (3-17-10) - Only a handful of drivers have won a Civil War Sprint Car championship more than once; only one has more than two series titles to his name. But in the history of the Hoosier Tires Civil War Race Series no driver has ever claimed three consecutive championship titles. In 2010 that fact could change but it surely won't come easily.
This Saturday night, Sacramento resident Sean Becker will begin his quest to become the first driver to win three straight titles in California's premier series for winged 360 cubic inch powered sprint cars. For Becker the first of 15 tracks on the tour is one that he routinely performs well at with numerous victories. However, the defending two time series champion is the first to say that the third time would a charm but the route to get there will be far from easy.
Becker returns to the seat of the competitive Scott Miller owned #2sb sprint car this Saturday night at the quarter-mile bullring known as Placerville Speedway, the same team he has driven to the past two series titles with. However, in the eyes of Becker, the 2010 Civil War Series may be one of the most competitive yet and his quest for a record breaking third straight title will take hard work and dedication by everyone involved.
Beginning Saturday night, an impressive court of talented drivers and their impressive haulers will pack the pit area of Placerville Speedway. While nearly each and every driver that competes in this campaign possesses outstanding talent and skill, the roster will feature many that have bested many of the state's top drivers in the way of wins and championships in the series.
As Becker returns, he is undoubtedly the favorite when it comes to earning another championship crown, after all, the always sincere dedicated father and husband is the defending titlist and holds the momentum of 2009 in his grasp. However, "The Shark" will share the waters this season with two drivers that were not a threat for the championship in the late months of 2010; four time series champion Andy Forsberg of Auburn and two time champion Mike Henry of Sacramento.
Last year, both former champions raced with Becker in the series but were absent from three events each during the 14 race campaign. Despite the missing events, Henry charged to fifth in the championship point standings, winning two feature events. Forsberg finished in seventh with a pair of wins. Had these two drivers raced the entire season last year there is no doubt, Becker would have felt additional pressure in his run for the title.
"The Civil War Series is going to be extremely tough this year with Mike Henry and Andy Forsberg coming back full time," said Becker. "Scotty and I know we can't take our past successes for granted because it's going to take our A-game every single week just to win races let alone another championship."
Last year, Becker clinched the Civil War title with five feature wins and an impressive 95-point margin over Brett Rollag of Rohnert Park. Herman Klein of Sacramento finished third with Myles Bishop fourth ahead of Henry, Kyle Hirst, Forsberg, Placerville's Jimmy Trulli, Stephen Allard and Chico's Kenny Allen.
The fellow former champions will surely clash their crowns beginning Saturday night along with nearly 40 of California's top talent, each looking to get an early start in the points hunt. The Civil War Series will be 15 races in the year to come and a strong start in the series can be beneficial come late September when the series, and the luck, begins to wind down for many teams.
The Hoosier Tires sponsored series will compete for more than $240,000 over the year and nearly $25,000 in championship funds, barring any rained out events during the year. Additional contingency sponsors throughout the year are expected to exceed $30,000 in product awards as well. Saturday's event will pay $2000 to win and $300 just to start the A-feature.
The Placerville opener is presented by a number of marketing partners including Red Hawk Casino, the title sponsor of the speedway. Associate sponsors include Hoosier Racing Tires, Pepsi Cola, Coors Light and the newest member of the sponsorship family, Riebes Auto Parts who has signed with both Placerville and Silver Dollar Speedways.
Top runners from last year that are expected to return include second place point runner Brett Rollag of Rohnert Park. Sacramento's Herman Klein who finished third last year will return along with fourth place finisher Myles Bishop of Escalon and Chico's Kenny Allen who was the 2009 Series and Placerville Speedway Rookie of the Year.
Additional drivers that are expected to be on hand include a strong contingent of local competitors. Placerville drivers Jimmy Trulli, James Sweeney, Scott Russell, C.J Humphreys, Andy Gregg and Matt Barber are all likely to be on hand with the likes of Marc Mackay and Justin Johnson of Shingle Springs and many more.
The front gates to Placerville Speedway are set to open at 5 pm on Saturday. An early arrival is suggested as the anticipated season opener routinely becomes standing room only in quick fashion at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds. The Civil War Sprint Cars will share the track with more than 30 dwarf cars Saturday night for the high caliber Silver-Gold Cup Series bringing drivers from both California and Nevada in a classic clash of colorful coupes.Adult tickets for this special event will be $15, Juniors will be $10 and children are $5.00. Children that are five and under will be admitted for free. For additional information on this event and the entire 2010 schedule at Placerville Speedway visit www.placervillespeedway.com.