MAY 13, 2011
SILVER DOLLAR SPEEDWAY
Becker takes the gold in final Petaluma Civil War event of the season
Media Release from Petaluma Speedway-Handy Racing Promotions
PETALUMA, CA (8-6-10) - Sean Becker's quest for an unprecedented third straight Civil War Series sprint car championship took a sharp turn in the right direction Friday night at Petaluma Speedway when the two-time defending champion slipped under hard charging race leader Billy Aton in turn 3 on the 21st lap and led the rest of the way to notch his first series win of the season and lift himself into the championship points lead with four races remaining.
Becker's victory, coupled with Andy Forsberg's 16th place finish after being involved in a multi-car crash early in the race, and Herman Klein's ninth-place finish shuffled the top three spots in the standings in his favor with Klein rising to second place and Forsberg falling to third. "The Shark" became the ninth different driver in 10 Civil War races to reach victory lane this season with Forsberg, who won twice at Petaluma, the only repeat winner.
Success seems to follow Becker to the three-eighths mile Petaluma clay, where the Antelope driver has collected four Civil War Series wins and two Golden State Challenge triumphs, the most of any driver, since 2008. In four Civil War races here this season Becker had one victory, two seconds, and one seventh place finish. "This is big for us, we haven't had a Civil War win all year, I love this place," said Becker, who started in the second row and immediately moved into the runner-up spot behind the fast and smooth Aton.
Forsberg was running sixth when he got caught up in a four-car tangle on lap 4 and headed to the pits for repairs before returning to the race at the end of the pack. Despite his poor finish the driver known as "Mr. Excitement" was optimistic about the rest of the season. "There's still lots of racing left for us," noted the former four-time champion.
Becker took charge on lap 21 and was leading Aton and Mike Henry into lapped traffic on lap 27 when he inadvertently bumped into a slower car. It was a scary moment but Becker quickly recovered and led the charge to the checkered flag where he was chased across the finish line by Aton, who finished second for the second time in four Civil War races, fourth-ranked Henry, Mason Moore, 13th starting Stephen Allard, Trent Canales, 12th starting Bradley Terrell, 16th starting Nicole Miller, and Klein.Heat race victories went to Jake Haulot, Miller, Richard Bailey, and Jeff Griffin. Petaluma regular Camron Mendes captured the B-main with a flag-to-flag victory over B-main transfers Klein, Terrell, Cody Lamar, David Silveira, and Jeremy Burt.