SEPTEMBER 5, 2012
"Gold Cup Civil War Invitational"
Silver Dollar Speedway
Forsberg charges to fourth Civil War Series win of the year at Petaluma
By Bill Sullivan /Civil War Series Media Relations
Photo by Steve La Mothe
PETALUMA, CA (7-9-11) - The Hoosier Racing Tires Civil War Sprint Car Series closed it's weekend double header Saturday night with the ninth segment of the 14 race campaign rolling into the Petaluma Speedway. When the checkered flag flew on the fastest 3/8 mile dirt oval in Northern California, defending five-time Civil War Series Champion Andy Forsberg of Auburn was the successor in a race that featured an intense wheel to wheel battle between two veteran champions of this premier series for winged 360 cubic inch sprint cars.
After finishing a distant 12th place in the feature event on Friday night at Ocean Speedway in Watsonville, Forsberg realized it was time to get down to business when he arrived at Petaluma Speedway Saturday afternoon. It was there that the driver known as "Mr. Excitement" learned his season long point lead was down to a single digit over Visalia's Steven Tiner as the series headed into its first of six remaining races.
"I knew Watsonville wasn't good for me in the points, it was just a tough race for us down there last night," said Forsberg, who was one of many Civil War contenders that felt the agony of defeat from the many of the Ocean Speedway regulars that dominated the event. "Having a one point lead isn't something I want to do for long, I need to go into the last race of this deal with at least a 30-point lead to feel comfortable."
In past years the Petaluma Speedway has not been particularly kind to Forsberg in the way of dominate victories and top finishes. This season, however, Forsberg and his turned his success around at the track on the Sonoma-Marin County Fairgrounds, winning the Civil War series opener there back in April in his first race of the year on the tour aboard the FnF Racing #X1 sprint car owned by Steve Tuccelli and Alan Bradway of Roseville.
Since that opening night, Forsberg has been consistent in the series where he has become the most successful champion in history. Saturday night marked his fourth feature win of the year. It was his fifth top five finish and his seventh top ten placement in 9 nine starts.
After qualifying 8th in the 30-car field with a 14:003 second lap, Forsberg drove from fifth to second place in the fourth heat race of the night which secured his started spot in the 30-lap feature event. Before a hearty crowd in the Petaluma Speedway grandstands, Forsberg took to the track in the pole position for the money race.
At the waving of the green flag Forsberg quickly muscled his way ahead of second place starter Shane Golobic of Fremont to take a lead he would never relinquish despite a number of threats by his arch rival Sean, "The Shark" Becker of Roseville. Becker started sixth in the field and was looking for redemption after Friday's when mechanical woes kept him from qualifying for the feature event in Watsonville.
After entering lapped traffic with as little as four laps complete, Forsberg soon felt the challenges of Becker as he advanced into second place to chase down his arch rival who has gone as far as putting the phrase "Shark Hunter" in large letters across the front bill of his top wing in an effort to intimidate Becker and his camp.
Slicing and dicing their way into lapped traffic, Forsberg and Becker dueled for the top position into the halfway point of the race with Golobic, Kyle Hirst of Sacramento and Penngrove's Alissa Geving in their wake, all of which were within mere inches of one another battling for the top five positions.
With 24 laps complete a red flag delayed the event when defending track Champion Bradley Terrell of Sebastopol went upside down in the third turn. Upon the restart, Forsberg muscled his way to a lead of several car lengths until he reached lapped traffic again where Becker and the others closed in on the leader once again.
Following a restart with just six laps to go, Forsberg had the opportunity to once again power his way to a lead of several car lengths over Becker and reached lapped traffic shortly thereafter. It was at this point when Becker became snake bit for the second time on one weekend as he collided into a spun car in turn three with only two laps remaining in the race. The collision ended Becker's night with damage and a disappointing 17th place finish for the driver who is looking for his third series title.
Once the race resumed, Forsberg held of the late race challenges of Golobic while Hirst was holding back Geving for the third position. Geving too had her hands full in the race as she dueled with Fair Oaks driver Chad Compton who overcame a heat race rollover and a b main run to become a top five contender in the feature event. At the line it was Forsberg, Golobic, Hirst, Geving and Compton taking the top five positions.
"Sean Becker was really working me hard here tonight, he was able to get underneath me a few times and almost get by," said Forsberg. "He is a driver that does better on a track like this because he has excellent throttle control and the ability to keep his rear tires from getting out from under him while I tend to go out there, give it everything I have got and drive like an idiot as fast as I can. This place worked to my advantage tonight because the way this track changes through the night it tends to work in the favor of idiots like me and I'll take it. We needed this win tonight after last night. We come back here in just a couple of weeks so hopefully we do this again."
Shawn Wright, Mike Henry, Brett Rollag, Trent Canales and Kirk Simpson rounded out the top ten on Saturday night. In preliminary action earlier in the night Rollag won the B feature followed by Chase Johnson, Trent Canales, Compton, Mike Monahan and Nicole Miller. Heat race victories were claimed by Mason Moore, Tiner, Josh Ruhs and Dean Freitas. In qualifying, Hirst topped the charts with a 13:548 over Geving, Johnson, Rollag and Henry.
The Hoosier Tires Civil War Sprint Car Series will return to the North Bay in just two weeks as Petaluma Speedway will host round ten in their final series event of the year. After that the campaign will make its one and only appearance at Calistoga Speedway on August 8.
The Civil War Series will now travel to Petaluma Speedway tonight on the Sonoma-Marin County Fairgrounds for the ninth segment of the 14 race campaign that competes at six different California tracks.For complete point standings on the Civil War Sprint Car Series visit the official series website at www.civilwarsprints.com. The Civil War Sprint Car Series is presented by Hoosier Racing Tires West. The competitive campaign is managed and officiated by Handy Racing Promotions with the cooperation of each of the six participating tracks in the campaign.