Becker Completes Civil War Season Sweep at Petaluma SpeedwayRick Faeth
By PJ Peterson & Rick Faeth
One of the most well respected sprint car drivers in the history of Northern California showed why he is still a tremendous force to recon with Saturday Night as the “Shark” Sean Becker completed the season sweep with the Civil War Series presented by Flowmaster at the north bay’s fast Petaluma Speedway.
Becker grabbed fast time honors with a very rapid 12.356 effort to out-pace the 21 car field. Civil War point leader Andy Forsberg, newly crowned Pit Stop USA Series Champion Bradley Terrell, and Trent Canales copped the three ten lap preliminary heats. Canales, only a part-time competitor opened the eyes of the full house by backing up his heat race win by nabbing the 8-car dash which earned him the pole for the 30-lap feature.
Canales hit his marks expertly and held Becker at bay for the first seven laps. A couple of quick cautions saw Becker out drag Canales into turn one and start to exert the power of his #35 Dan Monhoff owned Sprinter.
Behind Becker, the race developed a dynamic wheel-to-wheel battle between Dominic Scelzi, Mason Moore, Michael Ing, and Terrell.
A beneficial lap 15 caution provided Becker with a reprieve of lapped traffic. On the restart all eyes were on Scelzi as he went high and wide from fourth to the rear bumper of the impressive Ing. Lap 24 saw a lapped car loop and with nowhere to go Ing and Scelzi collected each other.
With 6 to go it appeared that Forsberg lit the rocket boosters as he jumped from fourth to outside the right rear of leader Becker. With the crowd on its feet it would be Becker narrowly defeating Forsberg. Mason Moore was a solid third. Kalib Henry showed his future promise as did Jake Haulot as they rounded out the top five.
The final Lumberjack’s Restaurant Super Stocks point race saw veteran Mitch Machado, and rookie Garrett Brady notching heat race wins. In the 25-lap feature it was Steve Studebaker doing everything humanely possible to win the track championship as he guided his familiar #46 through lapped traffic and had everyone covered. The non-stop affair took just 8:54 with Machado 3 seconds back in the runner up spot. Woody Woodward was third. Matt While avoided trouble to smartly grab fourth and the 2016 championship. Ryan Cherezian was fifth.
The Santa Rosa Auto Body 600’s also completed their point’s season as George Neilson and Nick Robfogel collected heat race wins. Koen Shaw the only double duty chauffeur of the night won his second 20-lap micro event of the season. David Engstrom was second, over Robfogel, Jim Beck, and Danny Potts. Mechanical gremlins cost Neilson the championship as Beck earned enough points to earn back-to-back titles.
Petaluma Speedway’s final event of 2016 will be Saturday Night, October 8th with the 5th Annual Adobe Cup presented by McLea’s Tire & Automotive and featuring Winged 360’s, Spec Sprints, and a 40-lap Super Stock Open Show. For more information please go to www.petaluma-speedway.com.