Civil War 2008 Year in Review PR
By Bill Sullivan
Sacramento, January 17, 2009: For Sacramento's Sean Becker, the 2008 racing season was definitely one to remember. Not only did the driver that is known as a true gentleman of the sport become a new father, he claimed his third sprint car driving title of his career with the 2008 Hoosier Racing Tires Civil War Championship aboard the Scott Miller owned Riolo Racing Engines powered #2sb sprint car.
“Last year was an incredible year for me,” said Becker, who drove to 10 top five finishes in the Civil War season to garner the winnings that are surely spent on the newest pride of his life, his baby girl who was born mid season. “Becoming a new dad this year was the greatest thing in my life and winning this championship means a lot. I have a lot of people to thank for this.”
After winning a Silver Dollar Speedway title in 2005 and the Golden State Challenge title that same year, Becker set his sights on a Civil War title at the start of this season. Teaming with Miller and his Riolo Racing Engines team, Becker took charge of the Civil War series from the start of the season, scoring a total of four wins, 10 top five finishes and 11 top ten placements to win the title by 33-points over Elk Grove's Kyle Larson, a driver who pressured Becker for the crown right down to the final race of the series.
“I have to thank Scott and the whole crew involved with this team,” said Becker. “From for the race I have always had great confidence in them, these guys don't give up and even on our bad nights we still managed to come out on top.”
Becker accepted the fruits of his labor at the annual series award banquet held and Feather Falls Casino in Oroville prior to the new year. It was there that the top ten drivers of the series were honored for their efforts during one of the most competitive Civil War campaigns in the history of the tour.
If passing points were awarded towards the Civil War Championship, then second place finisher Larson would have undoubtedly clinched the championship by a long run mid way through the season. Larson drove his Vertullo Racing #83v sprint car to 11 top ten finishes and seven top fives during the year, including two feature wins.
Finishing third in 2008 was former four time series champion Andy Forsberg of Auburn. Despite missing one Civil War event this season, Forsberg still earned a top three finish in the standings with ten top ten finishes and four top fives last season while he also drove his way to his second Silver Dollar Speedway Championship.
Herman Klein of Sacramento finished fourth in the standings overall. Aboard the Dale Wondergem owned #91 sprint car, Klein drove to seven top ten finishes and one top five during the year to finish just 183 points from the lead.
Rounding out the top five in the series standings was Penngrove lady racer Alissa Geving and veteran driver Mike Benson of Calistoga, who ended the year tied for the position. Seventeen year old Geving drove her way to four top ten finishes and two top fives in the series to claim the series Rookie of the Year Award while also driving her way to the Petaluma Speedway track championship.
Benson continued his competitive ways in the series. One of the few drivers that calls Calistoga Speedway his home town track, Benson drive his way to five top tens and one top five finish during the year aboard his own #77 sprint car.
Finishing in the seventh position was Myles Bishop of Escalon. After racing with the bandit wingless series in 2007, Bishop surfaced at the start of the season aboard the competitive Velocity Motorsports #7 sprint car. During the year he drove to three top ten finishes and two top fives including a feature victory in the first ever event at American Valley Speedway in Quincy.
Pope Valley resident Jeff Parady had one the best season's of his career in the Civil War Series, finishing 8th overall. Parady claimed two top ten finishes in the year a d a top five, including a memorable top performance at the famed 1/2mile Calistoga Speedway.
With only 11 appearances in the 15 race series, Kyle Hirst of Loomis used his winning ways to inch into the top ten point positions. Hirst claimed eight top ten finishes, six top fives and two feature wins during the year aboard the GP Development #6 special.
Rounding out the top ten in the standings was Colfax driver Colby Wiesz. A former three-time Marysville Champion. This was Wiesz' first year with veteran car owner John Taylor. The duo made 11 races in the Civil War Series where they claimed five top ten finishes and one top five.
In addition to those drivers in the top ten claiming feature wins in 2008, Richard Bailey of Napa drove his way to a series victory at Petaluma Speedway. Veteran driver Jason Statler of Los Gatos claimed a win at Calistoga Speedway, David Robinson Jr. won the Tribute to Al Hinds feature event at Placerville Speedway Tyler Walker of Los Angeles claimed two victories and Adam McCarthy of San Jose claimed his first career Civil War win at Petaluma Speedway.
Much like the 2008 Civil War Series, the 2009 version of this competitive campaign for winged 360 sprint cars looks to be just as strong. Under the management of Handy Racing Promotions Incorporated, the series will consist of 14 events at six different California facilities.
The 2009 schedule can be found at www.handyracingpromotions.com.