PETALUMA, California — The Hoosier Racing Tires Civil War Sprint Car Series returns to action this weekend with a fierce double header that will ultimately determine the 2010 series champion. On Friday night Ocean Speedway in Watsonville will host the penultimate event of the season followed by the series conclusion on Saturday night at Placerville Speedway.
"A lot of drivers don't like having these double headers like this, especially when it comes down to the last race of the season," said Antelope's Sean Becker, current point leader and defending two-time track champion in the Civil War Series. "I personally like them, it gives us the opportunity to go out there and race our hardest and pack two events into one weekend. I guess you could look at it both ways, but really it's no different then having them weeks apart aside from the time to get ready between races."
Becker is the driver to beat entering the final two events in the Civil War Series. The driver known to his many fans and colleagues as "The Shark" is looking to become the first driver to ever win three consecutive Civil War titles in the history of the campaign.
In 2010, Becker started defense of his 2009 series title in calm waters. Despite failing to start in two feature events during the year he has driven back to the spotlight with seven top ten finishes, eight top tens and single feature event victory. Entering the upcoming double header, Becker sits just two points ahead of Sacramento's Herman Klein. Klein has a feature win to his name this season along with six top five finishes and 10 top ten finishes. When is comes to personality traits, Klein is just as calm and quiet as Becker. However, with two points separating him from his first ever title he is sure to be a competitive force this weekend.
"This is definitely going to be a close one for us," said Klein, who drives for veteran car owner Dale Wondergem. "If we only had one event this weekend at Placerville I would say overtaking Sean Becker would be pretty tough to do there because both he and Andy Forsberg own that place. But we do well at Ocean so I am hoping we can gain an advantage Friday night. Anything can happen."
Sitting third in the standings is the only driver that has four Civil War Series titles to his name and there is no doubt that this weekend Forsberg will live up the name "Mr. Excitement as he will give it his all to steal this title. Forsberg trails Klein by just two points and sits a mere four points behind Becker.
"At the start of the season we planned on racing for both championships," said Forsberg, who recently won his second career Placerville Speedway title aboard the Brian Cannon Motorsports #47. "It's been a very competitive year for us and we haven't been dominate like we have in the past. This thing is going to come down the final checkered flag at Placerville on Saturday night and hopefully we're sitting on top when that happens."
Historically, Becker and Forsberg are known for their friendly on track rivalry and true respect for one another as competitors. Both drivers are known for their "on the edge" driving styles and not giving one another an smidgen of an advantage. This weekend such will surely be the case and Klein sits right in the middle of it all with perhaps the biggest advantage out of all three drivers and by far the best seat to watch the drama unfold.
"I'm not sure second is the place to be between those two," added Klein. "It's going to be close no matter what. I'm just happy that we have a shot at this thing. Anything can happen. I have to be careful Friday night though because we just don’t have the resources to build a new car in a day if we needed to and the regular Ocean Speedway sprints are going to be tough as well."
Sitting in fourth place is Sacramento's Mike Henry. A former Civil War and Placerville Speedway Champion, Henry also remains in the hunt for the title. The driver of the Rudy Warrington owned #18 is just 19-points out of the lead entering the duel track event. Mason Moore of Princeton is sitting in fifth place and is not out of reach as well, trailing the point leader by 54-points.
On Friday night, Ocean Speedway will open at 4:30 p.m. with qualifying at 5:30 followed by heat races at 6:00. Adults will be $16, Kids $11, five and under free. Seniors will be $14. Ocean Speedway also offers a family pack of two adults and two kids for $45.00. For additional information on Ocean Speedway visit www.oceanspeedway.com.
On Saturday at Placerville Speedway, Adult tickets will be $15, juniors will be $10 and Children $5. Five and under will be admitted for free. The gates to Placerville Speedway will open at 5 p.m. on Saturday night. For further information visit www.placervillespeedway.com.