Sanders avoids disaster to win Cival War sprints main event at Silver Dollar Speedway


CHICO — Prundale”s Justin Sanders appeared to have an easy victory wrapped up on Friday night at Silver Dollar Speedway when he got loose in turn four on the final lap of the 22-car, 30-lap A feature race.

Leading by a huge margin with sometimes four or five lapped cars between himself and the second-place car throughout the race, Sanders managed to maintain control during his near-spinout on the last lap, swerved through the infield and got back on the track to take the checkered flag in points race No. 9 in the California Sprint Car Civil War Series for winged sprint cars with 360-cubic-inch engines.

Polesitter Brad Bumgarner of Chico finished a distant second, with Dan Menne of Fort Jones taking third in his first race since last August. Vacaville”s Joey Magaruh placed fourth, followed by Colfax”s Colby Wiesz in fifth, while rounding the top 10 in order were Wilton”s Matt Peterson, Roseville”s Sean Becker, Anderson”s Keith Bloom, Benicia”s Billy Aton and Princeton”s Mason Moore.

Auburn”s Andy Forsberg, the series points leader coming into the night, got tangled with a lapped car while running fourth on the 20th lap and rolled over, ending his night.

Moore started the eight-car, 12-lap B feature on the pole, led every lap and won by a wide margin over Fresno”s Koen Shaw in second, with Chico”s Clint Wilson in third.

Menne passed Bloom for the lead on the third lap in the first of three 10-lap heat races, and Menne went on to win by a full straightaway. Bloom came in second, and Magaruh placed third.

Orland”s Reyna Krueger led all 10 laps to win the second heat by an equally large distance, with Bumgarner in second and Sacramento”s Herman Klein in third.

Sanders won the third heat after Grass Valley”s Jeremy Burt led the first eight laps. On a lap-nine restart, Sanders shot all the way from third to first and went on to beat Aton in second by several car-lengths. Burt settled for third.

Magaruh had the fastest time in qualifying out of 23 cars, turning a lap of 12.965 seconds, the only driver in the 12-second bracket, with everyone else at least 13 or 14 seconds.

As part of the regular Friday night track championship series, Oroville”s Ron Laplant started the six-car, 15-lap wingless sprints A feature on the outside of the front row, and grabbed the lead on the first lap.

Anderson”s Rowdy McClenon moved into the second spot on the fourth lap and slowly began gaining on Laplant, but there were no caution flags during the race, and Laplant managed to win by about one car-length ahead of McClenon in second.

Chico”s Taylor Nelson finished in the third position.

The lone eight-lap heat race also featured a battle between McClenon and Laplant, who started on the pole and led the first three laps.

Following a lap-four restart, McClenon passed Laplant for the lead on the fifth lap and ended up winning by a bit less than half a straightaway.

Laplant took second, and Chico”s Don Emery claimed third place.

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