Sean Becker knows how to close.
In the span of a couple of weeks racing a 410-cubic-inch sprint car at Silver Dollar Speedway, the Roseville driver won the Silver Dollar Speedway title, beat the World of Outlaws during the Gold Cup and swept the Fall Nationals at the Chico track.
In all, Becker won more than $22,000 in seven weeks.
"Things worked out well for us," said Becker, who also won the Silver Dollar track championship in 2005. "That was my first-ever feature event against the Outlaws. I've been watching those guys since I was a kid, and then to race against them and win? Wow, that was special."
At the Fall Nationals, Becker beat veteran driver Tom Keading in the 40-lap race by 0.007 seconds, the closest finish of the year in the sprint car division, according to Silver Dollar spokesman Troy Hennig.
Becker's Silver Dollar title kept Auburn's Andy Forsberg from winning a rare double, combined with a title at the Placerville Speedway.
"I tease him (Forsberg) all the time and say he's spoiled," Becker said of the good-natured ribbing he and Forsberg enjoy at the tracks. "I'd say I was sorry (about ruining the double) if I meant it."
Becker is a driver for hire. He doesn't own his own car, so he's had to scramble for rides at times. But his success means car owners have his number on speed dial. M&S Racing Engines of Sacramento has been his most consistent sponsor this season, Becker said. And he's grateful for the opportunity.
"I've always believed in myself," Becker said. "But I can't count how many cars I've been in since the last time I won a title at Silver Dollar. M&S has been good to me."
Becker has about a month of special races left this season, including the King of West series finale Oct. 13 in Hanford, the Trophy Cup the following week in Tulare and an open show in Calistoga on Oct. 27.
He said he'll race go-karts in Red Bluff this offseason and awaits a call from race promoters in Australia and New Zealand. He got that call last year, he said, but he only had a few days to decide. And he didn't have a passport.
Becker has one now. And the photo shows him smiling broadly.
Take a ride For a $50 to $250 donation, fans can take a three-lap ride around the Sonoma road course in one of some 30 classic race cars that will be competing during the annual Classic Sports Racing Group Charity Challenge on Saturday and Sunday.
The charity rides, at 12:45 p.m. each day, are on a first-come basis.
The competition will feature more than 200 vintage cars, including historic Formula One, Formula Two, Formula Atlantic and Super Vees. Famous cars from Lotus, Alfa Romeo, MG, Lola, Porsche, Austin Healey and Jaguar will be on display and race.
Practice and qualifying will be Saturday with vintage racing on the 12-turn, 2.52-mile road course Sunday. Tickets, which can be purchased at the gate, are $25 each day or $40 for a two-day pass.
Proceeds benefit the Sonoma Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities, the charitable arm of the raceway.
For more information, go to www.racesonoma.com.