Sean Becker’s nickname is “The Shark.” But the Roseville sprint car driver also could go by the moniker “Mr. Consistency” to reflect his 2014 season in the Civil War Sprint Car and King of the West series.
Becker, who won his 50th main event last weekend at Chico’s Silver Dollar Speedway, also is the track’s three-time champion – including back-to-back titles – and has won three Civil War Sprint Car Series championships.
Though he’s winless on the Civil War and King of the West touring series this season, he still leads the Civil War series and is fifth overall in the King of the West points chase. Civil War series cars use 360-cubic-inch motors and the King of the West drivers hold onto the horsepower generated by 410-cubic-inch motors. Both of Becker’s cars are owned by Grass Valley’s Kyle Main and his Main Racing Team.
While wins boost a driver’s points total, consistent top finishes can still win a series championship.
“Cautious isn’t the right word,” Becker said in describing his driving style and his consistency of running near the front. “I don’t put my nose in where it doesn’t belong, and that’s always been one of my traits. I take care of the equipment.”
That’s a big reason why Becker has been in demand from team owners – he doesn’t flip and wreck cars. And with racing almost every Friday and Saturday during a six-month period, every mangled wing, every broken tie bar, every snapped transmission line and bent frame costs owners money.
“Finishing races has always been my forte, I guess,” Becker said. “If I’m driving overly aggressive and wreck the car, there’s just not a lot of time to keep rebuilding.”
In the Civil War Sprint Car Series, Becker leads Fremont’s Shane Golobic by eight points and Auburn’s Andy Forsberg by 46 points. In the King of the West Series, Becker trails points leader and defending champion Kyle Hirst of Sacramento by 177 points. Hirst has been impressive this season and leads by triple digits over the field.
“The 410 series (King of the West) is the premiere division,” Becker said. “So a win or a series title there would be great. The World of Outlaws, the world’s best (sprint car) drivers, run 410s, and I always want to see how I stack up against the best.”
Lupton shows he belongs
Wilton’s Dylan Lupton finished third in the K&N Pro Series West Carneros 200 at Sonoma Raceway on June 21, two spots behind his childhood friend and NASCAR driver Kyle Larson of Elk Grove.
Lupton is second in the K&N Pro Series West points standings, 21 behind Greg Pursley, who finished second in the Carneros 200. It’s rare for the K&N series drivers to mix with their NASCAR brethren and always a feather in their helmet when the drivers in the racing equivalent of Double-A baseball can hold off some of the Sprint Cup drivers such as Lupton did against Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Justin Allgaier. Stenhouse finished fourth and Allgaier was 14th.
“We had a top-five car, and I knew I had to get a gap on (Allgaier and Stenhouse) and hold them off,” Lupton said in a post-race press conference. “Luckily, I was able to do that on the green-white-checkered laps, and that allowed me to cruise to a third-place finish even though we struggled with forward drive off the corners.”
The K&N Pro Series West races continue Saturday with the Napa Auto Parts/Toyota 150 at the Stateline Speedway in Post Falls, Idaho.
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Mark Billingsley covers local motor sports for The Bee. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.