Shawn Jones scores emotional victory at Placerville Speedway
By: Brad Kennedy *
Placerville, CA (June 25)...60 race cars jammed the pits at Placerville Speedway for the 9th point race of the 2016 Red Hawk Casino Championship Series, which also represented the second of four "Placerville Posse Challenge" events on the year.
20 Thompson’s Auto Group winged 360 sprint cars lined up for the evening's 25 lap main event, with points leader Mason Moore leading the field to the green flag. Moore set a torrid pace over the first 15 laps, looking for his third feature win of the year.
A lap 16 restart saw Moore once again jump out front as Andy Forsberg in the PitStopUSA.com #7c utilized the top to go from fourth to second going into the first corner. However, Forsberg made contact with Moore sending the F&F Auto Racing #x1 into a spin collecting multiple drivers. Kirt Organ inherited the lead, up from his 4th starting spot. Over the course of the final 10 circuits, Organ held off a hard charging Greg DeCaires for the win. Michael Kofoid got by DeCaires in the waning laps to finish second, while Sean Becker and Andy Forsberg rounded out the top five.
“We have a hit and miss schedule this year at Placerville", explained Organ in victory lane. "I love this track and can’t thank my team enough for getting me on the front stretch tonight. We have been struggling lately so we called my friend Larry Shelton to come help tonight and it paid off".
Earlier in the evening, Andy Forsberg circled the 1/4 mile in 10.808 seconds and earned the $100 Fast Time award courtesy of ADCO Driveline and Exhaust. Heat race wins went to Kyler Shaw, Mason Moore, and Steven Tiner, while Sean Becker grabbed the AL Driveline Hard Charger bonus in the feature, improving 11 positions in the feature to finish 4th.
12 Domco Plumbing Limited Late Models were on hand for the evening, with father and son Mike and Tyler Lightfoot of Placerville owning the front row for the 20 lap event. As soon as the green flag dropped, second row starter Ryan McDaniel attacked like a shark in turns one and two and took the lead. Troy Foulger followed suit shortly thereafter, and moved into second.
McDaniel stretched a four second advantage in the non-stop event at one point, but found negotiating traffic difficult in the latter stages of the race, allowing Foulger to close. As the white flag flew, Foulger pulled the trigger to pass McDaniel, but misjudged the nose of the race car and made contact with McDaniel causing Foulger to spin on the last lap. McDaniel went on to win, marking his second victory at Placerville in 2016. Matt Micheli was second, with Foulger third, followed by Tyler and Mike Lightfoot to complete the top five.
“I knew I had to make quick work on the start due to the slick conditions. I just didn’t want to be stuck behind anybody, so I was aggressive on the start and that move ultimately won us the race,” a calm Ryan McDaniel explained in victory lane.
Heat race winners were Tom Tilford and Troy Foulger.
17 Jay’s Mobile Welding and Fabricating Pure Stocks signed into the pits for the second Posse event of the year, with Orville Owens and Rick Grunert leading the field to green in the 20 lap feature. Grunert took command from Owens early, while Owens would execute a spin and keep going in turns one and two on lap 3.
The caution would wave eventually on lap 9 for Jason Palmer who spun in turn one, collecting the 22H of Michael Hilton and the 11L of Chris Van Roekle.
Rick Grunert would remain on point with Dan Smith in tow for the restart. However, the red flag came out as Rick Campbell hit the turn four wall and eventually rolled his car in turn one. Campbell was uninjured in the accident.
During the red flag stoppage, current Pure Stock point leader Nick Baldwin went to the pits with mechanical woes, and surrendered his fifth place position in the process.
As the race continued with Grunert in command, Chris Van Roekel and Sam Bernstein collided forcing officials to cut the race to 15 laps instead of the scheduled 20. Rick Grunert went on to win his first race of 2016 in the 14SR. Dan Smith, Scott Grunert, Orville Owens and Jason Palmer rounded out the top five.
Heat race wins were taken by Russ Murphy and Dan Jinkerson.
For the third time in 2016, the Nor-Cal Dwarf Car series took to the El Dorado County Fairgrounds clay oval. 21 cars and stars of the series were in attendance to try to tame the "Fastest ¼ mile dirt track in California".
Mike Grenert and Toby Brown led the field to green, but the yellow followed immediately as Terre Rothweiler, Jenna Frazier, Thomas Leiby, Ken Radabaugh and Jeff Fitch all came together to stop the action.
When the race resumed, it would turn into a battle royale, as Chad Matthias, Shawn Jones, Scotty Dahlgren and Dan Geil threw slide job after slide job, swapping positions all around the speedway.
Yellow lights stopped the action with only four circuits to go as Scott Dahlgren and Chad Matthias would make contact, spinning Mattias in turn one.
On the restart, leader Scott Grenert got a slow start allowing Shawn Jones to move from third to the lead. Jones went on to win, dedicating the victory to his mother in law who had passed a few days earlier.
“This win will stick with us for a while”, said an emotional Jones. “I have to thank my brother in law for letting me drive this car for him tonight. I couldn’t be more humbled to win tonight for the family.” Jones explained.
The final finishing order had Grenert 2nd over Buddy Olchowka, Scott Dahlgren and Kevin Bender rounding out the top five. Jones also won the first heat while Danny Wagner and Chad Matthias won heats 2 & 3, respectively.
Placerville Speedway returns to action next Saturday night, July 2nd, with the 10th point race of the Red Hawk Casino Championship Series, while it will also mark the 3rd event of the four race Placerville Posse series. Pit gates open at 2PM with the front gates opening at 3PM. Racing begins at 7PM.
For complete details of the 2016 Red Hawk Casino Championship Racing Season, visit Placerville Speedway’s official website at www.placervillespeedway.com.
Join the over 7700 followers of Placerville Speedway on Facebook, where you can interact with fellow fans, drivers, and staff. You can also find Placerville Speedway on Twitter for schedule updates and more by following us @pvillespeedway. In addition, Placerville Speedway is now on Instagram. Please follow us @PvilleSpeedway.
Placerville Speedway is located on the El Dorado County Fairgrounds at 100 Placerville Drive in Placerville. The racing facility is operated by Russell Motorsports Incorporated, which can be reached at the track business office at 530-344-7592.
* Additional writing contributions by Dean Mills
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