Placerville’s Murphy scores first career win in Pure Stocks; DeCaires, McDaniel repeat
PLACERVILLE, CA (5-9-15) – The fifth championship points race of the 50th Anniversary Red Hawk Casino Racing Season brought three repeat winners to victory lane at Placerville Speedway Saturday night and one local competitor to his first career victory.
Placerville’s own Russell Murphy drove to victory in the Pure Stock division Saturday night for the first time in his racing career. Murphy celebrated in victory lane with Elk Grove’s Greg DeCaires, two time winner in the Sprint Car Division; Ryan McDaniel of Olivehurst who remains undefeated in the Limited Late Models. Bobby Michowicz of Lomita scored his second win of the year in the visiting Midget Lites of the Bay Cities Racing Association.
In the Jay’s Mobile Welding Pure Stock division, Murphy started fourth in the field and worked his way into the second position with four laps complete. On the seventh lap, Murphy powered into the lead following a restart that put him aside early leader Rick Grunert of Woodland. Once in front, the Placerville resident that began racing last season held off several challenges by Rick Grunert who was joined by defending Champion Scott Grunert in the hunt along with Folsom’s John Tilford who moved into podium contention after starting 14th.
At the finish line, Murphy had endured numerous caution and restarts. On this night, however, the final moments of the race ended in success for Murphy rather than last lap heartbreak like previous nights he was running up front. He crossed the line ahead of Scott Grunert, Tilford, Rick Grunert and Lonnie Leonard of Elk Grove.
“It is so awesome to finally be here right now,” said Murphy, as he received cheers from the hometown crowd. “Those last few laps were stressing me out with all the restarts. I’ve been running up there so many times and been so close and have had something go wrong or made a mistake. Tonight I almost slide out too far and he (Grunert) got underneath me. But we’re here and I just want to thank all my crew and sponsors for all their hard work and support they give me.”
In the Hoosier Tires – Domco Plumbing Sprint Car feature event, DeCaires started on the pole of the 25-lap feature and used that ideal starting spot to his advantage as he muscled his Dale Miller owned #4SA to the front of the field where it remained the entire race. In the early laps, DeCaires was pressured by Justyn Cox of Sacramento while Placerville’s CJ Humphreys and ADCO Driveline Fast Qualifier Andy Gregg of Placerville dueled for the third position with the likes of previous week winner Jimmy Trulli of Placerville who was moving up fast.
On lap 20 Cox fell out of competition when he went off turn four behind the bleachers and Humphreys then collided with the front stretch wall with damage. The ensuing restart saw DeCaires keep the lead while Gregg and Trulli dueled for second in a heated battle. At the finish line Trulli shot past Gregg to trail DeCaires. Gregg finished third followed by Kirt Organ of Napa and Logan Seavey of Sutter.
“We definitely had the starting position tonight that gave us an advantage,” said DeCaires. “It was tough to pass out here tonight so having that front spot helped us get where we needed to be early. I just have to thank everyone on this Foothill 7 and Red Hawk team for all their hard word and my car owners Dale and Tara Miller for giving me this opportunity each week. I couldn’t ask for a better team.”
In the Domco Plumbing Limited Late model race, McDaniel took the lead from the pole position and never looked back once again to maintain his undefeated status at Hangtown. McDaniel out muscled second place starter Orville Owens of Auburn to take the lead at the green flag to distance himself from the field.
With the win, McDaniel added to his division point lead. Second place point runner Dominic Stone of Folsom suffered heavy damage in a heat race collision that kept him out of competition during the main while his sponsored driver drove on to another win. McDaniel was followed by Owens. Ray Trimble of Auburn finished third after battling for second in much of the race. Paul Gulgiemoni of Vacaville was fourth while Eddie Gardner of Sacramento was fifth.
“There aren’t many nights that we make a lot of changes to a car after a heat race but tonight we did,” said McDaniel. “This thing just didn’t feel that great in heat and we made some changes that made a difference. I hated to see Dominic be unable to race in the feature tonight, that’s nothing anyone wants to happen, especially when he does so much for us and this whole track and he got quite a bit of damage tonight in that crash. We’ll all help get him back out here, that’s what we do.”
In the visiting Midget Lites, Logan Seavey of Sutter lead the early laps of the race until he sheared a left rear wheel off and flipped over on the front stretch. Scott Males of Elk Grove became involved as well when he collided with the stray wheel in his Tony Fonseca owned #9 and later retired from the race. Michowisz went on to score his second straight Placerville win. He was followed across the line by Scott Kinney and Hunter Kinney of Citrus Heights, Brian Corso of Ripon and Jeff Holstead of Oakdale.
Placerville Speedway will go dark over Memorial Day weekend and will return on Saturday, May 30 with the Civil War Sprint Car Series and the Hunt Magnetos Wingless Sprint Cars. Watch www.placervillespeedway.com for the information on this event.
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