"California Sprint Car
January 18th, 2013
American Legion Center,
Fairgrounds Parking Fee: $5.00
All persons must be at least 14 years of age to enter the Pits. Persons 14-17 years of age need both parents/guardians to sign and notarize a Parental Consent Form and submitted to the office prior to entering pit areas.
Benson muscles to long awaited Placerville Speedway victory Saturday
Davis dethrones Micheli in Late Models; Tilford makes it four in a row in Pure Stocks
Media Release from Handy Racing Promotions
Photo by Donna Peter
PLACERVILLE, CA (5-12-12) - Since 1996, Calistoga's Mike Benson has had his share of top finishes at Placerville Speedway. However, the competitive driver from the Napa Valley had never won an event at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds. Saturday night, Benson got the Placerville monkey off his back as he drove his way to an exciting victory at the foothill bullring during the fourth Red Hawk Casino, Hoosier Tires, Coors Light championship event of the season.
Benson shared in celebration of his victory with Late Model driver Matt Davis of Auburn who clinched his first Late Model victory. Matt Tilford of Orangevale won his fourth consecutive feature in the Pure Stock race during a night that saw a great deal of spills and thrills in all three divisions.
In the Sprint Car division, Benson was 12th in qualifying but heat race results combined with an inversion that fell in his favor and placed him on the pole for the 25 lap feature event presented by Hoosier Racing Tires. After a series of caution plagued starts, once the official green flag flew, Benson went to battle with second place starter and division point leader Greg DeCaires of Elk Grove. DeCaires stayed within striking distance of Benson for much of the event until the leader worked his way into lapped traffic and protected his position by two to three car lengths over DeCaires who had his own hands full maintaining the bridesmaid position.
Defending track champion Andy Forsberg worked his way into third from his eighth place starting position and pressured DeCaires for many laps but Mr. Excitement was unable to secure a faster line than the driver they call The Catfish and was feeling the pressure himself by last week's winner Colby Wiesz of Colfax and Elk Gorve's Nicole Miller.
Saturday's race saw its share of caution flags, two of which were red in color. Mason Moore of Princeton brought out the red flag first with a multi car collision and a tumble in the first turn. Placerville's own CJ Humphreys also took a wild end over end style flight on the front stretch. Both drivers were uninjured by unable to continue with damage.
At the checkered flag, Benson posted the win and celebrated in victory lane before an ecstatic crowd that had packed the stands for the fourth event of the season.
"I'm so excited to finally win at this place and look at these fans they seem to be too, that's one of the things I love about racing here," said Benson after tossing his helmet and raising his fists in the air. "We've always had great runs at this place but just could never get a win here and I finally got it done. We got a late start this season, I have to thank HASA Pool Chemicals for all their help this year, they really got me going and its great to be back."
DeCaires finished in second on Saturday night over Forsberg. Wiesz finished in fourth followed by Miller. One notch out of the top five was Cameron Park's Stephen Allard. Allard was collected in an opening lap crash and started the race in 20th to charge through the field with fellow local Jimmy Trulli of Placerville who finished in 7th place.
In the Pure Stock division, Tilford started sixth in a heavy field Saturday night setting his sites on remaining undefeated in the division. Placerville's Megan Curtiss led the field to the green flag for the 20-lap feature. The local lady racer was overtaken on the first lap by Folsom's Dominic Stone and her husband, 2010 champion Chris Curtis while Tilford worked his way into the top three on the second lap.
After a long fought battle with Curtiss, Tilford moved into the second position on lap eight of the race and began closing in on Stone for the lead in a race that had the mimicked the combination of a destruction derby and the antics of the well known "Duke Boys" back in the 1980's. Stone and Tilford weaved their way in and out of the many spins and collisions in lapped traffic and took their battle to the 10th lap when Tilford moved into the lead.
Once in front Tilford maintained the position all the way to the checkered flag where he was trailed by Stone, Chris Curtiss, Scott Grunert and Megan Curtiss.
"Every race this year hasn't been easy even though it may have looked like it, tonight by far was the toughest race of the year for us," said Tilford. "Getting to the front and staying out of trouble was tough. I'd like to thank my whole team and family for all their hard work. We're going to try and keep winning these things and get another championship in the family. The competition is tough in this class this year and I couldn't do it without my family and sponsors."
In the Limited Late Model division, Davis started on the outside of the front row and took the lead over pole sitter Tom Tilford at the green flag. Once in front the race was far from a cake walk for Davis as he was challenged by Yuba City's Charlie Mars early in the race.
With six laps complete, Mars muscled his way into the lead until Davis answered back two laps later to redeem the position. Both drivers continued their dogfight for the entire 20-lap feature with point leader Matt Micheli closing in during the final circuits. At the checkered flag Davis posted his first win of the year to dethrone Micheli from his three race win streak. Mars was second place at the line with Micheli third followed by Tilford and Jason Englund of Citrus Heights.
"It feels good to finally be standing here again, " said Davis, who was making his second start of the season. "This class appears to be growing and everyone here is fast now. I know of a few more cars being finished that should be out soon and we should have a pretty full class of cars ton run with and I'm looking forward to more nights like this."
Racing continues next Saturday night at Placerville Speedway with round five of the 2012 Fast and Furious Championship season. Winged Sprint Cars, Limited Late Models and Pure Stocks will form the roster. Race fans won't want to miss this night as it is the final race of the month prior to the Memorial Day weekend break. Tell your friends, tell your neighbors that Placerville Speedway is the place to be on Saturday night and show your support to our local racing heroes. Gates will open at 5 p.m. with qualifying at 6:30.For complete statistics, results and standings from Placerville Speedway visit www.placervillespeedway.com. Electronic scoring and timing information for Placerville Speedway is furnished and available at www.mylaps.com where you can find lap by lap statistics for each event.