"California Sprint Car
January 18th, 2013
American Legion Center,
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Forsberg drives to second season victory in fifth Placerville points race
74 year old Micheli wins Late Model feature; Tilford continues Pure Stock reign
Media Release from Handy Racing Promotions
Photo by Donna Peter
PLACERVILLE, CA (5-19-12) - Defending three time Placerville Speedway track champion Andy Forsberg of Auburn lived up to his Mr. Excitement likeness Saturday night during the fifth Red Hawk Casino-Hoosier Racing Tires-Coors Light championship points race of the Fast and Furious Championship racing series at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds Forsberg lead flag to flag to post his second season victory and shared in celebration with Pure Stock winner Matt Tilford and Ken Micheli of Live Oak, who won the the Late Model feature race.
In the sprint car feature, the 25-lap event started off with fast qualifier CJ Humphreys on the pole position until Forsberg powered out of his second place starting spot to take the lead in the first and second turn. Once in front, Forsberg distanced himself and when undaunted for the entire race while the battle for second place heated up with several drivers challenging Humphreys.
While Forsberg played in his own sandbox several car lengths out, Humphreys was battling with Princeton's Mason Moore for the early laps of the race until Stephen Tiner of Visalia moved into the action and made it a three way battle. Placerville's Jimmy Trulli was also amongst the top five shuffle in the early and later laps of the race.
In the closing circuits, Forsberg had a near miss in lapped traffic coming out of the fourth turn that caused the shock to break on his F&F Racing #X1 sprint car. The mishap didn't daunt the leader for long as he gathered himself up to secure his line while Humphreys continued to hold the second place position and Tiner ran the third spot strong. Coming up through the field was Cameron Park's Jonathan Allard who started 13th in the field. t the finish line Forsberg picked up the win over Humphreys, Tiner, Allard and Moore. Trulli finished one position out of the top five.
"I thought I was in trouble when that lapped car got into my right rear," said Forsberg. "A lot of different things can go wrong in these cars when you get hit at that angle and I was lucky it was just a shock that got broken. We broke a shock here the last time we won too ironically. I really want to thank everyone at F&F for a great car to drive. We're looking forward to the Civil War events this weekend up north, we do well at both tracks so I think it will be a good weekend for us."
In the Limited Late Model division, the battle for the win came down to Father and son at Placerville Saturday night. 74 year old Ken Micheli started on the outside of the front row for Saturday's 20-lap race and took the lead at the green flag that he would never relinquish.
In the early laps, Micheli did battle with last week's winner Matt Davis of Auburn. On this night he found himself holding off the driver whom he taught the tricks of the trade to, his own son and point leader Matt Micheli. Entering the final laps the family duo raced bumper to bumper for the win and at the line the veteran Micheli proved he still had a few tricks up his sleeve to outwit his son at the line.
"I think maybe I taught him too much, " said Micheli. "Its always nice to finish first and second, it makes the drive home together good too. I'm pushing 75 years old so it's nice to get a win like this and have the chance to race with my son to do it."
In the Pure Stock division, Tilford mania continues at Placerville. On this night, the race to the front was far from a cake walk for Matt Tilford but in the end he remained undefeated in victories at Placerville for the season and tied his brother, Tom Tilford in their family record of five consecutive wins.
Tilford started the feature event on the outside of the front row and worked his way around Kyle Grunert of Woodland after the waving of the green flag. Once in front Tilford had his hands full in his drive to the win as former champion Jason Englund of Citrus Heights returned driving the #66 car locally owned by John Hollow Hornbear.
For much of the race Englund pressured Tilford for the lead along with third place starter Dominic Stone of Folsom and Placerville's Chris Curtiss until a collision with the grandstands wall snuffed his effort with a flat tire. Entering the final lap of the race Stone had taken second place from Englund and was closing in on Tilford for the lead.
As the two drivers came into the final turn lapped traffic slowed Tilford and forced him to swerve low towards the infield where he and Stone locked doors and drive side by side toward the finish line sideways, sparks flying and the crowd on their feet. In the end Tilford secured the win over Stone followed by Englund, Scott Grunert of Woodland and Curtiss who recovered to finish fifth.
"That was one crazy race," said Tilford. "You would think it would get easer each week but its getting harder. Everyone is getting faster and more competitive each week. I knew Dominic was behind me in those final laps, I could hear him closing in. In that final turn I had to turn down low and I didn't know he was coming up on the inside like that and we got together. It made for a wild finish for the fans and we came out of it out. Now I just have to come back and beat my brother's record of five straight wins."Placerville Speedway will go dark for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. Racing returns to the quarter mile bullring on Saturday, June 2 when the BCRA Midgets join the regular divisions. Watch www.placervillespeedway.com for all of the information on that upcoming event.