"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.
Stephen Allard Fends Off Trulli for Placeville 360 Victory On Saturday
By Steven Blakesley
Photo by Donna Peter
PLACERVILLE, CA (8-11-12) - Cameron Park's Stephen Allard closed in on the points lead after winning a highly entertaining 25 lap feature on Saturday night. A solid and vocal crowd was on hand despite near 100 degree temperatures all afternoon long. Allard took over the lead when incoming points leader Andy Forsberg of Auburn dropped out with engine problems on lap 17.
Shingle Springs driver Justin Johnson led the 17 car field to green with Allard, who started seventh, jumping up to second by the fifth lap of the race. Johnson had his comfortable lead over Allard and Forsberg erased when Pioneer's Steve Dill spun and closed the top-three up nose-to-tail in turn two.
Forsberg took advantage to sweep past Allard and set his sights on Johnson, taking over the lead on lap eight. Allard followed Forsberg past Johnson but Forsberg had already pulled away by multiple car lengths.
Placerville's Jimmy Trulli battled side-by-side with Johnson for third until the caution came out on lap 12. The caution was for Placerville's James Sweeney and Elk Grove's Nicole Miller tangled in turn one, but also saw Napa's Chris Masters and Wilton's Matt Peterson make hard contact down the front stretch while they slowed.
On the restart, Forsberg went to the top side in turn one with Allard making a big move inside to try to slide into the lead. Forsberg managed to drive away and the yellow came out for Elk Grove's Billy Strange, Jr. spinning in turn three.
That restart setup the move for Trulli take the third spot from Johnson while Allard again tried to get past Forsberg in a wild battle. Forsberg eventually pulled away from Allard until the caution on lap 17 for Masters stalled in turn three. Under yellow Forsberg suffered engine woes and was forced to the pits to end his night in a surprising turn of events.
With Allard now in the top spot, Trulli went to the bottom to challenge Allard in a side-by-side battle for several laps. Allard eventually dropped to the low side as well to halt the charge of Trulli, which allowed 16th starting Sean Becker of Roseville to get into the equation. Becker climbed outside Trulli in the final three laps and took second at the line.
Stephen Allard took his fourth win of the season ahead of Becker, Trulli, Johnson, and outside pole sitter Charlie Cagle.
"We got going early and actually I made the wrong call following Justin into a corner and Andy got by me," Allard said. "I don't want to win a race like that (with Forsberg out) but I'll take it. All of a sudden Jimmy started putting pressure on me at the end and we actually smacked the wall pretty good on the front stretch."
12 Limited Late Models were on hand for a 20 lap feature won by Matt Micheli. Jeff Olschowka led the first two laps and pole sitter Les Friend of Galt fell to fifth early in the contest. Micheli moved past Olschowka in a turn three past on lap three.
Tom Tilford brought out the yellow on lap five with a flat right rear tire and the battle was on for second place between Olschowka, Yuba City's Jerry Bartlett, Santa Rosa's James Edens, and others.
Micheli checked on the field for the win while Barlett drove up into second ahead of Edens, Charlie Marrs, and Olschowka.
"The track was just perfect once again," Micheli said. "You can't say enough about how wide this track races and how much fun it is. ...always when there's more cars it makes it more fun definitely!"
Five caution flags meant plenty of excitement for the NorCal Dwarf Car 20 lap feature with 15 cars in competition. It was the second consecutive week of NCDA racing at Placerville Speedway and Ryan Winter took the win.
Dan Zuger led the first two laps before loosing the lead to fifth starting Kevin Bender. Winter had a slow start after going over the cushion in turn one and fell to sixth place. Last week's winner Shawn Jones went off the track in turn four to bring out the first yellow on lap seven.
Winter battled with Jeremy Blackshere over a series of yellow flags for the second position before breaking through and going after race leader Bender. Winter finally took over the lead from Bender on lap 13. Bender fell back to fourth behind the hard charging Jones and Blackshere.
A caution on lap 19 set up a green-white-checkered finish between Winter, Jones, and Blackshere but Winter took the win ahead of Blackshere, Jones, Kevin Bender, and Bryan Bender.
"Yeah that top line was pretty hard but then I found the bottom," Winter said. "I was pretty nervous (on the green-white-checkered) because the 80 car (Jones) has been tough all year and we've always gone 1-2 this year."
Matt Tilford was the class of the Pure Stock field, leading 15 laps for the win ahead of the 12 car field in the 20 lap event. Forryst Carnett led opening three laps before spinning in turn one to loose the top spot and bring out the yellow.
Galt's Les Friend took over the lead but went wide in turn one on lap five, allowing Tilford to pass for the lead. The battle of the night was for the third position between Scott Grunert, Chris Van Roekel, and Chris Curtiss with several cross over moves and slide jobs.
In the end, Tilford was the winner over Friend, Grunert, Van Roekel, and Curtiss.
"These guys are all fun to race against and there's such a high competition level," Tilford said. "Racing side-by-side with Les Friend is awesome since he's a friend of the family."The Red Hawk Casino Championship Series continues next Saturday night at Placerville Speedway with "Mountain Democrat Kids Night" including 360 Sprints, Limited Late Models, and Pure Stocks. For news and information on Handy Racing Promotions' Placerville Speedway, visit www.PlacervilleSpeedway.com