"California Sprint Car
January 18th, 2013
American Legion Center,
Fairgrounds Parking Fee: $5.00
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Forsberg holds back Allard to secure fourth Placerville championship
Tilford becomes third brother of the family to claim Pure Stock championship
Media Release from Handy Racing Promotions
Photo by Donna Peter
PLACERVILLE, CA (9-1-12) - It's almost as if Auburn's Andy Forsberg works best under pressure as Saturday night he had more pressure than ever before in his quest for his fourth Placerville Track Championship. In the end, Forsberg did what everyone has been booing him for in recent weeks..he won the 2012 Placerville Speedway track championship title.
"It feels good to finally get this championship, its been pretty crazy the last few weeks and it was mine to lose tonight," said Forsberg. "To win four of these is pretty cool. There isn't one of them that stands out more than the other one. Your first one is always special and the the others tend to equal that. I just can't thank this whole team and all the sponsors enough for everything. This is an incredible team to drive for and they deserve this championship, they've worked hard for this."
Over the past month, Forsberg has been booed, criticized and commended in a mix of emotions by race fans simply for his winning ways aboard his Friends and Family Racing Team #X1 Sprint Car. But for Forsberg, the jeering and hissing he has undergone has simply motivated him to live up to his name of "Mr. Excitement" to win this area track championship that has been the talk of the town in local media, coffee shops, barber shops and much more.
"I encourage it," said Forsberg."It's great to see the fans so passionate for this sport. They have a right to express themselves and cheer for their heroes. This is what makes Placerville such a great track to race at, the fans here are the best and we look forward to coming back later in the month for the Civil War."
Forsberg entered Saturday's final event of the year with a mere 8 point lead of Cameron Park's Stephen Allard, the newest member of the group known as the "Placerville Posse" after relocating from Chico last year to El Dorado County. This was the first year the former Silver Dollar Speedway champion committed to the entire Placerville Speedway series in an effort to end Forsberg's dominating reign here. Allard stepped aboard the Scott Russell and Kami Arnold owned #14r sprint car for the season backed by solid local sponsorship for his mission, a quest that brought the Placerville fans to their feet time and time again throughout the season with four feature wins and nine top ten finishes prior to the final night of competition.
In one night of racing, a driver can earn as many at 55 point at Placerville Speedway, illustrating how meager Forsberg's lead was entering Saturday night. It was a classic case of both drivers being forced into giving it their all in the fight to win the season crown. In the end, Forsberg came out on top with a 10th place finish while Allard was 15th at the checkered flag.
At one point during the race, Allard was leading the field while Forsberg had fallen to 14th. It was at that moment that Allard overtook the point lead, yet, saw it quickly drift away after a collision with Steven Tiner while defending his lead that resulted in Tiner going upside down and Allard to the pit area to replace a radius rod and a rear tire and restart from the rear. To top it off, he was racing under the weather throughout the night.
Forsberg had his share of adversity throughout then night as well, having debris lodged in a throttle linkage that prevented him from racing up to par. Luckily he posted fast time early in the night to secure bonus point that assisted in his evening concluding point lead of 15 points.
While Forsberg and Allard rounded out their season long duel deep in the field, it was third place point runner Greg Decaires who stole the show Saturday night, winning the 25-lap event. DeCaires too remained in the hunt for the title throughout the night and ended the year third in the ranks aboard the Rudy and Bev Warrington owned sprint car.
"We came here tonight looking to be the spoiler and I gave it everything I had," said DeCaires. "In the end I think we still played the spoiler role. This has been a great year for this team and I'm proud to bring Bev and Rudy to the podium. I have to thank my team and my whole family for this, they are all so supportive."
Much like the sprint car division, the Pure Stock division at Placerville was home of a close title bout as well with Orangevale's Matt Tilford entering the night with a mere six point advantage over Placerville's Chris Curtiss and Scott Grunert of Woodland. Tilford is the third in a trio of brothers in the latest generation of the long time successful Tilford family and the only one seeking his first title. Saturday night, he got the job done.
"This is what we set out to do all season long," said Tilford. "It was going well and then I took one night off for that wedding and things got pretty stressful. We did it though and it was all my sponsors and my family that got me here and tonight we are celebrating. I didn't realize Chris Curtiss fell out of the race until we were finished. I was just racing as if he was behind me the whole night and knew the points would be there with a strong finish."
Tilford finished fourth in Saturday's feature event while Les Friend of Galt stole the glory with his second season win. It wasn't the first time Friend defeated Tilford this year as he was one of just two drivers to beat the 11 time winner throughout the year.
In the Late Model Division, the track championship was already secured prior to Saturday's feature event by Live Oak racer Matt Micheli. Micheli entered the final night of racing with an insurmountable lead consisting of 76 points. For Micheli the title was secondary to the fact that he had the opportunity to race with his 70-year-old Father, Ken Micheli all season long for the championship.
The senior Micheli finished second to his son in the standings over former champion Tom Tilford of Citrus Heights who cracked the top three in his first year behind the wheel of a Late Model stock car. Micheli finished his season with a third place finish behind three time repeat winner Ryan McDaniel and Matt Davis.
In the Nor Cal Dwarf Cars on Saturday night, Shawn Jones outran Ryan Winter to the finish line. Kevin Bender finished in third followed by Bryan Bender and Jeremy Blackshere.Placerville Speedway will go dark until Saturday night, September 22 when the lights come back on one final time for the annual Tribute to Al Hinds Civil War Series event. For more information on this classic race visit www.placervillespeedway.com where you will also find official finishes for all of Saturday's events along with final season point standings.