"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.
Placerville Speedway packs a crowd again to see Croft, McDaniel and Friend win
By Bill Sullivan, Handy Racing Promotions Media Relations
PLACERVILLE, CA (4-13-13) - For the second consecutive week, the grandstands at Placerville Speedway were packed with fans to witness the second round of the 2013 Red Hawk Casino-Hoosier Racing Tires Championship Racing Season. Three divisions formed a night of great racing entertainment with three new faces in victory lane.
Willie Croft of Sacramento won the 25-lap feature event in the winged sprint car division. Croft celebrated his first win on the bullring since joining the Tri-C Tire Recycling #3c sprint car team with Ryan McDaniel of Olivehurst, winner in the late models and Les Friend of Galt who posted his first win of the year in the pure stock division.
In the sprint car division, Croft started on the outside of the front row of the feature race that underwent a delayed start following a rollover by Placerville driver CJ Humphreys. Once the official start of the race was underway, Croft took the initial lead at the green flag but quickly had his hands full with the likes of Placerville's Andy Gregg.
Starting on the pole, Gregg closed in on Croft on the backstretch of the opening lap and executed a slide job on the leader that brought spectators to their feet as the local favorite stole the lead in the fourth turn of the opening lap. Croft quickly answered back in the next turn, passing Gregg on the inside of turn two to redeem the lead position.
Defending four time track champion Andy Forsberg of Auburn started sixth in the line up and wasted no time in racing his way up to third behind the dueling leaders with the likes of Placerville's Jimmy Trulli, who started fourth and James Sweeney who started third and were well in the hunt early in the race.
Factor in 7th place starter and recent World of Outlaws winner Shane Golobic into the mix and the chase for the top three spots got even hotter in the second half of the race. Golobic eventually worked his way past both Forsberg and Gregg to begin challenging Croft for the lead. At the finish line Croft got the win followed by Golobic, Gregg, Forsberg and Sweeney.
"We've really been enjoying running here at Placerville these last two weeks, it's always a great track and it's great to see this crowd two weeks in a row," said Croft. "It's an honor to get this win for this team. They've given me a great opportunity to drive for them this year and I hope we can get more wins for them. As most know, Stephen Allard was supposed to drive this car this year. He did a lot for me and helped me to many wins so I'm really thinking about him tonight."
Earlier in the night, Forsberg scored his second consecutive ADCO Drivelines and Custom Exhaust Fast Qualifier bonus of $100. Forsberg's time was 10:737, edging Golobic for the bonus presented by Ken Short of ADCO in Shingle Springs. Short is one of several area businesses that have stepped up to the plate to bring the local community together with the speedway.
In the late model division, stock car ace Ryan McDaniel of Olivehurst made his first appearance of the season and dominated the action all night long. After winning his heat by several car lengths, McDaniel went on to lead every lap of the A feature to post the win. Charlie Marrs of Yuba City finished in second followed by Tom Tilford of Citrus Heights and Matt Micheli of Live Oak.
"Its nice to be here tonight, we hoped to have both cars but just didn't have the time to get both of them ready do to working all day," said McDaniel. "I always like coming here whenever I can fit it into my schedule. A lot of people don't realize these cars are a lot of work and we pride ourselves on whatever we build so we come to win. We should be back next week I think and hopefully a few more times this year."
Prior to the feature event, the Riebes Kid's Dash featured late model drivers Ken and Matt Micheli in a classic grudge style race in which the winner invites a youngster from the stands to join them on the front stretch for a photo and be presented with their own trophy and track t shirt. On this night, Ken Micheli won the duel over his son and the veteran racer enjoyed the family oriented affair just as much as the youngster.
"This is a great event here at Placerville, it's about the kids" said Micheli. "This gives them a chance to come down and experience it with us. Some of these kids will probably be racing themselves one day and I plan on being in the stands watching them when they are. This was a lot of fun and Matt didn't tear me up out there, he knew if he did he would be the one that had to fix it this week."
In the pure stock division, Les Friend of Galt drove his way to his first win of the year. After falling out of the lead in traffic last week, Friend was determined to redeem himself this Saturday with a victory. Starting in the second position he powered out ahead of pole sitter Chris Van Roekel and led every lap thereafter.
Van Roekel held on to second place for the entire run, fending off a hard charging Matt Tilford lap after lap. At the finish line Friend was followed by Tilford, Van Roekel, Tim Mack and Scott Grunert. After the win, Friend dedicated his efforts to a fallen friend and praised the large crowd for supporting their local speedway.
"One of my best friends passed away this past week and this win goes out to him, Ron was good to me and I miss him,"said Friend. "We had fun out here tonight. We helped Van Roekel with his set up a bit and got him faster tonight and ran together. That's what we all do, we help one another out here. I know there's some people questioning my car tonight but rest assured it's all legal and we're ready to tear it down and prove it if we need to. I can't thank the fans enough tonight, what a great crowd again and that's what this is really all about. It's great to see this support."
Saturday's championship opener was presented by Red Hawk Casino in conjunction with Hoosier Racing Tires, Pepsi, Coors Light, The Mountain Democrat and Thompson Auto Centers. Additional contingency awards were presented by ADCO Driveline and Riebes Auto Parts.
The exciting championship season continues this Saturday night, April 20, at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds. Sprint cars, late models and pure stocks will all be on hand with the Nor Cal Dwarf Cars for a full program of racing including qualifying, heat races, kid's dash and feature events.For more information visit www.placervillespeedway.com. Additionally, join with over 3000 others and like Placerville Speedway on Facebook where you can interact with other fans, drivers and staff and follow them on twitter to keep up to date on events to come.