Yearly Archives: 2013

Allard wins a KWS thriller at Placerville Speedway


By Bill Sullivan


062913-02PLACERVILLE, CA (6-29-13) - Last season “Allard Mania” was a common theme at the Placerville Speedway when the late Stephen Allard battled Auburn’s Andy Forsberg toe-to-toe for the track title… and won a number of races along the way at the high banked red clay bullring. On Saturday night brother Jonathan gave the Placerville Speedway crowd another glimpse of “Allard Mania” and completed a thrilling final corner pass of Shane Golobic on the high-scary-side to capture his second King of the West 410 Series victory of the year.

Whenever the King of the West 410’s invade Placerville Speedway it always seems to come right down to the end, no matter what the circumstances and Saturday’s finish was as good as it gets in Sprint Car racing. The win for Allard was his 34th with the Golden State/ King of the West Sprint Car Series, which places him third on the all-time list behind just Brent and Tim Kaeding. It was also Allard’s third career 410 Sprint Car triumph in Placerville and his first at the track since the 2010 season aboard the Williams Motorsports No. 0 machine.

“That was an awesome race right there and I hope everybody in the stands enjoyed that one, because it doesn’t get much better than that,” said an exuberant Allard on the front stretch. “I drove this thing in there as hard as I could and hope she stuck and thankfully she did. This is a real special win for me because my brother had so much success here last season and he really enjoyed competing here like we all do. I know he was smiling down on us tonight and I’m glad we could put a show on. I have to thank Morrie & Katie Williams and all my guys. We’re on a roll right now and hope to keep it up.”

The main event started out with Dash winner Peter Murphy & Allard on the front row and when flagman Ed Entz waved the green it was Allard jumping into the lead with Murphy in toe. The tight confines of Placerville Speedway proved challenging at times for drivers, as the pace of the race was slowed by a number of yellows and reds. In between the cautions however, the racing was fantastic as drivers diced it up amongst each other and after a handful of laps, Fremont’s Shane Golobic was able to get by Murphy to claim second. The 30-lapper had about as many twists & turns of any feature we have seen in recent memory.

As Allard sat out front Easton’s Tommy Tarlton was thrilling the crowd with his usual hard charging style and was coming to the front after starting from the fifth row. Just past the halfway point Tarlton carved his way into third and proceeded to put on a tremendous battle with Shane Golobic, Willie Croft and others over a handful of laps. As Tarlton pounded the thick trademark Placerville cushion he appeared to be the fastest car on the track and got into second with under 10-laps remaining. A restart proved disastrous for him however, as he caught the cushion at just the wrong angle and sent him sideways off the track. He continued on, but reported fuel issues caused him to slow and bring out the yellow.

The final eight-laps of the main event then proved to be some of the most intense of the night as Allard continued to lead, but had Golobic and a rejuvenated Brent Kaeding hot on his heels. “BK” had originally started 14th on the grid and was running the high-side of the speedway to perfection trying to catch up with the top-two. The three-car fight for the lead had the crowd standing on their feet over the final laps of the feature and with just two-circuits remaining, Golobic cut a perfect corner off turn two and sliced to the inside of Allard to grab the top-spot. Coming to the white flag Allard remained composed and stayed glued to Golobic’s rear bumper and as the duo went into the final set of corners, “JA” drove the Williams Motorsports No. 0 hard to the high-side.

With Golobic’s momentum slowed just enough due to a lapped car ahead of him, Allard charged around top and beat him to the line by 0.273 seconds for the spectacular victory. The win was Allard’s third personal triumph in a row dating back to the previous Saturday’s $20,000 victory at the “Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup” in Washington. “I really have to thank all you fans for coming out tonight and braving the warm weather,” Allard said. “We have a great series here with King of the West and want to thank everyone involved. We’re looking forward to heading back up to Fernley next weekend and hope all the fans are as well.”

Golobic’s runner up finish continued his very consistent season, although the ending was similar to the April KWS event at the track, where he led much of the race, only to have Kyle Hirst get by with a couple laps remaining. It’s always a pleasure to have Golobic & the Joe VonSchriltz 121 team on hand with the King of the West Series and they’re certainly a team we’d love to see full time on tour. The 21-year-old has earned a trio of top-five finishes in his four starts with the series this year and continues to be one of the top talents out west.

“It’s nice to be up on the podium again but definitely disappointing for it to end like that since we were so close to winning this thing,” Golobic said. “Going into that final corner I didn’t expect the lapped car to be going that slow down there, but Jonathan made a great move so I have to congratulate him on the win. If there’s one guy I’d have to finish second to I’d say he is probably it. I also want to thank all my guys for giving me a great car and we’ll come back next week and try to get a win.”

Brent Kaeding rounded out the podium to bring home his best finish of the 2013 King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series season aboard the Al’s Roofing Supply No. 69 mount. The 13-time series champion looked the best he has all season long and gave it a great run in the main event. It also marked Kaeding’s first top-five result of the year. “It feels great to be up here on the front stretch for the first time this year and we were rolling really good late in the race,” said the Hall of Famer. “We threw a few things at the car and they worked well so I’m definitely happy to get a podium tonight. We’re excited to head up to Fernley next weekend and hope to see everyone there.”

Sacramento’s Willie Croft battled up front all race long and scored fourth at the finish line behind the wheel of his Tri-C Manufacturing No. 3c Machine. “Double Down” has now tallied six top-five finishes in the first nine races of the KWS season, as he continues having the best year of his Sprint Car career. Completing the top-five was young 16-year-old Dominic Scelzi, who started the main event from 18th and picked up the Pit Stop USA Hard Charger Award. The Fresno driver continues to impress in his just second season of Sprint Car racing aboard the Scelzi Enterprise No. 41 mount.

The remainder of the top-10 was filled out by Peter Murphy; Elk Grove’s Bobby McMahan, who made a successful return to the seat following a hiatus since April 20 due to back problems; Oakhurst’s Doug Gandy; Laton’s Geoffrey Strole and Tommy Tarlton. It was nice to see Gandy, who started 19th and Strole, who started 21st both have great finishes in the main event. It marked Gandy’s best finish since returning to the seat a few years ago and was a career best result for Strole with the series.

The six-lap Dash as previously mentioned was picked off by Peter Murphy, with the three 10-lap Kaeding Performance Heat Races being won by Shane Golobic, Bobby McMahan and Murphy. Setting the BR Motorsports Fast Time to begin the night was Placerville’s Andy Gregg, who toured the quarter-mile in 10.376 seconds. It marked his first King of the West fast time effort.

The King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series will now head for a two-night stand at the Reno Tahoe Fernley Speedway next Friday & Saturday July 5 & 6. Pre-sale tickets for the “Cherry Bomb Classic” weekend can be acquired by contacting 775-325-8800. The code to get the special KWS room rate at the JA Nugget next weekend is GKWSC. Room & ticket packages can also be purchased by calling 775-575-3350. Stay glued to our Facebook & Twitter pages, along with www.kwssprints.com for all the info in the coming week.

Ensign First Repeat Winner of 2013


By Bill Sullivan


062213-05PLACERVILLE, CA (6-22-13) - Sebastopol’s Geoff Ensign enjoyed a big weekend this past Friday and Saturday night. On Friday night he won a non-wing sprint car main event at Stockton. On Saturday night, Ensign cemented his name as one of the most talented non-wing drivers in all of America with the dominating win during the fourth round of racing for the Joe Hunt Magnetos Wingless Sprint Shootout Series. With the win, he also becomes the first repeat winner during the Hunt series for 2013. His previous win was at his home track at Petaluma. “We really like racing here and I just want to thank the track for bringing the series here and Roger for giving us a great series to compete in,” said Ensign during his post-race interview with Bill Sullivan.

Matt Streeter started on the pole position for the 19-car starting main event. Streeter won both Hunt races at Placerville last year and was in a prime spot to give him another win this year. Streeter did grab the lead while heading through turns one and two; however, Ensign was to his outside and passed Streeter going through turns three and four. Ensign led the first lap. From here on out Ensign was able to dominate the event while running the bottom to perfection. Streeter tried to redeem himself by driving around the top of the track and using the famous Placerville curb to keep his momentum up.

As usual the Hunt series cars and stars were able to put on a great show. Numerous close battles on the track resulted in thrilling side-by-side racing. “There is always something exciting happening around this track,” said Ensign.

Fifth place starting Colton Slack has emerged as a front runner late with the Hunt Series. He slid his way in front of Streeter late in the race. Third place starting Scott Hall had an up and down night. Hall was in the thick of the battle to stay in the top five, when he crossed the line he was credited with the third place finish. Streeter ended up in the fourth place position. Round number three feature event winner Terry Schank Jr. brought the Joe Hunt Magneto’s #1 home fifth.

Heat race winners included Matt Streeter, Austin Liggett and Colton Slack. Terry Schank Jr. was the quickest qualifier at a 12.295.

For the first time, the series will highlight the racing at Silver Dollar Speedway on July 4th. Two weeks later the series will make its first ever trip to Orland Speedway on July 20th. Final three shows of the year include August 10th at Petaluma, September 4th and conclude September 21st at Petaluma Speedway. All of the events at Petaluma will coincide with the Pit Stop USA Spec Sprint Series.

Defending champion Forsberg drives to overdue first season victory


By Bill Sullivan


062213-01PLACERVILLE, CA (6-22-13) - In six starts in the championship season, defending track champions Andy Forsberg had not won a single race at the track he has called home for his entire racing career. While the statistic was odd in nature for the driver they call Mr. Excitement, it was also extremely frustrating to the four time champion and his historically dominant F&F Racing Team.

Saturday night, everything changed for Forsberg as the Red Hawk Casino-Hoosier Racing Tires-Coors Light season resumed at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds. Forsberg returned to his winning ways, outwitting early leader Jimmy Trulli of Placerville to take the checkered flag in a crowd raising 25-lap feature event.

 

“I deserve this crowd booing at me lately, we have really been stinking it up so far this season,” said Forsberg. “But now, we’re back. We’re finally dialed in with this new car and have it figured out so hopefully we’ll be winning more of these. Come out here next Saturday for the King of the West Series because we’re putting a 410 motor in this baby and are going to give our best to win that.”

 

Forsberg started eighth in Saturday’s feature event and quickly moved into third at the opening green flag behind Trulli who took the lead from the pole and second place starter James Sweeney. With four laps complete, Forsberg moved into the second position in turn two and set his sights on Trulli. Trulli was commanding the lead but running the low sides of turns one and two and the high side of turns three and four, where Forsberg routinely drives.

 

It was on the 15th lap that Trulli bobbled on the high side of the fourth turn and allowed Forsberg to move in on his prey to take the lead. As Forsberg went to the front of the field, the top positions would shuffle in his wake. Third place starter Mike Benson of Calistoga powered back into the top three and Roseville’s Sean Becker, driving for Stephen Rhoads, advanced from 14th into fourth place at the finish. Trulli sliced and diced with the hungry top runners to maintain a fifth place finish at the flag.

 

Earlier in the night, Trulli won the Riebes Auto Parts Kids Dash and was joined in victory lane by a happy young lady. Forsberg picked up the $100 ADCO Driveline Fast Time Award.

 

In the Limited Late Model Division, Jason Englund took the initial lead of the 20-lap feature event point leader Tom Tilford of Citrus Heights, Matt Davis of Auburn in third along with Grass Valley’s Dan Brown Jr. and Live Oak’s Matt Micheli who was tied with Tilford for the lead entering the night.

 

With three laps complete, Davis moved into second place to pursue Englund who was aboard the locally owned John Hollow Horn Bear machine. The two front runners dueled for the position side by side for several laps until Davis was able to pulled ahead on the seventh lap and break away with a lead he would never relinquish.

 

In Pure Stock action, Les Friend of Galt added to his point lead with his fifth win of the year. Friend started on the outside of the front row aside pole sitter Jason Leonard of Elk Grove. Friend worked his way to a distant lead over Leonard.. At the finish line Friend was followed by Leonard, Scott Grunert of Woodland, Scott Grunert, Tom Grady of El Dorado and Tim Mack of El Dorado.

 

The three track regulars were joined Saturday by the Joe Hunt Magnetos Wingless Sprint Car Shoot Out Series. In this division, Sebastopol’s Geoff Ensign drove his way to victory lane. Matt Streeter started on the pole of the event with Ensign on the outside. Streeter took the lead at the start of the race until Ensign powered around the leader in the third and fourth turn before completion of the lap.

 

Once in front, Ensign dominated the event by running the bottom of the track while Streeter was working the highside trying to redeem his lead. In the waning laps, Colton Slack powered into the second position with Scott Hall in his wake. At the finish line, Ensign picked up his win over Slack, Hall, Streeter and Terry Schank Jr.

A big week of racing is ahead at Placerville Speedway. This Saturday the 410 Sprint Cars of the King of the West Sprint Car Series make their final appearance on the quarter-mile bullring. For complete information visit www.placervillespeedway.com

Andy Gregg’s dominance at Placerville Speedway continues with fourth season win


By Bill Sullivan


060813-01PLACERVILLE, CA (6-8-13) - The temperatures soared well beyond the triple digit mark Saturday afternoon in El Dorado County Saturday afternoon for the sixth championship point race at Placerville Speedway. The one thing hotter than the setting evening sun was Placerville’s own Andy Gregg who also soared to the triple digit mark with his third win in the Red Hawk Casino-Hoosier Racing Tires Championship series and fourth overall victory at the track he calls home.

Gregg started Saturday’s event in the second position, outside of pole sitter Shane Golobic of Fremont. At the waving of the green flag, Gregg shot into the lead with Princeton’s Mason Moore in and Golobic in his wake. Although Gregg had the car to win the 25 lap feature event, Golobic too had a challenge to offer as he moved into second with 5 laps complete and set his sights on the leader.

 

After trying both high and low on several attempts, Golobic managed an outside pass on Gregg on the 15th lap as they exited the second turn. The duo brought the fans to their feet in the next set of turns as Gregg made a successful slide job pass on Golobic to redeem the lead. The duo would duel throughout the majority of the race until its final laps when Gregg worked himself to a lead of two to three car lengths.

 

At the finish line Gregg scored his fourth win of the year and closed in on the championship point lead. Golobic finished in second followed by Moore, Justin Sanders and Scott Russell who rounded out the top five over Rohnert Park’s Brett Rollag.

 

In the Limited Late Model divisons, former track champion Dan Brown Jr. of Grass Valley gave his father a great birthday present in the form of a hard earned victory. Brown bested the largest field of entries in this division thus far in the season with 14 of the fire breathing late models in competition.

 

Brown started the 20-lap feature on the pole position but the win was all but a cake walk for the former track champion as he had his fair share challengers. Second place started Jason Englund of Citrus Heights made several attempts at passing the leader on the low side only to have Brown close the door and pull ahead as they traveled down the straightaways.

 

With 12 laps complete, 7th place starter and two time feature winner Ryan McDaniel of Olivehurst passed the leader and began to pull ahead. Brown was able to remain within striking distance as the duo raced into lapped traffic. McDaniel then pulled his car to a stop on the outside of the fourth turn with a flat tire while Brown redeemed the lead he would never relinquish despite continued challenges by Englund. Larry Damitz finished in third followed by Charlie Marrs and McDaniel who recovered to fifth in the final 7 laps.

 

In the Pure Stock division, Galt’s Les Friend drove his way to his fourth win of the season. Friend started the 20-lap feature on this outside of pole sitter Danielle Clauson of Placerville. Defending Champion Matt Tilford of Orangevale overtook third place Scott Grunert of Woodland and Clauson to close in on Friend.

 

For the remainder of the race, Friend maintained a lead over Tilford that never was less than a car length. At the finish line it was Friend, Tilford, Grunert, Van Roekel and Lonnie Leonard.

 

The three track regulars were joined by the Midget Lites of the Bay Cities Racing Association. Oakdales’ Bradley Dillard drove from the pole position to the win in this division that brought a season high 16 cars to the bullring Saturday night.

 

Dillard scored his victory over Dave Hilberg, Craig Dillard, Jeff Gieg. Dakota Albright finished in forth in the visiting division.

Championship Auto Racing will take a week off at Placerville Speedway to allow for the incoming El Dorado County Fair that features a menagerie of great events this year. Racing will return on Saturday night, June 22. For more information visit www.placervillespeedway.com. To learn more about the great events at the fair visit www.eldoradocountyfair.org.

Gregg wins Civil War event over Midget winner Shane Golobic at Placerville


By Bill Sullivan


060113-01PLACERVILLE, CA (6-1-13) - Before a capacity crowd in the grandstands at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds, Placerville’s Andy Gregg drove his way to victory at Placerville Speedway Saturday night in the Hoosier Racing Tires Civil War Sprint Car Series event. Gregg shared victory lane with Fremont’s Shane Golobic, winner of the USAC/BCRA Western Midget feature event.

Saturday’s event was the fifth round of the traveling Civil War Sprint Car Series and the tour’s first appearance at Placerville Speedway during the 2013 Red Hawk Casino-Hoosier Tires-Coors Light racing season. The win marked Gregg’s first victory in the series and his third overall victory at Placerville this season.

Gregg started the 30-lap feature in the seventh position and wasted no time in working his way into the top three at the waving of the green flag where he began to mix it up with early race leader Justin Johnson of Shingle Springs, Greg DeCaires of Elk Grove and Sacramento’s Billy Butler.

DeCaires and Johnson traded the top spot back and fourth for first few laps of the race. It was after a yellow flag with seven laps complete that Gregg made his move on the leaders and drove the #53 Coors Light-Guts Racing sprint car to the low groove of the dry slick track. As he drove to the inside of Johnson in the second turn the two drivers made contact and Gregg took the lead while Johnson fell back two positions and then suffered a flat tire

Once in front, Gregg was challenged for the remaining laps of the race by Fremont’ Shane Golobic. Prior to the 30-lap sprint car feature, Golobic drove his way to victory in a caution plagued 30-lap Midget feature event and was attempting to become a duel winner Saturday night.

When the checkered flag waved it was Gregg picking up the win over Golobic. Roseville’s Sean Becker came to life late in the race to pick up the third place finish after starting ninth in the event. Butler claimed fourth over Auburn’s Andy Forsberg who rounded out the top five.

As the top three drivers pulled to the front of the grandstands at the conclusion of the race, Gregg parked himself further on the infield area and quietly unbelted himself from the cockpit and removed his helmet. The mood was not Gregg’s typical jubilant celebration at his hometown track and the local favorite explained why that was so to the crowd from victory lane.

“I’m not celebrating this win here tonight because of the way I won it,” said Gregg. “Justin (Johnson) and I were racing for the lead and I got into him over there and that was not my intention and I feel really bad about it. That’s not how I want to win races, I know he’s pretty upset with me and for good reason I would be too. I want to thank my crew and all my sponsors for the great car they give me, I think we had the car to win tonight and that wasn’t the way to do it so we’re not going to be celebrating this one like we normally do and I want to apologize to Justin and his team for that.”

Golobic joined Gregg on the front stretch for his second place finish. After driver for well over 100 laps in combined caution laps and race laps in both divisions the young driver was visibly exhausted and suffering leg cramps as he stood on the front stretch to celebrate his second place finish as well as win in the midget feature.

“We gave it everything we had tonight and I am pretty worn out,” said Golobic. “I want to thank these guys for putting me in these cars tonight. I thought maybe I was going to be able to win both here tonight but we just didn’t have enough to catch up with Andy. In the midget feature I was lucky to get out in front early and stay out of trouble for that whole race and get the win.”

In the midget feature, Golobic was followed across the line by Sean Dodenhoff, USAC point leader Ronnie Gardner. Matt Streeter finished in fourth over Jake Swanson.

Although he wasn’t in the center of the podium, Becker was all smiles on the front stretch as well with his third place finish. For the last several weeks he and car owner Dan Monhoff have been struck with a series of tough luck and disappointing finishes.

“I am really happy to be here tonight, third place is great for me after all the trouble we’ve had recently,” said Becker. “We keep having issues with our motor loading up and tonight it did it again. I leaned it out late in the race and I started to move up for once late in the race. Dan Monhoff and John Taylor put a great car underneath me and once I got the motor to run better we were on our way.”

Following Saturday’s event, the Civil War Series will now travel to King’s Speedway in Hanford on June 15th. Next Saturday, championship point racing returns to Placerville Speedway in a big way as title sponsor Red Hawk Casino presents Placerville Speedway Day.

From 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Red Hawk Casino will be hosting a giant race car display in the covered main entrance of the casino and will be awarding the teams who register to participate complimentary lunch in the Waterfall Buffett. The event will offer autographs for fans and many goodies for the kids from the drivers as well as photographs. Live music will be performed by singer song writer Cynthia Renee and guitarist Chris Kawelo and the event is free to the public.

Following the day of fun at Red Hawk, teams will return to Placerville Speedway for championship point racing featuring sprint cars, late models, pure stocks and midget lites. For more information on this watch www.placervillespeedway.com.