PLACERVILLE, CA (10-29-15) – At the conclusion of the 50th Anniversary season at Placerville Speedway, it was announced that Handy Racing Promotions would hang up their helmet as the promoters of Placerville Speedway. Following a recent proposal and selection process, the Board of Directors of the El Dorado County Fairgrounds have announced that Russell Motorsports Incorporated (RMI Inc.) has been awarded the contract for the management of the popular quarter-mile dirt track that has been in operation since 1965.
Behind the wheel of RMI Incorporated are two El Dorado County natives that have years of involvement with the auto racing at Placerville Speedway and are well known to the business communities throughout El Dorado County; Scott Russell and Kami Arnold.
“We have enjoyed working with Alan Handy. He was a good promoter for the speedway and great to work with. I will miss him, however, I am certain he will still be around,” said Jody Gray, CEO of the El Dorado Fairgrounds. “I am very excited to work with Scott and Kami of Russell Motorsports Incorporated. These two are very professional, creative and have a lot of positive energy. With this enthusiasm, Placerville Speedway will continue to be California’s premier dirt track.”
For Russell, the passion for auto racing started as a youngster sitting in the stands of Placerville Speedway where he cheered for the many drivers that were then sponsored by his late father Ralph Russell, who operated Big R Automotive for decades in Placerville. Russell’s love for the sport grew to a hands on level when he was a teenager when he began helping a friend in the pits every week and later began racing outlaw carts and eventually sprint cars at Placerville Speedway in 2001. Russell later retired as a driver and became a car owner, fielding many successful drivers such as the late Stephen Allard and Andy Gregg, both of which drove the team to numerous wins at Placerville Speedway.
A 1986 Ponderosa High School graduate, Russell’s lifelong involvement in dirt track racing from young fan to eventual team owner will be a key ingredient to the successful management of Placerville Speedway.
In addition to his motor sports resume, Russell founded Russell Trucking in 1996 and sold it in 2013. He has been a 4H Swine Project Leader since 2008 and involved in the youth development program with the organization. Russell has volunteered for the famed Jeepers Jamboree for two decades and served as a director of the well known organization for two years.
For Arnold, her last name alone clearly illustrates her lifelong ties to Placerville Speedway. The 1986 El Dorado High School Graduate grew up watching her grandfather prep the track at Placerville Speedway while she and her cousins would fondly help pick up rocks at the speedway as her grandfather turned laps on the grader. In the 70’s her Uncle, Phil Arnold, was a popular stock car driver at the speedway and even spent time as a flagman. Arnold’s most notable tie to the quarter mile entertainment venue is through her family owned business, Arnold’s for Awards, which has supplied racers with their weekly trophies for decades.
Arnold has deep roots in community involvement, she has been heavily involved in the local 4H Community leadership for more than 12 years. Arnold served on the El Dorado County Fairboard for the last five years before stepping down to pursue the management of the speedway. She and her entire family have been key volunteers in the annual Jeepers Jamboree for more than 30 years. She and her brother Kevin are now second generation owners of Arnolds for Awards Inc. in Shingle Springs where they have been members of all three Chamber of Commerce’s in El Dorado County. Being involved in the community has been the paramount in the success of Arnold’s business where she was voted by her peers to serve a two year term on the APA Board, an international organization of award industry professionals.
As Russell Motorsports Incorporated takes green flag on management of Placerville Speedway, they look to continue long standing traditions that have proved successful at the facility under the previous promoters. All three weekly divisions will return in 2016 including winged 360 cubic inch powered sprint cars, Limited Late Models and Pure Stocks. Various guest divisions will compete on a regular basis throughout the season as well as a number of high profile traveling campaigns which will be announced following the promoter’s workshop in December.
“We are very excited for the opportunity to take over the management of Placerville Speedway,” they said in statement following the award of the contract. “We believe promoting Placerville Speedway is in line with the natural progression of our involvement in local motorsports. Both of us are looking forward to expanding and breathing new life into the solid foundation in which retiring promoters Alan and Diane Handy and their predecessors have built here in our community.”
Although Handy is retiring from management of the speedway after being involved since 1982 when his family took the reigns of then Hangtown Speedway, the veteran race promoter will continue to be involved as RMI takes over the day to day operations. Handy and his staff have been working with both Russell and Arnold through the final weeks of the season and has agreed to work alongside the duo to ensure the transition is smooth for everyone as they embark on the 2016 racing season.
“Scott Russell and Kami Arnold were my first choice when deciding to end my tenure at Placerville Speedway. Talking with them over the last several years, their best interest is in the future of this speedway. I have no doubt they are the right choice for the job,” said Handy. “Their fresh ideas and willingness to change things up a bit while carrying on tradition is exactly what Placerville Speedway needs. Scott has spent a great deal of time working with myself on track preparation and race day operations while Kami has shadowed my office and concession staff during our events to understand event operations first hand. Their commitment to this venue and the community around is second to none.”
RMI Incorporated will host their first event at Placerville Speedway as early as November 14th with the first Winter Racer’s Swap Meet and Greet. This event will allow race teams to sell and swap racing merchandise and inventory to fellow teams and the public. The event will allow the racing community to come our and meet the new racing promoters.
The November 14th event will take place from 8 am to 2pm rain or shine in the pit area of Placerville Speedway. Admission to the event is free, a vendor space is $25. Reservations for space can be made by calling the speedway at 530-626-3680.
The 2016 racing season will begin in March. Details of the season to come will be officially announced in January. Watch for further information at www.placervillespeedway.com.
Organ, Tilford, Trimble and Caraccilo take wins; DeCaires, Stone, Grunert take track titles
PLACERVILLE, CA – When the checkered flag waved at Placerville Speedway Saturday night, two celebrations broke out simultaneously on the front stretch of the speedway. Napa driver Kurt Organ, climbed from his sprint car in jubilant fashion where he was greeted by Placerville race supporter Ron Thompson and awarded the cash bonus for the 12th Annual Tribute to Al Hinds race that Thompson continues to promote annually on the last race night of the year.
As Organ celebrated his first career win, directly next to him a large crowd gathered around Elk Grove driver Greg DeCaires and his #4 Red Hawk Casino-Foothill 7 Television Sprint Car owned locally by Dale and Tara Miller. For the second straight year, DeCaires drove the team to the track championship, one of the richest in history at Placerville Speedway due to increased sponsorship put together at the beginning of the season by Handy Racing Promotions and a group of collaborative sponsors like Red Hawk Casino, Domco Plumbing, Jay’s Mobile Welding and of course, Thompson.
“This is isn’t about the money here tonight,” said Organ, who was so excited after the win he couldn’t stand in one place. “This is our first ever win and we did it at the track that is the premier track in California. We drive past other tracks to come here every week because this is the place to race and become a winner. If you can win here against these drivers that’s something to be proud of. I can’t thank my whole team for all their support this year. A few weeks ago I almost got the win and Greg (DeCaires) got it from me. Tonight it’s just awesome to be standing here with the win and he’s here as the champion. “
Much like Organ, DeCaires uttered the words that the sport isn’t truly about the money as he accepted his 2015 championship in humble fashion, also joined by Thompson who has been a longtime sponsor of DeCaires through his multiple championships.
“Winning a back to back championship is what we set out to do this year with this team and winning it knowing that there is that $2000 bonus for us at the awards banquet next month is truly amazing and I have to thank Domco Plumbing and Ron (Thompson) for being such a big part of that. In this sport every penny counts but truly, we aren’t here for the money. We would race to win for $2. It’s about family and coming together to do what we love and when I say family I’m talking about all these drivers , the fans, the promoters and everyone. That’s what this is all about and I can’t wait to come back here and see if we can do it all again for a third year in a row.”
For Organ, Saturday’s win didn’t come easy as he held of the challenges of Placerville’s best to take the win including Placerville’s own Andy Gregg and Jimmy Trulli who pulled aside the winner several times to bid to the lead along with Justyn Cox of Sacramento and Mike Benson of Calistoga who rounded out the top five. DeCaires finishes sixth Saturday night to claim the championship at the waving of the green flag in the final race of the night.
In the Limited Late Model Division, Folsom’s Dominic Stone claimed the 2015 season title while Auburn’s Ray Trimble claimed his second win of the season in the 20 lap feature event that paid $1000 on this special night.
“It’s awesome to win here tonight and celebrate our win and congratulate Dominic at the same time. It’s been a great year for this division and I have so many people to thank but especially my Dad who works all week long to get this car ready to race each Saturday, I couldn’t do it without him. Thanks to all the fans for their support this season, it was really a great year and a great way to end it.”
For Stone, winning the 2015 title was something he set out to do at the start of the year. Not only did he bring excitement to the track each week, he also brought financial support in the way of bonus funds for drivers throughout the season and the championship. The racer who loves to give back to the racers himself, dedicated the championship to his father Saturday night.
“He taught me about winning, he introduced me to all of this and tonight I have to dedicate this win to him because without him, I never could have accomplished this because it was his inspiration that drove me to do it,” said Stone. “I have to thank Randy McDaniel for all of his help this year wrenching on this car during the week. At the start of the year I wasn’t too sure about getting this championship with the way we were finishing and it all came together with everyone’s help and support and I’m really thankful for all of it.”
Stone finished fourth in Saturday’s race behind Trimble and Ryan McDaniel of Olivehurst and Matt Micheli. Tom Tilford of Citrus Heights rounded out the top five.
In the Pure Stock division, it was another Tilford in victory lane Saturday night. In fact, it was two of them. On this night, it was Tom Tilford driving the family owned #92 pure stock to victory lane after a long fought 20 lap battle with his brother Matt for the win. It marked the second week in a row the Tilford Brothers finished first and second at Placerville after Jon Tilford took the win last week. Tilford was driving in two divisions Saturday night and it paid off in both.
“One thing I have always wanted to do is race with my brother Matt, we haven’t had the chance to do that since we’ve been in different classes most of the time,” said Tilford. “I had the most fun out here tonight racing with my brother and to get a win and have him finish second is a great way to end the year where we chose to race part time and hit these high paying shows when we could. I have to thank my Dad, my cousin Nate and everyone who helped us pull off this double duty thing tonight, it took all of them to get two cars together and get them here to the track and it was great. This is a great way to end the year and I want to thank all the fans, the Handy’s and everyone involved with making this place a great track for my family every week.
Tilford was trailed across the line Saturday night by Matt Tilford, Nick Baldwin, Dan Smith and Jay Bryant. Finishing one spot out of the top five was Woodland’ Scott Grunert who claimed his second consecutive track championship in the division.
“This was tough to do this year for us, we had a pretty busy year away from the track and just getting here each week was a challenge,” said Grunert, who now has one additional title over his father Rick on the family resume. “I just have to thank my whole crew for their hard work and all the sponsors on this car that made it all possible to do this. Back to back championships feels pretty good.”
Saturday night, the Bay Cities Racing Association joined the track regulars for their annual Tracy Taylor Memorial event. In this division, Charlie Caraccilo claimed the win. Scott Kinney finished in second place over Dakota Albright, Kyle Offill and Brian Corso.
“I never had the opportunity to meet Tracy Taylor but I have heard so much about her and what she did for this division and organization before her passing,” said Caraccilo. “It’s an honor to win on this night and I want to thank John and Jean Taylor for adding to the win in her honor as well. We’re proud to be a winner of this race here tonight.”
The 2015 racing season at Placerville Speedway now comes to a conclusion, the annual driver’s awards dinner will take place October 10 at the American Legion Hall in Placerville. Tickets are now on sale for reserved seating. Visit www.placervillespeedway.com for information on tickets.
Handy Racing Promotions wished to thank the community and all of those who have supported Placerville Speedway this season to make the 50th Anniversary Season one of the best in the history of the track. This couldn’t be done without all of the teams, fans and sponsors that have shown such support.
County Supervisor Brian Veerkamp was present during Saturday’s event and presented the 2015 Proclamation issued by the County Board of Supervisors to Alan and Diane Handy with John Padjen and Bill Sullivan at intermission of Saturday’s event. Veerkamp recognized the efforts set forth over the last 30 years by the family that have formed Placerville into what he called one of our nation’s most recognized Saturday night dirt tracks.
Race car show and fan bbq kicks off 121h annual event with high winnings for three divisions
PLACERVILLE, CA – Race fans from El Dorado County and the surrounding communities are gearing up for one of the biggest nights of open wheel racing in the sierra foothills as Placerville Speedway pays homage to a legacy in local racing. This Saturday, it’s time for the 12th Annual Tribute to Al Hinds at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds presented by Thompson’s Auto Centers. This event will be the last time in 2015 that the El Dorado County Fairgrounds will feel the thunder of auto racing as the exciting racing season officially comes to an end.
In celebration of this 50th Anniversary season finale, the winners of all three of Placerville’s Championship divisions will earn bonus winnings in honor of Hinds’ legacy courtesy of the collaborative effort by Thompsons Auto Centers, Red Hawk Casino, Domco Plumbing and Jay’s Mobile Welding and Fabrication. Twelve years ago this event was born after the passing of the well known early track promoter and mentor, Al Hinds, a longtime Placerville resident and true race fan that touched the lives of many of today’s up and coming drivers in the sport today.
It is due to the continuous support of the speedway’s local sponsors that the legacy of Al Hinds continues in grand fashion for its 12th consecutive year. Not only will Saturday’s winners earn a lucrative bonus sponsored by Thompson, the event caps off a big day in local racing as Thompson’s Auto Center hosts a big race car show with hot dogs and drinks for fans and race teams from 11 a.m, until 2 p.m at their dealership located directly across from the fairgrounds. The special event will feature numerous race cars and drivers that will be on hand, all showing appreciation for Thompson’s efforts in continuing to make racing richer at the track he has been so involved with for decades.
In past years, the Annual Tribute to Al Hinds always fell on a Civil War Series date. After many requests by drivers of the other divisions, last year it was converted into a multi division program so all divisions can benefit from added winnings and join in the festivities for all the fans during the day. When the checkered flag falls on the final point race of the season Saturday night the Sprint Car winner will earn $2000 for their victory. The Late Model winner earns $1000 and the Pure Stocks will earn $500 to win with the added funds from Thompson and the track promoter.
Al Hinds was the second promoter of Placerville Speedway. Hinds took operation of the track with business partner Richard Hirst from its founder, Bruno Romani, in 1968, three years after it first opened when the facility was built around an existing community football field. Since that time, Placerville Speedway has become one of the top auto racing venues in Northern California, much due to the efforts of Hinds, who brought the community together with what was known as a rough and tumble facet of the sport back in the day.
From the day he set foot on the red clay at Placerville Speedway to the very last race he attended, Hinds continued to display his true love for auto racing and the community in which he brought it to. Even in his final years he continued to help young drivers, entertain fans and most importantly he spent a great deal of time talking to and mentoring many of those who are involved with the operations of the facility today, from officials, announcers and even the track promoter himself. When Hinds spoke, anyone who cared remotely about the future of the sport would sit down and listen.
When Hinds managed Placerville Speedway, the cars in competition were nothing like they were today. In Hinds’ later days of life, Cast iron transitioned into aluminum. Titanium began to replace just about anything that could break and aerodynamics became a factor on cars that now carry computerized scoring equipment that records speeds nearing 100 mph. However, none of that changed Hinds’ classic theory in the business of racing promotions; if you build it they will come.
The operator of a local machine shop by trade, Hinds loved the community where he lived. In his final years of life he enjoyed sitting with some of his best friends every night in the grandstands at Placerville Speedway and loved watching young talent make a name for themselves in the sport. This Saturday, such talent is sure to fill the field more than Hinds would ever imagine.
Saturday’s event is expected to draw a strong crowd as it is the final points race of the season and will crown the season champions as well as offer extra winnings. Greg DeCaires of Elk Grove, a driver who has raced many years under the sponsorship of Thompson’s and now Foothill 7 Television which is owned by the Thompson Auto Group, will look to maintain his current point lead into the final green flag of the night to become the 2015 track champion. Dominic Stone of Folsom will look to lock the Late Model title down as he enters the night with a still narrow lead. Woodland’s Scott Grunert will look to complete his second Pure Stock championship with a strong finish Saturday.
The three track regulars are joined by the Bay Cities Racing Association Saturday night as the winged Midget Lites take to the track the compete in their final race, the “Tracy Taylor Memorial”. Drivers and cars from all divisions will be on hand at the Thompson’s car show event featuring hot dogs from Stymeist Auto Body. It all starts at 11 a.m. at the Buick GMC Dealership directly across from the fairgrounds. Racer’s will be permitted to park their haulers at the speedway while their cars are displayed for hundreds of fans that are expected to come out and meet the drivers. Thompson’s Auto Center’s will be rewarding all the drivers that participate in the car show as well.
The grandstands at Placerville Speedway will open at 5 p.m. Qualifying for this final night will start at 6:30 followed by racing at 7. For further information visit the track website at www.placervillespeedway.com.
The 2015 Awards Dinner for Placerville Speedway will be held on October 10, 2015 at the American Legion Hall, 4561 Greenstone Rd, Placerville, 95667
Doors will open at 5:00, no-host bar at 6:00, and dinner at 7:00. Tickets will be $25 per person. Dinner seating is limited to 175. Advance reservations must be made prior to Oct 1, 2015 by mailing a check to P.O. Box 726, Roseville, CA 95661 or by calling the business office, (916) 783-3478 and pay by credit/debit card.
Reserved table seating is for season champions only, all other seating will be on first come first serve basis and attendance will be limited to only those with dinner tickets due to capacity.
This event will honor the drivers of the 2015 Red Hawk Casino Championship Season in the Domco Plumbing Sprint Car Series and Limited Late Model Series and the Jay’s Mobile Welding Pure Stock division. Reserve your seats today before it’s too late!
Placerville Speedway will host one final event prior to the October 10th Awards dinner, the September 19th Tribute to Al Hinds and Championship Finale. More information can be learned at www.placervilllespeedway.com
Brought to you by:
Russell Motorsports, Inc. 3987 Missouri Flat Rd. Ste. 340-369 Placerville, CA 95667