News

McDaniel and Jinkerson take Tilford Tribute at Placerville Speedway

By: Brad Kennedy *

Placerville, CA (August 20)…For the third time in its 51 year history, the Placerville Speedway paid tribute to one of its local legends Donnie Tilford on Saturday night, with 74 cars signed into the pit area between the five divisions.

14 Domco Plumbing Limited Late Models swarmed the speedway to get a shot at the getting their name engraved on the Tilford trophy. Matt Micheli and Ryan Peter led the field to green flag for the start of the night’s 20 lap feature. Michelli jumped out in front, as long time veteran Randy McDaniel moved his way forward from fifth to second in the first lap.

Micheli ran the low line around the tight ¼ mile as McDaniel proved to be too tough up on the top shelf and cleared Micheli off of turn four to take the lead on lap three. After McDaniel took the lead it was smooth sailing as he went on to win the main event over Micheli, while Tom Tilford garnered Tilford family bragging rights by finishing third over Scott Woessner and Ray Trimble, who rounded out the top five.

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“The car was phenomenal tonight,” McDaniel said in the winner’s circle. “I could just lay the right rear deep in the cushion and off it went from there. It was a true dream to drive this car tonight.”

The evening’s Fast Time Award went to McDaniel, who set a blistering lap of 13.193 to earn the RMI bonus for quick time, while heat races were won by Trimble and Micheli. McDaniel also earned the Hard Charger bonus in the feature with his fifth to first place charge.

20 Jay’s Mobile Welding and Fabrication Pure Stocks came through the gate on the night looking to become a Tilford Tribute race winner. Orville Owens and Scott Grunert led the field to green, but the yellow lights flickered as Owens was called for jumping the start, and penalized a row. The penalty became a golden opportunity for current track point leader Nick Baldwin to start on the pole next to Grunert, sitting second in points, just 6 markers back in the Red Hawk Casino Championship chase.

Baldwin found himself getting the jump on Grunert and pulled away from the field, as surprisingly, Grunert fell back to sixth in the opening three circuits. A yellow on lap 5 saw a grand opportunity for Dan Jinkerson to spoil Baldwin’s shot at victory on the restart. Jinkerson drag raced Baldwin into turn one and two on the top side of the speedway, taking the lead away in the process.

As Jinkerson stretched his advantage with three lapped cars separating himself and Baldwin, the yellow flags flew for Kevin Wirth. Meanwhile, the black flag was displayed for championship contender Scott Grunert who had heavy smoke pouring out the back end of his race car, ending his night and his chances for the season long title.

Jinkerson went on to win his fifth race of 2016 at Placerville, becoming the winningest driver of the season in all three weekly divisions of competition. Second went to Nick Baldwin who has virtually secured the Pure Stock title for the season finale this coming Saturday. Third went to Jay Bryant, followed by Jon Tilford, and Travis Emery.

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“A lot of my pavement driving experience played a factor tonight,” Jinkerson stated proudly in victory lane. “Foot work and knowing where to place my car at the right time against the cushion was key and it felt great on the exit of the turns.”

Jinkerson also earned the RMI Fast Time Award bonus with a time of 14.825 seconds in time trials, while heat race wins went to Kevin Wirth, Jeff Sly, and Russ Murphy. Ted Ahart earned the RMI Hard Charger bonus in the feature by moving from his 17th starting spot to 7th in the final run down.

13 BCRA Midgets visited the ¼ mile for the fourth time in 2016. Brian Gard and Taylor Simas were the first drivers to see the green flag for the 30 lap feature. Gard snagged the early lead over Simas but Simas was immediately hard on the attack as he showed his nose to Gard multiple times. However, Simas lost power on lap 10, bringing out the caution.

On the restart, veteran Matt Streeter found himself in good position to challenge for the lead. Streeter rode the rim around the 1/4 mile clay oval and chased down Gard for the lead. The two raced side by side all the way up to lap 12 when Streeter finally got around Gard.

On lap 19, Gard reclaimed the lead when Streeter’s car began to fade on the top side of the speedway. Fortunately for Streeter, a lap 23 yellow for Bobby Wilson allowed Streeter to make some in car adjustments. Streeter utilized the top again to drive back by Gard on lap 27.

On the last lap, Streeter got tight on the turn one cushion allowing Gard to pull alongside once again. However, Streeter’s car was just too good to be beaten as he won his first race at the speedway since 2007.

“The track was absolutely a blast to race on tonight,” Streeter said with enthusiasm after the evening was over. “The car was good for the first portion of the race, then it got really loose in turns one and two, and that allowed Brian to get back by. But, we made some adjustments and were able to get him back and go on to win.”

The evening’s fast qualifier, Cory Elliott finished second, nipping third place finisher Brian Gard on the last lap, while the female duo of Randi Pankratz and Maria Cofer rounded out the top five. The two heat race winners were Matt Streeter and Brian Gard.

25 Nor-Cal Dwarf Cars made the trip for their fifth and final appearance of 2016. Zack Hurst and Josh King set the pace for the 20 lap endeavor. Unfortunately, the red flag flew on the opening circuit, as eighth place starter Scott Dahlgren flipped violently in turn three. Dahlgren walked away with no serious injury.

Josh King got the jump on the restart, and pulled away from the field early on. However, Shawn Jones worked his way through the field to chase down King by lap five. Jones threw a masterful slide job to take the lead on lap 6.

King returned the favor the following lap in turns one and two, only to see Jones re-slide King again in three and four to take command. Jones pulled away while leaving King to fight off Mike Grenert for second. On a late race restart, Grenert made major contact with King in turn one, sending King off the track and to the rear of the field.

Jones dominated the race from there and won his third feature in a row at the speedway. Kevin Bender came home second, while third went to Zack Hurst, followed by Mike Grenert and Johnny Reeves to round out the top five. Heat wins went to Scott Dahlgren, Mike Grenert, and Shawn Jones.

“Three in a row running the cushion all 20 laps for the victory. I’ll take it”, an exuberant Shawn Jones said in the winner’s circle. “The top was tricky tonight for me actually”, he went on to say. “The first few laps I could sail it in there on the cushion, then I had to actually be smart and hit it with some intelligence (later in the race),” Jones stated.

7 IMCA Sport Mods came for their third and final visit of 2016. Josh Gish and Damian Merritt led the field at the drop of the flag. Gish grabbed the lead until lap 4 when Todd Cooper drove by to take the point and brought his brother Brian Cooper along in second. The brothers raced side by side just like their last two appearances here at the track. From lap 12 to lap 18, the siblings raced hard and clean side by side until Brian tripped up just a little bit to allow Todd to pull away by about two car lengths over the final two circuits. Todd Cooper went on to win and made it two out of three wins at Placerville in 2016. Brian Cooper finished in the runner-up position while Jerry Bartlett led Josh Gish and Damian Merritt across the line. Merritt was also the lone heat winner earlier in the night.

“That was the most fun I’ve ever had in a racecar,” Cooper beamed on the front stretch following the night of action. “My brother and I raced so hard for so many laps, that it was just awesome. The track was incredible tonight. I just wish we raced here more than three times a year.”

Placerville Speedway returns next Saturday night for the final race of the 2016 Red Hawk Casino Championship season. Pit gates will open at 2PM with the front gates opening at 3PM. Racing begins at 7PM.

For complete details of the 2016 Red Hawk Casino Championship Racing Season, visit Placerville Speedway’s official website at www.placervillespeedway.com.

Join the nearly 8000 followers of Placerville Speedway on Facebook, where you can interact with fellow fans, drivers, and staff. You can also find Placerville Speedway on Twitter for schedule updates and more by following us @pvillespeedway. In addition, Placerville Speedway is now on Instagram. Please follow us @PvilleSpeedway.

Placerville Speedway is located on the El Dorado County Fairgrounds at 100 Placerville Drive in Placerville. The racing facility is operated by Russell Motorsports Incorporated, which can be reached at the track business office at 530-344-7592.

*Aditional writing contributions by Dean Mills

 

3rd Annual Donnie Tilford Tribute event this Saturday at Placerville Speedway

Tilford Tribute

PLACERVILLE, CA (August 18)…This Saturday marks the the third edition of an event to honor a Placerville Speedway legend, the “Donnie Tilford Tribute”, which serves as the second to the last race on the 2016 Red Hawk Casino Championship Series.

The five division program features the Domco Plumbing Limited Late Models, the Jay’s Mobile Welding and Fabricating Pure Stocks, each in a headline role, along with visiting BCRA Midgets, IMCA Sport Mods, as well as the NorCal Dwarf Car Series.

The race honors Donnie Tilford, one the most beloved stock car drivers in the history of Placerville Speedway. Tilford in his final years mentored, sponsored, and wrenched for various drivers well past his retirement from driving in 1991. A former Placerville Speedway Super Stock champion, Tilford succumbed to heart complications, and passed away peacefully in his sleep at the age of 58 on March 18, 2014.

“This weekend’s event should prove to be the perfect way to honor one of Placerville Speedway’s greatest legends, Donnie Tilford”, stated first year promoter Scott Russell. “The drivers in the stock car and late model divisions will be able to showcase their talent and skill by racing against the clock for their starting positions under the qualifying format. We are looking forward to showcasing the Limited Late Model division, as well as the Pure Stock series in a headlining role this weekend, and the fastest qualifier in both series will receive a $100 bonus courtesy of RMI”.

In addition, the two divisions will be racing for expanded purses, with the Late Models racing for $850.00 to win in the feature event, $525.00 for second, and $350.00 for third, while the Pure Stocks see a bump in purse structure as well with $600.00 to win the feature, $350.00 for second, and $200.00 for a third place finish.

With added money on the line, and just two point races remaining in the championship season, there is little doubt that Saturday’s event will provide plenty of intense action for the race fans attending the El Dorado County Fairgrounds 1/4 mile facility. Pit gates will open at 2PM with the front gates opening at 3PM. Racing begins at 7PM.

For complete details of the 2016 Red Hawk Casino Championship Racing Season, visit Placerville Speedway’s official website at www.placervillespeedway.com.

Join the nearly 8000 followers of Placerville Speedway on Facebook, where you can interact with fellow fans, drivers, and staff. You can also find Placerville Speedway on Twitter for schedule updates and more by following us @pvillespeedway. In addition, Placerville Speedway is now on Instagram. Please follow us @PvilleSpeedway.

Placerville Speedway is located on the El Dorado County Fairgrounds at 100 Placerville Drive in Placerville. The racing facility is operated by Russell Motorsports Incorporated, which can be reached at the track business office at 530-344-7592.

Forsberg, Trimble, and Grunert crowned Posse Champions at Placerville Speedway

Placerville Speedway Banner

By: Brad Kennedy *

Placerville, CA (August 13)…The final event of the 4 race “Placerville Posse Challenge” was held Saturday night at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds, with 47 cars on hand in the three divisions.

Jake Morgan and Chase Majdic led the Thompson’s Auto Group 360 Sprint Car field to green flag for the night’s 25 lap feature, but the yellow lights flickered immediately around the speedway as Majdic was called back for jumping the start and penalized a row for the infraction. For the second attempt, Mason Moore was moved to the front row, and took advantage over Morgan entering turn 1.

Meanwhile, sixth place starter Andy Forsberg utilized the top of the speedway to quickly move to second in a single circuit. Forsberg challenged Moore for the lead on lap 5 going into turn three, but Moore shut the door on Forsberg exiting turn four.

On lap 6, Forsberg got around Moore for the lead with a move that saw the leaders just inches apart. As Forsberg pulled away, Sean Becker rose to challenge the leaders after starting tenth. Becker used the top side of turns one and two to drive around Moore and began to track down Forsberg.

Forsberg endured a lap 20 caution, and held off the charge by Becker to win the race and claim the Placerville Posse title.

In victory lane, the always loquacious Forsberg admitted that he was concerned with Becker’s advances. “After I got by Mason (Moore), I kept watching the scoreboard and saw the 35 (Becker) go from fifth, to fourth then second in three laps”, he said.08_13_2016_149c

“I figured Sean would be running up top and I thought I heard someone behind me. When I moved upstairs, then I never heard anything again.”

Sean Becker crossed the line second while third went to Mason Moore, fourth to Jake Morgan and fifth to Greg DeCaires.

QuickTime qualifier Andy Forsberg earned the $100 courtesy bonus from ADCO Driveline and Exhaust, while Chase Madjic and Logan Seavey won the two heat races, with the AL Driveline Hard Charger bonus being awarded to Becker who ran 2nd and improved 8 positions from his 10th starting spot.

The Jay’s Mobile Welding & Fabrication Pure Stocks had 14 competitors in attendance, with weekly Red Hawk Casino championship point leader Nick Baldwin and Rick Grunert leading the field to green. Grunert got the jump over Baldwin and stretched a significant lead until Jay Bryant spun in turn one to draw the caution. On the restart, Grunert pulled away as Baldwin’s car did not take off immediately, allowing Dan Jinkerson to get by.

On lap 4, Baldwin made a power move around Jinkerson to reclaim second, then drag raced Grunert across the line on lap 6. The two battled hard as traffic came into play. On lap 8, Baldwin jumped the cushion in turn one allowing Jinkerson to pull alongside for second again. The two ran side by side all away through turn four when a lap car of Anthony Vigna got sideways pushing Jinkerson to the infield and allowing Posse points leader Scott Grunert to claim second. As Grunert passed Jinkerson for third, Oroville Owens made contact with Jinkerson in turn one sending Owens off the embankment, drawing the caution on lap 9.

On the restart, Baldwin’s car once again did not take off, allowing Jinkerson again to get around in turn two to claim second as Scott Grunert challenged Baldwin for third. On lap 12, Baldwin once again overtook Jinkerson and applied pressure to Rick Grunert for the lead. The trio raced hard until traffic became a factor again in the late stages of the 20 lap feature. Nick Baldwin raced side by side with Rick Grunert as the leaders raced under the white flag.

Rick Grunert ran the middle of the speedway going into turn one, opening the top up for Baldwin to pull alongside. That left the bottom open for Rick’s son Scott to go three wide all the way down the backstretch, through turns three and four and to the checkered. The top three were separated by inches at the line. Scott Grunert grabbed the victory on the last lap over Nick Baldwin and Rick Grunert.

08_13_2016_099c  “I really wanted to see my dad (Rick Grunert) win”, admitted Scott Grunert in victory lane. “He was fast all night and it was kinda sketch doing a complete lap three wide at the end. But I’m happy that we won.”

Jay Bryant and Tim Mack won the two heats earlier in the evening, Scott Grunert was the winner of the RMI Hard Charger bonus by winning from his 7th starting spot.

12 Domco Plumbing Limited Late Models entered for the final Posse challenge race of 2016. Tyler Lightfoot and Ken Michelli set the field for the 20 lap race. On the initial green, Michelli jumped the start which penalized him back a row. On the second attempt, pole sitter Tyler Lightfoot jumped the start putting him back a row. A third attempt saw original row 2 starters Scott Woessner and Ryan Peter set the pace for the green. Going into turn one, Woessner washed up the track opening the bottom for Ray Trimble to grab the lead off of turn two and allowing Randy McDaniel to claim second down the back stretch.

The race went green to checkered without stopping as Trimble and McDaniel raced side by side for the majority of the race. The two competitors never touched for all 20 circuits as Matt Michelli banged his right rear off the cushion for entire distance.

Trimble crossed the line to win his third main event in 2016 at the speedway and take home the Posse championship by one point over McDaniel who finished second. Third went to Matt Michelli while Woessner and Lightfoot finished in fourth and fifth, respectively.  08_13_2016_118c

“Any of these guys that show up on can win on any given night here”, acknowledged Trimble in the winner’s circle. “I tried not to watch the scoreboard but I knew McDaniel and Michelli were right there. I’m just glad we held them off for the win.”

McDaniel and Matt Michelli won the two heat races, while McDaniel grabbed the RMI Hard Charger bonus with his run from 9th to 2nd in the feature.

Placerville Speedway returns with the 2nd Annual “Donnie Tilford Tribute” event. A five division program consists of the Domco Plumbing Limited Late Models, the Jay’s Mobile Welding Pure Stocks, BCRA Midgets, IMCA Sport Mods, and NorCal Dwarf Cars. Pit gates will open at 2PM with the front gates opening at 3PM. Racing begins at 7PM.

For complete details of the 2016 Red Hawk Casino Championship Racing Season, visit Placerville Speedway’s official website at www.placervillespeedway.com.

Join the over 7900 followers of Placerville Speedway on Facebook, where you can interact with fellow fans, drivers, and staff. You can also find Placerville Speedway on Twitter for schedule updates and more by following us @pvillespeedway. In addition, Placerville Speedway is now on Instagram. Please follow us @PvilleSpeedway.

Placerville Speedway is located on the El Dorado County Fairgrounds at 100 Placerville Drive in Placerville. The racing facility is operated by Russell Motorsports Incorporated, which can be reached at the track business office at 530-344-7592.

*Additional writing contributions by Dean Mills

Placerville Speedway hosts Placerville Posse Challenge Finale this Saturday

Placerville Speedway Banner

Placerville, CA (August 11)…The fourth and final date of the 2016 “Placerville Posse” Challenge takes place this Saturday night in conjunction with the fifteenth point race of the Red Hawk Casino Championship Series. The three division program consists of the Thompson’s Auto Group 360 Sprint Cars, the Domco Plumbing Limited Late Models, and the Jay’s Mobile Welding and Fabricating Pure Stocks.

Saturday’s event will also feature the annual Mountain Democrat “Kids Bicycle Night”, in which children up to 11 years of age will be allowed to bring their bikes and helmets to compete on the racing surface. Children 11 and under will be admitted free and will receive a free popcorn and soda. In addition, seven bikes will be raffled off to lucky winners. The bicycles have been graciously donated by the Mountain Democrat, Lightfoot Automotive, RMI, and long time Placerville Speedway supporter Mr. Don Meekma. Pit gates will open at 2PM with the front gates opening at 3PM. Racing begins at 7PM.

For complete details of the 2016 Red Hawk Casino Championship Racing Season, visit Placerville Speedway’s official website at www.placervillespeedway.com.

Join the over 7900 followers of Placerville Speedway on Facebook, where you can interact with fellow fans, drivers, and staff. You can also find Placerville Speedway on Twitter for schedule updates and more by following us @pvillespeedway. In addition, Placerville Speedway is now on Instagram. Please follow us @PvilleSpeedway.

Placerville Speedway is located on the El Dorado County Fairgrounds at 100 Placerville Drive in Placerville. The racing facility is operated by Russell Motorsports Incorporated, which can be reached at the track business office at 530-344-7592.

Bryan Clauson

June 15, 1989 – August 7, 2016

BCI

From all of us at Placerville Speedway, our thoughts and prayers are with the Clauson family at this time. Bryan was living the dream of many racers. He was an amazing and talented example that fueled the desire of many young aspiring drivers. This tragedy is a grim reminder of how precious life is. Our racing family has lost a champion, and an ambassador to the sport we love. May he rest in peace…