41st Hangtown Police Destruction Derby returns in grand fashion this Sunday


By Bill Sullivan


derby picPopular event returns with expanded program of both stock and thrilling open classes all for charity

By Bill Sullivan for the Placerville PPOA

PLACERVILLE, CA - This Sunday, August 17th, Placerville Speedway will host the sounds of smashing sheet metal the roar of smoking engines and cheering spectators as one of El Dorado County’s oldest charitable events celebrates its 41st consecutive year. It’s time for the classic Placerville Police Officers Association’s Annual Hangtown Destruction Derby, an afternoon of car crushing mayhem that is fun for the entire family.

Now over four decades strong the annual Hangtown Destruction Derby is presented by the Placerville Police Officers Association in conjunction with the cooperation of El Dorado County Fire, Placerville Speedway and the business community of El Dorado County. The competition in the event is well populated by men and women representing law enforcement and public safety agencies along with entries of the daring type from the general public in a contest of mechanical survival on a mud filled infield of the fairgrounds main arena.

Destruction-Derby-3As the Hangtown Destruction Derby begins it’s fifth decade, it continues to one of the oldest and most successful annual events that benefits charity in El Dorado County. Through the years, proceeds from the derby have benefited a number of organizations such as youth sports, children’s charities and the Police Officers annual Christmas party for underprivileged children. The bottom line, the annual Hangtown Destruction Derby is fun for the whole family and in the end, it’s all presented for a good cause.

The 2014 version of the Hangtown Destruction Derby is sure to be bigger and better than ever as the program has been expanded to include two different divisions for the first time in the event histoy. For many years, common derby rules have required that a car be 1970 or newer to compete in the derby. This ruling eliminated the heavy cars of yesteryear, such at Chrysler Imperials and others, that are known for their stealth construction and invincibility. This year, fans are in for treat as the Placerville Police Officers Association will present a “stock” class as well as an “open” class.

With the two classes, two champions will be crowned at the end of the afternoon with winners of each of the super mains earning a healthy $1000. Second place earns $500 and third place wins $300. Heat races will pay $150 to the winner, $100 to second place and $50 to third. In addition to the cash winnings top finishers are awarded trophies for their success. As of press time, Ron Cannon or the Placerville Police Officers Association was expecting in the neighborhood of 30 cars in the combined classes.

Entrants in this annual event routinely acquire the vehicle themselves and then use area sponsorships to construct it into a full blown derby car. In many cases, the winners turn around and donate their winnings to a charity of their choice after the bills are paid for the construction of the car, safety equipment, transportation to the event and possibly a visit to the chiropractor the following Monday.

Last year, the Hangtown Destruction Derby reached it’s landmark 40th anniversary, fending off promotional and financial challenges through the years.

Several years ago, this event was feared to be endangered when low attendance and participation made it difficult to continue promoting. Over the last several years, officer Ron Cannon has been instrumental in the growth of the annual derby. As a long time competitor with a great love for his community and family entertainment, Cannon’s enthusiasm, a collaborative promotion effort with Placerville Speedway and many businesses in the community that sponsor the affair, this once struggling event has reached a point in existence that many charitable evnts only hope to be able to reach. It is the highest ranked law enforcement charity event in the western states, sitting second to the annual “Pig Bowl” that takes place in Sacramento each year.080911-02_0

This year the 41st Annual Hangtown Destruction Derby will begin on the eve of the event with the annual event BBQ at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds and involvement with Placerville Speedway during Mountain Democrat Kids Night event. On this evening, the speedway admits all children under 12 for free to the speedway and holds bicycle races during intermission. The Placerville Police Officers Association will be on hand when the gates open at the races, handing out tickets to those youngsters 12 and under that attend the races. The officers will not be handing out speeding tickets, but complimentary children’s tickets the Sunday Derby. The team effort between the Police Department and Placerville Speedway is sure to make this coming weekend one to remember for the youngsters.

The grandstands at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds will open at 11 a.m. on Sunday and the first heat race of the derby is set to begin at 1 p.m. following opening ceremonies and the popular parade of entrants. Adult tickets to the derby are just $10 at the gate. Seniors are $5. Children 12 and under are $5, unless they attend the auto races the night before and receive a complimentary ticket that is good for admission with a paid adult.

A number of area businesses have donated prizes that will be raffled off at the 41st Annual Hangtown Destruction Derby and the pre-event BBQ that takes place Saturday evening at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds.

For further information on the event, the official website of Placerville Police Officers Association can be viewed at www.hangtowncops.org. For information on Kids Night at Placerville Speedway, visit www.placervillespeedway.com.

Kids are free this Saturday night at Placerville Speedway As Mountain Democrat Kids Night kicks of big weekend


By Bill Sullivan


kids racing vertPLACERVILLE, CA (8-16-14) - Grab the bikes and bring all the tikes. It’s time for “Mountain Democrat Kids’ Night” at Placerville Speedway this Saturday, August 16th. This event will benefit the Boys and Girls Club of El Dorado County this year and is the biggest night for the littlest of race fans as it marks the first of two big days of family fun at Placerville Speedway, located on the El Dorado County Fairgrounds.

Saturday night will feature the return of Jackson Rancheria Casino Championship point racing at Placerville Speedway. The winged sprint cars return to action this Saturday along with the Limited Late Models and the Pure Stocks. Joining the three track regulars will be the colorful coupes of the Nor Cal Dwarf Car Association, providing an evening of racing that is fun and exciting for all ages.

This week, the racing is sure to be as exciting as it usually is on the quarter-mile clay oval that has been in operation since the summer of 1965. However, Saturday night is about much more than high dollar motors, the perfect tire and the perfect set up. Saturday marks the annual night at Placerville Speedway where families come together to give the true fans of this sport the opportunity to shine with the help of their racing heroes. On Mountain Democrat Kid’s Night, youngsters get their turn to compete on the race track in numerous bicycle races during intermission with the help and support of their local racing heroes cheering them on.

“This is what it’s all about, families and kids coming together at the track for a special night,” are the words spoken in a classic interview with defending sprint champion Andy Forsberg. Like many, Forsberg remembers being a youngster in the stands at Placerville watching his heroes duel it out. Along with the memories of seeing his father race wheel to wheel with names like Gene Gillihan, Doug Gandy, Brian Crockett and more, Forsberg remembers what it was like on the one night he had the opportunity to be on the other side of the fence.

“If you’re a kid and love the races, there is nothing more meaningful then having the chance to be on the track with your favorite drivers and all the fans cheering you on. I remember back in those days, it was a lot of fun and now its even better be a driver helping these kids on Kid’s Night. This is a great event, every family in the county should come out and check it out.”

Forsberg is just one of many of today’s drivers that raced for the first time in the two wheeled fashion as youngsters at Placerville Speedway. Other notables behind the wheel today that dueled for their first trophies on the red clay include the Tilford brothers along with names like Justin Sanders, Andy Gregg, Jimmy Trulli, Justin Johnson, Cody Spencer, Danielle Clauson and many more. This is a night at Placerville Speedway that many youngsters long remember and cherish as a great traditional evening of family fun which, thanks to the Mountain Democrat’s generous sponsorship, has grown to the biggest night of the year for the young and young at heart.

Saturday night, all kids 11 and under are admitted for free to Placerville Speedway. Additionally, the young fans receive complimentary popcorn and soda on this evening as well as a free ticket to the 41th Annual Hangtown Destruction Derby that takes place on Sunday afternoon. The free ticket comes courtesy of the Placerville Police Officers Association as they team with Placerville Speedway to make a fun filled weekend for families at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds. The annual Destruction Derby is presented by the PPOA with the cooperation of the management of Handy Racing Promotions.

Youngsters are encouraged to participate in the bicycle races at intermission on Saturday night. Races will be broken up into various age groups with the distance of the competition being adjusted accordingly. The top three finishers of each age group will be awarded trophies presented by the Mountain Democrat and everyone who competes is awarded participation ribbons. Placerville Speedway will provide a secure parking area for the children’s bicycles during the evening. Following the bicycle races, a brand new BMX Bicycle sponsored by the Mountain Democrat will be raffled off to a lucky youngster in the grandstands. Additionally, the Mountain Democrat has once again generously sponsored a great deal of pre event advertising for the event to make it a huge success.

Saturday night the gates of Placerville Speedway will open at 5 p.m. with qualifying starting up at 6:30. Adult tickets will be $15, Seniors will be $13, Juniors $12 and those 11 and under will be FREE for the evening.

Raffle tickets for the BMX Bicycle will be presented to every youngster coming in the front gate along with a coupon for free popcorn and soda and a complimentary ticket to the destruction derby. In addition to the Mountain Democrat’s BMX Bicycle, additional prizes will be raffled off in several surprise additions to the drawing on race night.

For additional information visit the track website at www.placervillespeedway.com More information can also be found on the speedway’s website at www.placervillespeedway.com. You can also join over 5000 Placerville Speedway fans and drivers by liking them on Facebook.

 

Greg DeCaires Takes Home Lucrative Pay Day As He Wins Second Career Mark Forni Classic


By Placerville Speedway


(PETERSEN MEDIA-Placerville, CA)- The 2014 Civil War Series Presented By Flowmaster has been highly competitive, and on Saturday night Greg DeCaires became the seventh winner in seven events this season as he picked up his second career Mark Forni classic, and cashed in the $5000 that came along with it.

With Andy Forsberg and DeCaires leading the field to green, it was Auburn, CA’s Forsberg jumping out to the early lead, while the Elk Grove, CA native,Decaires, sat in the catbird’s seat.

On a track that held moisture through the 30-lap feature event, Forsberg held a strong command of the race as he paced the field despite a pair of early stoppages.

With DeCaires, Colby Wiesz, and Shane Golobic chasing after him, the race’s complexion took a major change as the leaders found traffic on the 13th lap.

A spinning car on lap 13 forced Forsberg to take evasive action, and in doing so, he made contact with the stalled car, ending his night with rear-end damage, and handing the lead over to DeCaires who proved to be strong on this night.

After the open red following the incident, DeCaires worked the bottom of the speedway to perfection as he broke away from the field, but behind him the action was intense, as Jonathan Allard worked his way into the third spot, as a torrid battle broke out between Allard, Golobic, DeCaires, and Steven Tiner.

With the yellow waiving on the 22nd lap, the field was re-stacked in double file formation, and with DeCaires getting away, the race within the top-five kept the fans on the edge of their seats as cars used every piece of Placerville Speedway real estate looking to reel in the leader.

Golobic ran strong in the second spot as he fended off advances from Allard, but Colby Wiesz kept the duo in striking distance as Tiner, and Justin Sanders applied the pressure on him, until the red flew on the 27th circuit for Alissa Geving, who walked way from a hard crash. image

With three laps to go, DeCaires continued to use the bottom of the speedway as the race for the final podium spot picked up as Wiesz finally got some breathing room as he cleared Allard who had his hands full with the charging duo of Justin Sanders and Steven Tiner.

As the white flag flew the crowd got on their feet as Shane Golobic closed in on the race leader, and though Golobic gave it his all during the final circuit, it was DeCaires crossing the stripe first, claiming his second career Mark Forni Classic, and earning a feature event spot in the upcoming Johnny Key Classic at the Ocean Speedway.

“I got a gift from Andy Forsberg early in the race, but we will take it,” a jubilant DeCaires said. “I am worn out after that one, and have to thank everyone on this team for working so hard, and getting us in a great spot all night. This is a huge race to win, and hopefully next year we can come back and cash in with the $10K that is up for grabs.”

Though he finished in the second spot, Civil War Series Presented By Flowmaster point leader, Shane Golobic also locks into the Key as the series point leader, and was pleased with his run.

“Congrats to Greg DeCaires and his team on this win,” he said. “I gave it everything I had, and I wish we would have had less cautions and raced with traffic, because I wanted to see what we had. This car has been great all year, and I can’t thank this entire team for continuing to give me a competitive machine.”

After a torrid battle during the 30-lap feature event, Colfax, CA driver, Colby Wiesz took the final spot on the podium.

“These double file restarts were intense, especially racing someone like Jonathan Allard,” he said. “Allard raced us had and clean, and we are pleased to finish third in a hard fought race. This completion with the Civil War Series is so good, so anytime you can land on the podium, you are happy.”

Following the top three across the stripe was 13th starting Jonathan Allard, Justin Sanders, Steven Tiner, Cory Eliason, 16th starting Kyle Hirst, 18th starting Carson Macedo, and 14th starting Herman Klein rounding out the Top-10.

In B-Main action, pole sitter, Jimmy Trulli, took command from the front row and went on to win the 15-lap showdown as he held off Alissa Geving, Sean Becker, Adam Walters, Jake Morgan, and Justyn Cox who all transferred to the feature event.

In the night’s Dash, Andy Forsberg won from the pole, while heat race wins went to Steven Tiner, Forsberg, Wiesz, and Golobic.

With 34 cars on hand for the 9th Annual Mark Forni Classic, Brad Furr stopped the clocks with the quickest lap while Andy Forsberg, Cory Eliason, Jimmy Trulli, and Justin Sanders rounded out the top five.

imageEl Dorado’s Jason Armstrong won the Vintage Hardtop feature event. Armstrong started 10th and drove to his second win on the year at his hometown track.

The Civil War Sprint Car Series would like to thank Flowmaster, BR Motorsports, A.R.T. Speed Equipment, Brodix, ButlerBuilt, CRV Carbon Solutions, Design 500, Dirt Solution, Taco Bravo, Hansen Machine, Frankland Racing Supply, Fuel Safe, Hoosier, Joe Hunt Magnetos, Kaeding Performance, King Racing Products, KSE Power Steering Products, Pit Stop USA, MPD, All Pro, RCM Design, Rod End Supply, Racing Optics, SRP, VSR, and Weld Racing for their support.

ON TAP: The Civil War Sprint Car Series Presented By Flowmaster will now take next week off before returning to action on August 23rd for the 54th Johnny Key Classic at the Ocean Speedway as they take on Ocean Sprints Presented By Taco Bravo.

WINNERS: Winners in the 2014 California Sprint Car Civil War Series Presented By Flowmaster… Andy Gregg- 1 (Marysville Raceway Park on March 15th), DJ Netto-1 (Marysville Raceway Park on May 24th), Shane Golobic-1 (Silver Dollar Speedway on May 25th), Andy Forsberg- 1 (Placerville Speedway on May 31st), Mason Moore (Petaluma Speedway on July 5th), Brad Furr (Ocean Speedway on July 11th), Greg DeCaires (Placerville Speedway on August 9th)

The Forni Classic; Placerville’s Richest Race in honor of late local icon Mark Forni


By Bill Sullivan


By Bill Sullivan, Placerville Speedway Media

PLACERVILLE, CA – This Saturday will be the richest night of the season at Placerville Speedway as the evening will pay tribute forni mugto the late Mark Forni. At the end of the night a member of the Sprint Car division will proudly hoist the prestigious trophy and cash in on a $5000 payday in the 9th annual Mark Forni Classic. In addition to the victory, a $500 bonus will be paid to the fast qualifier from the collaborative businesses that have stepped forth to make this race the richest of the year.

With the added bounty, top drivers from throughout California and the Pacific Northwest are expected to converge for the venue that pays homage to the late Mark Forni, a friend of the sport who lost his life far too young in the summer of 2005. The event is a high caliber Civil War Sprint Car Series event and will also include the Nor Cal Dwarf Cars for a night of racing that will not be forgotten.

The Forni family has a great history in El Dorado County and deep ties to the El Dorado County Fairground and much of the land on which it sits. Much like his forefathers, Mark Forni had a great passion for the county fair and its attributes, especially the race track. From the time he was a young child and the days when Placerville Speedway was known as “Old Hangtown Speedway,” Mark was actively involved with the weekly auto races, always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone in need involved with the sport he loved.

Later in life, Mark continued his contributions to local auto racing, sponsoring many race teams with his business, Forni’s Trucking. He later became a member of the El Dorado County Fair Board and focused on the issues regarding the future of the fair and the speedway. Mark Forni believed in working relationships. He understood the importance of race promoters, sponsorships and the one key element for every event to be successful, the spectator.

becker web In November of 2004, Mark was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. During his final months, Mark had the opportunity to say goodbye to friends and family and spend some special moments with his wife and children, a bittersweet time for those who knew and loved him so much. ISpeedway-716-283x300n the summer of 2005, Mark passed away at the early age of 45

For Mark Forni, sprint car racing and his local racetrack were a very special part of his life. It is with great honor that Placerville Speedway and a group of community businesses continue to present the annual Mark Forni Classic. This Saturday, the added bounty comes courtesy of a number of community businesses including: Doug Veerkamp General Engineering Inc., Hunt and Sons Petroleum, Pape’ Machinery of Sacramento, John Deere Equipment Sales, Les Schwab Tires, Armond’s Giant Tire Service, MRO Incorporated, Mike and Jessica Poderick of Placerville, Arnold’s for Awards, Riebes Auto Parts, Steve Gomoluh and the Sept Family.

Spo_Gregg-1024x819The grandstands of Placerville Speedway will open at 5 p.m. Saturday and an early arrival to the speedway is suggested to insure seating. Adult tickets will be $17, seniors will be $15, Juniors $12, Children are $6 and those under six are free.

The Civil War Sprint Cars will be joined by the visiting Vintage Hardtop division. This will mark the second time this year for this unique division that brings the cars of yesteryear back to the likes of competition. El Dorado’s Jason Armstrong will lead the roster as he looks to defend his Placerville win which he garnered earlier this year.

 

Saturday’s Race to Host Huge Fundraiser to Benefit Leukemia Lymphoma Society….

As an added addition to Saturday’s big race, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’sTeam in Training participant and local race fan Carla Tilford will be holding their second annual benefit raffle at the upcoming Mark Forni Classic.

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is a not-for-profit, voluntary health organization whose mission is to cure leukemia and its related cancers — lymphoma, multiple myeloma and Hodgkin’s disease — and to improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Over a year ago, Carla became involved with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society after members of her family had been affected by blood cancers including Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in hope of making a difference to help save others lives.

Last year, local race fans raised nearly $2000 for this great cause at the Forni Classic and plans this year are to surpass that amount. Proceeds raised by means of a well orchestated, large raffle at this event will benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Greater Sacramento Chapter to provide financial assistance to families, support research for a cure and to improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Businesses from throughout Sacramento, El Dorado and Amador Counties have donated an amazing number of prizes for this year’s event. Donors have pitched in from througout the United States this year, including Chip Ganassi Racing which has donated autographed Kyle Larson goods. Larson began his sprint car racing career at Placerville Speedway at the age of 14 and is now NASCAR’s rising star in the Sprint Cup Series as well as Nationwide and Trucks. The Larson gear is just one of many great prizes that will be available to race fans this Saturday night.

Team In Training is the world’s largest endurance training program and the signature fundraising campaign for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The goal of Team In Training is to increase funding to support LLS’ mission while promoting fitness and healthy lifestyles for all the participants who take part in the program. Local Ambassadors will be present at the Speedway to speak to folks interested in learning more the program. In addition, information you can learn more about the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training, which consist of individuals, like Tilford, who train for an endurance event and fundraiser on behalf of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, visit www.teamintraining.org or call (916) 929-4720.

raffle poster40k in Winners; Past Winners of the Mark Forni Classi

2006- Kyle Hirst

2007- Greg DeCaires

2008- Sean Becker

2009- Sean Becker-

2010- Mason Moore

2011- Andy Forsberg

2012- Andy Forsberg

2013- Andy Gregg

 

Saturday’s Forni Classic to host 2nd annual Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Fundraiser


By Bill Sullivan


By Bill Sullivan, Placerville Speedwayraffle poster

PLACERVILLE, CA – This Saturday night marks the richest night of racing at Placerville Speedway with the 9th Annual Mark Forni Classic. While the best drivers in the region converge for a high bounty, this night of racing is much more than just a race for winning. It’s a night that remembers a dedicated community icon who’s efforts worked to secure the sport of auto racing for years to come at Placerville. Additionally, the event will raise thousand’s of dollars towards the Leukemia and Lymphoma Societ for the second year in a row.

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training participant and longtime local race fan Carla Tilford, has organized what will be thesecond annual benefit raffle at the upcoming Mark Forni Classic. This year’s event is expected to be even bigger than last years in both raffle prizes as well as fundraising.

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is a not-for-profit, voluntary health organization whose mission is to cure leukemia and its related cancers — lymphoma, multiple myeloma and Hodgkin’s disease — and to improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Over a year ago, Carla became involved with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society after members of her family had been affected by blood cancers including Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in hope of making a difference to help save others lives.

Last year, local race fans raised nearly $2000 for this great cause at the Forni Classic and plans this year are to surpass that amount. Proceeds raised by means of a well orchestated, large raffle at this event will benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Greater Sacramento Chapter to provide financial assistance to families, support research for a cure and to improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Businesses from throughout Sacramento, El Dorado and Amador Counties have donated an amazing number of prizes for this year’s event. Donors have pitched in from througout the United States this year, including Chip Ganassi Racing which has donated autographed Kyle Larson goods. Larson began his sprint car racing career at Placerville Speedway at the age of 14 and is now NASCAR’s rising star in the Sprint Cup Series as well as Nationwide and Trucks. The Larson gear is just one of many great prizes that will be available to race fans this Saturday night.

Team In Training is the world’s largest endurance training program and the signature fundraising campaign for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The goal of Team In Training is to increase funding to support LLS’ mission while promoting fitness and healthy lifestyles for all the participants who take part in the program. Local Ambassadors will be present at the Speedway to speak to folks interested in learning more the program. In addition, information you can learn more about the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training, which consist of individuals, like Tilford, who train for an endurance event and fundraiser on behalf of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, visit www.teamintraining.org or call (916) 929-4720.

 

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