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.
Photos by Donna Peter