Fire evacuations and command center force cancellation of Saturday, July 26 racing


By Placerville Speedway Media


imagePLACERVILLE, CA (7-25-14) – The management of Placerville Speedway has just received notice by county officials that the El Dorado County Fairgrounds will be unavailable for public use to be utilized for an emergency fire camp and evacuation center for the wildfire that is burning out of control and forcing evacuations in both Amador and El Dorado County.

These circumstances beyond our control, unfortunately are requiring us to cancel Saturday’s racing program yo allow the facility to be utilized for this purpose. Saturday, July 26, 2014. Racing will resume one Saturday August 2. We apologize for these circumstances and our thoughts and prayers go out to the families affected by this situation and for the safety of our firefighters.

Please watch our website for information on next week’s event.

Sean Becker wins a wild one with the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series at Placerville Speedway on Saturday


By Placerville Speedway Media


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By Gary Thomas/Photos by Donna Peter

Placerville, CA – July 19, 2014…A packed house on Saturday night at the Placerville Speedway witnessed one of the craziest finishes seen in a long time, when leader Brent Kaeding spun on the cushion during the final corner and resulted in Sean Becker sneaking by for the dramatic victory.

The unbelievable win for Becker was his 10th career with the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series, which moves him into a tie for ninth on the all-time win list. It also marked his first win of the year with the series aboard his Main Motorsports/ H.A.M. Construction No. 35m machine.

“Wow this is so crazy I don’t know what to say,” said an ecstatic Becker after climbing the front stretch fence. “We’ve been struggling to start the year, but I knew we could turn it around and hopefully this will be the first win of many. It feels so good to finally get another KWS win, because it’s been a while. What a great race tonight was and I hope all the fans enjoyed that one.”

The 30-lap King of the West 410 Sprint Car main event started out with Becker jumping into the lead at the waving of the green flag. It didn’t last long however, as Chico’s Jonathan Allard pounced on lap-three to take over the top spot. A very well prepared quarter-mile was presented to teams with multiple grooves on both corners.

A double file restart on lap 14 then saw California racing legend Brent Kaeding beat Allard to turn one and slice his way into the lead. Placerville’s very own Andy Gregg was also making noise and charged around Allard for the second spot on lap 19, before setting his sights on Kaeding. Gregg would hound Kaeding for a number of laps putting on a great show for the home town crowd.image

With things tightening up Fremont’s Shane Golobic and Becker looked to join the party. As Gregg looked to take the lead from Kaeding on lap 27 some minor contact ensued which got the Mike’s Hard Lemonade 14r of Gregg out of shape. At the same time Golobic tried to go around the outside, but contact would occur and leave Golobic’s 121 Sprinter with a folded front end. Auburn’s Andy Forsberg had nowhere to go and plowed into Golobic to bring out a red flag.

On the double file restart Kaeding hit it perfect and Gregg would get out of shape, losing a few spots dropping to fifth. Becker was now into second and came hard after Kaeding for the lead. The duo raced extremely close together and when the white flag came out it was anybody’s game. As Kaeding rounded turn four, chaos ensued when he hit the cushion and spun around sideways. With cars going everywhere to avoid him Becker somehow squirted out to cross the checkered flag for the improbable win.

Kaeding somehow got the car straightened out to finish the race in second, with Grass Valley’s Jason Statler, 17th starter Dominic Scelzi of Fresno and Gregg rounding out the top-five. The remainder of the top-10 was filled out by Hanford’s DJ Netto, Roseville’s Colby Copeland, Elk Grove’s Bobby McMahan, Chico’s Jonathan Allard and Campbell’s Bud Kaeding.

The 12-lap B-main was won by Mason Moore, with the three 10-lap heat races picked off by Sean Becker, Shane Golobic and Brent Kaeding. Jonathan Allard won the six-lap dash and Bobby McMahan opened the night by setting fast time in the 27-car field.

The companion BCRA Midget Lite main event was claimed by veteran Bobby Michnowicz over Brian Corso, Cori Andrews, Terry Bergstrom and Chris Hansen in the top-five. Michnowicz is a veteran of Sprint Car racing, who is now competing with the BCRA Midget Lites.image

Red clay high-banks of Placerville Speedway host the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series for the final time this season on Saturday


By Placerville Speedway Media


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Placerville, CA – July 15, 2014…The always challenging and unique confines of Placerville Speedway will welcome the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series this Saturday night July 19, for what will be round 12 in the fight for the statewide championship.
The quarter-mile bullring located on the El Dorado County Fairgrounds routinely produces great racing and is a fan favorite among many in Northern California. This Saturday’s event will be the final appearance of the season for the King of the West 410’s at the track and an exciting night looks to be on tap.
Chico’s Kyle Hirst goes into Saturday continuing to hold a commanding 102-point advantage in the standings with seven races remaining in the season. The defending King of the West champ however, is coming off his first finish outside of the top-five last Saturday during the Howard Kaeding Classic. Hirst had battled with Jonathan Allard and was leading the feature when he caught the cushion with five-laps to go last week, which resulted in him getting upside down.
The 26-year-old driver of the Roth Motorsports No. 83jr will look to get back in the groove on Saturday at a track that’s always been one of his strongest. “I always love running at the Placerville Speedway whenever possible,” said Hirst, who picked up a King of the West victory at the track in April of last season. “Placerville always gets a big cushion up top to lean on and as a driver that makes it a lot of fun. The stands always pack in as well and the fans are always pretty vocal, so it’s a really cool atmosphere.”
Fresh off his first King of the West 410 win of the season at last week’s Howard Kaeding Classic, Campbell’s Bud Kaeding will be looking to make it back-to-back this Saturday at the Placerville Speedway. It was the three-time USAC Silver Crown champ’s first victory since joining Williams Motorsports in the off-season and he goes into this weekend ranking second the standings. The ZERO machine visited victory lane in the summer event last year at Placerville with Jonathan Allard at the helm.
Thirteen-time Golden State/King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series champion Brent Kaeding has had success at Placerville in recent outings and comes into Saturdaysitting third in the points. The Campbell veteran charged from 13th fourth in April at Placerville Speedway and picked up his most recent KWS win at the track in June of 2012. “BK” has had a resurgence in 2014 thus far aboard the Al’s Roofing Supply No. 69 and will be looking to check off a KWS win this Saturday evening.
Roseville’s Sean Becker has had a steady season with the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series and currently ranks fourth overall while driving the Main Motorsports No. 35m machine. The “Shark” sits 22-markers back of Kaeding, as he continues to also search for his first KWS win of the year. The former Golden State/ KWS champ is a multiple-time winner in his career at the Placerville Speedway and will be trying hard to put his name at the front of the field on Saturday.
Three-time Golden State/ King of the West Series titlist Jonathan Allard rounds out the top-five in the standings going into Placerville, which is a track he has been very consistent at over the last eight-years. The driver of the Tri-C Manufacturing No. 3c sits 11-digits behind Becker for fourth after a tough ending last week that saw him race for the lead much of the feature, but end up 20th in the final rundown. Allard last season picked up a thrilling final corner victory at Placerville during the summer event.
The person Allard passed on the final corner in Placerville last year also happens to be the driver ranking sixth in the standings, with that being Fremont’s Shane Golobic. The current Civil War & Ocean Sprints point leader also finished runner up last Saturday at the HK Classic with KWS, following a thrilling duel with Bud Kaeding late in the race. Golobic stands just seven-points behind Allard for fifth going into Saturday aboard the Joe VonSchriltz Racing No. 121.
Former Placerville Speedway King of the West winner Jason Statler comes intoSaturday sitting seventh in the points, just 15-markers back of Golobic. The 2004 Golden State/ King of the West champ drove his DF Rios Motorsports No. 00 mount to a series win at the red-clay high-banks in the spring of his championship year. Fresno’s Dominic Scelzi has looked as good as he has all season long in recent weeks and is only five-digits behind Statler going into Saturday. The driver of the Scelzi Enterprises No. 41 will look to continue his momentum on Saturday at the Placerville bullring.
Elk Grove’s Bobby McMahan began his Sprint Car career at the Placerville Speedway in 1982 and will return to the track on Saturday holding onto the ninth spot in the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series standings at the helm of the American Tool & MFG No. 25 mount. The veteran driver however, is only one-point behind Scelzi, in what is a very heated and closely contested point battle. Fresno’s Craig Stidham rounds out the top-10 in the standings aboard the Brad Johnson Trucking No. 3 machine. The former Trophy Cup will look to regroup after getting upside down last week.
Other drivers expected to be in action this weekend at Placerville Speedway will include Hanford’s DJ Netto, Sacramento’s Willie Croft, Auburn’s Andy Forsberg & Richard Brace Jr., Placerville’s Andy Gregg & Jimmy Trulli, Scotts Valley’s Evan Suggs, Chico’s Mason Moore, Roseville’s Colby Copeland, Gilroy’s Jarrett Soares, Visalia’s Cory Eliason, Fair Oaks Chad Compton, Grass Valley’s Pat Harvey, Laton’s Geoffrey Strole, Winton’s Gordon Rodgers and more.
Adult tickets this Saturday July 19 will cost $20, seniors will be $16, juniors $12 and children $6. All seating is general admission during the night. The pit gate at Placerville Speedway on Saturday opens at 2pm, with the front gate opening at 5pm and racing anticipated to begin around 7pm. Fans are encouraged to arrive early as the grandstands always pack in at the Placerville bullring.

Forsberg and Tilford repeat in second Boys and Girls Club Benefit Race


By Placerville Speedway Media


  • Rick Grunert scores overdue win in Pure Stocks; Mike Grenert takes Dwarf Cars

07_12_2014_146PLACERVILLE, CA – Returning to action following the annual July Fourth Spectacular and it’s often daunting track conditions, it was back to usual for competitors at Placerville Speedway Saturday for the 11th championship point race of the season. A superior racing surface made for a great night of racing as the Jackson Rancheria Casino Championship season roars past it’s halfway mark.

On this particular Saturday night, four different drivers celebrated their wins in victory lane at the end of the night but the evening created much more in the way of winners than the familiar foursome. The race was the second of three benefit races for the Boys and Girls Club of El Dorado County and the large crowd that was in attendance assisted the local organization with a portion of each ticket sale going to the club Saturday night.

Four time defending track champion Andy Forsberg of Auburn returned to his dominate ways at the track he calls home, racing his way to victory in the 25-lap Hoosier Racing Tires Sprint Car Feature event. Forsberg was joined in victory lane by defending champion Tom Tilford who won the Mountain Democrat Newspaper Late Model feature. Woodland’s Rick Grunert took home his first win of the year in the Coors Light Pure Stocks while Mike Grenert of Travis AFB captured the win in the Pepsi guest division, the Nor Cal Dwarf Cars.

In the Sprint Car Division, Forsberg started his evening off with another ADCO Driveline and Custom Exhaust $100 bonus with the fastest time in qualifying which set the stage for a successful night aboard his F&F Racing owned Pit Stop USA #X1 Sprint Car. Prelminary races and the inversion placed the driver known as Mr.Excitement in the fifth place starting position and he certainly lived up to his nickname driving his way to the front.

When the green flag waved second place starter Mason Moore of Princeton was the first driver to point as he passed pole sitter Cory Eliason into the first set of turns. Moore was trailed by third place starter and point leader Greg DeCaires of Elk Grove who shot into second place while Forsberg wasted no time in powering into the third position with Placerville’s Andy Gregg in his wake.

With only five laps complete, Moore drove his way into lapped traffic where he began to duel with DeCaires in traffic, soon resulting in a lead change when DeCaires took over the front spot and Forsberg followed suit into the bridesmaid position. DeCaires increased his lead over Forsberg over the next several laps until the slower traffic blocked his efforts and Forsberg muscled into striking distance. The master of Placerville’s risky high line used it to his advantage on the 16th lap when he passed for the lead exiting the fourth turn and never looked back.

While Forsberg drove the final nine laps in the lead, DeCaires felt the pressure of Gregg as they dueled for the bridesmaid position with Moore close behind them and Steven Tiner lurking in the fifth position awaiting the slightest error by the fab four in front. At the line Forsberg was followed by Gregg, DeCaires claimed the third position over Moore.

“I’m not one to toot my own horn a lot but when the track conditions are like this I usually am pretty good at this place and tonight that was pretty much the case,” said Forsberg. “But the last time the track was this good DeCaires beat me and I was going –what the heck.” Tonight we had a great race and I can’t thank everyone on this whole crew for their hard work, we had a tough night in Watsonville last night and they worked their butts off to get me back out. I want to thank them and everyone that came out here tonight to watch us and help support the Boys and Girls Club at Placerville. Let’s do it again next week with the King of the West Sprint Cars and maybe I can finally get that 410 win here.”

In the Limited Late Model feature event, Tilford started on the outside front row of the 20-lap feature event and powered his family wrenched #92 into lead as he dueled with pole sitter Dan Brown Jr. of Rocklin into the opening lap. The defending track champion drove to a lead of more than a car length in the early laps while the action heated up behind him with Brown battling for position with four time winner Ray Trimble of Auburn.07_12_2014_152

With 14 laps down, Trimble worked his way around Brown to set his sights on Tilford. Still dueling with Brown, this bridesmaid battle waned into the final laps in lapped traffic. Trimble closed within inches of Tilford momentarily but dreams of a fifth season win were shattered on lap 17 when a failed attempt to pass Live Oak’s Ken Micheli in lapped traffice results in a collision and the loss of several positions.

As Tilford drove to his second win to make it a clean sweep of the night, also winning the heat race, Brown finished a strong second followed by Wayne Trimble of Auburn. Point leader Matt Micheli finished in third. Micheli made a night very special for a little girl earlier in the night when he won the kids dash and selected her to join him in victory lane and gave her the trophy. Dominic Stone of Folsom finished fourth followed by Matt Davis of Auburn.kids dash

“The first win this year, that one was for uncle Donnie for sure and it was pretty emotional,” said Tilford, all smiles in victory lane with family and crew. “This one is for all these guys that work so hard to help me do this and for everyone in my family who puts up with my passion for racing and all the time and work it takes. Tonight the car was fast all night from warm ups, in the heat and the main. I can’t thank my team and all my sponsors enough for everything.”

The Pure Stock feature had it’s share of caution flags beneath the full moon Saturday night. The most serious one fell on the 12th lap when a multi car collision completely blocked the track in turns one and two. Danielle Clauson of Placerville, Kevin Wirth of Garden Valley and James Sweeney of Placerville who was aboard a Pure Stock tonight, were all involved. Clauson was spun completely around when she was struck head on in the collision and required medical attention by the track paramedics during a length red flag.

Clauson returned home late Saturday night, reporting she was ok but was sore and suffered whiplash from the crash that ended her night while racing for a potential top three finish. She’s expected to return to the driver’s seat in two weeks.

The early laps of the race were led by Chris Van Roekel of Grass Valley who ended up losing a motor while dominating the lead and going up in smoke to end his night. Veteran driver Rick Grunert of Woodland found his way from his fourth place starting position in to the lead after all of the chaos. Grunert drove to his first win of the year over Lonnie Leonard of Elk Grove, Scott Grunert of Woodland, Tim Mack of Diamond Springs and Eddie Gardner of Sacramento.07_12_2014_157

“It’s great to be back on the front stretch, it’s been awhile, “said Grunert. “I spend so much time helping and watching my two boys out here now often times I end up messing up and missing a chance for a win, I’m proud of them though and we love doing this together every Saturday. Tonight is a tough night for us as my Mother Inlaw passed away this morning so were all thinking about her tonight, she was special to all of us.”

The Nor Cal Dwarf Cars returned to Placerville Saturday night for a spectacular night of racing, which they routinely bring to the quarter mile. Kevin Bender of Rocklin took the early lead of the race from the fourth place starting position and was soon challenged by Grenert, who started sixth.

With four laps down, a restart saw the pressure heat up on Bender as Grenert, Scott Dahlgren and Ryan Winter all closed in. Bender suffered traction loss and nearly spun a couple of times during the run as Grenert muscled his way into the lead with Winter and Dahlgren in tow to the checkered flag. Buddy Olshowka and Sam Bender rounded out the top five of the finish.

“It’s been quite awhile since we’ve won here at Placerville,” said Grenert. “It’s my crew guy here I really have to thank, he’s the one doing all the work and making this thing fast. We love coming to this place, it’s one of our favorites and we’re already looking forward to coming back.”07_12_2014_150

Next Saturday night is a big night at Placerville Speedway as the King of the West Sprint Cars return to Placerville Speedway. The 410 sprints will be joined by the Midget Lites of the Bay Cities Racing Association.

Placerville Speedway is sponsored by the Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort who welcome’s the local auto racing community to their 257,000 square foot facility in the heart of the Amador Wine Country. Throughout the season every race fan who attends Placerville Speedway earns a $25 gift for free play and other great prizes. Learn more at www.jacksoncasino.com.

Additional sponsors for the 2014 racing season include The Mountain Democrat and Life Newspapers Group, ADCO Driveline and Custom Exhaust, Hoosier Tires, Thompson’s Toyota, Riebes Auto Parts, Arnolds for Awards and the Paint Spot.

 

 

  • Article by Bill Sullivan for Placerville Speedway
  • Photos by Donna Peter/racephotosbydonna.com

 

 

Saturday’s Racing to Benefit Boys and Girls Club of El Dorado County


By Placerville Speedway Media


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Nor Cal Dwarf Cars return this Saturday night as Placerville Speedway’s 11th Jackson Rancheria Casino Points Race Benefits the Boys and Girls Club of El Dorado County. Photo by Donna Peter

PLACERVILLE, CA (7-8-14) – Racing resumes at Placerville Speedway this Saturday night with the 11th points race of the season presented by the New Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort. Winged Sprint Cars, Limited Late Models and Pure Stocks will all return to compete for the season crown with the addition of the Nor Cal Dwarf Cars.

While Saturday’s event brings a great deal of racing action and family entertainment for all ages, the event will have an even bigger impact as it benefits one of the area’s most popular non-profit organizations, the Boys and Girls Club of El Dorado County. This will mark the second race of the year that will benefit the charity that has been neighboring Placerville Speedway for many years. The first event back in May drew a great deal of attendance and in turn produced a healthy monetary donation to the club. This Saturday the outreach is expected to be even more successful with four divisions in competition and heated title battles at stake.

“The Boys and Girls Club is thrilled to be able to partner with Placerville Speedway again for the second of three benefit races that occur this summer. Special thanks to Alan and Diane and the entire team at the track for their help with the first race, the support we received went 100 percent into our summer program fund,” said Sean McCartney, Executive Director for the Boys and Girls Club of El Dorado County. “We are serving over 170 kids each day at our Placerville Club this summer and could not do it without the support of our amazing community.”

Following Saturday’s event, the third and final Boys and Girls Club benefit race will come in August on one of the speedway’s biggest nights of the year, Mountain Democrat Kid’s Night, an evening that takes place annually and draws hundreds of children to the El Dorado County Fairgrounds all in conjunction with the Placerville Police Department’s Annual Hangtown Destruction Derby, which also benefits local charity. McCartney, looks forward to the finale in which he will personally be involved in the night’s festivities.

“We are creating positive memories for hundreds of kids daily and truly appreciate the support we receive in making this possible. Proceeds from this upcoming race will also benefit our summer programming and we are hoping for a big turnout at the track. Great futures start here at the club…see you at the races!

How can race fans help make Saturday’s race a success for the Boys and Girls Club? It’s pretty simple, just come to the races as every ticket purchased will result in a monetary donation to the Boys and Girls Club. Race fans, teams and speedway community partners who wish to find additional ways to get involved with the Boys and Girls Club can learn more about the great organization at www.bgce.org.

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Jake Morgan (45) is a top five runner in the Sprint Car season point standings entering Saturday night. Photo by Donna Peter

In racing action Saturday night, look for the action to be hotter than ever as the battle for the 2014 Jackson Rancheria Championship is already past its halfway point. In the winged sprint car division, Shane Golobic of Fremont held off point leader Greg DeCaires of Elk Grove last week for a big victory in the July Fourth Spectacular. The two open wheel greats swapped the lead several times during the 25-lap feature with the likes of defending champion Andy Forsberg of Auburn and Placerville’s Jimmy Trulli.

In the division point standings, DeCaires leads the field with a strong 55-point lead over fellow three time winner Justin Sanders of Prunedale. Forsberg is a mere three points behind Sanders and rapidly working his way up the point ladder as he is well known for. Trulli is fourth in the hunt while Fair Oaks’ Jake Morgan is having an outstanding season, sitting in the fifth position.

In Limited Late Model Action, 2012 Champion Matt Micheli of Live Oak continues to lead the ranks. Although victory lane has eluded him thus far this season, Micheli is still ahead of two of the year’s previous winners. Auburn’s Ray Trimble is second in the ranks after four wins this year. Last Saturday night, Trimble raced his way to victory before a capacity crowd on the holiday race. Early season feature winner and defending champion Tom Tilford is third in the standings. While mechanical woes prevented him from taking the green flag on one night this season, Tilford has had used consistency and the skills that run deep in the family remain in the hunt with top finishes each night. Jay Norton of Shingle Springs has worked his way up to fourth in the standings and is another driver with a history of successful racing in his family, piloting a car fielded by former multi-time super stock champion Dennis Ahart.

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Former champions Dan Brown Jr. (5x) and Tom Tilford (92) will look to close in on the Late Model point lead Saturday. Photo by Donna Peter

Sitting in fifth is another driver that has long been a top runner at Placerville, Dan Brown Jr of Rocklin. Following in the footsteps of his father, Brown was a 2008 Pro Stock Champion, the same year he earned the track record for the most wins in a season with 13 trophies. In 2010 he backed up his first career title with a championship in the Late Model Division.

The Pure Stock division this season has seen some of the greatest finishes in recent history at Placerville Speedway. Last Saturday was no exception as former champion Matt Tilford of Citrus Heights charged his way from deep in the field and overcame a heated battle with Sacramento’s Eddie Gardner to take the checkered flag. The July Fourth effort became a heartbreaker for Tilford as Mother Nature struck the #92 during the final lap when his exhaust system was torn lose on the traditional fast but dry July Fourth weathered track surface. Gardner ended up with his first win of the season.

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Scott Grunert (14) of Woodland leads the Pure Stock standings entering Saturday night. Photo by Donna Peter.

In the division standings, two time winner Scott Grunert of Woodland leads the numbers with a 19 point advantage over Gardner. Rick Grunert is two positions behind his son, 38-points out. Tim Mack of Diamond Springs is fourth followed by Chris Van Roekel of Grass Valley who rounds out the top five.

The grandstands will open at 5 p.m. Saturday night with qualifying at 6:30 p.m. Adults are $15, Seniors $13, Juniors are $12, Children $5 and those 5 and under are free. Placerville Speedway is located on the El Dorado County Fairgrounds at 100 Placerville Drive and is sponsored by the Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort who offers $25 in free play to every race fan this Saturday night. Additional sponsors include The Mountain Democrat, Thompson’s Toyota, ADCO Drive Lines, Hoosier Racing Tires and Riebes Auto Parts of El Dorado County.

Join over 5000 friends of Placerville Speedway on Facebook, where you can interact with other fans, drivers and staff in a positive, family friendly fashion. You can also follow Placerville Speedway on twitter to keep up to date on events to come. Visit the official track website at www.placervillespeedway.com.