PLACERVILLE, CA (6-27-15) – For the first half of the 50th Anniversary Red Hawk Casino championship season presented by Thompson’s Auto Group at Placerville Speedway, Andy Gregg of Placerville has had his 20th career win on his racing bucket list, but suffered his share of shortfalls week after week. Saturday night, Gregg overcame his bridesmaid blues and accomplished his short term goal, winning $2000 in the Placerville Posse Challenge event.
Saturday’s win not only awarded Gregg bonus cash. It provided he and his Scott Russell owned #14r team the momentum he needs to carry into next Saturday’s race at the El Dorado Country Fairgrounds where Independence Day and racing come together with championship point racing and fireworks, a special tradition at his hometown track that every driver longs to win.
Sharing in celebration with Gregg Saturday night was Dan Jinkerson of Diamond Springs, who scored his fourth win worth $500 in the Jay’s Mobile Welding Pure Stock Division; Jeff Olshowka of Marysville, who won the Domco Plumbing Late Model feature worth $750 and Dan Wagner, who won the Nor Cal Dwarf Car feature race.
In the 25-lap sprint car feature, the waving of the green flag saw a yellow immediately as second place starter Shawn Wright of Fresno spun in the first set of turns and collected Auburn’s Andy Forsberg to delay the green. Once restarted, Gregg and point leader Greg DeCaires of Elk Grove led the field into the first set of turns and initiated an early dogfight for the lead that Gregg quickly prevailed from and pulled ahead of the field, distancing himself from DeCaires until the 7th lap when a second yellow flag delayed the event and gathered the field.
On the restart, Gregg powered ahead once again while DeCaires and Justyn Cox of Sacramento dueled for the second position. With 13 laps complete Gregg worked his way into lapped traffic while the battle for second continued a distance behind him. With 17 laps down the dry slick track conditions and heavy lapped traffic became daunting for the leaders as they cautiously worked their way through the field with a car length between them. At the finish line, Gregg was followed by DeCaires. Cox finished in third followed by Jake Morgan of Fair Oaks who rounded out the top five.
“It was slick out here tonight and I had to be careful to not make a mistake,” said Gregg. “I knew there was no way DeCaires was going to pass me out there on this track as long as I didn’t mess up. I have to thank all our fans, sponsors and crew for all their hard work on this team. This is my 20th win racing and it’s been hard to get, I finally got that monkey off my back.”
Jinkerson scores fourth win in Pure Stocks
Jinkerson took the lead at the waving of the green flag and muscled his #29 ahead of the 20 car field by several car lengths as early as the second lap. Jinkerson’s early lead was shortened with five laps down when a double file restart put second place runner Rick Grunert of Woodland on the outside of him, not once but three times as a series of daunting yellows delayed the race.
Despite the restarts, Jinkerson ruled the lead throughout the race. Grunert had his battles in the second position from Tim Mack of Diamond Springs and Jason Palmer of Sacramento. On lap 13, Palmer overtook third place from Mack in the fourth turn while Jinkerson worked his into lapped traffic just as a final yellow flag flew when point leader Lonnie Leonard stopped on the backstretch after a collision in traffic on the 17th lap.
The final restart put lapped traffic between Jinkerson and Grunert for the restart. Jinkerson went on to take the $500 win over Grunert, Scott Grunert worked into third on the 18th lap to finish third over Palmer and Dan Smith of Sacramento.
“We had another good starting spot tonight and managed to stay out in front even on the many restarts,” said Jinkerson. “It’s nice to get our fourth win and some extra money tonight and now we’re looking forward to the Fourth of July race.”
Olschowa takes $750 win in Late Models
Dominic Stone took the lead at the green flag for the Limited Late Model feature event. After leading the first lap, Stone was passed on the low side of turn two by Olschowka, who was racing aboard and Micheli racing crate motor powered machine for the night. Once in front, Olschowka distanced himself from the field while Stone worked the second position a fair distance ahead of Tom Tilford of Citrus Heights in third place.
At the halfway mark of the race Olschowka worked his way into lapped traffic while Stone and Tilford were joined in the top four by Auburn’s Ray Trimble who pressured Tilford into the final laps. At the finish line it was Olschowka grabbing the $750 win followed by Stone, Tilford, Trimble and Placerville’s Tyler Lightfoot.
“We were down on the number of cars here tonight but the cars that race in this division here are by far some of the best in the business, just about any of these guys could win out here each week and it’s a tough field,” said Olschowka. “I appreciate the Micheli’s putting me in a competitive car up here and all they do for me.”
Wagner wins Dwarf Car Feature
In the Nor Cal Dwarf Car feature event, the green flag waved to pole sitter Travis Dutra and was immediately delayed by a yellow flag when Dennis Shively spun in the first turn. On the second attempt at a start, Dutra powered ahead of second place starter Tommy Brown Jr. to take the early command of the lead.
Dutra was challenged within three laps by Carl Droivold who started third in the event and begin bidding for the lead form the low line of the track. Using the low side entering the third turn put Droivold into the lead on the seventh lap. Once in front, Droivold was challenged by Dutra, Wagner and Ryan Winter, who rallied into the running despite a damaging heat race roll over earlier in the night.
Droivold drove a steady low line to maintain his lead into the final laps but the action behind him heated up with Dutra, Wagner and Winter. With 16 laps complete, Winter went to the rear after a collision and a spin with another car. The restart saw Droivold lead the field to the green where Dutra passed him on the backstretch to take the lead. In the fourth turn the battle went sideways with Droivold and Dutra collided and Wagner assumed the lead with the two front runners crashing out of contention. At the finish line Wagner was followed by Buddy Olshowka, Josh Miller, Ryan Winter and Miranda Chappa.
Next Saturday, Placerville Speedway will host the annual July Fourth Spectacular with three divisions of racing followed by fireworks, both low level and aerial. The best place to enjoy fireworks in El Dorado County will be in the grandstands of the 50 year old Placerville Speedway. The evening will include a public presentation by El Dorado County Supervisor Brian Veerkamp, who recently awarded the speedway with a proclamation for it’s decades of service. Veerkamp will address the fans on this special night.
Gates will open at the regular time on Saturday, 5 p.m. with qualifying at 6:30. A special ticket pre-sale will take place from 3-4 pm to allow fans to purchase their tickets early and beat the crowds. For complete information visit www.placervillespeedway.com.
All photos by Donna Peter; For purchase visit www.donnasracephotos.com