PLACERVILLE, CA (6-13-15) – In the world of motor sports, often times racing enthusiasts and competitors alike will rate an event’s entertainment value on the number of entrants in the field, focusing on “car count” more so than the quality of competition in the field. Saturday night, a light car count at Placerville Speedway provided an accurate argument to the long standing car count theory as race fans who endured the extreme summer heat saw one of the most exciting races of the season take place, even with a few less entrants behind the wheel.
In the final race prior to the break for the upcoming El Dorado County Fair, Saturday sevenths Red Hawk Casino championship point race presented by Thompson’s Auto Group, Domco Plumbing and Jay’s Mobile Welding saw three repeat winners in victory lane. Point leader Greg DeCaires of Elk Grove scored his third win of the season in an electrifying Sprint Car feature event. Ryan McDaniel of Olivehurst won his sixth feature in the Limited Late Models and Dan Jinkerson of Diamond Springs won his third feature in a wild Pure Stock feature.
In the Sprint Car feature, ADCO Driveline Fast Qualifier Andy Gregg of Placerville set the pace from the pole position as he took the lead at the green flag aboard the Scott Russell owned Gen Landscape Management-Thompsons Toyota #14r. The opening green was followed by a short series of yellow flags for spins by Justin Bradway and Scott Hall in the first four laps, giving the event a lackluster start that soon turned quite the opposite in the way of speed thrills.
Once the race underwent a lengthy green, Gregg muscled several car lengths ahead of point leader and second place starter Greg DeCaires and the top two point runners went to battle in what became a local a classic shootout of local track favorites who sliced and diced their way into lapped traffic, Gregg in pursuit of his elusive first win of the year and DeCaires in pursuit of continuing his consistent streak of success this season with local car owners Dale and Tara Miller.
With 15 laps complete the two leaders raced into heavy lapped traffic and turned up the heat on the duel that had already brought the fans to their feet into the final laps. DeCaires used the lapped traffic to his advantage, closing in on Gregg’s once dominant lead, diminishing it down to mere inches as the white flag waved with one lap to go.
It was on the final circuit that DeCaires powered beneath Gregg in the second turn and muscled the Red Hawk Casino #4 into the lead down the backstretch, only to have Gregg answer back with a slide job pass entered the third turn to take the lead. DeCaires never gave up, answering Gregg’s bold move with a switchback move of his own and allowed him to power beneath Gregg in the final turn and muscled his way to victory by just inches at the finish line.
“It took awhile tonight for me to catch him and put myself into a position to get underneath him,” said DeCaires, still out of breath during his victory lane interview from the hard fought effort. “I have to give credit to Alan Handy on this one tonight because this track was extremely fast high and low and tonight both of us used those lines and put on quite a show for these fans out here.”
At the finish line DeCaires was followed by Gregg, who then went upside down in the second turn following the checkered flag. Jake Morgan of Fair Oaks had a strong third place finish, holding off Kirt Organ to the checkered flag. Justyn Cox of Sacramento rounded out the top five.
Win is third of the season for Jinkerson in Pure Stocks
The Pure Stock feature event started off with a bang, literally, Saturday night with several cars piling up in the second turn. The melee broke out after pole sitter Danielle Clauson of Placerville and Rick Grunert of Woodland make contact in the first turn, resulting in a multi car pile up when Grunert spun with a cut tire after the intial contact and was then struck by Jeff Sly, Justin Silviera, Rich Zollar and Travis Emery.
Once the incident was cleared from the track, all involved returned to the line up. The new line up placed Placerville’s Russell Murphy on the outside of the front row beside Clauson for the complete restart. At the green flag, Murphy powered into the lead when a second pile up undoubtedly succeeded the first one.
As multiple cars collided on the front stretch, Folsom’s Jay Bryant went upside down and rolled over three times before he was struck by several cars and then came to rest on Hangtown’s Dale Teach as the red flag flew. Nobody was injured in the incident, Bryant climbed from his car and stood on the wreckage to salute the fans after one of the wildest crashes in this division in recent seasons.
Once green again, Jinkerson powered into the lead with Murphy in tow. Lapped traffic became a factor as early as the seventh lap when Jinkerson was delayed by the lapped cars of Clauson and Travis Emery for a pair of laps. What started has a disadvantage soon became and advantage once Jinkerson passed the traffic and pulled a distant lead on Murphy and Tim Mack of Diamond Springs who worked the third position for the later laps of the race.
At the finish line, Jinkerson picked up his third win of year, Murphy finished in second followed by Mack, Jason Palmer and Dan Smith.
“All I can say tonight is I am glad we got out in front quickly at the green flag,” said Jinkerson. “We managed to avoid all the crashing that took place early tonight and stay out of the trouble for more of the race. We got caught up in lapped traffic for a little bit and he caught up to me (Murphy). He’s a great competitor and races people clean out here, it was a pleasure running hard with him out front.”
Late Models: McDaniel Scores Sixth win of the Year
In the Limited Late Models, only seven cars formed the field for the feature event. McDaniel started on the pole of the 20 lap feature event. McDaniel took the green flag and a lead he would never relinquish for the entire race.
After winning his sixth feature of then win, McDaniel was followed across the line by Dominic Stone of Folsom, Ray Trimble of Auburn, Wayne Trimble of Auburn and Tyler Lightfoot of Placerville.
“Tonight ended up a lot better than last week when we got crashed and broke a shock and lost our win streak we had going,” said McDaniel. “The car still wasn’t perfect like it once was and we’ll work on that a bit. I just hope we can find a way to get more cars back up here in this deal. There’s good money being paid by the track and sponsors in this division. We can’t make it out for a few weeks due to traveling. Hopefully when we get back here in a few weeks everyone can make it.”
Placerville Speedway;’s championship series will go dark next week to make room for the El Dorado County Fair. The 2015 Hog Days of Summer has something for everyone including Bull Riding, The Home Track Challenge motor sports event and the John M. Studebaker Wheelbarrow Race in the main grandstands. Learn more about all the activities at www.eldoradocountyfair.org. For complete results from Placerville Speedway visit www.placervillespeedway.com.