DeCaires charges to third win of the season


By Bill Sullivan


Grunert wins second Pure Stock feature; Winter Wins Dwarfs; Davis Late Model Winner

06_28_2014_223PLACERVILLE, CA – It was exactly one year ago that Elk Grove driver Greg DeCaires experienced a win streak at Placerville Speedway shortly after teaming with Placerville car owner Dale Miller. After Saturday night, there is one term that best describes DeCaires’ present season – Déjà vu. The veteran driver drove to his second straight and third overall victory just one week before the highly anticipated July Fourth Spectacular race, which DeCaires captured last year in dramatic fashion.

“If we could come back here on the Fourth of July and win that deal again that would be pretty special,” said DeCaires. “Just coming to Placerville Speedway and racing on the Fourth of July is really special, it’s a great night for families and I really recommend that people tell their friends, their neighbors and everyone they can to come out and join us for a great night.”

For DeCaires, Saturday night was definitely his night to shine at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds’ quarter mile dirt track that celebrated its 49th anniversary this week. After winning his heat race he won the Riebes Auto Parts Kid’s Dash and started the feature event in the third position.

At the waving of the green on the 25-lap affair, Placerville’s C.J. Humphreys charged off the pole position to take the lead while DeCaires and Placerville’s Jimmy Trulli dueled for second in his wake with DeCaires taking the upper hand. With just 8 laps complete, Humphreys encountered lapped traffic as DeCaires closed in on the leader with the company of defending champion Andy Forsberg of Auburn and then Placerville’s Andy Gregg.

After racing nose to tail in traffic for the next three laps, DeCaires made his move on the 11th lap when he drove to the lower line in the fourth turn and put a picture perfect slide job on Humphreys to pass for the lead as they approached the front stretch. Humphreys answered back in the following lap to challenge DeCaires one final time before Forsberg overtook the bridesmaid position entering the final laps of the race.06_28_2014_152

With 17 laps complete, Forsberg began working the high line outside of DeCaires, pulling aside him several times but unable to complete the mission before the checkered flag waved with DeCaires as the winner followed by Forsberg. Humphreys completed the podium in third followed by Trulli and Gregg.

“When it gets down to the final four or five laps and you have Andy Forsberg pulling beside you on the high side at this place it gets pretty serious out there defending your lead,” said DeCaires. “That’s the age old saying that being the guy in second is often better than the leader until the end. Luckily I was able to use lapped traffic to my advantage and we got the win. I can’t thank everyone on this team enough, they make my job pretty easy out here.”

In the Pure Stock division, Scott Grunert of Woodland drove to his second feature win of the season to add to his season long point lead towards what could become his first career championship. Grunert started on the outside of the front row for the 20-lap feature event but had a run for his money early in the race.06_28_2014_229

Ted Ahart of Placerville battled with Grunert for the first four laps until Grunert secured the lead on lap four in the first turn. Shortly thereafter Carnett fell out of contention when he had to retire to the pit area. John Durrett of Pollock Pines moved in to challenge Grunert for the lead in the late laps of the race and finished second followed by Lonnie Leonard of Elk Grove, Chris VanRoekel of Grass Valley and Sacramento’s Eddie Gardner.

“We had a pretty good battle going for the lead there for quite awhile, said Grunert. “Luckily I was able to finally get out in front of him and then Durrett was right there at the end too. The competition in this class is really good this year. We’re chipping away at trying to win this championship, it means a lot to me to do this running my Dad’s number this year. Hopefully we can do it again on the Fourth of July.”

In Late Model action, Matt Davis of Auburn led the 20-lap feature event from green flag to checkered. As early as the fourth lap Davis worked his #54 into lapped traffic while Danny Malfatti and point leader Matt Micheli dueled for the second position.06_28_2014_231

With 8 laps down Malfatti and Micheli tangled in the fourth turn, allowing fourth place runner Dan Brown Jr. of Rocklin to power into the second position where he remained for the rest of the event. At the finish line it was Davis followed by Brown, Jason Englund, Micheli and Tom Tilford of Citrus Heights who started 10th.

The visiting Nor Cal Dwarf Cars put on an exciting 20-lap feature event Saturday night. As Ryan Winter held off the challenges of Shawn Jones to take home the win. Winter started in the seventh position and took the lead as early as the 3rd lap from early leader Kevin Bender.

In the closing laps Winter and Jones dueled for the lead with Winter maintaining the lead to the finish line over Jones. Mike Grenert drove from eighth to third place followed by Jeff Fitch and Scott Dahlgren.

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Racing resumes at Placerville Speedway this coming Friday night with the annual July Fourth Spectacular featuring Sprints, Limited Late Models and Pure Stocks. The racing action will conclude with a giant fireworks display at the speedway in conjunction with the El Dorado County Fairgrounds’ Family Blast. The gates to Placerville Speedway will open at 4 p.m. with qualifying at 5:30. An early arrival to the speedway is suggested as all seats are general admission. For additional information visit www.placervillespeedway.com.

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.

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Tight point battles roll into ninth point race this Saturday night


By Bill Sullivan


05_17_2014_164PLACERVILLE, CA – This Saturday night the Jackson Rancheria Championship Season continues at Placerville Speedway. Four divisions will be on the menu once again this week as the championship point battles tighten up in all three of the weekly divisions competing for the season crown at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds quarter-mile dirt track.

Winged 360 Sprint Cars, Limited Late Models and Pure Stocks will return to action on the quarter mile in the battle for the 2014 track championship presented by the New Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort, Hoosier Tires, The Mountain Democrat and Thompson’s Auto and Truck Centers. The three anchor divisions will be joined by the always exciting Nor Cal Dwarf Cars.

Entering Saturday’s event, the battle for the Championship is hotter than ever in all three divisions. The tightest battle is currently in the Limited Late Model division where former champion Matt Micheli of Live Oak holds the lead but only by a narrow two point margin over three time winner Ray Trimble of Auburn.

Trailing the two top runners by 33 points is Jay Norton of Shingle Springs. Defending track champion Tom Tilford of Citrus Heights is fourth in the numbers, 48-points out of the lead. Former champ Dan Brown Jr. of Rocklin is fifth after a stellar push into the top three last Saturday night.

In the 360 Sprint Car division, the battle is a tight one as well with a veteran champion battling with a young driver seeking his first ever title here. Greg DeCaires of Elk Grove has moved back into the point lead after his second win of the year last week. DeCaires is just 7 points ahead of Justin Sanders of Prunedale, a three time winner this season. Jimmy Trulli of Placerville is lurking in the third position, 48-points out of the lead. Jake Morgan of Fair Oaks is fourth, 51 points from the top. Mike Benson of Calistoga rounds out the top five.

In the Pure Stock division, Woodland’s Scotty Grunert is the top point man where he sits 13-points ahead of Sacramento’s Eddie Gardner. Rick Grunert of Woodland is third, 22-points from the lead. Danielle Clauson of Placerville has worked up to the fourth position, 49-points from the lead. Chris Van Roekel of Grass Valley 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 nearly 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.

Elk Grove’s DeCaires drives to second season win with Hall, Tilford and Trimble


By Bill Sullivan


decairesBy Bill Sullivan for Placerville Speedway

Photos by Donna Peter

PLACERVILLE, CA – Even though our region was hosting a multitude of high profile racing events this weekend including NASCAR in nearby Sonoma, Placerville Speedway still filled their grandstands and pit area for a great night of racing in the eighth Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort Championship Season Saturday night.

 

Greg DeCaires of Elk Grove brought local car owner Dale Miller to victory lane Saturday night in the winged Sprint Car division. In the Hunt Magnetos Wingless Sprint Car Shootout, Scott Hall of Rio Linda won in dramatic fashion as did Matt Tilford of Citrus Heights in the Pure Stock division. Ray Trimble of Auburn drove to his third victory of the year in the Limited Late Model Division.

 

In the winged Sprint Car feature, DeCaires started on the outside of the front row next to pole sitter Mike Benson of Calistoga. At the waving of the green flag the driver known as the “Catfish” drove his Foothill 7 TV – Tribute to Stephen Allard #4SA machine into uncharted waters by driving the high side of the track as opposed to his trademark of routinely hugging the bottom of the track. DeCaires was anything but a fish out of water with his technique, however, as drove to a lead he would never relinquish.

 

With DeCaires running strong at the helm, Benson had his hands full with the likes of three time winner and series point leader Justin Sanders of Prunedale with defending champion Andy Forsberg of Auburn stalking him for the bridesmaid position. Right in the midst of the top four battle was Jake Morgan of Fair Oaks. Earlier in the night Morgan earned the ADCO Driveline and Custom Exhaust $100 Fast Qualifier Bonus and carried his successful night into the feature with one of his most impressive performances of his young career on an extremely dry – slick racing surface that suffered greatly from the recent county fair activity combined with the high temperatures and winds.

 

At the finish line, DeCaires celebrated his second win of the season. Benson rolled across the line in second place followed by Sanders and Forsberg. Morgan finished the night rounding out the top five.

 

In the visiting Hunt Magnetos Wingless Sprint Car Shootout, 16 fire breathing wingless cars took to the track in a race was one in which Hall has been trying to win for some time. One of the area’s most competitive wingless sprint car drivers currently, Hall has been victorious at multiple area tracks, however, the Placerville bullring has eluded the popular driver that appeared to bring much of the North Sacramento area to the grandstands Saturday night.

Hall started on the pole of the 25-lap feature event and drove his way into the lead at the green flag where he was soon challenged in heated battle with Joe Stornetta. The two drivers duked it out for the lead for much of the race in a classic “Maverick vs. Iceman” style dogfight that came to an unusual conclusion on lap 21.hall win

As the two leaders battled in lapped traffic they both became slowed on lap 21 and Hall was forced to brake hard as well as Stornetta to avoid a collision in the second turn. It appeared both drivers were on their way to a spin out when Hall managed to save his Konnected Clothing #56K and redeem his position while Stornetta brought out the yellow flag. On the restart, Hall drove to victory over Tommy Laliberte, Gary Nelson, Chase Johnson and Colton Slack.

The Pure Stock feature began with Kevin Wirth of Garden Valley leading the first half of the race before exiting to the pit area and returning to the rear of the field on the 11th lap. Eddie Gardner of Sacramento took over the top spot after his battle with Wirth ended early. Gardner was soon blessed with the company of Tilford who powered his way all the way up from the eighth position.tilford win

After a side by side battle with Gardner for the lead for the next four laps, Tilford successfully managed the stock car slide job of the century exiting the fourth turn on lap 14 that put his #92 Jon Tilford wrenched Camaro into the lead for good. Tilford drove to his third victory of the year followed by Gardner, Scott Grunert of Woodland and Rick Grunert of Woodland.

In Limited Late Model action, Trimble started on the pole for the 20 lap feature event and quickly muscled into the lead. Randy Shafer attempted to become trouble for Trimble in the early laps before the leader was able to pull away from the field.. While Trimble maintained the lead for the remainder of the race, the battle behind him heated up for Shafer who was being put to work by former track champion Dan Brown Jr. of Rocklin who started 8th and muscled his way into the top three.trimble win

At the finish line, Trimble scored his third victory of the year. Shafer finished in second while Brown rounded out the top three. Matt Micheli, who entered the night as the point leader finished in fourth followed by defending champion Tom Tilford who rounded out the top five.

Placerville Speedway’s 2014 championship season is sponsored by the new Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort who generously awarded race fans Saturday night with various gifts including custom deluxe stadium seats, hats, $25 gift cards for game play and tickets to upcoming concert venues at their facility in the Amador Wine Country. In their first year of title sponsorship, the family owned and operated facility has been one of the most generous partner the speedway has hosted, not only sponsoring the championship season but reaching out the racing community generously.

Additional sponsorship provided by Hoosier Tires, Coors Light, The Mountain Democrat, Riebes Auto Parts, ADCO Driveline, the Paint Spot and more.

Racing resumes at Placerville Speedway next Saturday night with the ninth Championship Point Race of the season. Sprint Cars, Limited Late Models and Pure Stocks will form the race card with the Nor Cal Dwarf Cars. Gates will open at 5 p.m.

Join over 4000 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.

 

 

 

Heated Battles resume Saturday in Jackson Rancheria Championship Series at Placerville Speedway


By Bill Sullivan


PLACERVILLE, CA – After a week off for the El Dorado County Fair, event, weekly points racing resumes this Saturday night in the Jackson Rancheria Championship Season at Placerville Speedway. Four divisions will be on the menu this week in an action packed event that will wave the green flag on the final half of the season at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds quarter-mile dirt track.

Winged 360 Sprint Cars, Limited Late Models and Pure Stocks will return to action on the quarter mile in the battle for the 2014 track championship presented by the New Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort, Hoosier Tires, The Mountain Democrat and Thompson’s Auto and Truck Centers. The three anchor divisions will be joined by exciting Hunt Magnetos Wingless Sprint Car Series in their first visit here of the season.

Entering Saturday’s event, the battle for the Championship is truly heating up in the Winged Sprint Car division as Justin Sanders of Prunedale has returned to the helm in the standings. Three time winner Sanders is a mere single point ahead of previous leader and one time winner Greg DeCaires of Elk Grove. Sitting just 28-points out of the lead is local favorite Jimmy Trulli of Placerville.

Former Rookie of the Year Jake Morgan of Fair Oaks is fourth in the standings, 42-points out of the lead. Defending Champion Andy Forsberg of Auburn is fifth in the ranks and will be looking for his second straight win of the year at Placerville this week and fourth overall at the track he calls home.

In the Limited Late Model division, 2012 Champion Matt Micheli of Live Oak tops the ranks in the standings. Still looking for his first win of the year, Micheli is 20 points ahead of Jay Norton of Shingle Springs. Two time winner Ray Trimble of Auburn is third in the standings and tied with defending champion and one time winner Tom Tilford of Citrus Heights.

Former track champion Dan Brown. Jr of Rocklin rounds out the top five in this division. Brown is 70 points from the leader in the division that has seen 20 different drivers compete and earn points this year.

In Pure Stock action, Scott Grunert of Woodland continues to lead the standings by a 13 point margin over Eddie Gardner of Sacramento. One time winner Tim Mack of El Dorado is third in the ranks, 15-points from the top spot. Rick Grunert of Woodland is fourth, 21-points out, and Danielle Clauson from Placerville rounds out the top five, 42-points from the lead.

The three regulars will be joined by the competitive Hunt Magnetos Wingless Sprint Car Series. Look for a preview of this division coming shortly from their front office as they make their first Placerville appearance following a rain out earlier in the year.

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 nearly 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.

Forsberg bags third season win in Boys and Girls Club Benefit Race at Placerville


By Bill Sullivan


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PLACERVILLE, CA – Saturday night produced five different winners Saturday night as Placerville Speedway hosted its seventh Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort Championship event of the season. Four of those victorious came in the form drivers. The biggest winner of the night was the Boys and Girls Club of El Dorado County, who benefited from ticket sales Saturday night in the first of three special nights this season.

As fans packed into the grandstands of the El Dorado County Fairgrounds to raise funds for the longtime El Dorado County Non Profit Organization, three repeat winners found their way to victory lane with Andy Forsberg of Auburn, winning his third overall win of the year at Placerville in the Sprint Car division, Ryan McDaniel of Olivehurst scored his third win in the Limited Late Models along with Bradley Dillard in the Midget Lites and John Durrett of Pollock Pines in the Pure Stock division.

In the Sprint Car feature event, Forsberg started sixth in the feature event and worked his way into the second position as early as the fourth lap behind polesitter and race leader Jimmy Trulli of Placerville. With nine laps complete the veteran duo worked their way into lapped traffic.

Trulli consistently worked the lower line of the track while Forsberg raced the highside, closing in on the leader lap after lap in a dogfight amidst lapped traffic. It wasn’t until the final lap of the race when the driver known as “Mr.Excitement” lived up to his name for the second straight week, powering his way into the lead in win it or wear it style in the final set of turns.

At the finish line it was Forsberg followed by Trulli. Justin Sanders of Prunedale rolled across in the third position followed by James Sweeney of Placerville and Jake Morgan of Fair Oaks who completed a strong night with a top five finish.

In the Pure Stock division, Durrett started on the pole for the 20 lap feature event but his win was far from a cake walk. Late Model champion Dan Brown Jr. of Rocklin drove double duty Saturday night, racing in the Pure Stock division about Bryan Carnett’s #23 car for the evening.06_07_2014_211

As the green flag waved a heated battle ensued between Durrett and Brown as they sliced and diced their way through lapped traffic, trading the lead back and fourth and remaining side by side lap after lap until the 10th lap when Brown suffered a flat tire and fell out of the exciting hunt for the lead.

Tim Mack of El Dorado then began pressuring Durrett in the second half of the race but suffered a spin on the 14th lap that left Durrett battling with veteran Rick Grunert of Woodland to the checkered flag. At the finish Durrett picked the win followed by Grunert. Eddie Gardner of Sacramento finish third follow by Scott Grunert of Woodland and Jason Leonard of Elk Grove.

The Limited Late model feature event say McDaniel charge off the pole position into a lead he would never relinquish. Even though the event saw its share of caution delays, McDaniel had the upper hand for the entire race, holding off the challenges of Ray Trimble into the final laps.

06_07_2014_206At the finish line it was McDaniel followed by Trimble, Matt Micheli of Live Oak finished in third followed by Tom Tilford of Citrus Heights who powered from ninth into fourth followed by Jason Englund of Citrus Heights.

In Midget Lites action, Dillard charged off the pole position to take the lead at the green flag and lead it all the way to the checkered flag. Logan Seavey powered to the second position late in the race and was closing in on the leader when the checkered flag waved. Marcus Smith finished in third followed by Hunter Kinney and Craig Dillard.

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Prior to Saturday’s event, Placerville Speedway flagman Ed Entz was injured during wheel packing and transported to Marshall Hospital where he was treated for a fractured collar bone. The veteran flagger returned to the track later in the evening as a spectator and was in good spirits looking towards a speedy recovery ahead. He appreciated all of the kind word and thoughts from the race fans during the incident.

Racing returns to Placerville Speedway on Saturday night, June 21 after the El Dorado County Fair.

Join nearly 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.