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