PLACERVILLE, CA (5-18-13) – From the first green flag of the night, the large crowd at Placerville Speedway that turned out for point race five Saturday night witnessed its share of thrills, spills and action packed racing at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds. Before the racing program even reached the main events, four different drivers had gone upside down in the sprint car divisions alone.
One driver that dodged the misfortune and mayhem and also brought the crowd it its feet was Fremont’s Shane Golobic. Golobic drove his way to his third Placerville Speedway victory of his career Saturday night, outwitting a talented field and putting an end to Placerville driver Andy Gregg’s win streak in the Red Hawk Casino-Hoosier Racing Tires Championship Series.
“I saw an opportunity tonight and was just in the right place to take advantage of it,” said Golobic who started second in the field and watched Gregg power into the lead, overtaking both he and pole sitter Andy Forsberg of Auburn who was the ADCO Driveline Fast Qualifier of the night. “Once I got up there it wasn’t easy. Watching him fly past me and Andy at the start, I knew Gregg was fast and was right behind me and there was no room for any mistakes.”
For Golobic, a trip to the high side of turns three and four nearly became that ill fated mistake when his right rear wheel became packed with clay late in the race. The mishap caused a severe vibration in the car and affected its handling after a restart took place when Camino’s Eric Hopkins drew a red flag after rolling over in the fourth turn.
“I don’t think I have ever had a headache this bad,” added Golobic. “That vibration was incredible those last few laps. But were here and I can’t thank this team and crew enough for all their hard work. I love this place. In two weeks were racing in Illinois on Friday night and making the trip back here to Placerville because I wouldn’t miss a Civil War at this place for anything.”
From start to finish Golobic, Gregg, Forsberg and Placerville’s Jimmy Trulli raced in and out of traffic in a battle for the top positions that was by far one of the most exciting races of the season. In the end Golobic was followed across the line by Gregg, Forsberg, Trulli and Mason Moore who finished fifth and was in the hunt all race long.
In the Limited Late Model division, Olivehirst’s Ryan McDaniel drove to his second win of the season. McDaniel started on the pole of the 20 lap feature event and went to battle with point leader Matt Micheli at the waving of the green flag.
For several laps, the two leaders raced side by side in a long rally for the lead with McDaniel on the inside and Micheli racing up high. After a yellow flag with four laps down, Micheli restarted the race single file in front of McDaniel who then stalked his prey to work his way into the lead on lap six.
Once McDaniel was in the lead, Micheli had his hands full to maintain second place as Yuba City’s Jerry Bartlett returned to Placerville for the first time this season. The former track champion known for his “Mr. Controversy” title was also busy defending his position over Riebes Kids Dash Winner Tom Tilford of Citrus Heights.
When the checkered flag waved, McDaniel claimed his second win of the year over Micheli, Bartlett, Tilford and Charlie Marrs of Yuba City.
“I didn’t think I was going to be able to get past him when we started racing tonight,” said McDaniel. “We left the car alone after the heat races and I had no idea what it would do for the main after they graded the track. Luckily I was able to get down underneath him there when he went up a little too high. If that hadn’t happened I don’t think I was going to catch him tonight.”
In the Pure Stock division, Les Friend of Galt drove to his third win of the season. Friend started sixth on the grid and worked his way to the front of the field to overtake early leader Chris VanRoekel of Grass Valley. Once in front Friend was then pressured by fifth place starter Jon Tilford of Folsom who made his first start of the year.
Friend and Tilford raced close for the lead for several laps much like they had en route to the top positions. On the 12th lap, Tilford suffered a partial spin in the second turn and fell out of contention. Friend dominated the remainder of the race while Van Roekel worked the second position all the way to the line. Scott Grunert of Woodland finished in third followed by Tilford who recovered to finish in fourth over Chris Curtiss of Placerville.
“Jon Tilford and I were really having a great race tonight, that’s what this is all about is putting on a show for the fans and we were definitely doing that,” said Friend. “I was bummed when he spun like that because that’s not how you want to win. Contrary to what many believe we like racing close out here and making a show. I just have to thank my crew and sponsors for all their help. This is our third win since the passing of my cousin who really supported me so we’re thinking of him a lot tonight.”
The three track regulars were joined Saturday by the Midget Lites of the Bay Cities Racing Association. In this division, the winged warriors of the smaller nature saw Dakota Albright drive his way to the front of the field to pick up the win. The race was paused for a red flag at the six lap mark when both Joey Hoover and Roy Moody rolled over without injury. At the line Albright was followed by Scott Kinney. Craig Holsted, Bradley Dillar and Brian Corso.
“We love racing at this place, we love the track and the big crowd it’s awesome,” said Albright. “We are already looking forward to coming back here on June 8 for the race and the big car show at Red Hawk. We’ll be ready.”
Placerville Speedway will go dark over the holiday weekend and will return on Saturday, June 1 with the BCRA Midgets for a huge night of racing. The event will feature the Hoosier Tires Civil War Race Series, bringing the best of the west to Placerville for the first time this season. For information watch www.placervillespeedway.com.