All kids 11 and under free for three division holiday event that concludes with fireworks
PLACERVILLE, CA – Patriotism and auto racing come together in grand fashion at Placerville Speedway this coming week in the annual July Fourth Spectacular on Friday night at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds. This annual event is expected to bring thousands to the Placerville Drive facility as it will be the only Fireworks display in El Dorado County to take place on the Independence Holiday west of South Lake Tahoe.
This special Friday night event will open the gates one hour earlier at Placerville Speedway and will feature three divisions of racing, including Winged Sprint Cars, Limited Late Models and Pure Stocks competing in the 10th Jackson Rancheria Casino Championship Points Race of the season. The grandstands will open at 4 p.m. with qualifying starting at 5:30. At the conclusion of the racing action a giant fireworks display will illuminate both the sky and the arena to celebrate the holiday.
For the last three years, Placerville Speedway has hosted a popular traveling series on this special event. This Friday, the format returns to its traditional format with the track’s three weekly divisions on hand, much to the liking of both fans and competitors who look forward to this highly attended race year after year.
“Coming to Placerville Speedway and racing on the Fourth of July is really special, it’s a great night for families,” said Sprint Car driver Greg DeCaires. The Elk Grove wheelman is the defending July Fourth event winner this year and looks to extend his recent win streak at Placerville Speedway to an overall four wins before the electric crowd that will be on hand. “I really recommend that people tell their friends, their neighbors and everyone they can to come out and join us for a great night.
While DeCaires had the luxury of winning last year’s July Fourth Civil War race at Placerville, for other drivers, Friday night marks the return of an event they have longed for over the last three years. Defending Late Model Champion Tom Tilford is one such driver, who has spent nearly every July Fourth at Placerville since he was old enough to walk. Tilford won on the fourth of July for the last time in 2010 aboard a Pure Stock and looks forward to the return of the traditional three division format and fireworks.
“I remember growing up and watching my cousin, Ray Rust being the driver to beat on the Fourth of July year after year and spending time after the races with so many friends and family around the car enjoying a BBQ and waiting for the fireworks to start. It was always a really magical time.”
During his drive to victory in 2010, Tilford recalls the energy from the huge crowd that packs the speedway for the July Fourth Spectacular.
“I had to drive all the way up from the back of the race and I remember wanting to win on that night so bad. When I took the lead coming out of turn four with only a few laps with was the only time I ever actually could hear the crowd while driving, it gave me goosebumps. This is the first year my kids will be at the track on the Fourth of July and I can’t wait to watch fireworks with my family at the track I grew up at. I think most of the drivers are really happy to see all three divisions back.”
Entering Friday’s July Fourth Spectacular, DeCaires leads the Sprint Car point standings by 38 points unofficially, after Saturday’s win. Justin Sanders of Prunedale is second with Placerville’s Jimmy Trulli in third, 51-points out of the lead. Andy Forsberg is fourth followed by Jake Morgan of Fair Oaks.
In the Late Model division, Matt Micheli leads the division with a 12-point lead over Ray Trimble of Auburn. Jay Norton of Shingle Springs is third, 44-points out of the lead. Tom Tilford is fourth, 52-points back. Dan Brown Jr. of Rocklin rounds out the top five.
The Pure Stock division is lead by Scott Grunert of Woodland who will be in both a Pure Stock and a Late Model Friday night. Grunert leads the Pure Stock class by a 19-point advantage over Eddie Gardner of Sacramento. Rick Grunert of Woodland is third, 33-points out of the lead. Chris Van Roekel is fourth followed by Tim Mack of Diamond Springs, 59-points out of the lead.
The grandstands will open at 4 p.m. Friday with qualifying at 5:30 p.m. Adults are $20, Seniors $14, Juniors are $12 and all kids 11 and under are FREE for this event. For further information visit www.placervillespeedway.com. For information on the additional activities on the fairgrounds for the July Fourth event visit www.eldoradocountyfair.org.