PLACERVILLE, CA – After cancellation of last week’s race due to the area wild land fire, teams and fans alike returned to Placerville Speedway Saturday night in grand fashion for a five division program that saw record breaking car counts at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds. Five divisions of racing formed the race card, bringing over 100 cars to the quarter-mile clay oval with 360 Sprint Cars, BCRA Midgets and Midget Lites, Limited Late Models and Pure Stocks all in competition for Stymeist Collision Centers night and the 13th Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort Championship Point Race of the season.
Earlier in the week, Fremont’s Shane Golobic made the decision to defect from the King of the West Sprint Car Series he was due to compete with in Stockton and decided to race at Placerville in two divisions. Driving the Keith Day Trucking #22 Sprint Car as well as the Doug Bock owned #26 Midget, Golobic accomplished an amazing feat Saturday, bringing home victories in both divisions.
“This is a really great night winning in both classes,” said Golobic. “The last time we did double duty here I ended up one and two, tonight we got the win in both races and these are both definitely for my former pitman Bill, who we lost a week ago. I’ll take Placerville Speedway anytime over Stockton and I’m glad we made the decision to run here instead tonight, it definitely paid off.”
In the Sprint Car feature, Golobic started on the inside of the second row for the event that was scheduled for 20-laps in distance, five laps less than the usual length, due to time constraints in the entrant packed racing program. By completion of the first lap, Golobic used the low line of the track and emerged the leader as they exited the fourth turn, passing pole sitter Seth Nunes of Medford, Oregon and Justin Sanders of Prunedale in the first quarter mile.
Despite numerous caution breaks throughout the event, Golobic maintained the top spot for the entire event, working his way into lapped traffic at the halfway point where he was closely challenged by the likes of Sanders, fast qualifier Jimmy Trulli of Placerville and Steven Tiner of Elverta, Greg DeCaires of Elk Grove and Andy Forsberg of Auburn. Trulli fell out of the mix in the closing laps when he suffered a damaging rollover exiting the second turn and retired with damage.
Keeping himself in the thick of lapped traffic, Golobic drove his way to his second sprint car feature win here of the season before strapping himself into the Midget for another 25 lap feature event in which he lead every single lap to score the double digit win.
In the Sprint Car event, Golobic was trailed by Sanders, Tiner, DeCaires and Forsberg. In the BCRA Midget division he was challenged to the finish line by Brian Gard of Kelseyville, Sean Dodenhoff of Bakersfield, Richard Vander Weerd of Visalia and Scott Pierovich of Lodi.
The BCRA Midget Lites brought a full field of entrants with 25 cars on the roster Saturday night. The event was the inaugural Wayne Albright Memorial, a race in tribute of the well respected car owner who passed away after complications from the flu last year.
Bobby Michnowicz lead the entire race to drive to his second Placerville victory of the season. Michnowicz was followed across the line by Logan Seavey of Roseville., Bradley Dillard of Oakdale finished in third followed by Jeff Dyer of Helendale and Chris Hansen of Grass Valley.
“It’s definitely an honor to win here tonight in honor of Wayne Albright,” said Michnowicz in his victory lane interview. “He was a great part of this organization and is missed. We were able to get out front and stay there tonight, this one is really special.”
In the Pure Stock division, Matt Tilford of Citrus Heights returned to victory lane. The win was Tilford’s fourth of the season and the first since a heartbreaking loss on the Fourth of July. Tilford’s victory was well received by the entire Tilford crew and family, who suffered an emotional day with the loss of their longtime family dog as well along with the sale of the late Donnie Tilford’s excavating equipment. For the Tilford family, in tough times they do what they do best and return to the race track, often bringing home a win and such was the case on this particular night as he was followed across the line by Eddie Gardner of Sacramento who led the early laps of the race before being passed by Tilford on the 11th lap. Scott Grunert of Woodland was third ahead of Tim Mack of Citrus Heights and Rick Grunert of Woodland.
“This definitely was a tough day for all of us in many ways,” said Tilford as he relaxed against the door of his #92 Pure Stock in victory lane and still found some humor at the long end of the day. “I guess I can say this one’s for Shadow, our longtime four legged friend, who ironically was 92 in dog years. I just have to thank everyone that works so hard on this car, especially after the Fourth of July when it got tore up pretty good. We’re back here in victory lane and looking forward to coming back and doing it again.”
In the Limited Late Models, point leader Matt Micheli drove flag to flag to score his first win of the season. Micheli started second in the 15 lap race and took command of the field at the green flag after pole sitter Ken Micheli of Live Oak and Jay Norton of Shingle Springs collided in the third turn.
Once in front, Micheli remained strong, moving into lapped traffic at the 11 lap mark. At the finish line he was followed by championship challenger Ray Trimble of Auburn, Randy Shafer, Paul Gigliomoni and Dan Brown Jr.
“I was beginning to wonder if I was ever actually going to win one of these this year, I was starting to worry I was going to become one of those guys racing for a championship without a win to name, and we’ve all been there before a time or two,” said Micheli. “Tonight we finally got it done but the race for this championship is a close one. Ray Trimble is right there and Tom Tilford is in the hunt too and both of those guys are tough drivers here. It’s going to be a good one for the fans.”
Next Saturday night is a big night at Placerville Speedway as the Civil War Sprint Cars return for the richest race of the year, the $5000 to win Mark Forni Classic. Gates will open at 5 p.m. with qualifying at 6:30.
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