By Bill Sullivan, Placerville Speedway Media
PLACERVILLE, CA – This Saturday will be the richest night of the season at Placerville Speedway as the evening will pay tribute to the late Mark Forni. At the end of the night a member of the Sprint Car division will proudly hoist the prestigious trophy and cash in on a $5000 payday in the 9th annual Mark Forni Classic. In addition to the victory, a $500 bonus will be paid to the fast qualifier from the collaborative businesses that have stepped forth to make this race the richest of the year.
With the added bounty, top drivers from throughout California and the Pacific Northwest are expected to converge for the venue that pays homage to the late Mark Forni, a friend of the sport who lost his life far too young in the summer of 2005. The event is a high caliber Civil War Sprint Car Series event and will also include the Nor Cal Dwarf Cars for a night of racing that will not be forgotten.
The Forni family has a great history in El Dorado County and deep ties to the El Dorado County Fairground and much of the land on which it sits. Much like his forefathers, Mark Forni had a great passion for the county fair and its attributes, especially the race track. From the time he was a young child and the days when Placerville Speedway was known as “Old Hangtown Speedway,” Mark was actively involved with the weekly auto races, always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone in need involved with the sport he loved.
Later in life, Mark continued his contributions to local auto racing, sponsoring many race teams with his business, Forni’s Trucking. He later became a member of the El Dorado County Fair Board and focused on the issues regarding the future of the fair and the speedway. Mark Forni believed in working relationships. He understood the importance of race promoters, sponsorships and the one key element for every event to be successful, the spectator.
In November of 2004, Mark was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. During his final months, Mark had the opportunity to say goodbye to friends and family and spend some special moments with his wife and children, a bittersweet time for those who knew and loved him so much. In the summer of 2005, Mark passed away at the early age of 45
For Mark Forni, sprint car racing and his local racetrack were a very special part of his life. It is with great honor that Placerville Speedway and a group of community businesses continue to present the annual Mark Forni Classic. This Saturday, the added bounty comes courtesy of a number of community businesses including: Doug Veerkamp General Engineering Inc., Hunt and Sons Petroleum, Pape’ Machinery of Sacramento, John Deere Equipment Sales, Les Schwab Tires, Armond’s Giant Tire Service, MRO Incorporated, Mike and Jessica Poderick of Placerville, Arnold’s for Awards, Riebes Auto Parts, Steve Gomoluh and the Sept Family.
The grandstands of Placerville Speedway will open at 5 p.m. Saturday and an early arrival to the speedway is suggested to insure seating. Adult tickets will be $17, seniors will be $15, Juniors $12, Children are $6 and those under six are free.
The Civil War Sprint Cars will be joined by the visiting Vintage Hardtop division. This will mark the second time this year for this unique division that brings the cars of yesteryear back to the likes of competition. El Dorado’s Jason Armstrong will lead the roster as he looks to defend his Placerville win which he garnered earlier this year.
Saturday’s Race to Host Huge Fundraiser to Benefit Leukemia Lymphoma Society….
As an added addition to Saturday’s big race, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’sTeam in Training participant and local race fan Carla Tilford will be holding their second annual benefit raffle at the upcoming Mark Forni Classic.
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is a not-for-profit, voluntary health organization whose mission is to cure leukemia and its related cancers — lymphoma, multiple myeloma and Hodgkin’s disease — and to improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Over a year ago, Carla became involved with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society after members of her family had been affected by blood cancers including Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in hope of making a difference to help save others lives.
Last year, local race fans raised nearly $2000 for this great cause at the Forni Classic and plans this year are to surpass that amount. Proceeds raised by means of a well orchestated, large raffle at this event will benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Greater Sacramento Chapter to provide financial assistance to families, support research for a cure and to improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Businesses from throughout Sacramento, El Dorado and Amador Counties have donated an amazing number of prizes for this year’s event. Donors have pitched in from througout the United States this year, including Chip Ganassi Racing which has donated autographed Kyle Larson goods. Larson began his sprint car racing career at Placerville Speedway at the age of 14 and is now NASCAR’s rising star in the Sprint Cup Series as well as Nationwide and Trucks. The Larson gear is just one of many great prizes that will be available to race fans this Saturday night.
Team In Training is the world’s largest endurance training program and the signature fundraising campaign for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The goal of Team In Training is to increase funding to support LLS’ mission while promoting fitness and healthy lifestyles for all the participants who take part in the program. Local Ambassadors will be present at the Speedway to speak to folks interested in learning more the program. In addition, information you can learn more about the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training, which consist of individuals, like Tilford, who train for an endurance event and fundraiser on behalf of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, visit www.teamintraining.org or call (916) 929-4720.
2006- Kyle Hirst
2007- Greg DeCaires
2008- Sean Becker
2009- Sean Becker-
2010- Mason Moore
2011- Andy Forsberg
2012- Andy Forsberg
2013- Andy Gregg