Greg Decaires picks up Thompson’s Auto Group Winged Sprint Car victory on Saturday at Placerville Speedway
Placerville, CA – Elk Grove’s Greg Decaires was able to get around Jimmy Trulli on lap 17 and go on to lead the remaining distance in the main event to score victory with the Thompson’s Auto Group Winged 360 Sprint Cars at Placerville Speedway on Saturday.
Also sharing victory lane at the third Red Hawk Casino championship point race were Ray Trimble with the Ltd. Late Models, Dan Jinkersen with the Pure Stocks, Zach Keefe with the BCRA Midget Lites and Ted Ahart with the Mini Trucks.
The night of racing was completed even despite a 30 minute delay for rain prior to the feature. Promoter Scott Russell and the track prep staff did a solid job to save the track and allow main events to be completed.
At the waving of the green flag in the 25-lap Thompson’s Auto Group Winged Sprint Car feature it was Trulli who jumped into the lead and would hold a healthy command, until a red flag waved for Kirt Organ on lap 10. On the restart Decaires attempted a slider for the lead, but couldn’t make it stick. He then hounded Trulli for the top spot for several laps until completing a turn four slide job coming to complete lap 17.
Decaires took the checkered flag over Trulli, Jake Morgan, Mike Benson and Steven Tiner. “Last year was kind of an R&D season for us and this year we got back to the basics and the car has been perfect once when it rolled out of the trailer,” Decaires commented. “I can’t thank everyone that supports this team enough.” Decaires and Tiner captured the two heat races, while Hollister’s Tony Gualda set the ADCO Driveline and Custom Exhaust Fast Time Award with a lap of 10.931.
Eight late models showed for their third round of 2017 with Mike Lightfoot and Matt Michelli setting the front row. Michelli powered out to the early lead as fourth place starter Ray Trimble would quickly fall into the second spot. The two leaders would race for 17 straight laps side by side even through a pair of restarts. The lead duo never had more than a car length on one another for the first 17 laps, in what was a thrilling feature.
One mistake would cost Michelli the top spot though, as he jumped the turn one cushion, surrendering the lead to Trimble. He could never rebuild his momentum to catch back up the remaining three laps of the main, as Trimble took the checkered flag.
“That was the most fun I’ve ever had in a race car, to run 17 laps side by side and never touch is impressive,” Trimble said. “Matt is a great guy who will race you hard and clean.”
A total of 15 Pure Stocks came out on Saturday and saw Scott Grunert and Dan Jinkerson on the front row. Jinkerson jumped to the early lead but had Jason Palmer quickly on his heels. As the race went on Jinkerson developed a big lead over the rest of the field, but the race for second was the eye candy of the main. Oroville Owens, Jason Palmer, Nick Baldwin and Scott Grunert all traded spots for several laps, until a mid race restart saw Owens tag Palmers left rear wheel spinning Owens out as Palmer carried on.
On the restart Palmer would pressure the leader hard for multiple laps, but Jinkerson proved to be too tough to tame and would score his 2nd victory in three races. Palmer finished second. Third went to Nick Baldwin, Fourth was Scott Grunert and fifth was Oroville Owens. Heat winners were Oroville Owens and Jason Palmer
A strong field of 25 BCRA Midget Lites signed in during the night. Washington’s Zach Keefe and Charlie Carracillo set the front row. Carracillo took the early lead and battled Keefe in traffic with Seth Hespe also in toe.
A lap 11 yellow saw a slower car spin in front of the race leader in turn four, which moved Keefe up to the top spot. The remaining 9 laps saw Keefe and Hespe chase each other around the track dicing through traffic. Keefe held off Hespe for the win. It also marked both driver’s first ever appearance at Placerville Speedway.
Keef said following the race, “I’ve been racing for six years and have had ups and downs, but tonight our luck has changed so I couldn’t be happier. We might have to make a few more trips to Placerville.”
Third went to Dave Mackey, Fourth was Dakota Albright and fifth was Craig Dillard. Heat winners were Dakota Albright, Brent Sexton, Danica Jo Parker. Quick Time went to Jared Gunderson with a lap of 12.177 around the quarter mile.
The new Mini Trucks debuted with five drivers signing into the pit area. With wet conditions as rain started to fall the feature ran 12 laps non-stop, while racing the opposite way on the speedway. Ted Ahart and Russ Murphy led the field to green. Ahart quickly built a straightaway lead by the completion of lap one and would never look back. Russ Murphy and John Littlejohn completed the podium.
The Placerville Speedway will return to action next Saturday May 13 with the only visit of the season by the King of the West-NARC Fujitsu 410 Sprint Car Series.
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The Placerville Speedway is operated by Russell Motorsports Incorporated, which can be reached at the track business office at 530-344-7592. Contact Kami Arnold or Scott Russell directly for 2017 sponsorship opportunities at the office.