Jay Norton, Orville Owens, Corey Eaton and Jay Bryant claim Donnie Tilford Tribute wins at Placerville Speedway season-finale
Placerville, CA – September 30, 2017…A solid night of racing at the annual Donnie Tilford Tribute on Saturday evening saw Jay Norton drive to his first Ltd. Late Model victory of the season at Placerville Speedway, while Orville Owens took home yet another Pure Stock win to cap a career year.
Corey Eaton captured his first ever Mini Truck triumph during the night and Jay Bryant rounded out the winners list, coming out on top in a thrilling Sport Mod finish that went right down to the wire.
The $1,000-to-win Ltd. Late Model feature started out with Matt Davis jumping into the lead, before a pair of cautions slowed things down on lap two. Unfortunately for Davis during the caution he slowed to a stop and was forced to the work area with car issues. He was able to make it back out and proceeded to put on a great show from the rear of the field. With Davis in the back it handed the lead over to Tom Tilford, who held command until Jay Norton carved his way past off turn two on lap four.
Two-time winner already this year Ray Trimble moved into second on lap six and spent the remainder trying hard to make something happen with Norton. Trimble gave it everything he had, but Norton crossed the line first to grab his first victory of 2017. Trimble came home in second, with Davis making a strong recovery to grab third. Tolford and Joey Olschawka rounded out top-five.
Twelve Ltd. Late Models signed into the pit area for the Tilford Tribute with heat races going to Jay Norton and Tom Tilford. The Dash was captured by Matt Davis. Fast time to begin the night was also set by Davis.
The Pure Stock feature was plagued by various yellows and one red flag period, but in-between it all the action was extremely intense and entertaining. At the waving of the green flag track champ Jason Palmer and Scott Grunert went side-by-side for the lead, with Palmer getting advantage. Once traffic came into play things got interesting as Grunert looked for the lead around the outside. At that same time lapped cars had spun right in front of the leaders, which left Palmer nowhere to go and resulted in him coming to a stop on lap 10.
Grunert assumed the lead and on the restart a big pileup occurred between turns one and two, while Rick Grunert got upside down in the third turn. He was okay but done for the night. Second running Nick Baldwin also had issues on his machine and pushed off the track when the yellow lights came back on. During the restart Dan Jinkersen went to work on Scott Grunert and made it a great fight for the lead. On lap 13 Orville Owens made his presence known and jumped into second from the 14th starting spot.
Owens then closed in on the leader and took the top spot on two separate occasions, only to have the caution flag save the lead both times for Grunert. With five laps to go however, Owens made the move once again to take command and drove off to scoop up his fifth victory of the season at Placerville Speedway. Scott Grunert, Jarred Beddow, Dan Jinkersen and Kevin Jinkersen completed the top-five.
A total of 23 Pure Stocks were on hand with heat races claimed by Rick Grunert, Scott Grunert and Jason Palmer. The Dash was captured by Jason Palmer. Kicking off the night with fast time was Nick Baldwin.
In the Mini Truck division in a first-time winner in the form of Corey Eaton, who led from flag-to-flag. The battle to watch during the race was the fight for second between Ted Ahart, Aaron Rupley and Russ Murphy. Rupley came out on top of it to claim second, with Murphy, Zak Bezak and Chris Schaff rounding out the top-five. Ahart had issues and pulled off the speedway.
Six Mini Trucks were in action on Saturday with the heat race picked off by Ted Ahart.
The Sport Mods may have only had three cars compete in the feature, but the action on the final lap was as good as it gets. Matt Sanders led the first 11 laps, before getting sideways, handing the top spot over to Damian Merritt. Jay Bryant had come to a stop three times during the race, but now found himself in second with a chance to win. With the white waving contact ensued in turn one between Merritt and Bryant, which allowed Bryant to take the lead.
In turn three a similar scenario occurred and created chaos coming to the checkered flag. Somehow Bryant got his car straightened out and took the checkered flag over Sanders and Merritt. Five Sport Mods were on hand with the lone heat race going to Damian Merritt.
That now puts a wrap on the 2017 racing season at the Placerville Speedway. The annual championship awards banquet will take place on Saturday November 18.
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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 2018 sponsorship opportunities at the office. Results can be found at our website http://www.placervillespeedway.com/