Justyn Cox, Matt Michelli, Jason Palmer and Bradly Dillard snag Placerville Speedway victories on Big Trophy Night
Placerville, CA – After tough luck knocked him out of contention during the Thompson’s Auto Group Winged 360 opener two-weeks ago Clarksburg’s Justyn Cox returned on Saturday night and gained sweet redemption by claiming the 25-lap feature at Placerville Speedway.
Also joining Cox in victory lane on “Law Enforcement – Big Trophy Night” were Matt Michelli with the Ltd. Late Models, Jason Palmer with the Pure Stocks and Bradly Dillard with the BCRA Midget Lites.
Cox and Hollister’s Tony Gualda shared the front row for the Thompson’s Auto Group Winged 360 Sprint Car A-main. At the waving of the green flag Cox jumped into the lead and built up a near two-second advantage, until lapped traffic came into play and gave Gualda an opportunity to close in.
Gualda pressured Cox on the bottom and then the top for multiple laps before the yellow lights flickered when Adam Walters and another driver made contact, folding Walters front end and ending his night. On the ensuing double file restart Cox again launched out front but another caution flew as Jodie Robinson jumped the cushion, collecting Kalib Henry and CJ Humphreys.
On the single file restart Cox again launched off to the lead but a spinning Billy Butler collected Shane Hopkins and Justin Johnson, who both flipped in the third and fourth turn. Both drivers walked away. Kalib Henry, Kyle Offill, Jodie Robinson and Chris Masters were also collected in the altercation.
When the race went back green Cox took off as Gualda pursued him in the second spot until traffic once again became a factor. Gualda made numerous bids for the race lead on the bottom of turn two and turn four until Ryan Souza drew the yellow on lap 23, setting up a double file restart with two laps to go.
Gualda made a bid for the top spot until hitting the berm on the bottom of turn one, allowing Cox to get away and capture his first win of the 2018 season. Gualda finished second over returning Placerville champion Greg Decaires, Jimmy Trulli, Sean Becker in the top-five. Heat race wins during the night were picked off by Kyle Offill, Justyn Cox and Billy Butler. The ADCO Driveline and Custom Exhaust Fast Time Award to start the evening was claimed by Trulli, who toured the quarter-mile in 10.949 seconds. A total of 21 Winged 360 Sprint Cars were on hand.
Fifteen Limited Late Models signed into the pits for Big Trophy Night and the racing certainly did not disappoint. Scott Woessner and Matt Davis set the pace for the 20 lap A-main. Davis quickly took command at the drop of the green. With a long green flag run lapped traffic made things exciting as Davis fought a tight race car, allowing Matt Michelli and Eddie Gardner to apply pressure.
As things were getting good for the lead the red lights came on after a lapped car clipped fourth place Tyler Lightfoot, turning his No. 23 upside down. Lightfoot luckily walked away uninjured. On the double file restart Michelli made a bid for the top spot but contact between the front duo allowed Eddie Gardner to jump into the lead for multiple laps. Michelli then reeled in Gardner and took the lead at the line on lap 13. He never looked back and went on to record his 20th career Placerville Speedway victory. Gardner, Davis, Jay Norton and Rod Oliver completed the top-five. Heat race wins went to Michelli and Davis.
A total of 13 Pure Stocks were in action at Big Trophy Night and saw defending track champion Jason Palmer lead all 20-laps in the main event. Palmer started on the pole alongside Jesse Van Roekel and immediately jumped into the lead. Palmer remains undefeated in 2018, having won all three Pure Stock races contested and goes into the May 19 Tilford Tribute on top of the standings. Scott Grunert finished second ahead of Orville Owens, Rick Grunert and Nick Baldwin in the top-five. Heat wins were tallied by Scott Grunert and Russ Murphy.
The BCRA Midget Lites also made their third appearance of the season on Saturday. Steve Brown and Dan Foster led the field down to green in the 20-lap feature. Brown jumped into the lead and held command over the first seven laps. Fast qualifier Bradly Dillard then charged into the lead on lap eight and gapped the field on each restart. He went on to take the checkered flag for victory over Scott Kinney, Steve Brown, Terry Bergstrom and Gus Carcione. Heat races during the night were picked off by Bradly Dillard and Scott Kinney.
The Placerville Speedway will take this coming weekend off before resuming action on Saturday May 19 with the annual Tilford Tribute event. Divisions on hand will include the Ltd. Late Models, Pure Stocks, IMCA Sport Mods, Mini Trucks, Vintage Hardtops. More info can be found at www.placervillespeedway.com
Photos courtesy of Cleveland Digital Imaging