Placerville, CA – May 19, 2018…The annual Tilford Tribute has never disappointed in years past and this past Saturday night certainly kept that streak alive. It turned out to be one of the best races we have seen recently and featured great action in each division.
Fourteen Limited Late Models showcased as the headline for Saturday’s race and it did not disappoint. Rod Oliver and Tyler Lightfoot set the pace for the 20-lap main event and when the green dropped Oliver jumped to the point setting a quick pace. As the track slicked off Oliver struggled to find traction, but Ray Trimble seemed to excel in it mid-race.
As the feature continued on, an early race caution flew for Ryan McDaniel. As the track slicked off more and more McDaniel became faster however, and picked his way through the field from 13th to second. As laps wound down it seemed that Trimble had the main sewed up, but a caution flew with 5 laps left in the main for current point leader Matt Michelli.
Over the course of time McDaniel always seemed to make magic happen on late race restarts, but tonight fell just short as Ray Trimble executed the restart beautifully and won by nearly a second. Ryan McDaniel took home second over Rod Oliver, Tom Tilford, Tyler Lightfoot and Eddie Gardner.
Heat wins went to Rod Oliver and Ray Trimble. The Dash was captured by Rod Oliver and Fast time went to Tyler Lightfoot with a lap of 13.561.
The second best race of the evening went to a drama filled Pure Stock main event. Seventeen cars signed in for Saturday’s event and 2016 Placerville Speedway champion Nick Baldwin looked as if he was going to have a clean sweep after setting fast time, winning his heat and dash, but late race incidents made for different views of the outcome. Baldwin and Scott Grunert battled hard right from the drop of the green flag.
Grunert then worked Baldwin for multiple laps in the until the white flag, where Baldwin would miss his mark in turn one opening the door for Grunert to try to capitalize. As the duo headed into turn three heavy contact was made between both drivers, who were not going to give an inch. Grunert was pointed towards the fence as Baldwin was directed to the infield, while Jason Palmer snuck by at the line barely over Orville Owens who had an outstanding battle for third. Palmer remains undefeated in 2018 being the only driver to win in the Pure Stock division. Orville Owens came home third over Scott Grunert, Dan Jinkerson and Russ Murphy rounding the top five.
Heat wins went to Nick Baldwin and Matt Tilford. The Dash win went to Nick Baldwin along with quick time by turning a lap time of 15.456.
Thirteen Sport mods signed into the quarter-mile Saturday for their annual visit during the Tilford Tribute. Although the main on Saturday night took a while to get going in as the field failed to complete the first two attempted starts, restart number three was a barn burner to say the least. Pattie Rylan and Matt Michelli led the field to green for the 20-lap main event. Both cars had issues finding momentum though and would fall mid pack almost immediately.
As the front row dropped fairly quick, third starting KC Keller and fourth place starter Brian Cooper would take the gloves off and get after it. From lap eight through 18 the duo would swap the lead 18 times in a 10-lap period. The crowd thundered to applaud the two drivers as a yellow flew with a handful of circuits left. On the restart Keller and Copper remained side by side, but Cooper hit the burm in turn one allowing Aaron Crowell to drive around for the runner up spot. At the end of the race Keller picked up his first career Placerville Speedway win over Aaron Crowell and Brian Cooper.
Heat wins went to Keller and Phillip Shelby.
Seven Mini Trucks were on hand Saturday night during the annual Tilford Tribute and Derek Boardamn remained undefeated, taking control of the all-time win list with 4 victories in the division. Boarman and Tom Stanwood set the pace for the 15-lap main on Saturday. It was smooth sailing from green to checkers for Boarman who led all 15 laps in a non-stop main event. While Boarman had the race sealed up, Jerred Van Bebber put on a show from last place starting in the main. The rookie driver made his first Placerville appearance and really came into his own on lap eight making moves through the field.
After lap 10 Van Bebber saw himself in third and tried to track down the leaders on lap 13. Van Bebber successfully passed Aaron Rupley for the runner up spot and then came in pursuit of race leader Boarman, but time ran out and he was a day late and a dollar short as Boarman would secure his name as the winningest driver in Mini Truck competition at the ¼ mile. Second was Jerred Van Bebber and Aaron Rupley rounded the podium
Boarman swept the night winning the lone heat race.
The Placerville Speedway will take Memorial Day weekend off and resume action on Saturday June 2 with “Dad’s and Grad’s Night.”
Photos courtesy of Cleveland Digital Imaging