Andy Forsberg, Kevin Jinkerson, Chris Curtis and Ryan Winter snag Thompson’s Fan Appreciation Night wins at Placerville Speedway
Placerville, CA – A fast and hooked up racetrack is right up Andy Forsberg’s alley and he showed that once again on Saturday night by racing to his 62nd career Placerville Speedway victory in front of a packed house at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds bullring.
Also sharing victory lane on Thompson’s Fan Appreciation Night were Kevin Jinkerson with the Jay’s Mobile Welding & Fabricating Pure Stocks, Chris Curtis with the Mini Trucks and Ryan Winter with the traveling Nor-Cal Dwarf Car Association. Nick Baldwin won a special grudge race with the Pure Stocks and pocketed $300 courtesy of Performance Muffler & Brake in Galt as well as Jay’s Mobile Welding & Fabricating.
The 25-lap Thompson’s Family of Dealerships Winged 360 Sprint Car feature came to the line with Mather’s Kalib Henry and Hollister’s Tony Gualda sharing the front row. Both drivers were in search of their first career wins at the track and when the green flag waved it was Gualda who charged into the lead. The 19-year-old set a torrid pace out front and looked to be a favorite for victory, but the complexion of the race changed on lap 10 when he slowed with engine issues.
At that same time Fair Oaks’ Jake Morgan, who was having an entertaining battle with Jimmy Trulli and Mike Benson for the sixth spot, also came to a stop on the in turns three and four. Andy Forsberg inherited the top spot and was able to survive a couple more cautions on laps 16 and 20 respectively to go on and cross under the Ron Stahl checkered flag for victory aboard the Friends & Family Racing X1 machine. For Forsberg it marked his third victory of the weekly championship season and fourth overall in 2019 at Placerville Speedway.
Aromas, California’s Justin Sanders piloted the Dale Miller Septic No. 4SA Sprinter to a runner up finish while racing the extreme high-line around the quarter-mile. Sanders got close a few times, but Forsberg ran the bottom to perfection and never faltered. Elk Grove’s Bobby McMahan claimed his best finish of the season by running third, with Kalib Henry and Mike Benson having a fine run to round out the top-five. Henry has now finished among the top-five in every point race this year. Completing the top-10 were Jimmy Trulli, Jodie Robinson, Bubba Decaires, Blake Carrick and Cody Lamar.
The three heat races held during the night were captured by Kalib Henry, Jake Morgan and Mike Benson. Andy Forsberg began the evening by earning the ADCO Driveline & Custom Exhaust Fast Time Award by clocking a 10.723 in qualifying. A total of 20-cars signed into the pit area during the night.
Earlier this season Kevin Jinkerson claimed his first career Jay’s Mobile Welding & Fabricating Pure Stock victory at the Tilford Tribute and he came back on Saturday during Thompson’s Fan Appreciation Night to make it number two. Jinkerson started outside row two and battled Clarence Holbrook early on, before assuming the point. After that nobody had anything for the fast-moving No. 30 machine as crossed under the checkered to claim the win by over three seconds.
Jay’s Mobile Welding & Fabricating Pure Stock point leader Nick Baldwin came home in second, with Scott Grunert, Mel Byers and Jason Palmer filling out the top-five. The top-10 was completed by Jesse Bryant, John Ewing, Clarence Holbrook, Stephanie Hanson and Aaron Taylor. With 10-cars on hand during the event a pair of heat races were held and picked off by Scott Grunert and Nick Baldwin.
The Mini Trucks put on some of the best racing seen during the night and it was a battle for the win right down to the end. Early on it was a five-truck race up front with drivers going high and low on the Placerville red clay as they raced in the opposite direction during the night. Chris Curtis eventually fought his way to the front of the field but had a very fast John LittleJohn right on his heels. As the laps wound down Mike Miller carved his way to the runner up spot and closed in on Curtis.
With the Ron Stahl checkered flag in sight Curtis ran mistake free and brought home the big win over Miller, LittleJohn, Russ Murphy and Aaron Rupley. Rounding out the top-10 were Ryan Murphy, Ted Ahart, Thomas Jensen, Chris Schaaf and Sam MacFadyen. Two heat races were contested for the 11 Mini Trucks in action and were claimed by Aaron Rupley and Russ Murphy respectively.
The first appearance of the season by the Nor-Cal Dwarf Car Association went to the always tough Ryan Winter, who scored his 13th career Placerville Speedway victory, which gives him sole possession of third on the all-time win list. The 20-lap feature saw Jeremy Blackshire and Ben Wiesz make up the front row. Early on it was Wiesz who led the field, but Winter eventually charged into P1 and never looked back. Despite Winter having his way with things out front, the racing remained entertaining behind him as several drivers raced for the second spot.
Mike Grenert and Wiesz put on a thrilling show for the fans racing side-by-side for numerous laps. Wiesz ended up winning out on that battle and attempted to close in on Winter with the race winding down. Winter hung tough though and captured the win by 0.730 seconds back to Wiesz. Grenert, 12th starter Josh Wiesz and Kevin Bender completed the top-five. Rounding out the top-10 were Tim Fitzpatrick, Shawn Whitney, Mike Reeder, Ryan Plexico and Blackshire. Seventeen Dwarf Cars competed at the event with heat races going to Ryan Plexico and Ryan Winter.
Full results from the night can be found at https://speedhive.mylaps.com/Events/1674282?fbclid=IwAR3J4YRpzPawnPEy3InYWI_e5mwCI8GpUtxuzXk8gpRRbAS2Ayq9l5Vux7A
The El Dorado County Fair now takes center stage next week with events occurring in the grandstand area on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The concession stand will be open with food and ice cold beer each day. Action returns to Placerville Speedway with Mountain Democrat Kids Bike Night on Saturday June 22nd. Divisions in action will include the Thompson’s Family of Dealerships Winged 360 Sprint Cars, Ltd. Late Models, the Jay’s Mobile Welding & Fabricating Pure Stocks and Mini Trucks.
Images courtesy of Devin M Photography