Andy Gregg, Shawn Jones, Kevin Jinkerson and Austin Struthers earn Placerville Speedway wins Saturday By Gary Thomas
Image courtesy of Christopher Silva
Placerville, CA…It had been quite some time since local favorite Andy Gregg tasted victory at his hometown track. That all changed on Saturday however, as the 41-year-old put together a masterful drive in the feature and charged to a big victory with the Thompson’s Family of Dealerships Winged 360 Sprint Cars at Placerville Speedway.
Sharing victory lane with Gregg on Saturday were Shawn Jones with the Hunt Magnetos Wingless Tour, Kevin Jinkerson in the Pure Stocks and Austin Struthers with the Mini Trucks. A total of 76-cars were on hand to compete at the 12th championship point race of the season.
The 2021 season had been announced that it will be Gregg’s final as team owner of the Guts Racing No. 16x and he certainly wanted to add another triumph by the end of it. Starting on the pole he blasted into the lead and held a steady advantage over much of the contest. Auburn’s Andy Forsberg quickly moved into second and did keep the leader honest at times. As the race wound down though, Gregg carved his way through traffic like a hot knife through butter and put several lapped cars between himself and second place.
A late red flag then created a four-lap dash to the finish and allowed Forsberg to start right on his tail tank. A couple times it looked as if the 7-time track champ would have a shot, but Gregg cut perfect laps over the final two circuits and crossed under the Darin Stahl checkered flag for his first win at the track since 2015. It marked his 12th career triumph at Placerville Speedway, tying him with Scooter Lambert and the late Stephen Allard on the all-time list.
Forsberg brought home a season-best Placerville finish of second, while Colby Johnson had one of the finest nights of his career at the track by setting the ADCO Driveline Fast Time, before making a final corner pass of Joel Myers Jr. to finish third in the feature. Myers Jr. and past track champion Steven Tiner rounded out the top-five. It was Tiner’s first start of the year and he looked solid all night. Stephen Ingraham, Shane Hopkins, Ryan Robinson, Jimmy Trulli and Michael Ing completed the top-10.
Winged 360 finish: 1. 16X-Andy Gregg; 2. X1-Andy Forsberg; 3. 38-Colby Johnson; 4. 46JR-Joel Myers Jr; 5. 94TH-Steven Tiner; 6. 93-Stephen Ingraham; 7. 21-Shane Hopkins; 8. 14W-Ryan Robinson; 9. 33T-Jimmy Trulli; 10. 21X-Michael Ing; 11. 34-Landon Brooks; 12. 2-Cody Spencer; 13. 7H-Jake Haulot; 14. 80N-Justin Bradway; 15. 6-Logan Calderwood; 16. 83SA-Isaiah Vasquez; 17. 25-Justin Johnson; 18. 4-Tuesday Calderwood; 19. 2X-Alex Pettas; 20. 12-Jimmy Christian; 21. 85-CJ Humphreys
It does not matter if it’s a Dwarf Car or a Wingless Sprint Car, San Jose’s Shawn Jones always puts on a show. That was definitely the case on Saturday as he claimed victory with the Hunt Magnetos Wingless Tour presented by PureCrop1. Daniel Whitley led the way for much of the race as he rolled the bottom side to perfection. Jones was relentless on the high-side of the speedway, particularly in turns three and four. He and Tim Sherman Jr. delighted the crowd with an exciting back and forth duel for the runner up spot.
A few times Jones got tripped up on the tricky cushion, but never gave up and eventually charged to the lead around lap 16. The tenacity paid off as he drove away to pick up the win over Whitley, Sherman Jr., Dylan Bloomfield and Shawn Arriaga. Rounding out the top-10 in the 25-lapper were Heath Holdsclaw, Cody Fendley, Shane Hopkins, Marcus Hardina and Nathan Schank. A strong field of 33 Joe Hunt Magnetos Wingless Sprinters signed into the pit area on Saturday. The division returns to Placerville as part of Legends Night on August 14th.
Hunt Magnetos Wingless Tour finish: 1. 14-Shawn Jones; 2. 6K-Daniel Whitley; 3. 1JR-Tim Sherman Jr; 4. 32-Dylan Bloomfield; 5. 56-Shawn Arriaga; 6. 33-Heath Holdsclaw; 7. 9-Cody Fendley; 8. 51-Shane Hopkins; 9. 21X-Marcus Hardina; 10. 1-Nathan Schank; 11. 2-Kevin Box; 12. 11-Cameron Martin; 13. 2STX-Brent Steck; 14. 63-Dylan Newberry; 15. 36-Bob Newberry; 16. 12-Jarrett Soares; 17. 60-Scott Clough; 18. 3T-Bradley Terrell; 19. 17-Jake Morgan; 20. 22JR-Braidon Moniz
The Pure Stock main event saw Rio Linda’s Ryan Peter set the pace until Diamond Springs’ Kevin Jinkerson climbed to the top-spot. Current Placerville Speedway point leader Nick Baldwin of Oakley eventually sliced his way to second, but on this night it was all about Jinkerson, who picked up his third win of the season. Baldwin crossed the stripe in second, followed by Peter, Jason Poppert and Kennth Robles in the top-five. Tyler Lightfoot, Jonny Walsh, John Evans, Kenny Bernstein and Mel Byers rounded out the top-10.
Pure Stock finish: 1. 30-Kevin Jinkerson; 2. 17-Nick Baldwin; 3. 83-Ryan Peter; 4. 87-Jason Poppert; 5. 78K-Kenneth Robles; 6. 29-Tyler Lightfoot; 7. 4-Jonny Walsh; 8. 48-John Evans; 9. 43-Kenny Bernstein; 10. 93-Mel Byers; 11. 47-Michael Murphy; 12. 14-James West; 13. 5M-Blake Disomma
The Mini Truck finale ended up being a rough and tumble affair that saw several drivers have a shot at victory. In the end though it was Placerville’s Austin Struthers that got it done after 25-laps of competition. Current Placerville point leader Mike Miller came home in second, with Ted Ahart, Eric Jorgenson and Howard Miller completing the top-five.
Mini Truck finish: 1. 70-Austin Struthers; 2. 16-Mike Miller; 3. 1-Ted Ahart; 4. 61-Eric Jorgensen; 5. 28-Howard Miller; 6. 08JR-Thomas Jensen; 7. 04-Wyatt Lakin Full results can be viewed at https://speedhive.mylaps.com/Events/1885909?fbclid=IwAR2WrD7l__Ok6Mjv_GHotN_QQNQLns2DNW08n0rtBf75FXSKqEAud4ixxDM
The Placerville Speedway returns to action this coming Saturday July 24th with Thompson’s Fan Appreciation Night on deck. All adult tickets cost just $5 during the night. Kids five and under will be admitted free. Competing at the event will be the Thompson’s Winged 360 Sprint Cars, Ltd. Late Models, Pure Stocks and the Nor-Cal Dwarf Cars.