Justin Sanders Claims Placerville Opener
Justin Sanders, Jake Morgan, Kevin Jinkerson and Wyatt Lakin claim Placerville Speedway wins
By Gary Thomas
Images courtesy of Devin M Photography
Placerville, CA – April 3, 2021…Aromas, California’s Justin Sanders has been on a tear to start the season in California and continued his hot pace on Saturday at Placerville Speedway, racing to victory in the 25-lap Thompson’s Family of Dealerships Winged 360 Sprint Cars feature.
For Sanders it gave him a sweep of the weekend in the Golden State after also winning at Ocean Speedway the previous night. In total the 28-year-old has now captured five victories in the early California season, to go along with a triumph in Arizona. It also marked his third win in four starts aboard the potent Dale Miller Septic/ Thompson’s Auto and Truck Center No. 4SA machine.
Sharing victory lane with Sanders at the “Easter Eggstravaganza” were Jake Morgan with the Joe Hunt Magnetos Wingless Sprints, Kevin Jinkerson with the Pure Stocks and young Wyatt Lakin in the Mini Trucks.
Sanders started from the outside of the front row in the 25-lap Thompson’s Auto Winged 360 Sprint Car finale, but things got off to a rough start when pole sitter John Clark looped it in front of the field. The incident also collected Michael Faccinto and Justyn Cox. When things finally got underway Sanders set the pace and was dogged by Placerville’s own Andy Gregg over much of the early distance. Cautions on lap 13 and 17 slowed the contest, but after that things clicked off nicely.
The lap 17 restart was one filled with some drama, as officials deemed Sanders to have started prior to the Anrak Corp. fire-off zone, which penalized him one position. It moved Lincoln’s Blake Carrick up to the lead for the double file restart and created the most excitement of the race, with Sanders and the 16-year-old upstart battling back and forth up front. Sanders came out on top of the entertaining tussle and drove away to accept the Ron Stahl checkered flag for his 14th career Winged 360 triumph at the track.
Blake Carrick crossed the stripe in second, with Redding’s Chase Majdic having another impressive run to finish third for the second straight week. Fremont’s Shane Golobic carved his way from 14th to fourth, while Andy Gregg rounded out the top-five. The remainder of the top-10 was comprised of Tanner Carrick, Joey Ancona, 19th starter Chase Johnson, 20th starter Ryan Robinson and Andy Forsberg.
Ancona won the nights B-main, with the C-main going to Michael Ing. Heat race wins went to Justin Sanders, Jake Morgan, John Clark and Tanner Carrick. Michael Faccinto began the night by pacing the healthy 37-car field in qualifying with a lap of 10.905 to earn the ADCO Driveline and Custom Exhaust Fast Time Award.
When it comes to Wingless Spec Sprint racing at the Placerville Speedway Fair Oaks’ Jake Morgan has certainly asserted himself as the man to beat. After riding the high-side to the front on Saturday the 2019 series champion proceeded to dominate the 25-lap contest to earn another victory with the Joe Hunt Magnetos Wingless Sprint Cars. With Morgan out front the action behind him was hot and heavy however, as Braidon Moniz fended off an extremely fast Bradley Terrell to earn a runner up finish.
Terrell ran third with fellow Sebastopol wheel-man Geoff Ensign charging from 13th to fourth and Placerville’s Shane Hopkins carving his way from 20th to fifth. Sixth through 10th in the feature went to Tim Sherman Jr., Jarrett Soares, Matt Streeter, Brent Steck and Shawn Arriaga. Russell Motorsports Inc. would like to thank PureCrop1 for their continued support of the Joe Hunt Magnetos Wingless Sprints at the facility. A strong 29-car field entered the pit area to help open the campaign.
The Pure Stock division put on some of the most thrilling action of the night with a solid and very competitive 20-lap feature. Diamond Springs racer Kevin Jinkerson held command for much of the contest but had to fend off the relentless challenges from multi-time Placerville champion Nick Baldwin. The pair ran nose to tail for several laps as Baldwin tried everything to get by the No. 30 Pure Stock of Jinkerson.
The final lap proved exhilarating as Baldwin got a big run off the last corner but came up just shy as he climbed the front stretch fence in wild fashion. Jinkerson claimed the win over Baldwin, Ryan Peter, Jonathan Walsh and Jason Palmer. Ken Bernstein, Ryan Murphy, Michael Murphy, Oroville Owens and Russ Murphy completed the top-10.
The Mini Truck division was all about youngster Wyatt Lakin, who earned a clean sweep of the night by winning his heat race and then 20-lap main event. Lakin was never seriously challenged during the feature and picked up his first career Placerville Speedway triumph win over Howard Miller, Mike Miller, Thomas Jenson and Tim Stanwood.