By Gary Thomas
Placerville, CA – April 20, 2021…The Placerville Speedway is excited to put a cap on the month of April with the annual running of the “Donnie Tilford Tribute” this Saturday evening.
Divisions attacking the quarter-mile during the Tilford Tribute this weekend include the traveling Tri-State Pro Stock Series, Ltd. Late Models, Pure Stocks and Mini Trucks. Tickets for the show went on sale Monday and will be available at www.placervillespeedway.com until the maximum number sold is reached due to continued capacity limitations. Pit passes are also available to watch from the hill and can be purchased ahead of time via the Pit Pay Mobile Pit Pass App.
The event honors the late Donnie Tilford, one the most beloved stock car drivers in the history of Placerville Speedway. During his final years Tilford mentored, sponsored and wrenched for various drivers well past his retirement from driving in 1991. A former Placerville Super Stock champion, Tilford succumbed to heart complications, and passed away peacefully in his sleep at the age of 58 on March 18, 2014.
“This weekend’s event will be a perfect way to honor one of Placerville Speedway’s greatest legends, Donnie Tilford,” said track promoter Scott Russell. “We look forward to finishing off the month of April on Saturday by showcasing our Ltd. Late Model, Pure Stock and Mini Truck divisions, along with welcoming in the Tri-State Pro Stock Series for the only time this season. We hope everyone can make it out for what should be great night of racing.”
Tilford was known for his long-time residency in Folsom and for helping many other businesses transform from mere dirt into establishments in the area by means of his business, Tilford Excavating and Engineering that was based in the city. Racing his way to countless victories through the decades from tracks close to home like Placerville Speedway and as far away as Australia, Tilford put the City of Folsom on the auto racing map in his days behind the wheel.
Tilford's love was racing Stock Cars on the dirt. He began racing in 1971 at the age of 17 at Placerville Speedway and was a highly successful driver winning numerous open shows, main events and championships. He continues to be the all-time leader in Stock Car victories at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds quarter-mile, having claimed 71 checkered flags in the division.
Auburn’s Ray Trimble claimed the lone Ltd. Late Model event held so far this season back on April 10, while the Pure Stocks have feature three winners in as many weeks. Oakley’s Nick Baldwin and Diamond Springs’ Kevin Jinkerson have both tasted victory and go into Saturday’s Tilford Tribute tied atop the standings.
Dan Jinkerson went through some tough luck the first two rounds but put that all behind him last Saturday by earning his 32nd career Pure Stock win at the facility. Rookie driver Wyatt Lakin will also be looking to make it three wins in a row to start the Mini Truck campaign this weekend.
The Tri-State Pro Stocks brought to you by Jay’s Mobile Welding always provide fast paced action and should be fun to watch on Saturday at the Tilford Tribute. The evening of competition will be presented by Workman Communications with the biggest storyline being, “Can anyone stop the blazing inferno that is Richard Brace?” The former Sprint Car driver has found a home in the Tri-State Pro Stock Series and has captured wins from Hanford, to Antioch, to Petaluma this year.
The pit gate will open at noon this Saturday, with the front grandstand gate opening at 3pm. Happy Hour is offered from 4-6pm in the grandstands featuring discounted Coors Light and Coors Original at the beer stand. The pit meeting will be held at 4:30pm, with cars on track for wheel packing at 5.
The Placerville Speedway is located on the beautiful El Dorado County Fairgrounds in Placerville, California. Take Hwy US-50 to Forni Road/Placerville Drive exit. Then go north on Placerville Drive to the Fairgrounds. The physical address is 100 Placerville Dr., Placerville, CA 95667. For more information on the Placerville Speedway log onto http://www.placervillespeedway.com
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The quarter-mile clay oval is operated by Russell Motorsports Incorporated, which can be reached at the track business office at 530-344-7592. Contact Kami Arnold or Scott Russell directly for sponsorship opportunities at the office.
Upcoming events at Placerville Speedway: Saturday April 24: Tri-State Pro Stock Series, Ltd. Late Models, Pure Stocks and Mini Trucks | Tilford Tribute Friday May 7: IMCA Dirt Modifieds and IMCA Sport Mods | California IMCA Speedweek
Saturday May 8: Winged 360 Sprint Cars, Pure Stocks, Mini Trucks and BCRA Lightning Sprints | Mother’s Day Madness