The Easter Eggstravaganza provided several thrills on Saturday night for the solid crowd on hand at Placerville Speedway. In the end it was Modesto’s Tony Gomes occupying victory lane, after claiming his second career Thompson’s Family of Dealerships Winged Sprint Car victory.
The second Hoosier Tires championship point race of the season saw outstanding racing in all four divisions, with wins also picked off by defending track titlist Nick Baldwin in the Red Hawk Casino Pure Stocks, Wyatt Lakin with the Mini Trucks and Shawn Whitney with the Dwarf Cars.
The 25-lap Thompson’s Sprint Car finale began with Indiana native Brinton Marvel duking it out with Chico’s Michael Ing on the start. Ing ended up leading the opening lap and set the early pace in impressive fashion. Tony Gomes showed his strength right off the bat, jumping into the second spot, before looking to track down the leader. Piloting the familiar C&M Motorsports No. 7c machine, the 23-year-old quickly found his way to the rear of Ing.
With eight laps complete, Gomes drove to his inside, looking to grab the point. Contact ensued between the pair, which ended with Ing sitting parked off turn four to draw the caution. Gomes officially led for the remainder of the race, but the action behind him remained hot and heavy. Rio Oso’s Landon Brooks put on a thrilling charge from the 12th starting spot, moving up as high as second at one point. Brooks, Andy Forsberg, Caeden Steele and others raced high and low on the red clay bullring.
Steele overtook Brooks for the runner up spot with four laps remaining, but couldn’t quite catch the fast-moving Gomes, who accepted the Ron Stahl checkered flag. Steele, Forsberg, Brooks and Marvel completed the top-five. It was an especially strong night for Marvel, who earned his first career ADCO Driveline Fast Time Award and captured the opening heat race. Michael Faccinto, Luke Hays, Chance Grasty, Shane Hopkins and Bubba Decaires rounded out the top-10.
A solid field of 35 Winged Sprint Cars competed on Saturday.
Winged Sprint Car Results: 1. 7C-Tony Gomes; 2. 121-Caeden Steele; 3. 92-Andy Forsberg; 4. 94TH-Landon Brooks; 5. 5H-Brinton Marvel; 6. X1-Michael Faccinto; 7. 9L-Luke Hayes; 8. 1-Chance Grasty; 9. 21-Shane Hopkins; 10. 94-Greg Decaires V; 11. 87-Ashlyn Rodriguez; 12. 93-Stephen Ingraham; 13. 12J-John Clark; 14. 9-Dustin Freitas; 15. 9T-Tyler Brown; 16. 21M-Michael Ing; 17. 7H-Jake Haulot; 18. 14-Mariah Ede; 19. 10-Dominic Gorden; 20. 21X-Gauge Garcia
The box score for the Red Hawk Casino Pure Stocks may show that every lap was led by Nick Baldwin, but that doesn’t describe just how exhilarating the 20-lap feature turned out to be. Baldwin raced with Russ Murphy for the top spot on the opening circuit, before grabbing the lead, with Kevin Jinkerson coming along for second shortly after. The top-two drivers in the standings from last year ultimately raced inches apart over the remaining laps.
Jinkerson absolutely hounded the rear bumper of Baldwin’s No. 17 mount, trying to find a way by the Oakley competitor. While the front duo raced tooth and nail third place Murphy once again joined the mix making it a three-car battle at one point. Baldwin as always, however, was calm, cool and collected driving off to record his 21st career Placerville Speedway win by less than a car length over Jinkerson. Murphy, Mike Lightfoot and Bill O’Neal comprised the top-five.
Pure Stock Results: 1. 17-Nick Baldwin; 2. 30-Kevin Jinkerson; 3. 74-Russell Murphy; 4. 29-Mike Lightfoot; 5. 23-Bill O'Neal; 6. 43-Kenny Bernstein; 7. 55-Micky Dangelo; 8. 27-William Upton; 9. 1-Chris D'angelo
Over the last couple seasons Diamond Springs’ Wyatt Lakin had battled Mini Truck issues that cost him a shot at several victories. Putting all of that behind him on Saturday, the always fun-loving driver found some last lap magic in the main event, en route to his first Placerville Speedway in some time. Lakin led the early stages, until Mike Miller started picking Trucks off one by one. Miller took over the top-spot on lap 10, but Lakin did not let him get away.
With lapped traffic in the mix Lakin closed as the laps wound down. With the checkered flag set to wave Lakin blasted to the outside of Miller in the final corners and nipped him at the line for a scintillating victory. Mike Miller, Paizlee Miller, Page Miller and Luke Costa rounded out the top-five.
Mini Truck Results: 1. 04-Wyatt Lakin; 2. 16-Mike Miller; 3. 26-Paizlee Miller; 4. 21-Page Miller; 5. 7-Luke Costa; 6. 07-Michael Murphy; 7. 75-Brycen Bragg
As always, the traveling Nor-Cal Dwarf Car Association brought a stellar 27-car field to the Placerville Speedway on Saturday. The 20-lap feature provided some excellent racing all throughout the pack, with Lotus based Shawn Whitney picking up a big victory. Jace Badecker led the initial two laps, before Dylan Shrum got by to hold the point on lap three. Whitney then found his line and charged to the front of the field shortly after.
Once in the lead Whitney had his way with things, but behind him drivers diced it up in exciting fashion. Shrum eventually crossed the stripe in second, with Mike Reeder third, Kinser Endicott fourth and Mike “Spanky” Grenert rounding out the top-five. The Dwarf Cars should be commended for putting on a tremendous main event. The remainder of the top-10 was filled out by Badecker, Ben Wiesz, Zack Albers, Gage Meyers and Dan Geil.
Dwarf Car Results: 1. 15N-Shawn Whitney; 2. 31N-Dylan Shrum; 3. 72N-Mike Reeder; 4. 381-Kinser Endicott; 5. 12N-Mike Grenert; 6. 7N-Jace Badecker; 7. 57N-Ben Wiesz; 8. 22R-Zack Albers; 9. 99N-Gage Meyers; 10. 32N-Dan Geil; 11. 29N-Corey Eaton; 12. 52N-Chuck Conover; 13. 9N-Kevin Bender; 14. 94N-Denny Hannel; 15. 50N-Brenden Shrum; 16. 42N-Isaak Geil; 17. 41N-Brandon Aylesworth; 18. 22N-Joe Halter; 19. 43N-Robert Kozinski; 20. 05N-Tim Dodson
Placerville Speedway returns to action this coming Saturday April 15th with the 20th annual Tribute to Al Hinds.
Story by Gary Thomas. Images courtesy of D&P Photos and Tim Holland Photography