Placerville Speedway filled the grandstands and pit area for a great night of racing in the eighth Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort Championship Season on Saturday night.
Greg DeCaires brought car owner Dale Miller to victory lane in the winged Sprint Car division. In the Hunt Magnetos Wingless Sprint Car Shootout, Scott Hall won in dramatic fashion as did Matt Tilford in the Pure Stock division. Ray Trimble drove to his third victory of the year in the Limited Late Model Division.
In the winged Sprint Car feature, DeCaires started on the outside of the front row next to pole sitter Mike Benson. At the waving of the green flag the driver known as the “Catfish” drove his Foothill 7 TV – Tribute to Stephen Allard #4SA machine into uncharted waters by driving the high side of the track as opposed to his trademark of routinely hugging the bottom of the track. DeCaires was anything but a fish out of water with his technique, however, as drove to a lead he would never relinquish.
At the finish line, DeCaires celebrated his second win of the season, then Benson rolled across the line in second place followed by Sanders and Forsberg.
In the visiting Hunt Magnetos Wingless Sprint Car Shootout, 16 fire-breathing wingless cars took to the track in a race, in which Hall has been trying to win for some time. One of the area’s most competitive wingless Sprint Car drivers currently, Hall has been victorious at multiple area tracks, however, the Placerville bullring has eluded the popular driver, who appeared to bring much of the north Sacramento area to the grandstands.
Hall started on the pole of the 25-lap feature event and drove his way into the lead at the green flag where he was soon challenged in heated battle with Joe Stornetta. The two drivers duked it out for the lead for much of the race in a classic “Maverick vs. Iceman” style dogfight that came to an unusual conclusion on lap 21.
As the two leaders battled in lapped traffic they both became slowed on lap 21 and Hall was forced to brake hard as well as Stornetta to avoid a collision in the second turn. It appeared both drivers were on their way to a spin out when Hall managed to save his Konnected Clothing #56K and redeem his position while Stornetta brought out the yellow flag. On the restart, Hall drove to victory over Tommy Laliberte, Gary Nelson, Chase Johnson and Colton Slack.
The Pure Stock feature began with Kevin Wirth of Garden Valley leading the first half of the race before exiting to the pit area and returning to the rear of the field on the 11th lap. Eddie Gardner took over the top spot after his battle with Wirth ended early. Gardner was soon blessed with the company of Tilford, who powered his way all the way up from the eighth position.
After a side-by-side battle with Gardner for the lead for the next four laps, Tilford successfully managed the stock car slide job of the century exiting the fourth turn on lap 14 that put his #92 Jon Tilford wrenched Camaro into the lead for good. Tilford drove to his third victory of the year followed by Gardner, Scott Grunert and Rick Grunert.
In Limited Late Model action, Trimble started on the pole for the 20-lap feature event and quickly muscled into the lead. Randy Shafer attempted to become trouble for Trimble in the early laps before the leader was able to pull away from the field. While Trimble maintained the lead for the remainder of the race, the battle behind him heated up for Shafer who was being put to work by former track champion Dan Brown Jr., who started eighth and muscled his way into the top three.
At the finish line, Trimble scored his third victory of the year. Shafer finished in second while Brown rounded out the top three. Matt Micheli, who entered the night as the point leader, finished in fourth, followed by defending champion Tom Tilford, who rounded out the top five.
Racing resumes at Placerville Speedway on Saturday, June 28 with the ninth Championship Point Race of the season. Sprint Cars, Limited Late Models and Pure Stocks will form the race card with the Nor-Cal Dwarf Cars. Gates open at 5 p.m.