After cancellation of the July 26 race due to the Sand Fire, teams and fans returned to Placerville Speedway for the 13th Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort Championship Point Race of the season at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds in grand fashion on Saturday.
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The five-division program saw more than 100 cars on the quarter-mile clay oval, with 360 Sprint Cars, BCRA Midgets and Midget Lites, Limited Late Models and Pure Stocks in competition.
Shane Golobic made the decision to defect from the King of the West Sprint Car Series in Stockton, and raced at Placerville in two divisions. Driving the Keith Day Trucking No. 22 Sprint Car, as well as the Doug Bock owned No. 26 Midget, Golobic accomplished an amazing feat by by winning both divisions.
“This is a really great night winning in both classes,” said Golobic. “The last time we did double duty here I ended up one and two. Tonight, we got the win in both races. I’ll take Placerville Speedway anytime over Stockton, and I’m glad we made the decision to run here instead tonight, it definitely paid off.”
In the Sprint Car feature, Golobic started on the inside of the second row for the event that was scheduled for 20-laps in distance. By completion of the first lap, Golobic used the low line of the track and emerged the leader, as they exited the fourth turn, passing pole sitter Seth Nunes and Justin Sanders in the first quarter-mile.
Despite numerous caution breaks throughout the event, Golobic maintained the top spot for the entire event, working his way into lapped traffic at the halfway point where he was closely challenged by the likes of Sanders, Jimmy Trulli of Placerville and Steven Tiner, Greg DeCaires and Andy Forsberg.
Trulli fell out of the mix in the closing laps when he suffered a damaging rollover, exiting the second turn and retired with damage. Keeping himself in the thick of lapped traffic, Golobic drove his way to his second sprint car feature win before strapping himself into the Midget for another 25-lap feature event.
In the Sprint Car event, Golobic was trailed by Sanders, Tiner, DeCaires and Forsberg. In the BCRA Midget division, he was challenged to the finish line by Brian Gard, Sean Dodenhoff, Richard Vander Weerd and Scott Pierovich.
The BCRA Midget Lites brought a full field of entrants with 25 cars on the roster.
Bobby Michnowicz led the entire race to drive to his second victory of the season. Michnowicz was followed across the line by Logan Seavey, with Bradley Dillard finished in third followed by Jeff Dyer and Chris Hansen.
“It’s definitely an honor to win here tonight in honor of Wayne Albright,” said Michnowicz in his victory lane interview. “He was a great part of this organization and is missed. We were able to get out front and stay there tonight, this one is really special.”
In the Pure Stock division, Matt Tilford returned to victory lane. The win was Tilford’s fourth of the season and the first since a heartbreaking loss on the Fourth of July.
Tilford’s victory was well-received by the entire Tilford crew and family, who suffered an emotional day with the loss of their longtime family dog, Shadow, as well along with the sale of the late Donnie Tilford’s excavating equipment. For the Tilford family, in tough times they do what they do best and return to the race track, often bringing home a win, and such was the case on this particular night, as he was followed across the line by Eddie Gardner, who led the early laps of the race before being passed by Tilford on the 11th lap. Scott Grunert was third ahead of Tim Mack and Rick Grunert.
“This definitely was a tough day for all of us in many ways,” said Tilford as he relaxed against the door of his No. 92 Pure Stock in victory lane. “I guess I can say this one’s for Shadow, our longtime four-legged friend, who ironically was 92 in dog years. I just have to thank everyone that works so hard on this car, especially after the Fourth of July when it got tore up pretty good. We’re back here in victory lane and looking forward to coming back and doing it again.”
In the Limited Late Models, point leader Matt Micheli drove flag to flag to score his first win of the season. Micheli started second in the 15-lap race and took command of the field at the green flag after pole sitter Ken Micheli and Jay Norton of Shingle Springs collided in the third turn.
Once in front, Micheli remained strong, moving into lapped traffic at the 11-lap mark. At the finish line he was followed by championship challenger Ray Trimble, Randy Shafer, Paul Gigliomoni and Dan Brown Jr.
“I was beginning to wonder if I was ever actually going to win one of these this year, I was starting to worry I was going to become one of those guys racing for a championship without a win to name, and we’ve all been there before a time or two,” said Micheli. “Tonight, we finally got it done but the race for this championship is a close one. Ray Trimble is right there, and Tom Tilford is in the hunt, too, and both of those guys are tough drivers here. It’s going to be a good one for the fans.”
This Saturday is the Civil War Sprint Cars return for the richest race of the year — the $5,000 to win Mark Forni Classic. The gates open at 5 p.m. with qualifying at 6:30.
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