The Civil War Series, undoubtedly one of the most thrilling racing campaigns in the region, will finally put the fans on the edge of their seats at Placerville Speedway tonight when the Red Hawk Casino-Hoosier Racing Tires Fast and Furious Dirt Track Racing season resumes with the long awaited visit.
When it comes to speed thrills, the Hoosier Racing Tires Civil War Series never lets open-wheel race fans down and brings new fans to the track once they witness the spectacle. This year’s campaign for California’s premier series for 360 cubic inch powered winged sprint cars has just begun and it looks like another stellar chase for the championship title.
Tonight’s event is the second of 14 at six of the best known race tracks in Northern California. The winner will take home $2,000 and there is a $300 payout to start the 22 car A-feature.
Overall, this series will compete for more than $250,000 over the year. A fund of $40,000 is in place with $10,000 going to the eventual champion. Additional contingency awards throughout the year are expected to reach the $30,000 mark.
With one event complete, Auburn’s Andy Forsberg, no stranger to the top of the podium in the series and at Placerville Speedway, leads the standings as he returns to the track he calls home. “Mr. Excitement,” known for his fearless, competitive driving style, is the current king of the series with four CWS titles already and two Placerville track championships.
In the season opener three weeks ago in Petaluma, Forsberg and his Friends and Family race team made it clear they mean business concerning this year’s championship, the richest since his racing career began.
Forsberg rolls into tonight with a two-point margin over Sebastopol’s Geoff Ensign, who is often called the “Human Highlight Reel.” He proved he will be a force to contend with after chasing Forsberg to the finish in the opener in his debut with the successful Vertullo Race Team based in Elk Grove.
Lurking in third is another top driver, Sean “The Shark” Becker of Antelope, who led the CWS standings for much of 2010 but saw a history making third consecutive title vanish in the last race of the year when his Scott Miller-owned No. 2 car failed to fire off for the main event. It was one of the most gut-wrenching finishes to a local title in decades and this year they are ready to go after Forsberg in both the CWS and Placerville Speedway championship chases.
Penngrove’s Alissa Geving, known by her counterparts and fans as “Chicko,” is tied with Becker. After earning the CWS Rookie of the Year title in 2008, she raced part time last year while following other opportunities. The third-generation driver, who still holds the record as the youngest female sprint car champion in the world with two Petaluma Speedway championships, is back for a full-time run at the CWS title with her family-owned Chicko Motorports team.
Rounding out the top five in the current standings is another driver who has had a great deal of success at Placerville and in the CWS campaigns, Princeton’s “Primetime” Mason Moore. A former CWS Rookie of the Year, Moore is one of a few elite drivers who has won the Mark Forni Classic at Placerville Speedway. Now driving for Harley Van Dyke’s No. 5h team, Moore is tied with Visalia’s Steven Tiner in fifth. Jeremy Burt of Grass Valley is next, followed by former series champion Mike Henry of Citrus Heights and Rio Linda’s Cody Lamar. Chase Johnson and Mike Benson round out the top 10.
More than 30 of California’s top 360 sprint car teams are expected to converge at Placerville Speedway tonight along with the Hunt Magnetos Wingless Sprint Car Series in its second appearance of the year.
This exciting tri track series features the best of the west in wingless sprint car competition racing at Placerville, Marysville Raceway Park and Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico through the season for the regional championship. In their last appearance here, veteran driver and racing instructor, Jimmy Sills of Elverta, drove to victory at the track he called home before making auto racing his lifelong profession. He is expected to return along with 20 or more competitors.
In addition to Red Hawk Casino and Hoosier Racing Tires, the 2011 Placerville Speedway season is presented in part by the Mountain Democrat, Riebes Auto Parts, Pepsi Co. and Rockstar. Additional promotional consideration is provided by Arnolds for Awards, the Paint Spot, ADCO Driveline, Dunn Consulting and Roger Miller Concrete.
The front gates open at 5 p.m. An early arrival is suggested as the season opener routinely attracts a standing room only crowd. Adult tickets are $16, seniors are $14, juniors, $12, and children are $6.
For more information on this event and Placerville Speedway visit placervillespeedway.com, civilwarsprints.com or call the track office at 916- 783-3478.