Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Forsberg drives to long overdue victory

Speedway 622

DEFENDING CHAMPION Andy Forsberg, No. x1, battles Placerville's James Sweeney as he drives to his first season victory Saturday night at Placerville Speedway. Photo by Donna Peter

360 Sprints

1 – Andy Forsberg
2 – Mike Benson
3 – Sean Becker
4 – Greg DeCaires
5 – Jimmy Trulli

Ltd. Late Models

1 – Matt Davis
2 – Jason Englund
3 – Tom Tilford
4 – Matt Micheli
5 – Dan Brown Jr.

Pure Stocks

1 – Les Friend
2 – Jason Leonard
3 – Scott Grunert
4 – Tom Brady
5 – Tim Mack

Wingless Sprints

1 – Geoff Ensign
2 – Colton Slack
3 – Scott Hall
4 – Matt Streeter
5 – Terry Schank Jr.

In six starts in the championship season, defending track champion Andy Forsberg had not won a single race at the track he has called home for his entire racing career. While the statistic was odd in nature for the driver they call Mr. Excitement, it was also extremely frustrating to the four-time champion and his historically dominant F&F Racing Team.

Saturday night, everything changed for Forsberg as the Red Hawk Casino-Hoosier Racing Tires-Coors Light season resumed at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds. Forsberg returned to his winning ways, outwitting early leader Jimmy Trulli of Placerville to take the checkered flag in a crowd-raising 25-lap feature event.

“I deserve this crowd booing at me lately, we have really been stinking it up so far this season,” said Forsberg. “But now, we’re back. We’re finally dialed in with this new car and have it figured out so hopefully we’ll be winning more of these. Come out here next Saturday for the King of the West Series because we’re putting a 410 motor in this baby and are going to give our best to win that.”

Forsberg started eighth in Saturday’s feature event and quickly moved into third at the opening green flag behind Trulli who took the lead from the pole and second place starter James Sweeney. With four laps complete, Forsberg moved into the second position in turn two and set his sights on Trulli. Trulli was commanding the lead but running the low sides of turns one and two and the high side of turns three and four, where Forsberg routinely drives.

It was on the 15th lap that Trulli bobbled on the high side of the fourth turn and allowed Forsberg to move in on his prey to take the lead. As Forsberg went to the front of the field, the top positions would shuffle in his wake. Third place starter Mike Benson of Calistoga powered back into the top three and Roseville’s Sean Becker, driving for Stephen Rhoads, advanced from 14th into fourth place at the finish. Trulli sliced and diced with the hungry top runners to maintain a fifth place finish at the flag.

Earlier in the night, Trulli won the Riebes Auto Parts Kids Dash and was joined in victory lane by a happy young lady. Forsberg picked up the $100 ADCO Driveline Fast Time Award.

In the Limited Late Model Division, Jason Englund took the initial lead of the 20-lap feature event point leader Tom Tilford of Citrus Heights, Matt Davis of Auburn in third along with Grass Valley’s Dan Brown Jr. and Live Oak’s Matt Micheli who was tied with Tilford for the lead entering the night.

With three laps complete, Davis moved into second place to pursue Englund who was aboard the locally owned John Hollow Horn Bear machine. The two front runners dueled for the position side-by-side for several laps until Davis was able to pulled ahead on the seventh lap and break away with a lead he would never relinquish.

In Pure Stock action, Les Friend of Galt added to his point lead with his fifth win of the year. Friend started on the outside of the front row aside pole sitter Jason Leonard of Elk Grove. Friend worked his way to a distant lead over Leonard.. At the finish line Friend was followed by Leonard, Scott Grunert of Woodland, Tom Grady of El Dorado and Tim Mack of El Dorado.

The three track regulars were joined Saturday by the Joe Hunt Magnetos Wingless Sprint Car Shoot Out Series. In this division, Sebastopol’s Geoff Ensign drove his way to victory lane. Matt Streeter started on the pole of the event with Ensign on the outside. Streeter took the lead at the start of the race until Ensign powered around the leader in the third and fourth turn before completion of the lap.

Once in front, Ensign dominated the event by running the bottom of the track while Streeter was working the highside trying to redeem his lead. In the waning laps, Colton Slack powered into the second position with Scott Hall in his wake. At the finish line, Ensign picked up his win over Slack, Hall, Streeter and Terry Schank Jr.

A big week of racing is ahead at Placerville Speedway. This Saturday the 410 Sprint Cars of the King of the West Sprint Car Series make their final appearance on the quarter-mile bullring. For complete information visit



Democrat Staff


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