"California Sprint Car
January 18th, 2013
American Legion Center,
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Gregg wins Civil War event over Midget winner Shane Golobic at Placerville
By Bill Sullivan, Placerville Speedway
PLACERVILLE, CA (6-1-13) - Before a capacity crowd in the grandstands at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds, Placerville's Andy Gregg drove his way to victory at Placerville Speedway Saturday night in the Hoosier Racing Tires Civil War Sprint Car Series event. Gregg shared victory lane with Fremont's Shane Golobic, winner of the USAC/BCRA Western Midget feature event.
Saturday's event was the fifth round of the traveling Civil War Sprint Car Series and the tour's first appearance at Placerville Speedway during the 2013 Red Hawk Casino-Hoosier Tires-Coors Light racing season. The win marked Gregg's first victory in the series and his third overall victory at Placerville this season.
Gregg started the 30-lap feature in the seventh position and wasted no time in working his way into the top three at the waving of the green flag where he began to mix it up with early race leader Justin Johnson of Shingle Springs, Greg DeCaires of Elk Grove and Sacramento's Billy Butler.
DeCaires and Johnson traded the top spot back and fourth for first few laps of the race. It was after a yellow flag with seven laps complete that Gregg made his move on the leaders and drove the #53 Coors Light-Guts Racing sprint car to the low groove of the dry slick track. As he drove to the inside of Johnson in the second turn the two drivers made contact and Gregg took the lead while Johnson fell back two positions and then suffered a flat tire
Once in front, Gregg was challenged for the remaining laps of the race by Fremont' Shane Golobic. Prior to the 30-lap sprint car feature, Golobic drove his way to victory in a caution plagued 30-lap Midget feature event and was attempting to become a duel winner Saturday night.
When the checkered flag waved it was Gregg picking up the win over Golobic. Roseville's Sean Becker came to life late in the race to pick up the third place finish after starting ninth in the event. Butler claimed fourth over Auburn's Andy Forsberg who rounded out the top five.
As the top three drivers pulled to the front of the grandstands at the conclusion of the race, Gregg parked himself further on the infield area and quietly unbelted himself from the cockpit and removed his helmet. The mood was not Gregg's typical jubilant celebration at his hometown track and the local favorite explained why that was so to the crowd from victory lane.
"I'm not celebrating this win here tonight because of the way I won it," said Gregg. "Justin (Johnson) and I were racing for the lead and I got into him over there and that was not my intention and I feel really bad about it. That's not how I want to win races, I know he's pretty upset with me and for good reason I would be too. I want to thank my crew and all my sponsors for the great car they give me, I think we had the car to win tonight and that wasn't the way to do it so we're not going to be celebrating this one like we normally do and I want to apologize to Justin and his team for that."
Golobic joined Gregg on the front stretch for his second place finish. After driver for well over 100 laps in combined caution laps and race laps in both divisions the young driver was visibly exhausted and suffering leg cramps as he stood on the front stretch to celebrate his second place finish as well as win in the midget feature.
"We gave it everything we had tonight and I am pretty worn out," said Golobic. "I want to thank these guys for putting me in these cars tonight. I thought maybe I was going to be able to win both here tonight but we just didn't have enough to catch up with Andy. In the midget feature I was lucky to get out in front early and stay out of trouble for that whole race and get the win."
In the midget feature, Golobic was followed across the line by Sean Dodenhoff, USAC point leader Ronnie Gardner. Matt Streeter finished in fourth over Jake Swanson.
Although he wasn't in the center of the podium, Becker was all smiles on the front stretch as well with his third place finish. For the last several weeks he and car owner Dan Monhoff have been struck with a series of tough luck and disappointing finishes.
"I am really happy to be here tonight, third place is great for me after all the trouble we've had recently," said Becker. "We keep having issues with our motor loading up and tonight it did it again. I leaned it out late in the race and I started to move up for once late in the race. Dan Monhoff and John Taylor put a great car underneath me and once I got the motor to run better we were on our way."
Following Saturday's event, the Civil War Series will now travel to King's Speedway in Hanford on June 15th. Next Saturday, championship point racing returns to Placerville Speedway in a big way as title sponsor Red Hawk Casino presents Placerville Speedway Day.
From 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Red Hawk Casino will be hosting a giant race car display in the covered main entrance of the casino and will be awarding the teams who register to participate complimentary lunch in the Waterfall Buffett. The event will offer autographs for fans and many goodies for the kids from the drivers as well as photographs. Live music will be performed by singer song writer Cynthia Renee and guitarist Chris Kawelo and the event is free to the public.Following the day of fun at Red Hawk, teams will return to Placerville Speedway for championship point racing featuring sprint cars, late models, pure stocks and midget lites. For more information on this watch www.placervillespeedway.com.