By Bill Sullivan- Placerville Speedway
PLACERVILLE, CA – A jubilant crowd packed the grandstands at Placerville Speedway for Mountain Democrat Kids Night at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds and cheered on Prunedale’s Justin Sanders at the end of the night as he celebrated a hard earned fourth victory in the Sprint Car feature event.
Sanders was joined in the victory celebrations with Ryan McDaniel of Olivehurst who won his fifth Limited Late Model feature. Matt Tilford of Citrus Heights added another Kid’s Night win to his resume in Pure Stocks while Shawn Jones won the Nor Cal Dwarf Car feature event.
Saturday’s race saw hundreds of area youngster pack the grandstands for the annual Mountain Democrat Kid’s Night event. On this special night youngsters race their bicycles at intermission for trophies and ribbons with the help of the drivers. This particular edition of this community classic brought the community together as the event raised funds for the Boys and Girls Club of El Dorado County and in the end, multiple brand new bicycles were presented in a free raffle courtesy of The Mountain Democrat and Lightfoot Automotive.
“This event is great, it’s awesome that the track continues to carry on this tradition for the kids each year,” said Pure Stock winner Matt Tilford. “It gives kids the thrill of competing and one day many of them may come out here like we do and become the drivers of the future. It’s a lot of fun to be part of.”
Jon Meyer of the Mountain Democrat attended Saturday’s event to assist with the festivities. Meyer received a standing ovation after addressing the crowd over the infield microphone and explaining how strongly the Mountain Democrat supports the racing community in El Dorado County.
Sean McCartney, Executive Director of the Western Slope Boys and Girls Club participated in the event to give it an entertaining touch. McCartney called the race action for the bike races and thanked the fans and speedway promoters for all their ongoing efforts to benefit the organization through this race season.
“I can’t thank Placerville Speedway enough for what they have been doing for the Boys and Girls Club this season,” said McCartney. “It’s great to be a part of this event here tonight along with my staff and 100 percent of our proceeds collected from here is helping us construct a new facility to better serve El Dorado County. We appreciate everyone that has been involved with this.”
In the Sprint Car feature event, Sanders started on the outside of the second row and moved into the third position at the opening green flag Saturday night to challenge front row starters Andy Forsberg of Auburn and point leader Greg DeCaires of Elk Grove. After racing in the veteran’s wake for the first 7 laps, Sanders made what can only be described as a hale mary pass on the 8th lap when he moved his Rudy Warrington owned #18 to the extreme high line and passed both DeCaires and Forsberg for the lead as they exited the fourth turn.
Forsberg fought back with Sanders in the immediate laps after the pass but the Prunedale fast man could not be caught as he drove to his fourth victory here. Forsberg finished in second at the checkered flag. Placerville’s Andy Gregg, who recently returned to the state after becoming the 2014 Knoxville Nationals Rookie of the Year, muscled his way to the third place position at the line over DeCaires and Colby Wiesz.
In the Pure Stock division, Tilford took the lead from pole sitter Danielle Clauson in the opening lap and maintained his lead all the way to the finish line. Tim Mack of Diamond Springs finished in second place over point leader Scott Grunert of Woodland Eddie Gardner of Sacramento.
In the Limited Late Models, Ryan McDaniel of Olivehurst lead from the green flag to the checkered. McDaniel started on the pole and never relinquished the lead for the entire 20 laps. McDaniel was trailed by Marysville’s Jeff Olshowka, point leader Matt Micheli of Live Oak, Ray Trimble of Auburn and Tom Tilford of Citrus Heights.
The three track regulars werejoined by the Nor Cal Dwarf Cars. Mike Grenert of Travis AFB took the initial lead in this 20-lap feature before Jones powered into the lead with high side pass in turns three and four to take a position he would never relinquish. At the line Jones was followed by Ryan Winter, Grenert, Kevin Bender and Chuck Conover.
Following Saturday’s racing, Placerville Speedway and El Dorado County Fairgrounds staff was working through the night to prepare for Sunday’s 41st Annual Hangtown Destruction Derby presented by the Placerville Police Officers Association. Gates open at Sunday at 11 a.m with the first green flag at 1 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children and seniors. For more information visit www.hangtowncops.org.
Placerville Speedway’s 2014 championship season is sponsored by the new Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort who invites the racing community to their newly remodeled 257,000 square foot entertainment facility just south of El Dorado County. Additional sponsorship provided by Hoosier Tires, Coors Light, The Mountain Democrat, Riebes Auto Parts, ADCO Driveline, the Paint Spot and more.
Catch the highlights and hear what the drivers have to say about Saturday night’s race on local El Dorado County Television. Tune into Foothill 7 TV on Comcast or on the web at www.foothill7tv.com to catch the weekly episode of “Foothill Thunder” presented by Thompsons’s Toyota.
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An exciting 2014 at Placerville Speedway is set to kick off on Saturday, April 5th. See Full Schedule