Decaires, Stone, Murphy fend off on track fireworks to score big July Fourth victories
PLACERVILLE CA (7-4-15) - Saturday night saw a sold out grandstand Saturday with one of the largest crowd’s in several years for the annual Fourth of July Spectacular. This annual night of racing lived up to its name this year with one of the best racing surfaces the holiday event has seen and a new face joined the list feature event winners, celebrating with two repeat winners before the ecstatic crowd.
Defending champion Greg DeCaires of Elk Grove drove to his fifth win of the season in the Sprint Car division while Russell Murphy of Placerville scored his second win of the year in Pure Stocks. Joining the repeat winners was Folsom’s Dominic Stone who drove his first career win in the Limited Late Model division.
In the Domco Plumbing Sprint Car Division, Matt Peterson powered into the lead at the green that was quickly followed by a red flag when Placerville’s Andy Greg lost a large amount of fuel on the backstretch. Jake Morgan and CJ Humphreys drove into the spill, igniting much of the backstretch on fire and engulfing Humphreys car before he swerved up the backstretch wall and rolled over with impaired vision. Nobody was injured in the bizarre incident that ended both Humphreys and Gregg’s night early.
Once restarted, Peterson out powered second place starter Justin Bradway into the lead. Chase Majdic of Redding overtook Bradway for the second position with one lap complete before DeCaires muscled his way up from the eighth place starting position into second place to pursue Peterson for the lead. With five laps down, Peterson was holding a distant lead when he spun in turns one and two to draw a yellow as DeCaires muscled into the lead he would never relinquish.
Once the race restarted, DeCaires muscled out in front of the field as Chase Majdic and Ryan Bernal of Hollister dueled for the second position. With ten laps complete, DeCaires worked his way into lapped traffic with a quarter-lap lead over the field until a restart gathered the field with with 12 laps complete. Holding the top spot for the remainder of the race, DeCaires went on to win over Majdic who held off the challenges of Bernal to the finish line over Justin Sanders of Prunedale and Fremont’s Shane Golobic.
“This race is about the fans here tonight, it’s something all of us look forward to winning and it never changes. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first or your third, this crown here for the Fourth of July is amazing and I want to thank all of them for coming out here to celebrate the Fourth of July,” said DeCaires. “Tonight we came here with a take no prisoners approach, we knew we would have some tough competition so we gave it all we had and here we are. I can’t thank all my sponsors and car owners Dale and Tara Miller enough for all they do for this race team.”
Limited Late Model Win Long Awaited by Stone
In the Limited Late Model feature, Stone muscled into the lead from the second place starting positions and took charge of the 14 car field. With three laps complete a yellow flag delayed the race for a pair of laps. On the restart, Jeff Olshowka moved in to challenge Stone for the lead with Tyler Lightfoot in tow and Ray Trimble working to get into podium contention.
After a restart at the 8 lap mark, Stone powered ahead while Trimble and Olshowka dueled for second place until the 10th lap when Olshowka parked on the infield berm in turns one and two. Through a series of yellow flags, Stone maintained his healthy lead. On lap 12 former champion Tom Tilford of Citrus Heights moved into second place with Lightfoot in his wake. At the line Stone captured his first Late Model victory over Tilford, Wayne Trimble of Auburn, Lightfoot and Ken Micheli of Live Oak.
This is has been a long time coming, “ said Stone. A sponsor of the track this season and multiple drivers, Stone has been in victory lane many times, but Saturday was the first time as a Late Model winner rather than a supporter. “It’s nice to be here for a win myself for a change rather than one of my driver’s that I have been here taking pictures with. I just have to thank so many people for their help and support in this. We’ve had a couple wins when I raced in the Pure Stocks but the Late Model win is something I’ve been wanting a long time, this is special.”
Fourth of July win a longtime dream for Murphy
In the Pure Stocks, Russell Murphy took the lead of the event after a pair of yellow flags delayed the opening two laps. Murphy stretched his lead to several car lengths long before the event reached the halfway point. Murphy worked his way into lapped traffic ahead of second place runner Scott Grunert of Woodland and Dan Jinkerson.
On lap 11 the race underwent a red flag when Placerville’s Jeff Gavard climbed the backstretch wall and went upside down. Gavard was uninjured in the incident but retired for the night due to damage. When the race restarted Murphy muscled to the front and worked his way to a distant lead. At the finish line Murphy was followed by Grunert, Jinkerson and Matt Tilford of Citrus Heights.
“When it comes to racing here at Placerville, this is the race you want to win, the Fourth of July,” said Murphy. “This is it, this is the biggest race with the biggest crowd and I am out here driving with the best talent there is. Right now this the highlight of my racing career right here.”
Racing will resume at Placerville Speedway next Saturday with Championship Point Racing. Gates will open at 5 p.m. with qualifying at 6:30. For further information visit www.placervillespeedway.com.
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