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410 sprints, BCRA Midgets form strong roster at Placerville Saturday

By Bill Sullivan, Handy Racing Promotions Media Relations, image courtesy of Steve’s Racing Photo

PLACERVILLE, CA – Championship auto racing returns to the El Dorado County Fairgrounds this Saturday night with two of the sport’s most well reputed racing divisions. The fire breathing 410 sprint cars of the Golden State Challenge Series will share the spotlight with the mighty midgets of the Bay Cities Racing Association for an open wheel extravaganza featuring a field of drivers from young guns to well respected veterans.

In addition to the racing action this Saturday night, a pair of special events will take place throughout the night. The first will help a local resident in need with a driver helmet pass following the National Anthem. The second will honor one of El Dorado County’s fallen soldiers with a special infield presentation.

Following opening ceremonies on Saturday night, the drivers of the Golden State Challenge Series will walk into the grandstands with open helmets to collect for a friend in need. Placerville resident Scott Ragan has undergone a series of surgeries since the beginning of 2010 to remove a brain tumor. At the age of 31 with a family to support, Ragan has been unable to return to work at Doug Veerkamp Engineering and much of the family’s medical benefits have been exhausted.

In this event coordinated by director of competition Mike Andreeta, the racing community is sure to come together to help of their true friends. Ragan and his family have been longtime supporters of Placerville Speedway and Veerkamp has been a phone call away for decades when the track is in need of assistance with heavy equipment not to mention his continued title sponsorship of the annual Mark Forni Classic race. Ragan and his family will be in attendance Saturday night. Additional details on the additional special presentation were unavailable at press time and will be detailed at the event.

Entering Saturday night, Jonathan Allard of Chico continues to lead the point standings in the traveling Golden State Challenge Sprint Car Series. Allard has scored an outstanding five victories in 2010 and now sits 22-points ahead of 13-time King of California Champion Brent Kaeding of Campbell. Sitting third in the standings is the 2009 series rookie of the year Kyle Larson of Elk Grove who is 31-points out of the lead. Evan Suggs of Scotts Valley is in fourth place over Oregon’s Zach Zimmerly and Penngrove’s Alissa Geving.

Rounding out the top ten in this traveling series is former King of California Champion Jason Statler of Grass Valley. Matthew Davis of American Canyon is in the 8th spot over Elk Grove’s Bobby McMahan and Bud Kaeding of Campbell.

Saturday’s event marks the 13th round of the 25 race Golden State Challenge Series and is the final event prior to the kick of Western Speedweek next weekend at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico followed by events at Southern Oregon Speedway, Cottage Grove Speedway and Willamette Speedway in Lebanon. It’s expected this Saturday’s event will bring some of the drivers from the Pacific Northwest as they prepare for the road to the June 17-19 Dirt Cup the following week.

As the BCRA Midgets make their return Saturday night look for Nick Foster Jr. to defend his previous season win at Placerville. Matt Streeter is expected to return along with Pete Davis, Scott Pierovich, Bill Lindsey and Scott Nail to name a few.

Saturday night will also mark the return of former longtime Placerville resident Jimmy Sills will return his home clay aboard Dave Thurston’s midget. For Sills, racing has been a lifelong career with many venues but Placerville is always a special track to return to.

“I’ve been to a lot of tracks and we all have our favorites,” said Sills. “I always look forward to coming back to Placerville. It’s where I lived for many years, it’s a special place.”

The grandstands to Placerville Speedway will open at 5 p.m. on Saturday night. All seats at the speedway are general admission and no reserved seats are permitted. Adult tickets are $17, Juniors are $12, Children are $5. Five and under are admitted for free. All seats at Placerville Speedway are general admission and no reserved seats are permitted prior to opening. For complete point standings and additional information on Saturday’s event check out www.goldenstatechallengeseries.com or call the track business office at (916) 969-7484.