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Phillips masters tricky Placerville track to win July Fourth Spectacular

By Bill Sullivan, Handy Racing Promotions Media Relations

PLACERVILLE, CA – Each year it packs the biggest crowd into the grandstands at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds for the annual Fourth of July Spectacular. It’s one of the trickiest tracks to race on due to the early start time and the blistering heat. Sunday night was no exception at Placerville Speedway and Jeremy Phillips of Arboga became the newest face to master the one track that requires the utmost finesse.

Phillips led every lap of the winged sprint car feature event on Sunday night to drive his way to his first point race victory of the year and his second overall win of the season. Earlier this year Phillips won a Civil War Series event at Placerville Speedway.

“We usually don’t do well at all on a dry slick track, it’s one of our biggest struggles,” said Phillips. “I guess we figured it out because when it comes to dry slick this track did it tonight in a big way. I have to thank my crew for their work setting up the car. I was on the edge all night but they had it right where it needed to be. This is great to win in front of a crowd like this here.”

Phillips started on the pole of the feature event and pulled ahead of the pack on the slippery track surface at the waving of the green flag. Phillips challengers were Sacramento’s Mike Henry and Placerville’s own Jimmy Trulli . After trading the second position back and forth several times, Trulli finished in second behing Phillips at the finish line over Henry. Andy Forsberg of Auburn finished fourth over Placerville’s Scott Russell who drove from 7th to fifth.

In the Pure Stock division on Saturday night, 2009 Placerville Speedway track champion Tom Tilford made his first start of the season. Tilford started in the seventh position and within two laps was already into the top two positions. After a hard fought battle with early leader Michelle McClure of Sacramento, Tilford overtook the lead ojn the sixth lap of the race and never looked back.

“It’s always special to come back to this place on the Fourth of July,” said Tilford, who has been busy with his newest addition to the family and a busy work schedule. “I have to thank everyone for their help getting the car ready, I still didn’t have a transmission but my brother Matt really came through and helped me out. I’m not sure when I’ll be back just yet but I know we will always return on the Fourth of July.”

Tilford was followed at the finish line by McClure, point leader Chris Curtiss of Placerville, John Durrett of Pollock Pines and Jared Vilt of Cameron Park.

In the Dirt Solutions Limited Late Models, point leader Dan Brown Jr. of Grass Valley recovered from an engine loss one week ago to drove his way to his third season victory and his second July Fourth win of his career.

“We had a long that’s for sure,” said Brown. “I have to thank my Mom and Dad and sponsors for all their help and support his past week. I wasn’t sure we were going to get it fixed in time and with all their help we did. I really have to thank my wife too. She stayed home with the kids during the week while I went to the shop and worked on the car all week.”

Brown was followed across the line by second place starter Tom Arbogast of Auburn, Matt Davis of Auburn, Les Friend of Galt and Jay Norton of Shingle Springs.

Racing returns to Placerville Speedway this Saturday night with the Red Hawk Casino Championship Series. Winged Sprint Cars, Limited Late Models, Pure Stocks and Dwarf Cars will form the race card. For further information visit www.placervillespeedway.com.