From Bill Sullivan, Handy Racing Promotions Media Relations
PLACERVILLE, CA – For the last several months, Auburn’s Andy Forsberg has joined with many of his fans and colleagues and asked himself the question “Will I ever win again at Placerville Speedway?” Following a long dry spell at the track where he owns the point lead, Forsberg finally got answer Saturday night and celebrated a victory in the 11th round of the Red Hawk Casino Championship Series presented by Hoosier Tires, Coors Light, Pepsi Cola and Rebies Auto Parts.
“Oh my God, it’s a miracle we won a feature event at Placerville, I got the damn monkey off my back,” said Forsberg, driver of the Brian Cannon Motorsports #47 that carries the title sponsorship of Autism Awareness and Coors Light. “This season has been a real eye opener for us, that’s for sure. I was use to winning at this place week after week and things have really changed. We could come out here and drive from ninth to second and could never get farther than that. I was really beginning to think I wasn’t going to win again.”
Forsberg started the 25-lap feature event in the third position behind the front row of Mason Moore of Princeton and Chad Compton of Fair Oaks. Shortly after the opening green flag, Placerville’s winningest active driver worked his way around Compton for second and set his sights on Moore for the lead position. On many occasions this season Forsberg has led a feature event only to have fate take him away.
“Mason was having a really good run and I knew I had to get around him early before we got into more lapped traffic,” said Forsberg. “I wasn’t sure about it because every time I have taken the lead at this place this season something has gone wrong. I’ve always felt really safe once I’m in front but lately it’s been pretty darn stressful because I have just been terrible up there.”
Saturday night Forsberg was back to his winning form. He drove to the high side of turns three and four and muscled around Moore for the lead. Once in front he endured a number of caution periods that delayed the race for a series of accidents. One included a collision between Justin Johnson of Shingle Springs and Elk Grove’s Billy Strange and Scott Hall of Lincoln. John went upside down without injury. The more serious incident came late in the race when Arabia’s Jeremy Phillips and John Gaston of Phoenix, Arizona came together in turn three and four. The collision send Gaston’s Kronik Energy drink into the turn four catch fence, requiring a length delay in the program for safety crews to clean up the incident.
“The caution flags were killing me out there,” it was just another chance for something to go wrong,” joked Forsberg. “Hopefully we can carry this momentum into next week and take home $5000. I have to thank all my fans for their support, especially my number one fan that’s standing up there, Scott Van Den Broeke. Scott has Autism and he comes to every single race and cheers for this Autism Awareness, Coors Light #47 and that’s what this is all about.”
Forsberg was followed across the line by Moore who made a late charge in the race and closed to within a car length of Forsberg. Placerville’s Scott Russell had a strong night with a third place finish followed by Shane Golobic of Fremont who was undoubtedly the McDonald’s Hard Charger of the night driving from 12th place into fourth. Billy Butler wounded out the top five.
In the Dirt Solutions Limited Late Model division, Thomas Arbogast of Auburn drove to his second win of the year. After a series of mechanical woes that have set him back in the quest for the 2010 Red Hawk Casino Championship, Arbogast jumped into a lead he would never relinquish Saturday night.
Throughout the 15-lap feature event, Arbogast was challenged by two time feature winner Matt Davis of Auburn and point leader Dan Brown Jr. from Grassy Valley. The trio of seasoned winners raced side by side one of the year’s closest races for this development division.
At the finish line Arbogast was followed by Davis, Brown. Jay Norton of Shingle Springs was fourth followed by Doug Grandboise of Jackson. Next week Arbogast returns in search of heavy payday for the Forni Classic.
“We’ve had our share of hardships this year but tonight we overcame them all,” said Arbogast. “I have to thank everyone that has helped me and supported this team. I hope the fans liked that race tonight. I had no idea what was going on behind me during the race but I heard it was exciting and that’s how this division can be. I thank Alan Handy for supporting this class and I hope he will continue to do so because it will grow and produce some great racing.”
In the Pure Stock division, the name Tilford returned to victory lane. This week it was Matt Tilford of Citrus Heights that drove to victory lane in the car owned by his brother Tom, last week’s feature event winner. For Tilford it was his first start in two and a half years.
“It’s been a long time since I was behind the wheel but it felt just fine again, I loved it,” said Tilford, the 2008 Rookie of the Year. “I want to thank by my brother for putting me in the seat tonight. Next week I guess it’s going to be a coin toss who drives it. Maybe we will get Jon back out here and see if we can make it three in a row for the Tilfords”
Tilford started the feature event deep in the field in the 10th place position. After working his way through the traffic he raced a series of intense circuits with early leader Keith Fournier of Placerville. The two drivers traded paint a few different times and Tilford took the lead on lap 11 that he would maintain for the rest of the event.
At the finish line Tilford was followed by John Durrett of Pollock Pines who started ninth, Michelle McClure of Grass Valley who started in fourth followed by Chris Curtiss of Placerville and Sacramento’s Eddie Gardner.
The three regular divisions were joined on Saturday night by the Nor Cal Dwarf Cars. In this class, Patrick Weger of Grass Valley came out with the upper hand after a high octane 20-lap feature event. Weger overtook early race leader Mike Grenert late in the race. The two veteran drivers dueled for the position back and forth all the way until the checkered flag. Weger was followed by Grenert, Ryan Winter, Brian Quilty and Doug Martin.
“That was a pretty exciting race tonight, it’s always fun when we come to Placerville,” said Weger. “I want to thank all my sponsors for all their help each week, I couldn’t do this without them at all.”
Racing returns to Placerville Speedway this Saturday night in grand fashion with the Red Hawk Casino Championship Series continuing with the fourth Annual Mark Forni Classic. Winged Sprint Cars will compete for $5000 for this invitational event that features a roster of 28 qualified drivers. Limited Late Model and Pure Stocks will also be competing for an inflated bounty on the special night. For additional information on this event visit www.placervillespeedway.com.