By Bill Sullivan Handy Racing Promotions Inc. Media Relations
PLACERVILLE, CA (8-7-10) – When it comes to racing on the high banks of Placerville Speedway, it doesn’t matter what Billy Wallace sits behind the wheel of, he is simply a master of the foothill clay. Saturday night the former two time winged sprint car champion from Grass Valley illustrated just that as he muscled his way to victory in the Joe Hunt Magnetos Wingless Shootout Series here.
Wallace celebrated in victory lane during Saturday night’s 14th Red Hawk Casino Championship point race presented by Hoosier Tires, Reibes Auto Parts, Coors Light and Pepsi Cola after an evening that was undoubtedly chalked up as a hot August night. A record 80 cars packed in the pit area and numerous wild crashes brought the fans to their feet throughout the night.
Joining Wallace on the front stretch was Gregg Bragg of Visalia who won the feature event in the Bay Cities Racing Association Midget feature along with Woodland’s Pete Paulson who claimed his first win in the Midget Lite class. Mike Grenert of Travis Air Force Base claimed the win in the visiting Nor Cal Dwarf Cars.
Wallace started Saturday’s feature event in the sixth position and advanced before one lap even took place when a huge crash broke out on the backstretch of the speedway, sending Oroville’s Ron Laplant upside down in a violent rollover that collected a number of cars and drew a red flag.
Once restarted, Arvo Backholm of Santa Rosa took the early lead. Wallace moved into the second position and went to the outside of the second turn to steal the lead position he would never relinquish. When the checkered flag flew at the 20-lap mark Wallace picked up his second Placerville win of the year followed by Johnny Reeves, Terry Schank Jr., Backholm and Taylor Simas.
In the visiting Bay Cities Racing Association Midget Class, a healthy field of 26 competitors packed Placerville’s pit area Saturday night from all areas of California and the Pacific Northwest. In this division, multiple crashes drew caution flags throughout the race and kept track safety workers hard at work to keep the program moving.
For much of the feature event, Randi Pankratz of Atascadaro led the majority of the laps. Pankratz traded the top position several times with Bragg throughout the caution plagued race. On the 25th lap, Bragg finally made the pass that stuck when he went to the low side of turns three and four and slipped beneath the second generation lady racer for good.
On the second to last lap of the event, Evan Margeson of Tacoma, Washington slammed into the flagstand and took flight down the front stretch. In one of the wildest flips of the night that ultimately called a conclusion to the evening at the 11 o’clock hour and the need for excessive clean up of debris on the track surface. Bragg claimed the win over Jake Swanson of Anaheim, Matt Streeter of Galt and Shannon McQueen of Bakersfield.
The Midget Lite feature event had it’s share of mayhem as well Saturday night. In the end it was special night for winner Paulson and his locally based Red Hawk Casino race team that is owned by Tony Fonseca as they drove to their first victory together at the track that supported by the lavish casino as well.
Paulson took the lead at the waving of the green flag and was in a wire to wire race with second place runner Brian Corso. The close race for the lead turned ugly when Corso dove to the inside of the second turn to tray and pass for the lead and the two leader’s tire’s slightly touched, sending Corso into a violent rollover off the second turn.
Once restarted, Paulson drove to the victory where he was followed by Scott Kinney, Jason Sneep, Zach Beard and Cory Green. Saturday night several accident victims were checked out at Marshall Hospital and all were reportedly ok and released.
The one division that kept everyone on their wheels Saturday night was the visiting Nor Cal Dwarf Cars. As always, this traveling class produced an action packed night of racing with a battle for the lead that resulted in a familier face in victory lane.
Grenert started 7th on Saturday night and worked his way into the top three in the early laps of the event. The early lead went to Russ Sieber who fell victim to Grenert on the 15th lap as the former division champion took the lead on the backstretch. Once in front Grenert was pressured by Kevin Bender for the lead position all the way to the checkered flag. At the finish it was Grenert followed by Bender, Ryan Winter, Patrick Weger and Shawn Salisbury.
This week is a big week of action at Placerville Speedway as the 2010 Red Hawk Casino Championship season winds down to its final weeks. Saturday night the Mountain Democrat presents “Kids Night” at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds. On this night all youngsters 11 and under will be admitted for free to the races and will receive free popcorn and soda compliments of Handy Racing Promotions. The event is a big night for the little ones as they have the opportunity to race their bicycles on the race track during intermission with the guidance of the drivers and their heroes. The top three finishers of each age group are presented with trophies, all competitors are presented with participate ribbons and at intermission a new BMX Bicycle will be raffled off to a lucky kid courtesy of the Mountain Democrat.
On Sunday, Placerville Speedway will host the 37th annual Hangtown Destruction Derby presented by the Placerville Police officers Association. On Saturday night, all kids at Placerville Speedway will receive a complimentary ticket to Sunday’s destruction derby as well. It’s a big weekend for the little ones at Placerville Speedway this weekend and a ideal time to bring the family to the speedway for two big days of action.
On Saturday night the gates will open at 5 p.m. Adult tickets will be $12, juniors and seniors $10 and those 11 and under will be admitted for free…yes kids are free. The event will feature the return of the winged sprints cars along with the Dirt Solutions Late Models and the Pure Stocks. For further information visit www.placervillespeedway.com
On Sunday the gates will open at 1 p.m. for the Hangtown Destruction Derby with the first heat kicking off at 3 p.m. For complete information on this event visit www.hangtowncops.org.