By Gary Thomas
Placerville, CA – April 24, 2012…The slimmest of margins separates the top-two drivers in the Cancen Oil KWS Series presented by Goodyear standings going into Saturday nights event at Placerville Speedway, as last week’s winner Jonathan Allard of Chico sits out front by one-marker over season-opening victor Tim Kaeding from San Jose.
Known for its steep banks, distinctive red clay and extremely close action, the Placerville Speedway is also known for having some of the most loyal and vocal fans seen in Northern California auto racing. The grandstand ambiance can often times be compared to a “college like atmosphere” as fans passionately root on their favorite drivers and have a fun time doing so.
“The fans at Placerville are always great and really get into the racing,” said King of the West Operations Manager George Hague. “They all have their local favorites and it’s a lot of fun to see so many people that love sprint car racing. The track itself is as action-packed as it gets. Any time you are turning low 10-second laps you know it’s going to be wild.”
KWS point leader Jonathan Allard has amassed an impressive string of consistency during 410 Sprint Car events at the Placerville Speedway over the years. “JA” has finished either first or second in ten of the last fourteen 410 races held at the high-banks aboard Morrie & Katie Williams’ No. 0 machine. Allard always seems to be a factor at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds facility and is sure to be in the thick of things on Saturday.
Tim Kaeding however, has also been strong in his career at the Placerville Speedway and will look for another win at the track on Saturday behind the wheel of Dennis & Teresa Roth’s No. 83 sprinter. “TK” won a couple of nail biting main events in 2010 with the Golden State 410 Series at P’ville and ended the season at the track last year in victory lane during the “Tribute to Al Hinds.”
There is a two-way tie for third in the KWS standings going into Placerville between Elk Grove’s Bobby McMahan and Scotts Valley’s Evan Suggs. McMahan began his sprint car career at the track 30-years ago by earning the 1982 Rookie of the Year award. The most recent 410 event at Placerville saw Suggs lead all but three-laps in the feature and this weekend he will look for his first ever win at the track.
Just three-markers behind that battle and in fifth is National Sprint Car Hall of Famer Brent Kaeding, who has raced to a number of victories in his career at the Placerville Speedway. “BK” will be gunning for his first traveling 410 series win since July of 2009 on Saturday in the famed Al’s Roofing Supply black No. 69 mount. A two-way tie for sixth in points is also seen between Australian native Peter Murphy and ’04 state champ Jason Statler.
Murphy has hooked up with Dalton’s Landscaping this year and it gave him the opportunity to make his return to 410 Sprint Car racing with the Cancen Oil KWS Series presented by Goodyear. Statler is back in 2012 with his familiar DF Rios Motorsports No. 00 sprinter and is another one that routinely runs well at the Placerville Speedway. “The Big Guy” captured a 410 win at the track in ’04.
Fremont’s Shane Golobic goes into Saturday ranking eighth in the KWS standings while driving the Joe VonSchriltz No. 121 sprint car. The San Jose State student spent time running weekly at the Placerville Speedway for car owner John Taylor a couple seasons back. Youngster Rico Abreu sits ninth in the points and will make his second career Placerville start on Saturday. Last September Abreu looked very solid in his debut on the red clay aboard the Abreu Vineyards No. 89.
Completing the top-10 in points is a tie between Placerville’s Andy Gregg and Loomis’ Kyle Hirst. Both drivers have been victorious in the past at Placerville Speedway and will be considered two of the favorites on Saturday.
Other drivers expected will include three-time Placerville track champion Doug Gandy, Fresno’s Craig Stidham, Sacramento’s Willie Croft, Redding’s Tyler Wolf, West Sacramento’s Cody Lamar, Fair Oaks Chad Compton, Auburn’s Richard Brace Jr., Laton’s Geoffrey Strole, Rio Vista’s Danielle Simpson and more.
Saturday’s pre-race autograph session when the front gate opens will include Andy Gregg, Doug Gandy and KWS Rookie of the Year contender Cody Lamar. The young driver of the Tri-C Manufacturing No. 3c mount is coming off his best career 410 Sprint Car finish in Chico this past Friday, where he brought home a third place effort.
The pit gate will open at 2pm on Saturday, the front gate opens at 5pm and cars will be hitting the track for wheel packing around 6pm, with qualifying at 6:30pm and racing around 7pm. Adult tickets on Saturday will cost $20, seniors will be $16, juniors $12 and children $6. All seating is general admission and fans are encouraged to get there early.
The Placerville Speedway is located on the El Dorado County Fairgrounds in Placerville, California. Take Hwy US-50 to Forni Road/Placerville Drive exit. Then go north on Placerville Drive to the Fairgrounds. The physical address is 100 Placerville Dr., Placerville, CA 95667. Track information can be found at http://www.placervillespeedway.com
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