By Gary Thomas
Placerville, CA – July 9, 2019…A busy month of July continues at the Placerville Speedway this Saturday night with the El Dorado County Fairgrounds quarter-mile playing host to the 16th annual Tribute to Al Hinds.
On the card this Saturday July 13th are the Thompson’s Family of Dealerships Winged 360 Sprint Cars, Ltd. Late Models, the Jay’s Mobile Welding & Fabricating Pure Stocks and the visiting Nor-Cal Dwarf Car Association. Live music will be performed from 4pm-6pm in the grandstand midway by the band Mixup, while Coors Light Happy Hour will also occur at that same time.
Al Hinds was the second promoter of Placerville Speedway. He took operation of the track with business partner Richard Hirst from its founder, Bruno Romani, in 1968, three years after it first opened when the facility was built around an existing community football field.
Longtime track Announcer and Publicist Bill Sullivan, who is now the Associate Publisher of Gold Country Media said of Al Hinds,
“I knew Al Hinds growing up, he was a good friend of my Dad’s, they both were local businessmen too. Later in life when I started working for the newspaper and then the speedway I really learned all the great things Al did for the sport back in the day and all the way up to his passing, he was always the first one to the track and the first one to give you advice, if you were a driver, a race promoter or a young announcer who thought you knew it all. He enjoyed sharing jokes but most of all he enjoyed sharing his knowledge of the sport and even though times and technology had changed, Al was just about always correct when it came to topics in the sport.”
The operator of a local machine shop by trade, Hinds loved the community where he lived. In his final years of life, he enjoyed sitting with some of his best friends every night in the grandstands at Placerville Speedway and loved watching young talent make a name for themselves in the sport.
Sullivan continued, “When I learned of Al’s passing, it was a pretty sad day for many of us. It made perfect sense that we had to do something in the man’s honor. I remember making a phone call to Mike Dent who worked at a local auto dealership, Mike connected us with his boss Tony Montalbano who agreed to fund the event with bonus money and then boom, a special race was born and here we are 16 years later.”
This Saturday Sullivan will attend the event to help honor Hinds, as he also gets ready to make a return on the mic for the August 10th “Legends Night” event. “There’s always something special about this race at Placerville, Al touched so many lives with his wisdom and contagious smile and sense of humor so it’s always rewarding to remember him. My trips back to Placerville have been far and few over the last few years due to my career that has long hours and travel. But I’m looking forward to coming back this Saturday night to the house that Al built.”
Auburn’s Andy Forsberg continues to lead the way in his bid for a seventh Thompson’s Family of Dealerships Winged 360 Sprint Car title. “Mr. Excitement” has claimed a trio of victories and used a runner up finish last Thursday to give himself a 36-point cushion back to second place Kalib Henry, who continues to search for that first career Placerville Speedway victory. Veteran Bobby McMahan has returned to the track this season and finds himself third in the standings, with Hollister’s Tony Gualda and 16-year-old Jodie Robinson round out the top-five.
On the Ltd. Late Model side of things Ray Trimble sits out front by 21-markers over Tyler Lightfoot. Trimble has gathered three wins this season and will be gunning to add a fourth on Saturday at the Tribute to Al Hinds. Dan Brown Jr., Fourth of July winner Jay Norton and Ryan McDaniel complete the top-five. This Saturday the Ltd. Late Models will also be racing for extra money with the feature awarding $600-to-win, while second place will pay $325 and third will receive $225.
With the Jay’s Mobile Welding & Fabricating Pure Stocks it’s former track champion Nick Baldwin who leads the way, now with a 33-point lead over Kevin Jinkerson. The Pure Stocks will have three straight Saturday’s of competition, making it a crucial stretch in the battle for the championship. Jason Palmer, Mel Byers and Scott Grunert sit third through fifth respectively.
The popular Nor-Cal Dwarf Car Association will make their second Placerville Speedway visit of the year on Saturday. During their first appearance it was the ultra-talented Ryan Winter who picked up the victory over Ben Wiesz, Mike Grenert, Josh Wiesz and Kevin Bender. The colorful coupes always get around the red clay in solid fashion and bring great car counts each time.
Adult tickets this Saturday will cost $15, while seniors 62 plus, military and juniors 12-17 will be $13, children 6-11 are $6, kids five and under are free! Tickets can also be purchased online by clicking https://www.universe.com/events/2019-placerville-speedway-championship-pts-race-10-al-hinds-tribute-tickets-placerville-Q3X9WF
The pit gate at Placerville Speedway will open at 2pm, with the front grandstand gate opening at 3pm. A happy hour is offered from 4pm-6pm in the grandstands featuring discounted Coors Light and Coors Original at the beer stand. Drivers meeting will be held at 4:30pm, with cars on track for wheel packing at 5. Hot laps, ADCO Driveline & Custom Exhaust qualifying and racing will follow. Live music will be performed from 4-6 in the grandstand midway.
The Placerville Speedway is located on the beautiful 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. For more information on the Placerville Speedway log onto http://www.placervillespeedway.com
The Placerville Speedway would like to thank all of its partners for their support this season including Red Hawk Casino, Hoosier Racing Tires, Coors Light, Thompson’s Family of Dealerships, Jay’s Mobile Welding & Fabricating, Absolute Auto Glass, ADCO Driveline and Custom Exhaust, Bear Republic Brewing, Capitol ACE Hardware, Carbon Copy, Carol Russell Bookkeeping Service, Crystal Basin Construction, Doug Veerkamp General Engineering Inc., El Dorado Hills Landscaping, Hangtown Hardwood Floors, High Sierra Industries, Les Schwab Tires, the Paint Spot, The Critter Getter, Mountain Democrat, Windfall Media, Arnolds for Awards, Sierra Child and Family Services, Sierra Landscape Materials, Sierra Arbor Worx, SuperClean Xpress Car Wash and Taylor Hirst, Navigate Realty.
Join over 11,000 followers of Placerville Speedway on Facebook, where you can keep abreast of updates for the 2019 season. You can also find Placerville Speedway on Twitter by following us https://twitter.com/pvillespeedway – In addition, Placerville Speedway is also on Instagram. Please follow us @PvilleSpeedway.
The quarter-mile clay oval is operated by Russell Motorsports Incorporated, which can be reached at the track business office at 530-344-7592. Contact Kami Arnold or Scott Russell directly for 2019 sponsorship opportunities at the office.