By Gary Thomas
Placerville, CA – July 27, 2019…The 14th annual Mark Forni Classic came down to a late race restart on Saturday and during it Auburn’s Andy Forsberg slipped underneath San Jose’s Tim Kaeding, before driving away from the field to grab the $5,000 victory at Placerville Speedway.
Also picking up Forni Classic wins on Saturday night were Jay Norton with the Ltd. Late Models, Dan Jinkerson with the Jay’s Mobile Welding & Fabricating Pure Stocks and Brandon Leedy with the BCRA Midgets Lites.
The 25-lap Thompson’s Family of Dealerships Winged 360 Sprint Car feature started out with Sprint Car Challenge Tour point leader Tim Kaeding rocketing into the lead at the waving of the green flag. Mather’s Kalib Henry and Andy Forsberg quickly moved up to second and third before a yellow flag waved on lap six. A long green flag run was then seen where Kaeding had his way with things out front, but the racing behind him remained excellent with drivers fighting all over the speedway.
Henry and Forsberg battled hard for the runner up spot before Rio Linda’s Cody Lamar was able to make an impressive move to slice underneath both. Up front Kaeding was railing the high-side of the quarter-mile to perfection with Lamar being oh so patient down low. With lapped traffic there Lamar started to close in on the leader, but just as soon as that happened the yellow lights flashed on for a stalled car in turn two.
After getting back underway Forsberg slid under Lamar to grab second prior to another caution on lap 20. The final restart of the night saw Forsberg make a perfect corner down low to get the drive he needed off the second turn to snag the lead from Kaeding that he would never relinquish. The six-time track champion and current point leader kicked it into overdrive and crossed under the Ron Stahl checkered flag for the $5,000 triumph, matching Sean Becker for the most wins in Forni Classic history.
It marked Forsberg’s 64th career Placerville Speedway victory and sixth overall on the season.
Kaeding brought home a runner up finish at the line, with Elk Grove’s Bobby McMahan moving forward nicely to claim a third-place result for the second consecutive week. Henry and 15-year-old Blake Carrick rounded out the top-five. Carrick started from the front row, slipped back to around eighth and came back forward to record his best finish of the season. Completing the top-10 were Lamar, Visalia’s Steven Tiner, 16th starter Ryan Robinson of Foresthill, Hard Charger Award winner and 18th starter Cole Macedo of Lemoore and Placerville’s Shane Hopkins.
The 20-lap Ltd. Late Model main event started out with Jay Norton shooting into the lead with Tyler Lightfoot following along in toe. The duo ran closely together for several laps before Lightfoot had an issue in turn four to bring out a caution. This moved Wayne Trimble up to the second spot and he took a couple shots after going back green, but Norton was able to fend off every advance. Trimble kept him honest over the closing circuits but at the checkered it was Norton who tallied his second victory of the season.
Trimble crossed the stripe in second with Lightfoot making a nice recovery to earn a third-place finish, followed by Paul and Clark Gugliomoni. Championship night for the Ltd. Late Models will now take place on Saturday August 17th as part of Student Night.
With the Jay’s Mobile Welding & Fabricating Pure Stocks it continued to be the Dan Jinkerson show on Saturday night. Jinkerson started on the pole of the main event and never looked back, but the action behind him was torrid throughout the field. John Ewing and Jason Palmer battled neck and neck during the 20-lapper but on the final lap contact from Palmer sent Ewing sideways in turn two. Jinkerson took the checkered flag and officials black flagged Palmer for what was deemed to be rough driving.
For Jinkerson it was his 28th career victory at Placerville Speedway and set a new personal high in wins for a season with it being his seventh triumph of 2019. Nick Baldwin, Kevin Jinkerson, Ken Bernstein and Shannon Collins completed the top-five in the feature.
In the traveling BCRA Midget Lite main event it was Craig Hulsted who got the early lead. Soon after though Brandon Leedy flexed his muscle and charged into the top-spot, before checking out from the field to snatch his first Placerville Speedway victory of the year. Dakota Albright had a nice run in the feature to carve his way to second by the checkered flag. Hulsted, Danika Jo Parker and Scott Kinney filled out the remainder of the top-five.
Full results from the 14th annual Mark Forni Classic can be seen at https://speedhive.mylaps.com/Events/1700869?fbclid=IwAR1HhEqmIBuGhvu-HukGZolFtFYFOG9u7oeOYQpW6FXQYxS8jVpRQ2FtSu4
This coming weekend the Placerville Speedway is dark before returning to action on Saturday August 10th with Legends Night featuring the Thompson’s Family of Dealerships Winged 360 Sprint Cars, Jay’s Mobile Welding & Fabricating Pure Stocks, Mini Trucks and the Hunt Magnetos Sprint Car Tour. Many faces of the days gone by at “Old Hangtown” will be in attendance and several Vintage Cars will also be on hand. A bench racing session will be held prior to the races in the grandstand area as well.