By Gary Thomas
Placerville, CA – August 10, 2019…Mather, California’s Kalib Henry had been oh so close several times before and on Saturday night he was able to finally break through to snag his first career Placerville Speedway Winged 360 Sprint Car victory.
Also picking up wins during “Legends Night” at the speedway were Dan Jinkerson with the Jay’s Mobile Welding & Fabricating Pure Stocks, Chriss Curtiss with the Mini Trucks and Shawn Jones with the traveling Hunt Magnetos Wingless Sprint Cars.
The 25-lap Thompson’s Family of Dealerships Winged 360 Sprint Car feature came to the line with Kalib Henry and Calistoga’s Mike Benson sharing the front row. Henry came into the night sitting second in the driver standings, having driven a trio of different cars this year. On this night he was aboard the McCollough family owned No. 17 machine and took the lead at the waving of the green flag. Early on he worked the low line as Benson and Placerville’s Andy Gregg ran the top-side in an attempt to close in.
The track had slicked off nicely for the main event and the first seven laps clicked off without issues, before a caution and then red flag for Justin Johnson. On the restart Henry powered out to a solid lead while Gregg carved his way into second. Once lapped traffic came into play Gregg closed a few times but Henry was mistake free navigating his way through the slower cars. One final slow down occurred on lap 19, bunching the field up for a final six-lap shootout.
Clarksburg’s Justyn Cox worked his way into second after the restart and tried to close in on the leader, but this night was all about Henry who crossed under the checkered flag for that elusive first ever Placerville Speedway win. Cox came home in second, with Roseville’s Sean Becker in third, Gregg in fourth and Auburn’s Andy Forsberg in fifth. Completing the top-10 in the main event were Aromas, CA’s Justin Sanders, Elk Grove’s Bobby McMahan, Redding’s Chase Majdic, Benson and Elk Grove’s Bubba Decaires.
In the 20-lap Jay’s Mobile Welding & Fabricating Pure Stock feature it was current point leader Nick Baldwin who jumped out front early on. Dan Jinkerson quickly closed in however and raced his way past Baldwin on lap three for the top-spot. Once in front Jinkerson held the rest of the field at bay and took the checkered flag for his eighth victory of the season. It’s been a dream year for the driver of the No. 29 machine, who now has 29 career victories at the Placerville Speedway.
Baldwin earned yet another consistent finish by claiming the runner up spot as he closes in on another track championship. Last years track titlist Scott Grunert finished in third, while Jason Leonard and Kevin Jinkerson rounded out the top-five. Filling out the remainder of the top-10 were Dave Silva, Kevin Wirth, Dennis Armstrong, Chris Hanson and Randy Sargent.
With the Mini Trucks it was Howard Miller who grabbed the early lead before Chris Curtiss closed in and made it a battle for the top-spot. The pair battled side-by-side for several laps with exciting multi-groove racing taking place. Around lap 10 Mike Miller joined the party and made it was three-way fight for the lead. On lap 11 Curtiss slid into the lead on the front stretch and never looked back en route to his second victory of the season. Howard Miller came home in second, with Ryan Murphy, Aaron Rupley and Mike Miller rounding out the top-five.
Defending Hunt Magnetos Wingless Sprint Car champion Shawn Jones picked up victory in the 25-lap contest for the wingless warriors. The majority of the race featured a battle between Jake Morgan and Terry Schank Jr. Morgan’s bid at another Placerville victory came to an end late in the race though when he stalled out in turn two. At the checkered flag it was Jones who came out on top ahead of Schank, Cody Fendley, Matt Stewart and Jarrett Soares. Filling out the top-10 were Boy Moniz, Cody Spencer, Adam Christian, Scott Chapeta and Trevor Schmidt.
Placerville Speedway returns to action with Student Night next Saturday August 17th.