7 years in the making; Al Hinds Tribute event to be bigger than ever

civil war series

by Bill Sullivan, Handy Racing Promotions Inc.

PLACERVILLE – Race fans from El Dorado County and the surrounding communities are gearing up for one of the biggest days of open wheel racing in the sierra foothills as Placerville Speedway pays homage to a legacy in local racing. This Saturday, it’s time for the 7th Annual Tribute to Al Hinds at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds.

This event will feature the fire-breathing sprint cars of the Civil War in their highest paying regular event of the season with a $3000 to win event sponsored by Family Auto Center in Shingle Springs. The event is an all day affair for race fans and teams in El Dorado County. The auto dealership that has been in business for 29 years, under the ownership of Tony Montalbano, will present a huge sprint car show and race fan bbq in conjunction with Handy Racing Promotions that will be complete with live music during the day in Shingle Springs.

Nearly 20 or more of the top Civil War Sprint Cars will be on hand with their talented drivers in one of the most impressive displays of community support. The event features live music from Shauna Lea and the Hired Guns and will offer free burgers, hot dogs and refreshments to all of those who attend. Various contests will take place during the event from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. that will award race fans free tickets to the evening’s event.

Al Hinds was the second promoter of Placerville Speedway. He took operation of the track from its founder, Bruno Romani, in 1968, three years after it first opened when the facility was built around an existing community football field. From the day he set foot on the red clay at Placerville Speedway to the very last race he attended in 2004, Hinds had a love for three things in life, he loved racing, he loved the community where he lived and most of all, Hinds loved a party. This Saturday night, Placerville Speedway and Family Auto Center brings all three of those elements together in one of the season’s most anticipated races of the racing season presented by Red Hawk Casino, Hoosier Tires, Riebes Auto Parts and Coors Light.

Over 30 of California’s top drivers are expected to converge at Placerville Speedway Saturday night for the ninth round of the Hoosier Tires Civil War Sprint Car Series. This exciting venue is the premier traveling sanctioning body for winged sprint cars in California with some of the closest competition known to race fans. This Saturday, such action is sure to be hotter then ever with the $3000 to win feature event.

Entering Saturday’s event, only five drivers have claimed the prestigious victory in this very special race at Placerville Speedway. Roger Crockett of Medford, Oregon won the inaugural event back in 2004 and backed it up with his second win the following season. In 2006 Auburn’s Andy Forsberg carried the momentum of a victory in this race to a championship in the Civil War Series. The following year Elk Grove native Kyle Hirst took home the win before David Robinson Jr. of Foresthill claimed the glory in 2008. Last year Colby Wiesz claimed the coveted victory.

This Saturday night, Forsberg sits in a prime position to become just the second two time winner of this great race. The former four time Civil War Champion enters the event carrying a great deal of momentum, including the point lead in the Civil War Sprint Car Series and his second feature win of the season in the tour that he claimed just last Saturday night in Petaluma.

“I always look forward to racing in this event and participating in the car show at Family Auto,” said Forsberg. “The added winnings are a great thing but this race is about much more than that and we really owe the people at Family for their continued support. It’s a no brainer that times are tougher then ever in the auto industry and the fact they continue their support really says a lot.”

Forsberg currently sits in the point lead of the Civil War Series by just 12-points over Herman Klein of Sacramento. Forsberg has two wins to his name, Klein with one feature event to his name so far. Sitting third is defending two time Civil War Champion Sean Becker of Antelope, just 13-points out of the lead. Becker remains winless in the 2010 Civil War Series and will be gunning to add a Hinds event victory to his rich resume that includes a pair of Forni Classic victories at Placerville Speedway. So far only Hirst has claimed both a Forni win and a Hinds trophy.

Former two time series champion Mike Henry is fourth in the standings, 31-points out of the lead. Henry is also looking for that elusive win of the year as he continues to run strong with his car owner Rudy Warrington in their first full year together in the Civil War series.

Mason Moore of Princeton is fifth in the standings. Moore drives for the famed FnF Racing Team that was a huge influence to the beginning of this event in 2004. After years of trying, the team claimed the win in 2008 with Robinson behind the wheel. Justin Sanders of Monterey is sixth in the standings followed by Chico’s Stephen Allard, Bradley Terrell of Sebastopol, Cody Lamar of Rio Linda and Nicole Miller of Loomis.

On Saturday, Family Chevrolet will be awarding tickets to various race fans in the form of contests and trivia questions throughout the day that will be presented by Shauna Lea between songs as she performs with the band “The Hired Guns.” With the special giveaways and the anticipation of this race, seating is expected to fill fast at Placerville Speedway Saturday night.

Tickets will go on sale at the speedway starting at 5 p.m. Qualifying will begin at 6:30. Adult tickets will be $15, juniors $10, children $5 and those under six will be admitted for free. The race car show and bbq is set to begin at 10.a.m. aty Family Auto Star. Nearly 20 race teams have confirmed their appearance in Saturday’s car, which will make it the biggest public display of race cars in El Dorado County since the track opened in 1965.

The event will also feature prizes and giveaways from Placerville Speedway’s media partner, the Windfall Classifieds. Bench racing will be a hot item at the event courtesy of Fuzion Filmz, Placerville Speedway’s official film crew. Saturday’s BBQ is presented by Family Auto Star in conjunction with Handy Racing Promotions and Placerville Speedway. Addition support for this event has been provided by Foothill Signs and Graphics, Minute Man Press of Placerville, ADCO Drivelines of Shingle Springs, Food 4 Less, Roger Miller Concrete and Riebes Auto Parts.

In the coming week, look for more information and insight on this special day of racing at Placerville Speedway at the official track website www.placervillespeedway.com and www.civilwarsprints.com