By Bill Sullivan, Handy Racing Promotions, Inc. Media Relations
PLACERVILLE, CA (7-16-11) – Next Saturday will be a special night at Placerville Speedway as once again the evening will pay tribute to the late friend of the speedway Mark Forni. At the end of this much anticipated night of competition, three different drivers in three divisions will take home the largest winnings of the year thanks to a collaboration of area businesses that continue to support this great local race.
In the winged sprint car division, a whopping $5,000 is up for grabs on Saturday night and the hearty bounties won’t stop there. Placerville Speedway’s Dirt Solutions Limited Late Model Division will feature a $1000 victory to the winner and the Pure Stocks will see one of their biggest ever victory checks with $1000 being awarded to first place.
Clearly, Saturday’s race is the richest of the year at Placerville Speedway and is unique in the fact that it features 23 eligible drivers in the winged sprint car division. Each of the drivers competing have earned their place on the roster of this great event by making six overall starts during the 2011 season at Placerville. In the Stock Car divisions the added winnings are open game to anyone who joins the roster, however, all entrants must meet all of Placerville Speedway’s car building rules to compete.
The Forni family has a great history in El Dorado County and deep ties to the El Dorado County Fairground and much of the land on which it sits. Much like his forefathers, Mark Forni had a great passion for the county fair and its attributes, especially the race track. From the time he was a young child and the days when Placerville Speedway was known as “Old Hangtown Speedway,” Mark was actively involved with the weekly auto races, always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone in need involved with the sport he loved.
Later in life, Mark continued his contributions to local auto racing, sponsoring many race teams with his business, Forni’s Trucking. He later became a member of the El Dorado County Fair Board and focused on the issues regarding the future of the fair and the speedway. Mark Forni believed in working relationships. He understood the importance of race promoters, sponsorships and the one key element for every event to be successful, the paying spectator.
Mark understood that the customer wants a top value for their dollar, that safety always comes first and that the relationship between the racing promoter, the fair board and the community must be one of great stature for decades to come. He went well beyond the call of duty to insure all such elements became fact and not fiction and his influence lives on today in many aspects of the racing community and that of the El Dorado County Fair.
In November of 2004, Mark was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma and in the summer of 2005, Mark passed away at the early age of 45. Mark’s friends and family put together a memorial service that was a dymanic tribute to Mark and met his very own wishes down to the finest details and they then followed suit with Placerville Speedway’s Mark Forni Classic to carry that tribute on for years to come.
Don’t miss the richest night of local racing this Saturday with the annual Mark Forni Classic. With the added eligibility format this year at the request of area race teams, sponsors and the Forni family those drivers that have supported their local venue will be rewarded with the richest payday of the year.
Drivers that are qualified to compete in Saturday’s race include two time Mark Forni Classic Champion Sean Becker. Additional entries include track point leader Andy Forsberg, Brett Miller, Mike Henry, Justin Johnson, Jake Morgan, Cody Lamar, Kyle Hirst, Colby Wiesz, Jimmy Trulli, C.J. Humphreys, Charlie Cagle, Scott Russell, Shane Golobic, Billy Butler, Chad Compton, Jimmy Steward, James Sweeney, Craig Swim, Billy Strange Jr., Herman Klein, Matt Land and Chris Masters.
Saturday’s event is put together by a number of area businesses that continue to support the Mark Forni Classic. Through the hard work of local resident Chuck Sept, a longtime friend of the Forni family, numerous sponsors are gathered annually to bring the added funds to the purse. This year those businesses returning to support the event will include, but are not limited to: Doug Veerkamp General Engineering, Hunt and Sons Inc., Les Schwab of Placerville, Pape’ Machinery of Sacramento, Sierra Landscape Material, MRO Industrial Supply, Armond’s Giant Tire Service of Sacramento, Steve Gomoluh of Placerville and more.
The added winnings to the Dirt Solutions Limited Late Model Division are courtesy of Arbo Tech Body Shop in Auburn. This family business owned and operated by the Arbogast family will not only add the funds to the division they will also furnish a potential winner of it with Thomas Arbogast, the current Placerville Speedway point leader.
Regardless who takes home the trophy and the big money on Saturday night, the Mark Forni Classic is a night that is about far more that fast cars, checkered flags and incredible paydays. It’s about remembering a man that developed a legacy of community service that will long be remembered and appreciated by all whom benefit from it today. The track these drivers will compete on Saturday night may very well be in existence to Mark’s dedicated passion to insure the future of auto racing in El Dorado County.
The grandstands at Placerville Speedway are expected to fill quickly this Saturday for the Mark Forni Classic so an early arrival to the speedway is suggested. Gates will open at 5 p.m. Qualifying starts at 6;30 followed by racing at 7. Adult tickets will be $13, juniors and seniors $11, children $6 and under six will be admitted for free.
Throughout the week to come further details on the Annual Mark Forni Classic will be published at www.placervillespeedway.com.