By Bill Sullivan
PLACERVILLE, CA – Young guns and well decorated racing veterans came together last weekend and made a clear illustration of how competitive and exciting the 2012 chase for the championship at Placerville Speedway is sure to be. This Saturday, the early stages of the war continue with the second round of the Fast and Furious Dirt Track championship series presented by Red Hawk Casino, Hoosier Racing Tires, Coors Light and Pepsi Cola.
The fire breathing winged Sprint Cars will headline the billing this Saturday night and will be joined by the Limited Late Models and the Pure Stocks. Joining the three track regulars will be the mighty Midget Lites of the Bay Cities Racing Association. The pit gate will open at 2 p.m. on Saturday with the main grandstands opening at 5 p.m. for spectators.
Last Saturday night, veteran driver Greg DeCaires bested the 20-car field and returned to victory lane for the as Placerville Speedway opened its 47th continuous year of competition at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds. The former track champion that has a stellar career with titles in Placerville, Chico and the traveling Civil War Series has teamed up with Sacramento car owners Rudy and Beverly Warrington for 2012. Standing in victory lane last Saturday night, DeCaires made a bold statement to the grandstand of cheering fans, all of which have supported him and his true sportsman like nature that has earned him hundreds of fans through the decades.
“I don’t know how many laps this old guy has left in him but I’m ready to run the full season here and race for the championship,” said DeCaires. “Rudy and Bev Warrington have given me a great team to drive for, the crew, the sponsors, everything is a great group that has come together and we’re looking to win some races and put Rudy and Bev at the table for the awards banquet.”
DeCaires led from the early laps of last Saturday night and held his own in a battle of champions including former Civil War Series champion Sean Becker, Silver Dollar Speedway Champion Stephen Allard of Chico and defending three time Placerville and six time Civil War champion Andy Forsberg of Auburn. The event was a true testament that Placerville is home to the best of the west when it comes to Saturday night sprint car racing.
After one event in the championship series, Allard leads the point standings by two points over Becker. Forsberg is third overall with Dennis Harvey of Orangevale fourth followed by DeCaires. Drivers are awarded points for their finishing positions in qualifying, heat races and feature events weekly.
In the Limited Late Model division, Matt Micheli of Live Oak won the season opener last week over Jay Norton of Shingle Springs. Marek Bernert of Orangevale was third overall. Micheli leads the series point standings and is expected to compete in the division for the 2012 season. Bernert is four points behind Micheli in the standings followed by Norton , Jason Englund of Citrus Heights and Doug Grandboise of Jackson.
Matt Tilford bested the 16 car field in the Pure Stock division last weekend. Tilford passed early race leader Chris Curtiss of Placerville while Scott Grunert of Woodland finished in the third position. Tilford is the point leader after night one at Placerville. Curtiss is second followed by Grunert. Danielle Clauson of Placerville is fourth followed by Dominic Stone of Folsom.
The Midget Lites of the Bay Cities Racing Association will make their season debut this Saturday night at Placerville Speedway. This will mark the first of several visits for the exciting class that is powered by chain driven motorcycle engines that pack a punch in the machines that resemble small scale sprint cars. For more information on this visiting class check out their website at www.bcraracing.com.
Adult tickets are $13 for Saturday and available at the track box office. Seniors and Juniors are $11 while Children are $6. Those five and under will be admitted free. For further information visit www.placervillespeedway.com or call the track office at (916) 783-DIRT. Fans and competitors are also urged to join Placerville Speedway on Facebook where you can network with fellow fans, drivers and staff in a friendly forum packed with information. Follow us on twitter as well @pvllspeedway.