By Gary Thomas
Placerville, CA – June 26, 2012…Known for its steep banks, distinctive red clay and extremely close action the quarter-mile bullring of Placerville Speedway will play host to the thirteenth round of action for the Cancen Oil KWS Series presented by Goodyear this Saturday night.
The Placerville Speedway is also known for having some of the most loyal and vocal fans seen in Northern California auto racing. The grandstand atmosphere has always been known as one of the most fun-loving around, with fans passionately rooting on their favorite drivers each and every night.
“The fans at Placerville are always great and really get into the racing,” said King of the West Operations Manager George Hague. “They all have their local favorites and it’s a lot of fun to see so many people that love sprint car racing. The track itself is as action-packed as it gets. Any time you are turning low 10-second laps you know it’s going to be wild.”
National Sprint Car Hall of Famer Jimmy Sills will return to competition at the Placerville Speedway on Saturday behind the wheel of a 410 for Dan Simpson Racing. “The Professor” last weekend tallied the Pit Stop USA Hard Charger Award by coming from 16th to eighth in the main event. Sills will also be signing autographs when the front gate opens this Saturday so be sure and get to the track early.
Last week’s winner Kyle Hirst will be on hand aboard the Roth Motorsports No. 83 once again on Saturday looking to make it back to back. The Sacramento driver has won a number of big races in his career at the Placerville bullring, but has yet to scoop up a 410 victory at the track. Hirst will look to change that this weekend.
Leading the Cancen Oil KWS Series into Placerville is two-time Golden State 410 champion Jonathan Allard of Chico, who has driven the familiar Ashley Smith tuned Morrie & Katie Williams owned No. 0 sprinter to three wins so far this year. Allard always runs up front at the quarter-mile and will be a strong contender as always on Saturday. “JA” last won at Placerville Speedway in March of 2010.
Co-Placerville Speedway track record holder Evan Suggs goes into Saturday ranking second in the series standings and will be gunning for his first win of the season. The 25-year-old is locked in a tight battle with National Sprint Car Hall of Famer Brent Kaeding, who sits just 10-points back in the third spot. During the initial Placerville appearance for KWS, Kaeding brought home a season best runner up finish in the Al’s Roofing Supply No. 69.
1982 Placerville Speedway Rookie of the Year Bobby McMahan comes into his home track fourth in the Cancen Oil KWS presented by Goodyear standings. The Elk Grove veteran ran fourth at the previous Placerville event and also scored a fourth place finish last week in Antioch. Looking to move into the top-five for the first time this season will be Clovis, CA’s Peter Murphy, who recently captured opening night of the “Dirt Cup” at Skagit Speedway. Murphy ranks sixth in the points during his first full season driving the Dalton’s Landscaping No. 11.
Former Golden State 410 champ Jason Statler will be searching for his first win of the year on Saturday aboard the famed DF Rios Motorsports No. 00 mount. “The Big Guy” claimed victory at Placerville in 2004 and always runs well at the track. Hot on Statler’s heels for the seventh spot in points is Sacramento’s Willie Croft, who is only seven markers behind in eighth. “Double Down” has been very fast at times this year and scored a third place finish at Placerville in April.
Local favorite Andy Gregg will be another one looking to find victory lane for the first time this year on Saturday at his home track. The Placerville driver is coming off his second podium finish of the season last week in Antioch and sits just 12-markers behind Croft for eighth in points. Rounding out the top-10 in points is Fresno’s Craig Stidham, who is fresh off a season best runner up finish last weekend in Antioch. The former Rookie of the Year is poised to pick up his first win of the year.
Multiple-time Placerville Speedway track champion Andy Forsberg will be gunning for his first 410 victory at the track he calls home. “Mr. Excitement” scored a third place finish with KWS in Chico on June 8. Former Golden State champ Sean Becker will also be on hand aboard the Scott Miller No. 2sb and will be a favorite on Saturday. “The Shark” tallied a runner up at the “Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial” earlier this season.
Fremont’s Shane Golobic has had a strong season thus far and will be looking to keep that up this weekend. The youngster was fighting for the lead last week, until a tough break in traffic took away his chance at victory. Other drivers expected on Saturday include three-time Placerville track champion Doug Gandy of Oakhurst, Prunedale’s Justin Sanders, Fair Oak’s Chad Compton, Redding’s Tyler Wolf, Rio Linda’s Cody Lamar, Rio Vista’s Danielle Simpson, Grass Valley’s Pat Harvey and more.
Also in action during the night will be the mighty BCRA Midgets and at least three drivers are expected to pull double duty, with those being Shane Golobic, Andy Forsberg and Sean Becker. It should make for a great night of all open wheel racing on the challenging bullring.
On Saturday June 30 the front grandstand gate will be open at 5pm. Hot laps are scheduled for 6pm, with qualifying at 6:30pm and racing anticipated to start around 7pm. Adult tickets on Saturday will cost $20, seniors will be $16, juniors $12 and children $6. All seating is general admission and fans are encouraged to get there early.
The Placerville Speedway is located on the El Dorado County Fairgrounds in Placerville, California. Take Hwy US-50 to Forni Road/Placerville Drive exit. Then go north on Placerville Drive to the Fairgrounds. The physical address is 100 Placerville Dr., Placerville, CA 95667. More information on the track can be found at http://www.placervillespeedway.com
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Also check out our official website http://www.kwssprints.com for the latest news, results, history and more on the Cancen Oil King of the West 410 Sprint Cars presented by Goodyear.
Remember and tune to “KWS Tonight” every Thursday at 7pm on http://www.kwssprints.com for the latest driver interviews, updates, race highlights and much more. Archived “KWS Tonight” videos are also available for viewing on the website to watch at your leisurely pleasure.