By Gary Thomas
Placerville, CA – July 20, 2019…Auburn, California veteran Andy Forsberg slid his way under youngster Jodie Robinson on a lap 13 restart and never looked back en route to his 63rd career Winged 360 Sprint Car victory at the Placerville Speedway on Saturday night.
Also sharing victory lane during championship point race number 11 were Dan Jinkerson with the Jay’s Mobile Welding & Fabricating Pure Stocks, Russ Murphy with the Mini Trucks and Scott Kinney with the traveling BCRA Midget Lites. The Vintage Hard Top portion of the evening was captured by Roger Mcshain.
Roseville’s Jodie Robinson started the 25-lap Thompson’s Family of Dealerships Winged 360 Sprint Car feature from the pole alongside Calistoga favorite Mike Benson. Robinson, the 16-year-old daughter of three-time track champion David Robinson Jr. shot to the lead at the waving of the green flag, as Andy Forsberg carved his way to second.
Following a caution on lap two the next 10-circuits clicked off fast and furious with Robinson making all the right moves through lapped traffic to keep the six-time Placerville Speedway titlist at bay. On a lap 12 restart Robinson was able to put some distance between herself and Forsberg, but the yellow flag appeared just one-lap later. The ensuing restart is when the complexion of the race changed, with Forsberg getting a good run down the front stretch to slide up in front of Robinson, grabbing the lead off the second corner.
As the pair entered turn three Robinson attempted to return the favor, but got loose and spun around, which resulted in Andy Gregg contacting her stalled car with nowhere to go. Gregg restarted the race but unfortunately for Robinson she was done for the night. Although it was a tough ending, Robinson and the Rick Spencer owned team should be commended for an impressive run, as they continue to be consistently fast at the quarter-mile each week.
With Forsberg up front he was never seriously challenged the rest of the way and brought home his fourth win of the season in weekly competition aboard the Friends & Family Racing No. X1 machine. The racing behind Forsberg however, remained entertaining with two grooves of action presented once again after track prior to the feature. Visalia’s Steven Tiner made a cameo appearance in the C&M Motorsports No. 7C and put together a strong night, setting fast time and then finishing runner up in the feature. The 2017 track champ has been stout in limited starts this season at the speedway.
Elk Grove veteran Bobby McMahan also had a nice run in the main event, making several solid passes to lock up a third-place finish at the checkered. It matched a season-best finish for the 1982 Rookie of the Year and came after timing-in second overall to begin the evening. Mike Benson also had his best night of the 2019 campaign by earning the third fastest time in qualifying and then capping the night with a fourth-place effort in the feature. Sacramento’s Stephen Ingraham looked strong all evening and rounded out the top-five in the 25-lapper.
Mather’s Kalib Henry earned the Hard Charger Award by carving his way from 17th to sixth, with the remainder of the top-10 filled out by Elk Grove’s Bubba Decaires, Placerville’s Shane Hopkins, Oakdale’s Brad Dillard and Placerville’s CJ Humphreys. A total of 23 cars competed at point race 10 for the Thompson’s Family of Dealerships Winged 360 Sprint Cars.
The Jay’s Mobile Welding & Fabricating Pure Stocks once again put on a great show for the fans, which culminated in Dan Jinkerson picking up his sixth victory of the season. Nick Baldwin and Jinkerson led the field down to green and proceeded to battle side by side for several laps. The pair raced clean and hard up front before Jinkerson was able to inch ahead and solidify the top-spot. Jason Palmer showed a lot of speed for the second consecutive week and eventually grabbed the second position.
Up front Jinkerson never faltered though and crossed under the Ron Stahl checkered flag for yet another win in 2019. It marked his 27th career Jay’s Mobile Welding & Fabricating triumph, which gives him sole possession of fourth all-time. It also a matched his career high in wins on a season with four races remaining. Palmer crossed the stripe in second, followed by Baldwin, Scott Grunert and Kevin Jinkerson in the top-five.
The Mini Trucks returned to action on Saturday and put on an entertaining 20-lap feature that went right down to the wire. Aaron Rupley and Chris Curtiss shared the front row as the division competed the opposite way on the track in both their heat race and the main event. Close racing was seen all throughout the field with several trucks fighting for the lead at various times. Mike Miller poked his nose in their a few times as he, Russ Murphy, Rupley and Curtiss fought for the top-spot.
Towards the end of the race Murphy assumed the lead, gave himself some breathing room and took the checkered flag for his first career Mini Truck victory at Placerville Speedway. Miller, Curtis, Rupley and Clem Fanning rounded out the top-five. The Mini Trucks have consistently featured great racing in each of their appearances this year.
The BCRA Midget Lite feature was all about Scott Kinney, who started from row four and took home the victory. Kinney methodically worked his way past cars and then battled for the lead with Craig Hulsted. After getting by Holsted, Kinney checked out to claim his sixth career Placerville Speedway win. Hulsted, Jim Riddell, Hunter Kinney and Danika Jo Parker completed the top-five.
Full results from Saturday can be viewed at https://speedhive.mylaps.com/Events/1697241?fbclid=IwAR07ol7QSGu7_9MHKA3SOWkTc25SEK02ZV-CDFOQ64a8_b0CKqwsDevQomA
The Placerville Speedway is back at it next Saturday with the 14th annual Mark Forni Classic featuring the Thompson’s Family of Dealerships Winged 360 Sprint Cars, Ltd. Late Models, Jay’s Mobile Welding & Fabricating Pure Stocks and BCRA Midget Lites. The Winged 360 Sprint Car feature will award $5,000 to the winner during the night.