By Gary Thomas
Placerville, CA…Going into Legends Night it was approaching nearly two years since Andy Forsberg had ended up in Placerville Speedway victory lane. With a championship in his sights the 7-time track titlist put an end to the drought and picked up his 66th career Winged 360 Sprint Car triumph on the red clay Saturday.
Joining Forsberg and Friends&Family Racing in victory lane on the special evening were Dan Jinkerson with the Pure Stocks, Austin Struthers with the Mini Trucks and Cody Fendley with the Joe Hunt Magnetos Wingless Tour. It turned out to be a terrific event remembering the past at Placerville Speedway. We’d like to send a huge thank you to Rick Hirst for all his efforts in restoring the vintage cars and making things happen for Legends Night.
In the 25-lap Thompson’s Winged 360 Sprint Car feature it didn’t take Forsberg long to charge his way to the lead over youngster Joel Myers Jr. and fellow veteran Sean Becker. Becker then sliced his way past Myers to snag the runner up spot, until getting loose and spinning off the corner during a lap-10 restart that also involved fourth running Michael Ing. Last weeks winner at the Forni Classic, Kalib Henry, eventually maneuvered his way to second but had to contend with Landon Brooks and Shane Hopkins over the waning stages.
Shortly after a lap-14 restart Brooks snagged the runner up spot, until Hopkins overtook the position a few circuits later. At that same time Brooks had caught the thick cushion big time and retired to the infield shortly after to end his solid run. Forsberg had his way with things up front and was only slowed slightly by lapped traffic the last couple laps. He would cross under the Ron Stahl checkered for his all-time leading 66th Winged 360 triumph at the speedway.
Henry was able to make a final lap move to secure second over Hopkins, Stephen Ingraham and 21st starter Dylan Bloomfield. Completing the top-10 were Myers Jr., Becker, Ryan Rocha, Bobby McMahan and Cody Spencer.
Winged 360 Sprint Car finish: 1. X1-Andy Forsberg; 2. 17-Kalib Henry; 3. 21-Shane Hopkins; 4. 93-Stephen Ingraham; 5. 33-Dylan Bloomfield; 6. 46JR-Joel Myers Jr; 7. 83V-Sean Becker; 8. 5R-Ryan Rocha; 9. 12-Bobby McMahan; 10. 2-Cody Spencer; 11. 55A-Angelo Cornet; 12. 90-Darren Johnson; 13. 85-CJ Humphreys; 14. 7H-Jake Haulot; 15. 98-Chris Masters; 16. 5A-Lonny Alton; 17. 91J-John Sullivan; 18. 16X-Andy Gregg; 19. 34-Landon Brooks; 20. 15-Michael Sellers; 21. 21X-Michael Ing
Some of the top talent in Pure Stock racing when it comes to Placerville Speedway was on full display at Legends Night. Early on in the 20-lapper it was Dan Jinkerson, Nick Baldwin and Kevin Jinkerson throwing it down on the bullring. Baldwin eventually had an issue and was forced to the rear of the field which left it up to the Jinkerson boys to settle things.
Dan was up to the challenge on this night and scooted off to score his 35th career Pure Stock win at the facility, which gives him sole possession of third all-time. Kevin Jinkerson crossed the stripe in second while Baldwin rebounded beautifully to tally a third place finish. The point leader was fun to watch as he made passes high and low on the red clay. Jason Poppert and Ryan Peter rounded out the top-five. The Pure Stocks will cap their season on Coors Light Big Trophy Championship Night August 28th.
Pure Stock finish: 1. 23-Dan Jinkerson; 2. 30-Kevin Jinkerson; 3. 17-Nick Baldwin; 4. 87-Jason Poppert; 5. 83-Ryan Peter; 6. 43-Kenny Bernstein; 7. 77T-Jason Armstrong; 8. 4-Jonny Walsh; 9. 48-John Evans; 10. 47-Michael Murphy; 11. 316-Ryan Murphy
The Mini Truck division put a bow on its season at Legends Night. In the end it was Austin Struthers who captured his third victory of the season. The championship, however, was all Mike Miller, who ended up taking it home by 14-points over Thomas Jensen. Miller ran second on Saturday, with Jensen in third, Aaron Rupley fourth and Howard Miller completing the top-five. It was another fun campaign for the grass roots racing class.
Mini Truck finish: 1. 70-Austin Struthers; 2. 16-Mike Miller; 3. 08JR-Thomas Jensen; 4. 77-Aaron Rupley; 5. 28-Howard Miller; 6. 61-Paizlee Miller; 7. 1-Ted Ahart; 8. 04-Wyatt Lakin
The Joe Hunt Magnetos Wingless Tour thrilled the fans over the closing stages of their 25-lap feature on Saturday. The trio of Cody Fendley, Shane Hopkins, Daniel Whitley along with Marcus Hardina fought tooth and nail the last five circuits. It was anyone’s game over that stretch but at the checkered flag it was Placerville’s own Fendley who came out on top for his second win of the season at the track. Fendley had previously captured the USAC West Coast 360 appearance back in July.
Hopkins crossed the line in second and had a fantastic night, as he also finished on the podium during the Winged 360 finale. Hardina, Whitley and Brent Steck completed the top-five. The remainder of the top-10 was comprised of Jacob Tuttle, Dylan Newberry, Josh Young, Tim Sherman Jr. and Trey Walters. The Hunt Tour presented by C&H Veteran Ent. once again brought a strong field of 28-entrants during the event and gave away 40 backpacks with supplies to the youngsters in attendance.
The Hunt non-wingers will return as part of the “Nor*Cal Posse Shootout” on Saturday and Sunday September 4th and 5th.
Hunt Magnetos Wingless Tour finish: 1. 9-Cody Fendley; 2. 51-Shane Hopkins; 3. 21X-Marcus Hardina; 4. 6K-Daniel Whitley; 5. 2STX-Brent Steck; 6. 3T-Jacob Tuttle; 7. 63-Dylan Newberry; 8. 3F-Josh Young; 9. 1JR-Tim Sherman Jr; 10. 7-Trey Walters; 11. 56-Shawn Arriaga; 12. 1-Nathan Schank; 13. 14-Shawn Jones; 14. 32-Jimmy Christian; 15. 50-Tony Bernard; 16. 31P-Eathon Lanfri; 17. 12-Jarrett Soares; 18. 33-Heath Holdsclaw; 19. 22JR-Braidon Moniz; 20. 92Z-Trevor Schmid
The Placerville Speedway is dark next weekend but comes back in a big way the following week. On Wednesday August 25th we welcome in the King of the West-NARC Fujitsu 410 Sprint Car Series for the final time this season. The event launches the “Fastest 5 Days in Motorsports” and also showcases the BCRA Midgets. A few days later on Saturday August 28th Coors Light Big Trophy Championship Night invades the track. In action will be the Thompson’s Winged 360 Sprint Cars, Pure Stocks, Ltd. Late Models and BCRA Lightning Sprints.