By Gary Thomas
Placerville, CA…A wild and intense evening highlighted Thompson’s Fan Appreciation Night in front of a large and vocal crowd at Placerville Speedway on Saturday. In the end it was Templeton’s Kaleb Montgomery, who became the sixth different driver this season to claim their initial Winged Sprint Car win on the quarter mile.
Things started off exciting at the waving of the green flag in the 25-lap Thompson’s Winged Sprint Car feature, as Montgomery, Jodie Robinson and Shane Hopkins battled three-wide off the second corner. Montgomery got the better of the deal and blasted out front aboard the Dale Miller Septic/ Thompson’s Auto No. 4SA mount. Immediately after that however, young Joel Myers Jr. carved his way to the inside of the speedway and climbed to second, before peeking to the inside of the leader.
Myers was relentless as he stalked Montgomery and on lap four would charge around the outside to nip him at the line. The pair proceeded to keep the crowd on the edge of their seats during a torrid side by side fight for the top spot. The lone caution of the race then waved on lap 12, setting up a double file restart that saw Hopkins challenge Myers for the second spot. Montgomery sat out front riding the cushion to perfection, but late in the going caught up to traffic and it did allow both Myers and Hopkins to close.
Coming to the white flag Montgomery banged the cushion off turn four and Myers tucked right up to his inside. Montgomery hit his marks on the final lap however and crossed under the Ron Stahl checkered flag for the win. He joins Tony Gomes, Chase Majdic, Jodie Robinson, Corey Day and Michael Faccinto as drivers who have captured their first Placerville Speedway Sprint Car victory this season. Myers Jr. crossed the stripe in second to record back-to-back runner up finishes on the red clay. Hopkins, Landon Brooks and Steven Tiner completed the top-five.
Rounding out the top-10 in the main event were Willie Croft, Blake Carrick, Andy Forsberg, 18th starter Dylan Bloomfield and Tanner Holmes. Montgomery began the evening by earning his second ADCO Driveline and Custom Exhaust Fast Time Award of the season. The 22-year-old ripped around the bullring in 10.747 seconds to set the standard in the 31-car field.
Winged Sprint Car finish: 1. 4SA-Kaleb Montgomery; 2. 46JR-Joel Myers Jr; 3. 21-Shane Hopkins; 4. 5V-Landon Brooks; 5. 7C-Steven Tiner; 6. 29-Willie Croft; 7. 5H-Blake Carrick; 8. 92-Andy Forsberg; 9. 83V-Dylan Bloomfield; 10. 18T-Tanner Holmes; 11. 98M-Michael Pombo; 12. 4-Jodie Robinson; 13. 94-Greg Decaires V; 14. 12J-John Clark; 15. 21W-Josh Wiesz; 16. 29T-Ryan Timmons; 17. 1-Chance Grasty; 18. 87-Ashlyn Rodriguez; 19. 98-Chris Masters; 20. 9L-Luke Hayes