PLACERVILLE, CA (8-25-12) - Auburn's Andy Forsberg led every
lap of Saturday's feature event at Placerville Speedway to post his fifth
victory of the 2012 racing season and maintain his season long point lead in the
2012 Red Hawk Casino-Hoosier Tires-Coors Light Championship event of the season.
Although the victory makes him the winningest driver of the season thus far, the
battle for the sprint car championship is far from over at the quarter-mile clay
oval. In fact, it's hotter than ever and the title won't be determined by one's
success over a 12 race period, it's going to come down to one single race next
Forsberg may have won the battle Saturday night, but Cameron Park's Stephen
Allard let it be known the war is on in these final two weeks as he put the
pressure on Forsberg for the entire night Saturday with an amazing charge to the
front of the field, which resulted in a second place finish and a frenzy of fans
who offered their fare share of cheers and jeers towards the two rival drivers
at the end of the night.
"It's ok, all of you guys can just keep on booing me like this when I win,"
said Forsberg, who was overpowered by the onslaught of jeering spectator during
his victory lane interview. "The bottom line is, we won another race tonight
and, well, we're going to win again and like the old saying goes the check will
clear on Monday."
Forsberg's decorated comments and Allard's disappointment in Saturday's
finish Saturday night paints a clear picture of what's to come at Placerville
Speedway next Saturday night. Without a doubt the final segment of the 2012
season will come down to one final race of the year to determine who will where
the championship crown. Forsberg looks to secure his third consecutive and
fourth overall career title while "Allard Mania" will be looking to give it
everything he has in an effort to dethrone "Mr. Excitement" and put the division
title back in the name of an El Dorado County team for the first time since
Saturday's feature event got off to a troubled start as a multi-car accident
sent a half dozen cars to the work area before an official lap was even scored.
Among the damaged rides was the Scott Russell and Kami Arnold owned #14r that
started sixth in then line up, just five positions behind Forsberg who earned
the pole position. After a lengthy red flag, all the cars involved returned to
the field, however, Allard was forced to restart back in the 13th position
following the caution flag. One would think this gave Forsberg some breathing
room in the championship chase, however that would false in the end.
Picking off nearly a car a lap, Allard charged his way to the field with a
battered top wing and worked his way into the top five on the 20th lap and then
into the top three positions three laps later when Placerville's Jimmy Trulli
slipped out of contention and brought out the final caution flag of the night
that set the stage for a three way battle for the win between the top three
championship contenders as Forsberg felt the pressure of third place runner Greg
DeCaires of Elk Grove in second and Allard who was in third and far from
finished with his task at hand.
When the green flag waved for the final time, Allard muscled his way around
DeCaires and locked in on Forsberg for a two lap dogfight for the win that
resulted in Forsberg celebrating before the fans that love to hate him and
Allard ready for war in the week to come.
"As I know from last night anything can happen in this sport. This
championship is ours to lose and Allard is our biggest threat," said Forsberg
who lost the Silver Dollar Speedway title in Chico Friday night after leading
the standings for the majority of the season. "I lost a championship I should
have won just last night, it came down to the last race and here we are again. I
can tell you one thing, it doesn't matter if they love me or hate me because
next week these fans are going to see one incredible race. We have our work cut
out for us."
DeCaires finished third on Saturday night followed by Placerville's James
Sweeney. Rounding out the top five was Elk Grove's Matt Land who scored his
career best finish with fifth place at the line.
In the Pure Stock division, the chase for the championship was nearly just as
heated as that of the sprint car division only without the tone mirroring that
of the World Wrestling Federation by those drivers involved in the campaign and
their fans. It was a much calmer tone in victory lane with Orangevale's Matt
Tilford after his 11th win of the season.
Tilford entered the night with a single digit point lead over Placerville's
Chris Curtiss. The two drivers dueled side by side for the entire 20-lap feature
event until the final turn of the final lap when Curtiss finished in sixth place
after a spin and Tilford went on to claim the win and handful of points to his
advantage entering next Saturday's final race of the year.
"Obviously this championship is quite as wild as that sprint car deal but
it's down to the final race and we have our work to do this week," said Tilford.
"Taking that one night off really hurt us this year but we've recovered and next
week we hope to be standing here again with a track championship. It seems like
both of my brothers have been in this position when they won their championship
so its something I'm prepared for. We just have to make sure this car is perfect
for one more night and come out here and do what we've been doing. I really have
to thank all my family members and my sponsors for all their support this year
and thank Alan Handy for a great race track and everything he does to keep this
sport alive up here."
Scott Grunert finished second Saturday night over his father Rick Grunert.
Dan Brown Jr. of Grass Valley finished in fourth over Chris VanRoekel of Grass
Valley in fifth.
In the Limited Late Model division, the 2012 track championship went to Matt
Micheli of Live Oak Saturday night one week early. Micheli's unsurmountable
point lead entering Saturday's race only required him to start the 20-lap
feature event. Ryan McDaniel of Olivehirst drove his way to a second straight
win over Jeff Olshowka. James Edens of Santa Rosa was third followed by Micheli
and Jerry Bartlett of Yuba City.
"This was a good race for us tonight," said McDaniel. "The track was really
fast and we had a great set up thanks to my Dad and the crew. We're talking
about maybe coming back for next week for one more night, we'll see how the week
goes but we're having fun with this late model."
Racing resumes at Placerville Speedway for the final championship event of
the year next Saturday night and the crowning of the 2012 division champions.
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 and future contests.
Follow us on twitter as well by finding us at: @pvllspeedway.