The 2011 racing season is underway and most of the NorCal tracks have already begun their schedules. We will try and post the highlights or press releases from as many Northern California tracks as we can. Please feel free to send us photos or highlights from your favorite race track or about your favorite driver. Here is a press release from Handy Racing Promotions about the racing at Placerville Speedway last Saturday night.
PLACERVILLE, CA (4-16-10) – The 2011 Fast and Furious Dirt Track Racing Season resumed at Placerville Speedway Saturday with the second Red Hawk Casino-Hoosier Tires Championship race of the season at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds. Three divisions formed the evening’s race card with familiar faces returning to victory lane. The night paid tribute to a long time speedway supporter in the county with “Doug Veerkamp General Engineering Night” at the speedway.
In the winged Sprint Car division, Sean Becker of Antelope picked up his first victory of the new season along with Dan Brown Jr. of Grass Valley who took home the win in the Late Model feature. In the Pure Stock division the victor was Clarence Holbrook III of West Sacramento.
A total of 23 cars formed the roster in Saturday’s sprint car division. After qualifying sixth in the field and finishing third in his heat race aboard the Scott Miller owned #2sb sprint car. Becker started Saturday’s feature event on the pole with Placerville’s own Jimmy Trulli on the outside. Defending Champion Andy Forsberg of Auburn started on the inside of row two with fast qualifier Garen Linder in fourth.
At the waving of the green flag, The Shark accelerated out of the fourth turn and begin to leave Trulli in his wake as Forsberg eventually worked his way into second place to set his sites on his longtime friendly rival. As Becker drove the protective lower line of the speedway, Forsberg searched for a faster route aboard the F&F Racing #X1 to very little avail.
Racing towards lapped traffic, Becker permitted Forsberg to close in on the lead and get a nose wing beneath the leader at one point. On the closing lap, Becker protected his lead position by positioning a lapped car between he and Forsberg as they raced to the checkered flag. Becker picked up the win over Forsberg. Trulli finished in third place. Scott Russell, who started seventh, finished in fourth over eighth place starter Mike Henry of Citrus Heights.
In heat race action in this division, preliminary victories went to Shane Golobic of Fremont, Cody Lamar of Rio Linda and Kyle Hirst of Sacramento. The B feature was claimed by Chico’s Brett Miller over Russell, Jeremy Burt of Grass Valley, Jeremy Phillips of Arboga and Chris Masters of Napa.
In the Limited Late Models division, Saturday night marked the first win of the new year for defending track champion Dan Brown Jr. of Grass Valley. Brown started the feature event on the inside of the second row behind front runners Thomas Arbogast of Auburn and opening night winner Les Friend of Galt.
With the green flag, Friend took charge of the lead over Arbogast and Brown then moved into second place to chase down the leader. With 15 laps complete, Brown moved in and stole the fast line that Friend was racing in to steal the lead. Friend then fell out of contention for the win while Arbogast moved into the bridesmaid position to chase the eventual winner.
At the finish line it was Brown, who stopped his car on the front stretch to perform his trademark “bow” to the crowd that yielded a mixed response. Arbogast finished in second followed by Jay Norton of Shingle Springs, Jason Englund of Citrus Heights finished in fourth followed by Matt Davis of Auburn.
In the Pure Stock division, Holbrook took home his second straight win of the season after racing his way past several veteran drivers in the front of the field. Holbrook started in the sixth position and watched the green flag go to pole sitter Chris Van Roekel of Grass Valley. With two laps complete, Burney McClure of Nevada City overtook Van Roekel for the lead.
With four laps in the history book, Holbrook worked his way into the third position and then powered into second place with six laps complete while being chased by defending champion Chris Curtiss of Placerville. On lap six Holbrook overtook the second position from veteran driver Rick Grunert of Woodland. Curtiss then stole the position from Holbrook on lap later and they dueled for the bridesmaid for several laps.
With 10 laps complete Curtiss fell out of the hunt and Holbrook resumed the position. On lap 13 he overtook McClure for the lead and never looked back. At the finish line he was followed by McClure, Scott Grunert of Woodland, Van Roekel and Curtiss.
Next Saturday night, April 23, 2011 racing returns to Placerville Speedway with all three weekly divisions along with the visiting Nor Cal Dwarf cars for a four division program. The grandstands at Placerville Speedway will open up once again at 5 p.m. on Saturday night. Qualifying begins at 6:30 p.m. followed by heat races at 7. Adult tickets will be $13, Juniors and Seniors will be $11, Children $6. Those five and under will be admitted for free.
There is a great article about Sean Becker and why he is called the shark by Gary Costa of HammerDownUSA.com here.
Our thanks to Donna Peter from Race Photos By Donna for the generous use of her photos.