Kyle Hirst Wins Civil War Series Race in Placerville

PLACERVILLE, CA (6-8-11) – The 2011 Fast and Furious Dirt Track Racing Season resumed at Placerville Speedway in weeknight fashion Wednesday evening as California’s best 360 sprint car drivers converged at the quarter-mile bullring for Wild Winged Wednesday featuring the Hoosier Racing Tires Civil War Sprint Car Series. Before an impressive crowd that packed the grandstands, Kyle Hirst of Loomis became the fourth winner of the traveling series.

Kyle Hirst from Loomis, CA a winner in Placerville. Photo by Donna Peter.

“I really can’t thank my car owners and my team enough for the car they gave me here tonight, it’s always great and ready to run up front. We’re running here every Saturday night and hopefully when the Bullring Nationals come here in July we’ll have a good shot at beating those guys,” said Hirst. “I want to thank all the fans for coming out here on a Wednesday night, this is always a special race and it’s great to see the support like this.”

Hirst started the 30 lap feature event on the pole with Brett Miller of Chico on the outside of the front row. At the waving of the green flag the second generation wheelman muscled his Steve Smith owned #14s A.R.T Chassis ahead of Miller for the lead. Once in front, Hirst never relinquished the top position for the remaining 29-laps, despite several challenges by Miller and Princeton’s Mason Moore in the early laps.

Until he reached lapped traffic, Hirst maintained a lead of several car lengths over Miller. The two first encountered lapped traffic at the 10-lap mark which allowed Miller to close in on the lead until a caution flag paused the race and ultimately cleared the lapped cars from the leader’s path. The cautions included a pair of red flags. The first came on the second lap when B feature winner James Sweeney of Placerville rolled over in traffic in the second turn. The second flew for Placerville’s Jimmy Trulli when he was collected by Chico’s John Michael Bunch in the fourth turn and both drivers went upside down with heavy damage.

In the last 10-laps of the race, Hirst approached lapped traffic once again and Miller was able to close in with the likes of Sacramento’s Herman Klein who started 8th in the field. Just as Miller and Klein would close the gap on Hirst, another yellow flag paused the race and cleared the route for the leader all the way to checkered flag. Hirst picked up his first Civil War win of the season and his second Placerville win of the year. Miller finished a career best second place at Placerville. Klein snatched the third place position while Moore finished in fourth ahead of Steven Tiner of Visalia who rounded out the top five.

Entering Wednesday’s race, two time series champion Sean Becker held a 10-point advantage over defending five time champion Andy Forsberg of Auburn. In heat race competition, Becker suffered a wicked rollover in the third and fourth turns. The Scott Miller crew rebuilt the car and entered the B feature. Becker was unable to transfer out of the last chance event, finishing 8th. Forsberg went on to finish 9th in the A feature so a dramatic change is expected in the point standings.

Sean Becker from Antelope upside down in a Heat race at Placerville Speedway.

Heat races on Wednesday we claimed by Hirst, Jeff Parady of Pope Valley, Billy Strange Jr. of Elk Grove and Miller. Klein was the fast qualifier of the night, posting a 10:571 second lap. The Civil War Series will now head to American Valley Speedway in Quincy on June 18th for the sixth segment of the 14 race campaign.

Racing resumes this Saturday night at Placerville Speedway with the return of the 360 Sprint Cars and the Pure Stocks. The mighty midgets of the Bay Cities Racing Association will join the program as well for an exciting night of racing on the clay bullring.

In the Sprint Car Division, Andy Forsberg of Auburn will continue to look for his first Placerville victory of the season. The driver known as Mr. Excitement leads the standings by a 10-point margin over Placerville driver Scott “Wreckin’ Ball” Russell. Race fans will have the opportunity to meet Russell and his team on Saturday in a pre-race autograph session at Food 4 Less in Cameron Park between the hours of 10 am and 1 pm.

Becker is third in the standings now, just 17-points behind his arch rival Forsberg. Local fast man Jimmy Trulli of Placerville is fourth, just one point behind Becker. It is unknown if Trulli will make the field on Saturday night after the rollover that caused significant damage to his car and was the third consecutive night of bad luck. The veteran driver was looking to assess the damage and available sponsorship funds prior to Saturday. Former champion Mike Henry of Citrus Heights rounds out the top five, just 20-points behind the leader.

In the Pure Stock division, Clarence Holbrook III of Galt is the current point leader with a four point advantage over Rick Grunert of Woodland. Dennis Armstrong of El Dorado is in third place, five points out of the lead. Burney McClure of Nevada City is fourth ahead of Woodland’s Scotty Grunert who rounds out the top five.
The grandstands of Placerville Speedway will open at 5 p.m. on Saturday night. Adult tickets will be $13. Seniors will be $11, Juniors $11 and Children will be $6. For further information on these events visit Saturday’s race will mark the final night of action prior to a week off to allow for the upcoming county fair.

Media Release from Handy Racing Promotions.

Photos courtesy of Donna Peter of Race Photos by Donna.

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