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Tanner Thorson bags first career Placerville Speedway Winged Sprint Car victory on Fourth of July

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Two first time winners highlight Freedom Fireworks event at Placerville Speedway on Independence Day

By Gary Thomas

Placerville, CA -July 4, 2018…The Placerville Speedway hosted its annual Independence Day spectacular on Wednesday and saw a pair of first time winners during the evening with Minden, Nevada’s Tanner Thorson scooping up his first career Thompson’s Auto Winged 360 Sprint Car triumph and Clay Daly earning his first Ltd. Late Model victory. The always tough Dan Jinkerson captured the win in an exciting Pure Stock feature.

The 25-lap Thompson’s Auto Group Winged 360 Sprint Car feature awarded $2,500 to the winner thanks to extra money from Placerville Speedway and High Sierra Industries. Visalia’s Steven Tiner and Tanner Thorson shared the front row for the sixth point race of the season with the Sprint Cars. Thorson charged into the lead at the waving of Ron Stahl’s green flag. Hollister’s Tony Gualda immediately showed his muscle and came after Tiner for the second position, before an exciting pass off turn two on lap four.

Gualda then closed in on Thorson and made it a battle for the lead on lap nine. The top-two raced close together through lapped traffic, as Gualda searched for his first career Winged Sprint Car win after three runner-up efforts already this season. The fans were kept on the edge of their seats with it being anybody’s game through the slower cars. On lap 16 Gualda and a lapped car came together off the second corner and allowed Tiner the chance to get under him for p2.

A caution flag with seven circuits remaining then brought things to a halt. After that it was all Thorson up front, who put together flawless laps on the cushion to race off and snag his first ever Placerville Speedway victory. The driver of the Tri-C Manufacturing No. 3C also became the sixth different winner in six races this season. Tiner crossed the stripe in second, while Fremont’s Shane Golobic made a nice charge to claim third. Gualda and Auburn’s Andy Forsberg completed the top-five.

Lincoln’s Tanner Carrick, Aromas’ Justin Sanders, Roseville’s Sean Becker, Placerville’s Andy Gregg and Cameron Park’s Shane Hopkins rounded out the top-10. The three heat races held during the night were captured by Jodie Robinson, Steven Tiner and Shane Golobic.

The ADCO Driveline and Custom Exhaust Fast Time Award to start the evening was set by Andy Gregg with a time of 10.678. A total of 20 Thompson’s Auto Group Winged 360 Sprint Cars were on hand during the night.

The 20-lap Ltd. Late Model main event started out with a side by side race for the lead at the waving of the green between Wayne Trimble and Jay Norton. Trimble carved his way to the lead with Mike Lightfoot rocketing into second on lap two. Ryan McDaniel then made his presence known and began to challenge Lightfoot for second, before taking over the spot on lap five. He immediately went to work on Trimble and got alongside him one lap later but couldn’t quite pull off the pass.

It was a great fight for the top spot until McDaniel slowed on lap nine and exited back to the pit area. On the restart traveling invader Clay Daly moved up to the second position and would then take over the lead on lap 12. Daly was making a start for Matt Davis in the No. 55 machine and went on to take the checkered flag and earn his first career Placerville Speedway win, which was worth $600. Wayne Trimble crossed the stripe in second, with Ray Trimble third, Mike Lightfoot fourth and Matt Michelli fifth.

Jay Norton, Dennis Ahart, Tyler Lightfoot, Scott Woessner and Eddie Gardner completed the top-10. Fourteen Ltd. Late Models were in competition on Wednesday. Heat race wins were picked off by Jay Norton and Wayne Trimble.

Kevin Jinkerson and Russ Murphy set the front row in the 20-lap Pure Stock finale, which paid $550-to-win thanks to extra money from Jay’s Mobile Welding and Fabricating, along with Boulevard Brewing Company. The front row went door handle to door handle racing for the lead over the first few laps. Jinkerson had held the advantage but on lap four Murphy charged around the outside of turn to grab the point. Kevin Jinkerson then slowed shortly after and lost numerous positions.

After a few caution periods leader Murphy slowed down the back stretch and left defending track champion Jason Palmer nowhere to go. Palmer climbed the back-stretch hill X-Games style and somehow came back down on all fours but did suffer damage forcing him back to the pit area. Dan Jinkerson inherited the lead and went on to claim the victory over Lonnie Lennard, Ryan Peter, Dave Silva and Scott Grunert. Jay Bryant, Jason Castro, Rick Grunert, Mike Stoeckle and Ronnie Richards rounded out the top-10.

Nineteen Pure Stocks were in action during the evening. Heat race wins were claimed by Rick Grunert, Ryan Peter and Jason Palmer.

The Placerville Speedway will take this weekend off, before resuming action on Saturday July 14 with the always fun Mt. Democrat Kids Bike Night. In competition will be the Thompson’s Auto Group Winged 360 Sprint Cars, Ltd. Late Models, Pure Stocks and Dwarf Cars. More info can be found at www.placervillespeedway.com

Photos courtesy of Jason Tucker Photos and Tanner Thorson media

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