Auburn’s Andy Forsberg races to 56th career Placerville Speedway victory in a wild feature on Saturday
Jake Morgan, Ryan Peter and Thomas Jensen also claim entertaining wins
By Gary Thomas
Placerville, CA – July 21, 2018…Five-time Thompson’s Auto Winged 360 Sprint Car champion Andy Forsberg made a power move off the second corner to grab the lead with seven laps remaining in the feature and went on take the checkered flag for his 56th career main event victory at the Placerville Speedway on Saturday.
Sharing victory lane during another exciting night of racing at the quarter-mile were Jake Morgan with the C&H Veteran Ent. presents Hunt Magnetos Wingless Tour, Ryan Peter with the Pure Stocks and Thomas Jensen with the Mini Trucks. The triumphs were career firsts at the Placerville Speedway for both Peter and Jensen, while it marked Morgan’s second ever win at the track.
When the green flag dropped in the 25-lap Thompson’s Auto Group Winged 360 main event it was 16-year-old Tanner Carrick jumping into the lead, but before a lap could be completed the caution waved. On the complete restart Rio Linda’s Cody Lamar battled Carrick for the top spot as the duo went wheel to wheel all the way around the speedway. Lamar led lap one but Carrick charged around him off the second corner. The first handful of laps featured some of the best racing you’ll ever see with Hollister’s Tony Gualda making it a three-car war.
Lamar was able to get back under Carrick on lap two and held command until Gualda executed a slider to grab the lead on the next lap in the first and second corners. Lamar made a perfect diamond move to slice back under to re-take the lead heading into turn three, but with the crowd rising to their feet Carrick surprised them both and slipped under to go from third to first off turn four. Shortly after Gualda assumed second and began to hound Carrick on lap six, before Lamar spun around to bring out a yellow with eight laps down.
When going back green the action remained intense up front with Carrick holding steady over Gualda, but once lapped traffic came into play things appeared to take a dramatic turn. As Carrick entered the slower cars, contact with one of them ensued and forced him over the edge in turn three, which saw Gualda shoot the gap to take over the lead. It was all for naught however, as the yellow lights waved for a stalled car off the fourth corner. On the restart Carrick continued to do a solid job running the thick Placerville Speedway cushion, but while rounding turn four on lap 17 he got into it just hard enough to send him sideways.
Unfortunately for the Lincoln driver he would spin to a stop and end his bid at a first Winged Sprint Car victory. The youngster has been extremely impressive in recent starts and is certainly one of the most improved drivers this season. Gualda inherited the lead but soon had to deal with a fast-moving Andy Forsberg, who rocketed into second on the restart and then came after the 18-year-old up front. “Mr. Excitement” ran his customary high-line and when Gualda went downstairs that’s all he needed to blast around the outside off turn two for the top-spot.
Gualda stayed right with Forsberg though and looked to have a chance as the laps wound down, but jumped the cushion on lap 23 and Forsberg went on to grab the Ron Stahl checkered flag for his all-time leading 56th Winged 360 victory at the track. The final lap also saw chaos as second running Shane Hopkins and Gualda made contact in the first and second corners. The collision left everyone behind trying to find their way around the melee. When all was said and done Placerville’s Jimmy Trulli crossed the stripe in second, with Wilton’s Matt Peterson in third, Cody Lamar rebounded to claim fourth and Placerville’s CJ Humphrey’s rounded out the top-five.
It was a tough break for Hopkin’s who was looking to bring home a career best finish. Despite the result he continues to show speed and improvement in his first full-time Winged Sprint Car season. The ADCO Driveline and Custom Exhaust Fast Time Award to start the evening was set by Andy Forsberg at 10.882. A total of 17 Thompson’s Auto Group Winged 360 Sprint Cars were on hand during the night. Heat races were picked off by Jimmy Trulli and Tony Gualda.
The C&H Veteran Ent. presents Hunt Magnetos Wingless Tour main event was all about Jake Morgan and Shawn Jones up front. Morgan captured the SantaMauro Racing Products Dash and took the lead at the waving of the green flag in the 25-lap contest. Jones went into the evening as the point leader and carved his way into second on lap four. After a few cautions the final 15 circuits went green to checkered and showcased some good competitive racing on the “Baddest bullring in California.”
Jones stayed within striking distance of Morgan every step of the way and took numerous looks to the inside, but each time the Fair Oaks driver kept him at bay. With a couple laps remaining Jones then stepped up his challenges and battled hard with Morgan. As the white flag waved the top duo were nose to tail and as they rounded the final set of corners Morgan went high, while Jones stayed patient down low. The two drag raced side by side to checkered flag with Morgan nipping him in a thrilling photo finish.
The $1200 triumph was the first of Morgan’s career with the C&H Veteran Ent. presents Hunt Magnetos Wingless Tour and he became the seventh different winner in eight races this season. The top-five behind he and Jones was completed by Tim Sherman Jr., Nick Larson and Cody Spencer. The C&H Veteran Ent. presents Hunt Magnetos Wingless Tour brought 24 competitors during the evening. Heat races were captured by Jake Morgan, Shawn Jones, Ron Laplant and Brett Youngman while the Quick Time Mortgage Fast Time Award was earned by Timmy Sherman Jr. at 12.309. The B-main went to Scott Martin.
Chase Grigsby took command at the waving of the green flag in the 20-lap Pure Stock feature and held command over the Jinkerson brothers, Dan and Kevin, who went side by side the first few laps. The first yellow of the race waved on lap eight and during the restart it became a fight for the lead as Ryan Peter found a nice groove upstairs. Grigsby and Peter exchanged the top spot multiple times in exiting fashion over a three-lap period.
Peter eventually assumed the point and led until another caution on lap 18. On the restart Grigsby spun around in turn two and was drilled by Jason Palmer. When the green flag waved again Peter checked out and raced off to collect his first career Placerville Speedway victory over Scott Grunert, Rick Grunert, Dan Jinkerson and Palmer. Ten Pure Stocks signed into the pit area for their 10th point race of the season with heat races going to Chase Grigsby and Dan Jinkerson.
John LittleJohn took the early lead in the Mini Truck A-main. With six circuits complete Thomas Jensen was all over LittleJohn and took command on lap seven. LittleJohn then spun around shortly after and Jensen went on to take the checkered flag. LittleJohn and Tom Stanwood finished second and third. The Mini Trucks saw 5 racers on hand for the event and the lone heat race went to John LittleJohn.
The Placerville Speedway will now close out the month of July with the final appearance of the season by the powerful King of the West-NARC Fujitsu 410 Sprint Car Series this coming Saturday. Also in action at the “Summer Nationals” on July 28 will be the BCRA Midget Lites and Vintage Hard Tops. Online tickets for the big show are available at https://www.universe.com/events/kws-narc-summer-nationals-tickets-placerville-L69CRZ
Photos courtesy of Cleveland Digital Imaging