Prestigious $5,000-to-win Mark Forni Classic invades Placerville Speedway this Saturday
By Gary Thomas
Placerville, CA – July 23, 2019…The El Dorado County Fairgrounds based Placerville Speedway is geared up for one of its biggest nights of the season with the 14th annual Mark Forni Classic set to take place on the famed red clay this Saturday July 27th.
The Thompson’s Family of Dealerships Winged 360 Sprint Car feature at the Mark Forni Classic will once again hand out $5,000 to the winner, making it the highest paying weekly event of the season at the quarter-mile. Along with the Sprint Cars also competing on Saturday will be the Ltd. Late Models, the Jay’s Mobile Welding & Fabricating Pure Stocks and for the second straight week the BCRA Midget Lites.
The Forni family has a great history in El Dorado County, with deep ties to the El Dorado County Fairgrounds and much of the land on which it sits. Much like his forefathers, Mark Forni had a great passion for the county fair and its attributes, especially the racetrack.
From the time he was a young child and the days when Placerville Speedway was known as “Old Hangtown Speedway,” Mark was actively involved with the weekly auto races, always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone in need involved with the sport he loved.
Later in life, Mark continued his contributions to local auto racing, sponsoring many race teams with his business, Forni’s Trucking. He later became a member of the El Dorado County Fair Board and focused on the issues regarding the future of the fair and the speedway. Mark Forni believed in working relationships. He understood the importance of race promoters, sponsorships and the one key element for every event to be successful, the spectator.
In November of 2004, Mark was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. During his final months, Mark had the opportunity to say goodbye to friends and family and spend some special moments with his wife and children, a bittersweet time for those who knew and loved him so much. In the summer of 2005, Mark passed away at the early age of 45
“Mark was the guy who got it done no matter what,” said former long-time Placerville Speedway promoter Alan Handy, who we hope to have in attendance on Saturday. “It didn’t matter how big of a problem we may have had. He would call me up see what it would take to fix it. He didn’t just provide the resources either. Mark would be right there lending a hand right down to his final days. I miss him, I think everyone here misses him, he was a great guy.”
Auburn, California racers Andy Forsberg and Ray Trimble, along with Oakley’s Nick Baldwin continue to sit atop the Winged 360 Sprint Car, Ltd. Late Model and Pure Stock standings respectively heading into the Mark Forni Classic. Roseville’s Sean Becker is the all-time leader in Forni Classic victories, having captured the event on three separate occasions. After winning at Placerville Speedway a couple weeks ago with the Thompson’s Family of Dealerships Winged 360’s the “Shark” will be favorite on Saturday to add a fourth.
Adult tickets this Saturday will cost $15, while seniors 62 plus, military and juniors 12-17 will be $13, children 6-11 are $6, kids five and under are free! Tickets can also be purchased online by clicking https://www.universe.com/events/2019-placerville-speedway-championship-pts-race-12-forni-classic-tickets-placerville-WRK7L8
The pit gate at Placerville Speedway will open at 2pm, with the front grandstand gate opening at 3pm. A happy hour is offered from 4pm-6pm in the grandstands featuring discounted Coors Light and Coors Original at the beer stand. Drivers meeting will be held at 4:30pm, with cars on track for wheel packing at 5. Hot laps, ADCO Driveline & Custom Exhaust qualifying and racing will follow. Live music will be performed from 4-6 in the grandstand midway.
Including this Saturday’s event there are just four championship point races remaining in the 2019 season at Placerville Speedway. Following the Mark Forni Classic the track will then get ready to host “Legends Night” on August 10th, followed by “Student Night” on August 17th. The championship point finale will occur with “Ladies Night” on September 14th. Sandwiched between all of that we also have the King of the West-NARC “Gold Country Showdown” featuring Kyle Larson on Wednesday August 21st and the rescheduled World of Outlaws “49er Gold Rush Classic” on Wednesday September 11th.
The Placerville Speedway is located on the beautiful El Dorado County Fairgrounds in Placerville, California. Take Hwy US-50 to Forni Road/Placerville Drive exit. Then go north on Placerville Drive to the Fairgrounds. The physical address is 100 Placerville Dr., Placerville, CA 95667. For more information on the Placerville Speedway log onto http://www.placervillespeedway.com
The Placerville Speedway would like to thank all of its partners for their support this season including Red Hawk Casino, Hoosier Racing Tires, Coors Light, Thompson’s Family of Dealerships, Jay’s Mobile Welding & Fabricating, Absolute Auto Glass, ADCO Driveline and Custom Exhaust, Bear Republic Brewing, Capitol ACE Hardware, Carbon Copy, Carol Russell Bookkeeping Service, Crystal Basin Construction, Doug Veerkamp General Engineering Inc., El Dorado Hills Landscaping, Hangtown Hardwood Floors, High Sierra Industries, Les Schwab Tires, the Paint Spot, The Critter Getter, Mountain Democrat, Windfall Media, Arnolds for Awards, Sierra Child and Family Services, Sierra Landscape Materials, Sierra Arbor Worx, SuperClean Xpress Car Wash and Taylor Hirst, Navigate Realty.
Join over 12,000 followers of Placerville Speedway on Facebook, where you can keep abreast of updates for the 2019 season. You can also find Placerville Speedway on Twitter by following us https://twitter.com/pvillespeedway – In addition, Placerville Speedway is also on Instagram. Please follow us @PvilleSpeedway.
The quarter-mile clay oval is operated by Russell Motorsports Incorporated, which can be reached at the track business office at 530-344-7592. Contact Kami Arnold or Scott Russell directly for 2019 sponsorship opportunities at the office.
(Additional contributions courtesy of Bill Sullivan)
Upcoming events at Placerville Speedway:
Saturday July 27: Thompson’s Family of Dealerships Winged 360 Sprint Cars, Ltd. Late Models, Jay’s Mobile Welding & Fabricating Pure Stocks and BCRA Midget Lites | 14th annual Mark Forni Classic
Saturday August 10: Thompson’s Family of Dealerships Winged 360 Sprint Cars, Jay’s Mobile Welding & Fabricating Pure Stocks, Mini Trucks and Hunt Magnetos Sprint Car Tour | Legends Night
Saturday August 17: Thompson’s Family of Dealerships Winged 360 Sprint Cars, Ltd. Late Models, Jay’s Mobile Welding & Fabricating Pure Stocks and Nor-Cal Dwarf Car Association | Student Night
Past Winners of the Mark Forni Classic
2006- Kyle Hirst
2007- Greg DeCaires
2008- Sean Becker
2009- Sean Becker
2010- Mason Moore
2011- Andy Forsberg
2012- Andy Forsberg
2013- Andy Gregg
2014- Greg Decaires
2015- Carson Macedo
2016- Sean Becker
2017- Justyn Cox
2018- Justyn Cox
Photo courtesy M&M Racing Photos