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 Posted: Sunday Apr 29th, 2018 05:39 PM
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Gary Thomas
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Willie Croft makes final lap move under Tim Kaeding to win a Sprint Car Challenge Tour thriller in Petaluma

By Gary Thomas

Petaluma, CA - April 28, 2018…Over the year’s Roseville’s Willie Croft has routinely been a driver to beat at the Petaluma Speedway and he certainly showed that again on Saturday after claiming his second career Sprint Car Challenge Tour presented by Elk Grove Ford and Abreu Vineyards victory in front of a packed house.

Croft’s win on Saturday night came aboard the familiar Holy Smokes BBQ/ Amerikote No. 29 machine and earned him the $500 Kyle Larson Racing Bonus for being a full-time team, bumping his winning total to $3,000. He also earned the Metal Works Fastest Lap Award in the A-main.

“It feels great to get another win here at Petaluma and what a race that was tonight,” commented an exuberant Croft on the front stretch. “I love racing with Tim Kaeding and am glad he’s back here in California because he makes everyone step up their game. I can’t thank my guys enough for working so hard. We’ve been close the last few weeks and something has seemed to happen each night that kept us out of victory lane. Tonight, everything worked out in lapped traffic late in the race, so I couldn’t be happier.”

After winning the Race Punk Dash, Croft jumped into the lead at the waving of Scott Erwin’s green flag in A-main. Early on he opened a sizable advantage, but as always at Petaluma Speedway lapped traffic created some of the most exciting racing seen all season long. Throughout the course of the feature there were numerous movers and shakers, as positions changed regularly during the 35-lapper. Cautions over the first 12-laps of the race though kept drivers out of traffic for extended periods of time, but once green flag laps were clicked off things got good.

Around lap 20 you could throw a blanket over the top-three as they raced through heavy traffic, which allowed Tim Kaeding the chance to make a wild move off turn four and grab the lead. Fremont’s Shane Golobic also flexed his muscle at this point and charged into second from the 10th starting spot. Great racing was seen all over the speedway before a caution flag flew on lap 25. On the restart Croft sliced around Golobic to move back into the second spot and proceeded to hound the rear bumper of Kaeding’s Josh Bates Motorsports No. 42x once traffic came back into play.

Croft raced closely behind Kaeding over the closing laps and with the white flag in the air he made his move. “Double Down” charged to the inside of the “TK Express” and inched ahead as they raced off turn two. Kaeding tried to get back to his outside in turn three, but things got tight and Croft was able to clear him for good, eventually taking the checkered flag to win arguably the race of the year. Unfortunately for Kaeding he got over the right rear of a lapped car just after the checkered and resulted in him getting upside down. Luckily, he was okay and able to walk towards victory lane to give Croft a big hug after the epic duel.

Golobic had a fine run to earn the final spot on the podium aboard the Keith Day Trucking No. 22 machine. Paradise, CA’s Kyle Hirst also had a tremendous run in the feature to come from 14th to fourth, earning the Pit Stop USA Hard Charger Award. Minden, Nevada’s Tanner Thorson made his Petaluma Speedway debut a good one and completed the top-five. Lincoln’s Tanner Carrick also had a great debut at the track and brought home a career best SCCT finish of sixth, while Roseville’s Colby Copeland, Clarksburg’s Justyn Cox, Auburn’s Andy Forsberg and Hollister’s Tony Gualda rounded out the top-10.

A-main results: 1. 29 Willie Croft, 2. 42x Tim Kaeding, 3. 22 Shane Golobic, 4. 83 Kyle Hirst, 5. 3c Tanner Thorson, 6. 83t Tanner Carrick, 7. 5c Colby Copeland, 8. 31c Justyn Cox, 9. X1 Andy Forsberg, 10. 7c Tony Gualda, 11. 56 Justin Sanders, 12. 5v Chase Johnson, 13. 5h Buddy Kofoid, 14. 33 Lucas Ashe, 15. 25b Jake Haulot, 16. 7n Zack Lynskey, 17. 21 Michael Ing, 18. 75 Sean Becker, 19. 01 Jodie Robinson, 20. P37 Matt Peterson, 21. 6 Bradley Terrell, 22. Dustin Golobic, 23. 101 Klint Simpson, 24. 5 Kalib Henry

Penngrove’s Michael “Buddy” Kofoid captured the Finley Farms B-main, while the All-Star Performance heat race was won by Penngrove’s Chase Johnson, the A.R.T. Speed Equipment heat was picked off by Justyn Cox, the Auto Meter Inc. heat was claimed by Tanner Carrick and the Winters Performance heat went to Tim Kaeding. A total of 37 cars were on hand Saturday and the Quick Time Mortgage/ ADCO Driveline and Custom Exhaust Fast Time Award was earned by Tony Gualda by clocking a 12.672 around the Petaluma Speedway.

The Sprint Car Challenge Tour presented by Elk Grove Ford and Abreu Vineyards will now take a weekend off before resuming action on Saturday May 12 at the Fernley 95A Speedway in Fernley, Nevada. More info on the tour can be found at http://www.sprintcarchallengetour.com



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 Posted: Sunday Apr 29th, 2018 07:23 PM
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Gary Thomas
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DJ Johnson, Jason Palmer, Derek Boarman and Ryan Winter bring home Placerville Speedway wins on Denali Night presented by Thompson’s Buick/ GMC Dealership

By Gary Thomas and Julia Stead

Placerville, CA April 28, 2018…Stockton’s DJ Johnson made his return to C&H Veteran Ent. presents Hunt Magnetos Wingless Tour competition on Saturday night and raced to an entertaining victory in the 25-lap feature at Placerville Speedway.

Also joining Johnson in victory lane on Denali Night presented by Thompson’s Buick/ GMC Dealership were Jason Palmer with the Pure Stocks, Derek Boarman with the Mini Trucks and Ryan Winter with the Nor-Cal Dwarf Car Association. A total of 74-cars packed the pit area on a beautiful night in Placerville.

Johnson most recently won with the C&H Veteran Ent. presents Hunt Magnetos Wingless Tour during the Tribute to Gary Patterson in November of 2016. He then took last season off after the untimely passing of his father. His triumph on Saturday was very special for everyone in attendance.

“This is pretty amazing to come out here and win tonight in Placerville,” Johnson said. “I have to dedicate this win to my dad. I know he was looking down on me tonight. This is pretty darn cool and I can’t thank my whole team enough for all their help.”

Adam Christian got the initial lead at the waving of the green flag in the main event and felt early pressure from Scott Hall, who also had to fend off Jake Morgan. Lapped traffic then appeared on lap seven, but unfortunately for Christian his bid at victory came to an end when a lapped car spun in front him and collected him. Morgan had previously taken second and now inherited the lead of the race. Things got hectic coming up when traffic came back into play on lap 12, as Morgan and Hall exchanged the top-spot, much to the delight of the crowd on hand.

DJ Johnson then made his presence known and shot by both drivers to take the lead in thrilling fashion. Morgan’s solid run came to an end on lap 17 when contact left him with a folded front end. The remainder of the race saw Hall hound Johnson trying to find a way by, but each time he looked to have an opportunity the yellow flag would wave. Hall had found the high-side to his liking, but after another caution late in the race Johnson would change his line, playing a little defense. After that he pulled away and grabbed the Ron Stahl checkered flag for the victory.

Hall was able to hold off a late charge by Shawn Jones to earn the runner up spot. Jones, Cody Spencer and Nick Larson rounded out the top-five. King Racing Products heat one was picked off by Johnson, Speed Mart heat two was captured by Morgan and Benic Ent. heat three was won by Troy Degaton. The Santa Mauro Racing Products Dash was won by Morgan, while the Quick Time Mortgage Fast Time Award was earned by Scott Hall with a time of 12.330 around the quarter-mile. Twenty-three wingless spec sprints signed into the pit area during the night.

Jason Palmer was a dominant force last season en route to bringing home the Pure Stock title and he has already started off 2018 in that same fashion, by winning the first two events. Palmer got the early lead in the feature over Orville Owens and Kevin Jinkersen. Owens was able to get alongside Palmer for the lead early on, but a spun car forced the caution flag to be waved. Following the restart good racing was seen as the top-five cars bunched up and clustered together. Owens attempted a big-time slider to grab the lead but was unsuccessful.

Owens continued to try and find a way by, but Palmer hit his marks and charged off to bring home the victory. Owens crossed the stripe in second, with Scott Grunert beating out Nick Baldwin after a good battle for the third spot. Russ Murphy completed the top-five. Palmer, Owens and Murphy captured the three heat races. Seventeen Pure Stocks were in action on Saturday.

A healthy field of 25 Dwarf Cars were also on hand during the night and saw the always tough Ryan Winter score yet another victory. At the waving of the green flag sprint car veteran Colby Wiesz took command and led over Danny Wagner, but Winter would soon overtake him second. Just as Winter looked to challenge for the lead, the caution flag came out. At the line on lap six, Wagner got by Weisz but another caution flag occurred. A great battle for the lead was then seen as Wagner took command. On a lap 12 restart however, Winter got past Wagner to become the new leader.

Just a couple laps later though, Wagner found a nice line and made it a fight for the top-spot once again. The two would proceed to battle it out over the closing laps in a thrilling display of Dwarf Car racing. The two went back and forth and with the checkered flag in the air Winter was able to nip at the line by half a car length. The official margin of victory was .068 seconds. Wiesz, Kevin Miralio and Mike Grenert completed the top-five. Grenert had a great run in the feature after starting from 15th.

The Mini Trucks made their first appearance of the 2018 season and saw Derek Boarman pick up the win over Kelly Campanile, Megan Curtis, Aaron Rupley and Tom Stanwood.

The Placerville Speedway returns to competition this coming Saturday May 5 with “Law Enforcement - Big Trophy Night” at the races. In action on Saturday will be the Thompson’s Auto Group Winged 360 Sprint Cars, Ltd. Late Models, Pure Stocks and BCRA Midget Lites. More info can be found at http://www.placervillespeedway.com



____________________
http://www.sprintcarchallengetour.com
http://www.placervillespeedway.com
http://www.stocktondirttrack.com
http://www.thunderbowlraceway.com
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