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 Posted: Thursday May 17th, 2018 11:24 PM
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Don Martin II
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California Hardtops To Compete On Tilford Tribute Night At Placerville Speedway



Placerville, CA..The California Hardtop Association has been invited to be a part of the big Stock Car themed night at Placerville Speedway this Saturday night. It's the Annual Donnie Tilford Tribute race. Through the years, Donnie Tilford won many races at the speedway and is shown as the all-time win leader on the track's Pure Stock/ Super Stock win list with 71 victories. Tilford died peacefully in his sleep from heart complications back in 2014, and speedway management created this event as a marquee program for the Stock Car divisions that Tilford and his family have enjoyed so much through the years.

The California Hardtop racers enjoy competing at Placerville Speedway and being a part of such a prestigious event. A field of anywhere from 8 to 12 racers is anticipated for the coming event. In their last Placerville visit in April, the group fielded 13 cars with 12 of them taking the checkered flag. At the front of the pack, it was Dave Reed getting the win that night ahead of Ken Retzloff and Ron Ruiz.

Presently, Ruiz is on a bit of a roll with two straight victories. On the pavement of Stockton 99 Speedway, Ruiz won by a wide margin ahead of Jason Armstrong and Dave Stewart. Roger MacShain had been running third before pitting, but he returned to the Merced race and picked up a second place finish behind the flying Ruiz. It was Joe Shenefield cruising to a third place finish that night.

The Merced visit wasn't very pretty for the group. The race track had been watered prior to them getting on the track, and there was some confusion between officials and drivers about whether they were ready to go racing or pack the track in for a couple more laps. Leading the pack on the pole, Ken Clifford had given them a thumbs down, but the green flag waved next time by. A couple laps later, disaster struck when Reed spun into Turn 1 and Clifford hit him hard, doing severe damage to the front end of the Clifford mount. Jason Armstrong was also done after the incident.

Dave Mackey, who had a second place finish behind Ken Retzloff recently in Antioch, led for a few laps before pitting to give the lead to Ruiz. After assessing the damage to the race cars, the California Hardtop Association decided to cancel the visit that was scheduled for Stockton 99 Speedway last week. They wanted to produce a good field of cars for their next event, and there was concern that there wouldn't be enough cars for the show.

Already, there have been 16 different drivers to compete in the first four Hardtop races this year. A strong turnout is anticipated for Placerville Speedway this week, and other drivers to watch for include Rhett Lange, Dennis Armstrong, Larry Wells, Tom Grady and Jason Clifford. This Saturday's Tilford Tribute Race is already shaping up to be a great Stock Car program. With these beautiful California Hardtops on the card, it will be that much better.



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