PLACERVILLE (8-29-98)- For Pacific Sprint car driver David Robinson Jr., the scenario couldn't have been any better Saturday night at Alan Padjen's Placerville Speedway. It was the night before his sister's wedding, the grandstand was filled with...
PLACERVILLE (8-29-98)- For Pacific Sprint car driver David Robinson Jr., the scenario couldn't have been any better Saturday night at Alan Padjen's Placerville Speedway. It was the night before his sister's wedding, the grandstand was filled with family members would hadn't seen him race since he was a youngster and to top it all off the Sacramento driver started on the pole of the feature event and led it from flag to flag.
"This one means a lot because I have a lot of family here that I haven't seen in a long time," explained Robinson. " My sister's getting married this weekend and I wanted more than anything to win this race tonight this one is for her."
After qualifying third quick and placing fourth in his 8-lap heat race, Robinson started the feature event on the pole with Antelope racer Bob Sturgil on the outside, Mike Benson of Calistoga started third and Damion Gardner of Concord started fourth.
At the waving of the green flag, Robinson wasted little time in stomping the accelerator pedal of his Chuck Wimer/Sandy Robinson No. 4d John Boy to the floor to power ahead of Sturgil as they entered the first set of turns. With just two laps complete, Robinson had already begun to distance himself from Sturgil, who had his hands full for the second position as sixth place starter Billy Sellers moved up to challenge for the bridesmaid position.
With six laps in the history book, Robinson began approaching lapped traffic while Sturgil and Sellers dueled for the second spot distantly behind the current division point leader. On the ninth lap, Sellers managed his way around Sturgil for one lap until Sturgil fought back successfully and redeemed his position on the tenth lap. On lap 17 Sellers regained the momentum he needed and passed Sturgil for good.
While Sellers and Sturgil raced wheel to wheel for the second spot, Robinson was powering his way to a near half track lead, carefully slicing and dicing his way through lapped traffic. When the white flag came out indicating only one lap remained, Sellers had closed in on the leader slightly, but not near enough to threaten his position. At the checkered flag Robinson picked up his third win of the season, Sellers finished second followed by Sturgil, Benson and Andy Forsberg.
"I knew they were coming up behind me but when I get nervous I screw up so I was trying not to worry about too much. It was kind of tough on the cushion tonight, that's where it was fast but you had to be careful at the same time. I really need to thank my car owners Chuck Wimer and Sandy Robinson for providing me with a car to drive and all the sponsors that have supported me through the season and made this all possible."
In Pro Stock competition, Charlie Mars of Yuba City brought a new face to victory circle at Placerville Saturday night. Mars, who joined the Pro Stock field just three weeks ago after purchasing the car of three-time Placerville champion Fred Jenson, led all 15-laps of the feature event.
Starting in the fifth position, Mars took the lead shortly after the waving of the green flag when a multi-car collision broke out in the first and second turns. The incident developed when pole sitter Ray Smith of Rancho Cordova collided with point leader Mike Moran on the low side of the turn. Both drivers spun to the infield area while the rest of the field shuffled for position.
Driving high on the track to steer clear of the incident, Mars took the lead and never looked back while Moran worked frantically to recover from the opening lap mishap as only 10-points separated him from Citrus Heights' Mike Chandler entering Saturday's main event. But the seventh lap, Moran was on the road to recovery as he had driven up to sixth, two positions behind Chandler. In the waning laps luck finally turned in the direction of Moran when Chandler spun out in the fourth turn and fell back to rear of the field.
While the division point leaders were dueling within traffic, Mars was doing the opposite as he cruised out in front of the field all the way to the checkered flag to post his first win of the season. Paul Spencer Jr. of Placerville finished second followed by Mike Nuss of Pollock Pines, Dennis Armstrong of El Dorado and Moran.
"I found the right combination for this track tonight and that's a fast car with a smaller motor," said Mars. For the past two weeks we've been running our big motor, I switched to smaller one and that was key to this track. This isn't how I really like to win a race, I'd much rather drive from the back but you have to take them any way they come."
In the Pure Stock division, Eric Hansard drove to his seventh victory of the 1998 season. Hansard, driving his Dave Hansard owned Chevelle, started the event on the pole position. When the green flag came out, Hansard muscled ahead of second place starter Bobby Bankson of Rancho Cordova to take a lead he would never relinquish.,
Highlights of the 20-lap event included Placerville's Matt Keeler moving up to second to challenge the leader for several laps. A lack of traction later in the race eventually led to Keeler falling back in the field and allowed Dan Farrington of Orangevale to move into the bridesmaid position. At the finish line Hansard, the division point leader, was followed across the line by Farrington, Neil Webster of Placerville, Mel Byers of Loomis and Keeler.
"We're just trying to finish each race we're in until the end of the season in two weeks,: explained Hansard. "But that doesn't mean were going to quit racing hard because we're out here to win too."
The three track regulars were joined Saturday night by the visiting Midget Lites of Bay Cities Racing Association. In their 20-lap feature event, John Taylor of Antelope took home the honors. Talyor was followed across the line by David Goodwill of Napa, Greg Shehan of Citrus Heights, Turlock's Cameron Beard and Kenny Palmer of Citrus Heights.
Next Saturday night, championship auto racing will continued at Placerville Speedway with the second to last point race of the season. Pacific Sprint Cars will headline the program accompanied by Pro Stocks, Pure Stocks and the Midget Lites. Action is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. with qualifying.
PLACERVILLE SPEEDWAY RACE SUMMARY, SATURDAY, AUGUST 29, 1998 "THUNDER IN THE FOOTHILLS" CHAMPIONSHIP POINT RACE #15
PACIFIC SPRINT CARS
TOP QUALIFIERS: 1.) Mike Benson-11:403; 2.) Damion Gardner 11:418; 3.)David Robinson Jr; 11:510; 4.) Bob Sturgil-11:510 5.) Joey Magaruh-11:550.
HEAT 1: Rick Frock; Alan Silva; Marc Mackay; Bob Sturgil; Billy Wallace.
HEAT 2: Andy Forsberg; Gary Morgan; Bryan Bullard; Joey Magaruh; Damion Gardner.
HEAT 3: C.J. Humphreys; Dave Angus; Billy Sellers; David Robinson Jr.; Mark Wells.
B-MAIN: Gardner; Mike Benson; Wallace; Terry Cox; Alan Bradway
MAIN: Robinson; Sellers; Sturgil; Benson; Forsberg.
HEAT 1: Mike Chandler; Dennis Armstrong; Mike Nuss; Ray Smith.
HEAT 2: Paul Spencer; Charlie Mars; Mike Moran; Randy Rigdon Jr.; Greg Lewin
MAIN: Mars; Spencer; Nuss; Armstrong; Moran
HEAT 1: Dan Farrington; Matt Keeler; Eric Hansard; David Castro; Marek Bernert.
HEAT 2: Will Fanning; Mel Byers; Bobby Bankson; Foster Leedy; Dale Grizzell.
MAIN: Hansard; Farrington; Neil Webster; Mel Byers; Matt Keeler.
BCRA MIDGET LITES
HEAT 1: Ryan German; Greg Chehan; Terry Bergstrom; Ricky Green; Andy Greg.
HEAT 2: Kenny Palmer; John Taylor; Cameron Beard; Harley VanDyke; Bill Hopper
MAIN: Taylor; David Goodwill; Shehan; Beard; Palmer.