Three drivers earn Independence Day victories at Placerville Speedway

By: Gary Thomas
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It had been awhile since Watsonville’s Justin Sanders tasted victory at the Placerville Speedway, but that all changed on Independence Day when the always hard-charging driver put on a clinic to earn his first Winged Sprint Car win of the season.

Also sharing victory lane during the annual Freedom Fireworks event were Ryan McDaniel in the Ltd. Late Models and Ted Ahart with the Mini Trucks. Due to time constraints, the Pure Stock feature was postponed till a later date.

The 25-lap Winged 360 Sprint Car feature saw Penngrove’s Buddy Kofoid jump to the lead with Sanders shooting into second. A yellow flag on lap seven then set up a restart where Sanders claimed the lead with a big time slider on Kofoid. A couple more cautions, then a red for Kyle Hirst slowed the pace of the feature.  


On the restart Hollister’s Ryan Bernal moved by Kofoid for second, with Fremont’s Shane Golobic also coming along for third. Golobic threw a slider on Bernal with 15-laps complete to snag second, but Bernal returned the favor on the next lap. A few more stoppages occurred over the final 10-circuits, but nothing could stop the fast moving Sanders, who took the checkered flag over Bernal, Golobic, Steven Tiner and Jake Morgan.


A healthy field of 32 Winged 360 Sprint Cars signed in on Tuesday. The night’s B-main went to Jake Morgan, while heat races were picked off by CJ Humphreys, Greg Decaires, Tony Gualda and Kalib Henry.


fast time award went to Penngrove’s Buddy Kofoid with a lap of 11.135 around the quarter-mile. 


Ryan McDaniel thrilled the packed house on hand with an exhilarating drive from the rear of the field to claim another Ltd. Late Model victory. He had taken the lead at the waving of the green, but contact between he and Matt Michelli left both drivers parked, forcing them to the rear. Eddie Gardner then jumped to the lead and felt pressure from Wayne Trimble over the early stages.


McDaniel was already back to fifth by lap seven, before a yellow on lap 10 set up a restart that saw him move into third. McDaniel then drove around the top-two on lap 13 to assume the lead that he would never relinquish. He ended up taking home the win over Gardner, Trimble, Matt Michelli and Ken Michelli.


A total of 15 Ltd. Late Models were on hand Tuesday with the two heat races going to Ryan McDaniel and Wayne Trimble.


Seven Mini Trucks competed during the night. The lone heat was picked off by Ted Ahart, who also went to win the main event. John Littlejohn, Thomas Jensen, Aaron Rupley and Zak Beezak rounded out the top-five.


The Placerville Speedway will return to action this Saturday July 8 for Kids Bike Night. Divisions on hand will include Winged 360 Sprint Cars, Ltd. Late Models, Pure Stocks, and BCRA Midget Lites (kids under 12 free entry).  Further information can be found at