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Justin Sanders makes late move to win 14th Tribute to Al Hinds at Placerville Speedway

Kinney, Micheli, Owens win in their respective divisions
By: By Brad Kennedy and Gary Thomas
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Watsonville’s Justin Sanders battled his way around Penngrove’s Buddy Kofoid in the closing laps to bring home the $2,000 top prize at the prestigious 14th annual Tribute to Al Hinds on Saturday night. 

Also sharing victory lane during the event at Placerville Speedway were Matt Michelli with the Ltd. Late Models, Orville Owens with the Pure Stocks and Scott Kinney with the Bay Cities Racing Association Midget Lites. The evening helped open a big month of August at the facility and saw 69 total cars pack the pit area. 

For Sanders, it was his second Thompson’s Auto Group Winged 360 Sprint Car feature win of the Red Hawk Casino championship season. He had previously tasted victory during the Fourth of July Freedom Fireworks showcase. 

At the waving of the green flag it was Roseville’s Colby Copeland who darted into the lead, while Steven Tiner and Sanders battled for second. Things came to a halt on lap three though, after Kalib Henry got upside down. The incident also involved point leader Greg Decaires, who went to the work area with front end damage. Soon after that Copeland jumped the cushion and brought out the yellow, surrendering the lead to Tiner. 

Buddy Kofoid then began to show his muscle, fighting his way around Sanders for the runner up spot, before making the move past Tiner for the lead on lap 16. Sanders was then able to slice by Tiner for second, prior to a red flag period on lap 21. The final four laps saw Sanders make the winning move to get by Kofoid and go on to pick up the big victory. Kofoid, Sean Becker, DJ Netto and Tiner completed the top-five. 

Auburn’s Andy Forsberg captured the night’s B-main and also started the night by earning the ADCO Driveline and Custom Exhaust Fast Time Award. The four heat races held were picked off by Buddy Kofoid, Steven Tiner, Jimmy Trulli and DJ Freitas. A strong field of 34 Winged 360 Sprint Cars were on hand during the night. 

Matt Michelli continues to be the dominant force with the Ltd. Late Models and raced to his seventh victory of the season on Saturday. For much of the race however, it looked like we’d have a new winner in the form of Jay Norton, who led laps one through 18. 

Michelli then charged around the high-side of speedway to take the lead with just a couple laps remaining and went on to claim the checkered flag and extend his current point lead. Norton, Ray Trimble, Tom Tilford and Paul Gugleimoni rounded out the top-five. Michelli and Ray Trimble won heat races. 

Orville Owens has been blazing hot recently with the Pure Stocks and continue with that pace on Saturday by claiming his third win in a row. The hard-fought feature saw Nick Baldwin lead the way for much of it, until Owens charged by for the top-spot on lap 17. At the same time a caution appeared however, which negated the pass. 

The exciting closing laps shootout featured a battle between Baldwin, Owens and Jason Palmer for the win. Owens was able to get by Baldwin on a restart and go on to score yet another Placerville Speedway victory. Baldwin, Palmer, Scott Grunert and Rick Grunert comprised second through fifth in the final rundown. Nick Baldwin and John Ewing claimed the two heat races. 

Scott Kinney claimed an exciting BCRA Midget Lite victory on Saturday after battling with son Hunter over the closing laps. Early on S. Kinney had to deal with the challenges from Emilee Lindgren, until she got upside down while looking for the lead in turn one. 

 

S. Kinney then fended off the younger Kinney to tally his second Placerville Speedway win of the season. H. Kinney, Craig Dillard, Jimmy Trulli and RC Smith completed the top-five. Hunter and Scott Kinney won the two heat races held during the night. 

 

The Placerville Speedway returns to action this coming Saturday August 12 with another Red Hawk Casino point race featuring the Thompson’s Auto Group Winged 360 Sprint Cars, Ltd. Late Models, Pure Stocks and Mini Trucks. It will also be vintage T-shirt night at the races so be sure and break out all the oldies!