- By Gary Thomas
The Elk Grove Ford Sprint Car Challenge Tour presented by Abreu Vineyards heads for a Placerville/ S
Placerville, CA – After a few weeks of being dark the Elk Grove Ford Sprint Car Challenge Tour presented by Abreu Vineyards is geared up for its penultimate weekend of racing in 2017, starting at the Placerville Speedway this Friday, followed by the Stockton Dirt Track’s Salute to LeRoy Van Conett on Saturday.
This weekend marks rounds 11 and 12 and will surely be critical in the points chase, with the top-15 drivers/owners in the standings at season’s end taking part in the $60,000 fund. The campaign has seen immense parity thus far and has featured eight different winners in the first 10 events held.
The special Friday show at Placerville Speedway will be the final visit of the season to the high-banked red clay quarter-mile. The first event at the facility in April saw 63 cars on hand and another solid field of entrants are expected Friday.
This Saturday at the Stockton Dirt Track honors retired Galt, CA racer LeRoy Van Conett, who was born in Stockton and would go on to become one of the very best to wheel a Sprint Car in California. The driver known as the “Dragon from Galt” is the all-time leader in wins at the famed Calistoga Speedway, with 31 victories to his credit. He also captured the track title seven-times in his illustrious career.
Van Conett claimed 65 career wins with the Northern Auto Racing Club and eight series titles, both of which rank second to Campbell’s Brent Kaeding. In 1976 he scored victory at the Gold Cup Race of Champions and in 1999 was bestowed one of the highest honors any driver can receive, by being inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame.
Going into this weekend Roth Motorsports wheel-man Kyle Hirst holds onto a 54-point lead at the top of the Elk Grove Ford Sprint Car Challenge Tour presented by Abreu Vineyards standings. Hirst has shown amazing consistency this season, tallying eight podium finishes in the first 10 events. The Paradise, CA driver will be gunning to break his way into victory lane this weekend and stretch his lead with the year winding down.
The fight for second in points continues to be one to watch, with Roseville’s Willie Croft holding the runner up spot by 19-markers over Hanford’s Mitchell Faccinto. Croft has one victory to his credit this season, which came at the Petaluma Speedway on April 29. Faccinto is the only repeat winner so far, with both of his triumphs coming at the Stockton Dirt Track, site of Saturday’s event.
Hollister’s Ryan Bernal currently holds down the fourth spot in the standings and has one victory so far this season, while Princeton’s Mason Moore rounds out the top-five and will be looking for his first win of the year. Completing the top-10 in points heading into the weekend are Kingsburg’s Cory Eliason, Penngrove’s Buddy Kofoid, Visalia’s Steven Tiner, Placerville’s Andy Gregg and Hanford’s DJ Netto.
Adult tickets this Friday August 25 at the Placerville Speedway cost $20, while seniors 62 plus and juniors 12-15 will be $15, children 6-11 are $6 and those under 6 will be free. The pit gate will open at 2pm, with the front grandstand gate opening at 3pm.
A happy hour will be offered from 4pm-6pm in the grandstands featuring discounted Coors Light and Coors Original at the beer stand. Cars will be on track for wheel packing at 5pm, with qualifying scheduled to begin around 5:30pm and heat races expected to fire-off at 6:30pm.
The Placerville Speedway is located on the beautiful El Dorado County Fairgrounds in Placerville, California. Take Hwy US-50 to Forni Road/Placerville Drive exit. Then go north on Placerville Drive to the Fairgrounds. The physical address is 100 Placerville Dr., Placerville, CA 95667. For more information on the Placerville Speedway log onto http://www.placervillespeedway.com
Adult tickets this Saturday August 26 at the Stockton Dirt Track will cost $20, kids 5-10 will be $10 and those four and under are free. The pit gate is scheduled to open at 1pm. Ticket sales begin and the front gate opens at 4pm. Cars will hit the track just after 5pm with hot laps, qualifying and racing to follow.
The Stockton Dirt Track is a lightning fast 4/10 mile clay oval located on the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds in Stockton, California. The physical address is 1658 S Airport Way, Stockton, CA 95206. For information on the speedway visit www.stocktondirttrack.com
The Sprint Car Challenge Tour is proudly sponsored by Elk Grove Ford, Abreu Vineyards, Hoosier Racing Tires, Bianchi Farms, Kyle Larson Racing, All Star Performance, A.R.T. Speed Equipment, BR Motorsports, King Racing Products, Auto Meter, ADCO Driveline & Exhaust, Bullard Construction, Chris Kenner Racing Specialties/ Security Race Products, CLT Logging, CRV Carbon Solutions, Driven2SaveLives, Dynachrome, Finley Farms, Flying Squirrel, Garth Moore Insurance and Financial Services, Jockos Sprint Parts, Keizer Wheels, Light Up the World Beverages, LRB Inc., Menne Hay Inc., Moto Wear, Metal Works, Naake Suspension, Pit Stop USA, PT Shocks, Pyrotect Racing Cells, RacePartsTrader.com, R&R Racewear, Saldana Racing Products, Sellers Race Wings, Shifty Illusions, Team Ford of Woodland, Walker Performance Filtration, Weld Racing and Winters Performance.
The Sprint Car Challenge Tour is operated under the Russell Motorsports Inc. banner, which also manages the Placerville Speedway in Placerville, California. For sponsorship opportunities and inquiries, RMI can be reached at 530-344-7592 or firstname.lastname@example.org
More information on the Elk Grove Ford Sprint Car Challenge Tour presented by Abreu Vineyards can be found at our official website www.sprintcarchallengetour.com – Be sure to also like us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/sprintcarchallengetour and follow on Twitter https://twitter.com/360SCCT for the latest breaking news regarding SCCT.
Remaining events in 2017 for the Elk Grove Ford Sprint Car Challenge Tour presented by Abreu Vineyards Friday August 25: Placerville Speedway Saturday August 26: Stockton Dirt Track (Salute to LeRoy Van Conett) Saturday November 4: Stockton Dirt Track (34th annual Tribute to Gary Patterson)
Photos courtesy of RCM Design