PLACERVILLE, California — For drivers and teams that compete with the Cancen Oil KWS Series presented by Goodyear, returning to the Placerville Speedway was something many were excited about during the unveiling of the schedule.
"When I first saw that Placerville was back on the schedule I was pretty excited, because it seems like it’s been forever since we’ve had a 410 race there"— Andy Gregg
There happens to be extra-special meaning for some however, including Placerville’s very own Andy Gregg, who has been a full-time traveler with the Cancen Oil King of the West Sprint Car Series over the last year and a half.
“When I first saw that Placerville was back on the schedule I was pretty excited, because it seems like it’s been forever since we’ve had a 410 race there,” commented Gregg. “I’m super pumped for Saturday and ecstatic we have two KWS races at Placerville. It’s been a while since a lot of my friends and fans have seen me race with the 410 as well, so I’m looking forward to it.”
Gregg’s best career 410 Sprint Car finish at the Placerville Speedway is a third place effort, which he has accomplished on two separate occasions.
Both of those results came in the 2009 season, with the first seeing him end up on the podium with Brent Kaeding & Jason Statler. The second time he earned a podium appearance with Tyler Walker & Jonathan Allard. Those four drivers also combine for 17 of the last 26 state 410 titles.
“Anytime you can finish on the podium with Golden State or now the King of the West Series is an honor,” said Gregg, who was last week’s Pit Stop USA hard charger. “All of the drivers that finish in the top-five of these KWS 410 races are champions and have won races. It’s always an accomplishment when you finish up front when considering who we compete with on a weekly basis.”
Last season Gregg finished seventh in the KWS standings aboard the Seven-Industries backed No. 53 and claimed his first ever traveling 410 Sprint Car victory in July. He also tallied one of the finest accomplishments in his driving career thus far, by scoring a third place finish at the Gold Cup Race of Champions in Chico.
Gregg isn’t the only one though with fond thoughts about the return to Placerville Speedway this weekend.
Fellow KWS competitor Doug Gandy was a fixture at the Placerville Speedway in his day and claimed a trio of track title’s in the 1970’s. "I have some great memories at Placerville," Gandy has said. “I'm not quite sure what we would have done as a family back then if they hadn't built it. It's a special place to me and I look forward to coming back. I will always appreciate those days racing there and all the great fans.”
Competing at the track also holds a little more meaning for Elk Grove's Bobby McMahan, who began his sprint car career at the track in 1982 garnering Rookie of the Year. "It's always special for me to go back to Placerville since that's where I started racing sprint cars," said McMahan, who is tied for third in KWS points. “We’ve had a great start to the year and hope to continue it on Saturday.”
In addition to those drivers there will be many more on hand to tackle the high-banked quarter-mile, for what is the third race in the 2012 season for the Cancen Oil King of the West Sprint Car Series presented by Goodyear.
On top of the points going into Saturday is two-time state 410 champion Jonathan Allard of Chico, who holds a one-marker advantage over defending “King of the West” Tim Kaeding from San Jose. Others set for action on Saturday include Hall of Famer Brent Kaeding, ’04 state champ Jason Statler, as well as Evan Suggs, Peter Murphy, Shane Golobic, Rico Abreu, Kyle Hirst, Craig Stidham, Willie Croft, Tyler Wolf and others.
Saturday’s pre-race autograph session when the front gate opens will include Andy Gregg, Doug Gandy and KWS Rookie of the Year contender Cody Lamar. The young driver of the Tri-C Manufacturing No. 3c mount is coming off his best career 410 Sprint Car finish in Chico this past Friday, where he brought home a third place effort.
The pit gate will open at 2pm on Saturday, the front gate opens at 5pm and cars will be hitting the track for wheel packing around 6pm, with qualifying at 6:30pm and racing around 7pm. Adult tickets on Saturday will cost $20, seniors will be $16, juniors $12 and children $6. All seating is general admission and fans are encouraged to get there early.
The Placerville Speedway is located on the 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. Track information can be found at http://www.placervillespeedway.com