PLACERVILLE – The grandstands at Placerville Speedway were packed full on Saturday night as the speedway officially closed its 2012 racing season by honoring its late managing promoter with the Thompsons' Auto Center Tribute to Al Hinds featuring the competitive Civil War Sprint Car Series in its championship finale along with the Midget Lites of the Bay Cities Racing Association.
"Forsberg becomes most decorated series champion with 7th Civil War Series title "
Elverta's Steven Tiner took home the exaggerated winnings in the 9th Annual Tribute to Al Hinds. Tiner shared in the final celebration of the year with Midget Lite winner Cameron Beard of Turlock and Andy Forsberg of Auburn who claimed his seventh Civil War Series Championship at the end of the night. Scott Kinney of Citrus Heights claimed the season championship for the traveling BCRA Midget Lites at the end of the night.
Al Hinds was the second promoter of Placerville Speedway. He took operation of the track from its founder, Bruno Romani, in 1968, three years after it first opened when the facility was built around an existing community football field. Since that time, Placerville Speedway has become one of the top auto racing venues in Northern California, much due to the efforts of Hinds, who brought the community together with what was known as a rough and tumble facet of the sport back in the day.
From the day he set foot on the red clay at Placerville Speedway to the very last race he attended, Hinds continued to display his true love for auto racing and the community in which he brought it to. Even in his final years he continued to help young drivers, entertain fans with his great wisdom. When Hinds spoke, anyone who cared remotely about the future of the sport would sit down and listen.
Saturday night Steven Tiner of Elverta celebrated in victory lane with more than $3000 in his hands courtesy of the event payout combined with the bonus funds presented by Ron Thompson and Brian Veerkamp. The Tiner came is rooted deep into the history of Placerville Speedway and it was the forefathers of the latest generation of talent that turned many laps back in the days with Hinds operated the facility and was one of the best known engine builders in the nation. Tiner took a moment to honor Hinds from victory lane.
"Earlier this year I tried my hand at being a race promoter when we put on the Tiner Classic here on July Fourth and I learned really fast what it takes to try and do this," said Tiner. "It takes a lot of hard work and its because of Al Hinds this place is here today. He was an awesome guy in this sport and a true fan and we appreciate what he did for racing."
Tiner assumed the pole position Saturday night after original pole sitter Zach Zimmerly of Ritchfield was penalized for jumping the original start. From the opening green flag and through numerous caution flags, Tiner maintained the lead position for the entire 30-lap affair while 11th place starter Kyle Hirst of Elk Grove advanced into the top running. Hirst was the second driver bringing the Tiner name to the forefront, driving a competitive car fielded by Rodney Tiner for the night.
When the checkered flag waved Tiner picked up the win followed by Hirst and Shane Golobic of Freemont who completed the podium with a third place finish. Tiner's win was redemption for the Fourth of July when he was favored to win his family's event but struck with ill luck in the feature event.
"This is great to come here tonight and have the Tiner's finish one and two," said Tiner. "I was still kicking my self for the July Fourth race so this makes up for that. It's always great to come here and see this great crowd that comes out for this race. Alan Handy put together a great race track and everyone here tonight really did a great job. "
Entering Saturday's race, Forsberg maintained a point lead of 50 points over Colby Wiesz of Colfax for the Civil War Series Championship. Although he ended his night a distance from the podium with a 16th place finish with motor woes, the recently crowned Placerville Speedway champion claimed his seventh Civil War Series crown when the green flag waved in the feature event.
"Seven championships is a feat but like the old saying goes, records are made to be broken so I am sure one day somebody will overtake this," said Forsberg. "There are so many really good young drivers out here like Brad Sweet and Kyle Larson but the problem is they are so good they quickly end up going back east and leave us. I'm not quite as good as those younger guys so I'm afraid you fans are stuck with me out here and I'm good with that."
Earlier in the night Forsberg appeared to be a strong contender in qualifying and heat racing. It wasn’t until the feature event that the F&F Racing x1 came to a stop on the track to bring out a yellow flag. Forsberg and the team were relieved they started the evening with a healthy point lead.
"I'm really relieved we came into this night with a big point lead," said Forsberg. "This is exactly why you want to race hard all season long to work your way up to one. If it would have tight going into tonight we wouldn't be standing here. We've had some motor bugs going on lately that we are still trying to figure out and they showed up again tonight. I can't thank this team enough for everything they give me. Now we need to head to Chico and the Fall Nationals."
In the Midget Lites division, Cameron Beard of Turlock led all 20 laps of the feature event. Beard was followed across the line by Brian Corso, Scott Kinney, Dakota Albright and Marcus Smith. Kinney claimed the division championship for the traveling BCRA division driving for Placerville area car owner Tony Fonseca.
Placerville Speedway will know turn out the lights on the 2012 racing season and its 47th year of operation at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds. Handy Racing Promotions wishes to thank all of the dedicated fans, sponsors and teams that supported this most recent year and offer an extended thank you to those who continue to support the annual Tribute to Al Hinds such as Thompson's Auto Center, ADCO Driveline and Brian Veerkamp. For complete results of Saturday's race visit www.placervillespeedway.com.