APRIL | 10 | 2010
Herman Klein takes season opening Civil War victory in Placerville
by Bill Sullivan, Handy Racing Promotions Inc. Media Relations
HRP Photo by Donna Peter
PLACERVILLE, CA (3-20-10) - Sacramento's Herman Klein drove his way to victory in Placerville Speedway' Saturday night. Klein won the 30-lap Hoosier Racing Tires Civil War Feature event in the season opener for Placerville's Red Hawk Casino, Coors Light, Pepsi Cola, Riebes Auto Parts championship season.
Placerville's much anticipated season opener drew a huge crowd to the El Dorado County Fairgrounds Saturday night. Long before the green flag even waved the event became standing room only and those thousands of spectators were far from disappointed throughout the night as California's top talent began a brand new championship chapter.
Klein started on the outside of the front row for the 30-lap feature event. After a short series of false starts the Sacramento native gassed his Dale Wondergem owned #91 A.R.T. Chassis ahead of pole sitter Jimmy Trulli of Placerville and took a lead he would never relinquish. Klein distanced himself by several car lengths from the field in the early portions of the race and each time he reached lapped traffic it seemed an unrelated incident would bring out a caution flag and clear his route for a restart.
While the caution flag worked to the advantage of Klein, it was much the opposite for Auburn's Andy Forsberg. Forsberg drove his Brian Cannon owned #47 past Pleasanton's Brad Furr for second place on lap 11 Saturday night and began to hunt down Klein for the lead. Everytime Forsberg would get within a car length of Klein the many caution flags would snuff his efforts while Furr and eight place starter Sean Becker of Antelope, the defending series champion, closed in on second place.
On the final lap Klein took the white flag and Forsberg went into win it or wear it mode. Giving it everything he had in the first and second turn, Forsberg slid off the high side of the track and spun out of contention. Furr moved into second behind Klein at the finish line where he was followed by Becker, Colby Wiesz of Colfax and Willie Croft of Sacramento.
"Yeah the yellow flags kind of helped me in this one tonight. I was looking at the traffic ahead and trying to decide what I was going to do when I go to it because I knew Andy Forsberg was coming fast, " said Klein. If we had a long run and got into traffic he may have gotten us. This is a great way to start the series, we're planning on running all of the Civil War races this year and hopefully keep this momentum going."
Furr is always a competitive driver in both 360 and 410 competition. Saturday night marks a number of venues that the former World of Outlaw's driver will compete in for the Civil War Series as he attempts to qualify for the September Pacific Sprint Cup Invitational in Chico.
"I really like racing at this place," said Furr. "I'm planning on running some future Civil War races as time allows and hopefully we can qualify for the invitational in Chico, that's our goal."
For Becker, Saturday night was the first race in his title defense. With so many returning drivers the two time series champion knew he was going to have to perform well as early as the first night. Becker and his car owner Scott Miller were pleased with the podium finish.
"We really had a fourth place car tonight so I'm pleased with the podium finish, we'll take it," said Becker. "Andy Forsberg was in front of me and I was going to finish fourth until he spun off the track on that last lap. Third is a good finish for the first night, we're happy."
Earlier in the night, Forsberg posted quick time with 10:340 second lap. Heat races were won by Kenny Allen of Chico, Croft, Billy Wallace of Grass Valley and Billy Butler. The B feature was claimed by Andy Gregg of Placerville followed by Becker, Mason Moore of Princeton, Camron Mendes of Rohnert Park and Alissa Geving of Penngrove.
The Civil War Sprint Cars were joined by the Nor-Cal and DART Dwarf Car divisions as they kicked off their Silver-Gold Cup Series. Thirty one drivers competed and the feature event had side by side racing in a heated battle for the lead.
Brian Quilty and Kevin Bender dueled for the top position for the first half of the race. Shortly after Bender had resumed the lead from Bender he lost traction in turn four and Bender collided into the lead. Quilty stopped on the infield apron while Bender was able to keep his car moving. Officials from the Nor Cal Dwarf Cars deemed Bender would maintain his starting spot for not stopping while Quilty had to go to the rear of the field for the restart.
Once the race was restarted Bender drove his way to the victory where he was followed by Scott Dahlgren, Gilbert Toste, Mike Grenert and Josh Hiatt.
"We had a great group of drivers here for this race tonight and we got the win, but I got lucky too. I knew I had to keep the car moving when that happened down here," said Bender. "I really want to thank all the fans for coming out tonight and to everyone here at Handy for putting a great racetrack together."
The racing season continues this coming Saturday at Placerville Speedway in grand fashion as another high profile series will open at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds. The 410 sprint cars of the Golden State Challenge Series will being their 2010 season here. See top drivers including Jonathan Allard, Brent Kaeding, Even Suggs, Kyle Larson, Jason Statler and more as they bring high flying action to the bullring clay oval in El Dorado County.For complete results on Saturday's race and a look at what's to come in the week at Placerville Speedway visit the official website at www.placervillespeedway.com.