SEPTEMBER 5, 2012
"Gold Cup Civil War Invitational"
Silver Dollar Speedway
Tim Kaeding takes $3000 win in 8th Tribute to Al Hinds Civil War race
Forsberg wins riches series championship in history with $10,000 sixth career title
by Bill Sullivan, Handy Racing Promotions Media Relations
Photo by Donna Peter
PLACERVILLE, CA (9-24-11) - The 2011 Hoosier Racing Tires Civil War Sprint Car Series came to a conclusion Saturday night in grand fashion with the 8th Annual Tribute to Al Hinds at Placerville Speedway. When checkered flag flew on the 30-lap feature event on popular California driver added a new special victory to his resume while another scored the richest championship title in the history of this popular Northern California series for 360 cubic inch powered sprint cars.
Auburn's Andy Forsberg clinched his sixth career Civil War Series title when he took the green flag for Saturday's feature event. Forsberg celebrated the biggest accolade of his career alongside Campbell's Tim Kaeding who took home the victory in the form of $3000 Saturday night sponsored by Thompson's Auto and Truck Centers.
For Forsberg, Saturday's championship title didn't come without it's share of stressful moments for his F&F; Racing crew and himself. After qualifying 19th the recently crowned Placerville Speedway weekly champion drove to victory in his heat race to secure a starting position in the 30-lap feature event. In this race all Forsberg had to do to clinch the title was take a minimum of one lap under the green flag.
Forsberg's requirement to lock the title was easier said than done. Saturday's official start was plagued with caution flags over several attempts. Eventually, track officials ordered a single file line up in an effort to get the race underway.
"I just wanted to get that first lap and get it over with," said Forsberg. "I kept thinking of what happened to Sean Becker last year when his car wouldn't start. Before the race Sean even came over and jokingly asked me if he wanted me to have him start my car tonight. Once we got started I knew we had the championship, after that we had our problems but it seems like that's the case many times in these final races like this. It would have been nice to get the win too but I'm really happy with the success of this team this year. This team use to give me fits when I raced against them and now to have the opportunity to drive for them and win a championship like this is great. Now we can go the Fall Nationals and try to get another win."
Forsberg ended his 2011 Civil War campaign with a 15th place finish after a pair of trips to the work area during the 30-lap affair. Overall, Forsberg earned 10 top ten finishes in the season and five top five finishes, all of which were main event victories in the Civil War campaign. He clinched the title over Sacramento's Kyle Hirst unofficially and Steven Tiner of Visalia.
"I just have to thank everyone who works so hard on this team" said Forsberg. "Steve Tuccelli and Alan Bradway are the best car owners I could ever ask for. The support I receive from this whole team, my family and all our sponsors is just incredible. I also want to thank all the fans that come out here and support us each week. This has been a great season, the best one I have ever had."
In Saturday's race, Elk Grove's Billy Strange Jr. started on the pole position and took a commanding lead once the green flag remained out. The second generation driver drove his Strange Motorsports #28 sprint car to a lead over more than a second and worked his way into lapped traffic midway through the race.
In the final 15 laps of the event, Kaeding had worked his way up from the 13th place starting position into the second spot and began setting his sights on Strange, who was looking for his first career victory. On this particular night Strange battled with one of the best known drivers in California in a heated battle for the victory.
After taking several looks high and low and pulling beside his prey on several occasions, Kaeding made his strike for the lead on the 21st lap as the two leaders raced side by side into the third and fourth turns. As they approached the front stretch, Kaeding edged Strange for the position to take a lead he would never relinquish.
"He was running a good line and it was tough to get around him," said Kaeding."I finally found something up there in three and four and got around him but I knew I had to keep pushing because he was going to stay right behind me. Lapped traffic is always the key at this place."
Once Kaeding was in front, Strange never gave up and remained within a car length of the leader within lapped traffic while his girlfriend, Nicole Miller of Elk Grove, worked her way into the third position in the final laps. At the checkered flag Kaeding picked up the $3000 win while Strange finished in second place followed by Miller who started 21st and earned a $300 hard charger bonus courtesy of Stymiest Auto Body. Willie Croft of Citrus Heights finished in fourth place. Earlier in the night Croft was the fast qualifier with a 10:691 second lap earning him a $200 bonus from the Stymiest group. Sacramento's Billy Butler rounded out the top five at the finish line.
Kaeding has had countless victories of great caliber in his racing career including many national wins during his term with the World of Outlaw's. Saturday night he added his name to the elite drivers that have claimed a victory in the annual Tribute to Al Hinds at Placerville Speedway. The Kaeding family and Hinds were rich in the history of California sprint car racing and for Kaeding, the win was about much more then just the added cash incentive from businessman Ron Thompson.
"It always means more to win any type of memorial race," said Kaeding. "I think we are all pushing a little harder because it's a special win. Al Hinds and my family go way back. I was the last member of the Kaeding group to win the Johnny Key Classic in Watsonville. That's usually how it goes, I'm the last one to get those special wins. I really want to thank all the fans that packed into this place tonight and Thompson's for the added bonus too."
During Saturday's event, Thompson's Auto and Truck Centers announced they will continue to fund the annual Tribute to Al Hinds race at Placerville Speedway. Additionally, the long time auto dealer will team with Handy Racing Promotions for additional sponsorship of the 2012 racing season.
"We're really thankful for Ron Thompson coming in and sponsoring this race this year," said Alan Handy. "He went above and beyond on very short notice and we really forward to working with him more in 2012. Diane and myself want to thank all of the fans, sponsors, the race teams, our employees, the El Dorado County Fairgrounds and the many volunteers that have helped us get through our third season. All of the support is so appreciated and we couldn't have done it without everyone."Saturday's race was the final event of the 2011 racing season at Placerville Speedway. The 2012 season is tentatively set to being in April. For information on the upcoming season stay tuned to www.placervillespeedway.com.