From the desk of Kevin Triplett
Thirteen Bay Cities Racing Association (BCRA) mighty midgets joined four other divisions for Donnie Tilford Tribute night at the Placerville Speedway on Saturday August 20 2016. Cory Elliott from Bakersfield set quick time in time trials as he toured the clay ¼-mile in 12.140 seconds to edge out Macdoel’s Maria Cofer by .28 seconds, with Galt’s Matt Streeter third fastest and Taylor Simas in Doug Bock’s Esslinger-powered Spike chassis to round out the fastest four cars.
Randi Pankratz led the first laps of the first eight-lap heat race in her Edmunds/Fontana as she used the lower line before Matt Streeter powered by on the top side of the track. Streeter then pulled away for a convincing victory trailed to the finish line by Elliott and Simas. Brian Grad led all the way in the Arata Racing #88 Ellis chassis Storcks Garage entry to capture the second heat race over Michael Faccinto and Sparky Howard.
Gard and Simas shared the front row for the 30-lap feature following a memorial lap dedicated to Bryan Clauson who grew up at Placerville Speedway watching his father race there. At the drop of the green flag, Gard and Simas battled around the bottom of the race track as Matt Streeter in third chose to run his 14jr Spike/Esslinger around the high side of track, with Maria Cofer in fourth trailed by Nate Wait.
The action paused on lap 9 for a caution flag after Taylor Simas lost power in the #62 on the backstretch. After Simas was pushed back to the pit area, the intense race action resumed with Gard in the bottom groove and Streeter at the top. Streeter slowly reeled in Gard and stuck his nose ahead on lap 12, then led by a car length on lap 14. Behind the lead pair, Cory Elliott passed Cofer for third while behind the lead pack, Pankratz and Wilson fought for position, and Floyd Alvis, Bill Lindsey, and JR Williams continued to battle.
On lap 19, Gard recaptured the lead as Elliott briefly tried the top side of the track and fell back to fifth position, but by on lap 22 Cory had regained fourth place when the yellow flag flew for Bobby Wilson’s spin in turn three. Bobby restarted and joined the tail of the field for the restart, as Streeter and Elliott both took to the high groove while Gard, Pankratz and Cofer continued to use the low groove.
Streeter forged back into the lead on lap 28, as Elliott nipped Gard on the last lap to claim second place, with Randi Pankratz and Maria Cofer in fourth and fifth respectively. A big “Thank you” to the Placerville Speedway staff for providing a super racing surface with two very good racing grooves which resulted in an exciting race for the fans.
The BCRA midgets return to action on Thursday night September 8 at the Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico California as part of joint BCRA/USAC Western States midget program along with the USAC/CRA sprint cars second of four nights for the 63rd annual Gold Cup weekend.