Justin Sanders and his team on the road to victory. (Tim Holland photo)
PLACERVILLE, Calif. – Justin Sanders and Shane Golobic have been a part of some classic California battles over the years, and on opening night at Placerville Speedway, the pair put on a show for the attending crowd they won’t soon forget.
In the end, it was Sanders who, after 25 hard-fought laps of racing in the Winged Sprint Cars of the Thompson’s Family of Dealerships, was just inches ahead at Ron Stahl’s checkered flag. It was the 22nd career winged 360 triumph at Placerville Speedway for Sanders, earning him ninth place all-time.
Thompson’s Winged 360 Sprint Car feature came to the line, with Tanner Carrick and Colby Copeland sharing the front row. Things got exciting when the pair missed a three with Golobic before a warning beckoned after one round. Track conditions were at their best, resulting in some of the best sprint car racing we’ve seen on the red sands in a while.
As things settled into a groove, it was Carrick who was in command as heavy lapping traffic came into play, bundling the frontrunners. Carrick, Golobic, Copeland and Sanders sped through traffic inches apart, zigzagging their way the quarter mile. Golobic, last year’s Legends Night winner, worked his way inside and grabbed the lead in 13th, only to have Carrick return the favor a few laps later.
The relentless Golobic stayed close and passed Carrick on lap 19 to claim first place. Sanders also followed, jumping to second position. A green and white checkered restart provided a thrilling conclusion as Golobic and Sanders battled back and forth to determine the winner. As the duo sped out of Turn 4 towards the checkered flag, Sanders pulled off a picture-perfect crossover move to edge Golobic by 0.026s at the finish line.
Copeland, Carrick and Tony Gomes completed the top five in the event, which was broadcast live by CaliDirt.tv, a SPEED SPORT subsidiary.
Sharing the road to victory on opening night were Josh Young with the Wingless Sprint Cars, Nick Baldwin with the Red Hawk Casino Pure Stocks and Matt Micheli with the Anrak Corporation Limited Late Models.
Feature (25 laps): 1. 4SA-Justin Sanders; 2. 17W-Shane Golobic; 3. 5V Colby Copeland; 4. 83T Tanner Carrick; 5. 7C-Tony Gomes; 6. 35-Sean Becker; 7. 3-Caleb Montgomery; 8. 83V-Dylan Bloomfield; 9. 21-Shane Hopkins; 10. 92-Andy Forsberg; 11. X1 – Michael Faccinto; 12. 21T- Cole Macedo; 13. 5H-Brinton Miracle; 14. 9L-Luke Hayes; 15. 87-Ashlyn Rodriguez; 16. 12R-Mitchell Faccinto; 17. 12J-John Clark; 18. 21X gauge Garcia; 19. 25-Justin Johnson; 20. 37-Michael Pombo
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