DeCaires leads every lap of inaugural "Calistoga Cup" in Civil War #7 CALISTOGA, CA (6-21-03)- For the first time in it's 13-year history, the Hoosier Racing Tires California Sprint Car Civil War Race Series took to the intimidating half mile Calistoga Speedway Saturday night, June 21. As the traveling series competed on its largest venue yet, seasoned veteran Greg DeCaires of Elk Grove used his years of experience on California's big track to become the winner of the inaugural "Calistoga Cup."
With combined entries from the Civil War campaign and the southern based Rebel Cup Sprint Car series, Saturday's event drew an impressive 60-entrants to the Calistoga Fairgrounds and a capacity crowd to witness the landmark event featuring the top stars of California's two premier sanctioning bodies for 360 cubic inch powered sprint cars. While many of Saturday's competitors were somewhat newcomers to the large half-mile surface, DeCaires was one driver that has had years of experience on the famed half mile nestled in the hills of the Napa wine country. A former top runner with the now defunct Northern Auto Racing Club, DeCaires displayed his veteran experience with a flawless performance and posted the most prestigious victory yet aboard his Redi-Green Motorsports #1K owned by championship car owner Gurudayal Kumar of Elk Grove.
With the victory, DeCaires became just the fourth driver in the history of Calistoga Speedway to win a feature race aboard a 360 powered sprint car. Joining DeCaires on that list of winners is Ronnie Day who was in competition Saturday as well, Lee Brewer Jr. and Monte Faccinto. The victory was the second overall for DeCaires here as he has a solo 410 victory to his name. Saturday marked his first season win the Civil War series.
DeCaires qualified in the third position and when a number four pill was drawn in the MPD Racing Products inversion he garnered the outside front row starting position for the 20-lap feature event. When the green flag waved DeCaires quickly drove to the point as he muscled ahead of pole sitter Stephen Allard of Chico and never relinquished his lead for the event which was only delayed by a mere single yellow flag. With DeCaires running out in front, Allard maintained his second place position for the entire event ahead of Sparky Howard, the B and B Fast Qualifier of the night. Destiny Hays of Oroville, the only lady racer in the field, had a successful night. Hays qualified second quick earlier in the evening and started the A-feature on the inside of row two and finished fourth behind Howard. Erik Folger rounded out the top five ahead of Day who charged up to the sixth position from the 11th place starting spot to become the hard charger of the evening.
Throughout the evening the close competition in all of the preliminary events was reminiscent of the racing action that graced this impressive half mile oval back in the early to mid-nineties when it was a regular stomping ground and mother track for the Northern Auto Racing Club before the facility streamlined its season schedule in recent years and the NARC campaign diminished.
Just prior to the inaugural Civil War event, driver safety was a common subject of conversation among competitors and fans alike. Saturday's event only saw one incident of red flag nature when Rick Williams collided into the infield water-filled barriers and he was uninjured from the incident. Additional highlights of Saturday's event included a thrilling B-feature won by Rob Johnson of Santa Rosa. Petaluma point leader David Lindt. Jr. put on a performance in this event as he charged from his 16th place starting position and challenged Johnson for the lead on the final lap. Lindt was one of four California point leaders on hand Saturday night. Tim Worth, who leads the Rebel Cup series was in competition along with Civil War point leader Mike Henry and Jimmy Trulli who leads the point standings at Placerville Speedway.
Heat races on Saturday night were won by Ronnie Day, Jeff Parady, Tim Worth and Ricky Wondergem. The D-main was claimed by Ron Myska while Andy Ferris claimed the win in the C main. Saturday's event was just one of many racing venues taking place in Northern California including the NASCAR Winston Cup Series at nearby Infineon Raceway. With Calistoga being so nearby, Billy Wilburn, crew cheif for Winston Cup star Rusty Wallace joined the likes of the Civil War competitors and topped his night with a fifth place finish in the fourth heat race of the evening.
This Saturday night the Hoosier Tires Civil War Series continues at Placerville Speedway for the eighth round of action in the 14-race series. For further information on that upcoming event or complete results for Saturday's event please visit www.johnpadjenmotorsports.com.
HOOSIER RACING TIRES CALIFORNIA SPRINT CAR CIVIL WAR SERIES RACE SUMMARY ROUND #7
CALISTOGA SPEEDWAY SATURDAY, JUNE 21, 2003
Fast Time: Sparky Howard 18:379
Heat one (top 5): Ronnie Day; Andy Forsberg; Willie Croft; Howard; Doug Lippencott.
Heat two (top 5): Jeff Parady; Mike Monahan; Erik Folger; Destiny Hays; Steven Tiner/
Heat three (top 5): Tim Worth; Mike Benson; Greg DeCaires; Chuck Gurney Jr.; Kurt Nelson.
Heat four (top 5): Ricky Wondergem; Stephen Allard; Matt DeMartini; Mike Henry; Billy Wilburn.
D-main(top 5): Ron Myska; John gray; Jack Lowder; Jimmy Trulli;. Steve Fehrman.
C-main (top 5): Andy Ferris; Korey Lovell; Sean Becker; Steve Watts; Dave Lindt Jr.
B-main (top 5): Rob Johnson: Lindt; Jim Richardsen; Lippencott; Mark Hall
A-main: DeCaires; Allard; Howard; Hays; Folger: Day; Gurney; Forsberg; Johnson; Croft; Lippencott; Worth; Richardsen; Parady; Benson; Wondergem; Henry; Monahan; Lindt; DeMartini
Lap leaders: DeCaires 1-25