PLACERVILLE – The biggest event of the Hoosier Tires championship season invades Placerville Speedway this Saturday, with the 18th annual “Mark Forni Classic” set to launch at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds. 

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An exciting four division program will be offered to race fans showcasing the Thompson’s Family of Dealerships Winged Sprint Cars, the Red Hawk Casino Pure Stocks, Mini Trucks and the Wingless Bay Cities Racing Association Lightning Sprints. 

The night of racing is the start of just four championship point races to go in 2023. 

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Our friends at Red Hawk Resort + Casino will also be on hand and have various giveaways for the fans on Saturday. Live music will occur from 4-6pm in the midway, showcasing the tunes of Kristen Brown.

The Forni family has a great history in El Dorado County, with deep ties to the El Dorado County Fairgrounds and much of the land on which it sits. Much like his forefathers, Mark Forni had a great passion for the county fair and its attributes, especially the racetrack.

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From the time he was a young child and the days when Placerville Speedway was known as “Hangtown Speedway,” Mark was actively involved with the weekly auto races, always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone in need involved with the sport he loved.

Later in life, Mark continued his contributions to local auto racing, sponsoring many race teams with his business, Forni’s Trucking. He later became a member of the El Dorado County Fair Board and focused on the issues regarding the future of the fair and the speedway. Mark Forni believed in working relationships. He understood the importance of race promoters, sponsorships, and the one key element for every event to be successful, the spectator.

In November of 2004, Mark was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. During his final months, Mark had the opportunity to say goodbye to friends and family and spend some special moments with his wife and children, a bittersweet time for those who knew and loved him so much. In the summer of 2005, Mark passed away at the early age of 45.

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“Mark was the guy who got it done no matter what,” said once by former Placerville Speedway Promoter Alan Padjen. “It didn’t matter how big of a problem we may have had. He would call me up to see what it would take to fix it. He didn’t just provide the resources either. Mark would be right there lending a hand right down to his final days. I miss him, I think everyone here misses him, he was a great guy.”

Auburn’s Andy Forsberg and Roseville’s Sean Becker are tied for the most Mark Forni Classic triumphs, with both having captured a trio of wins in the event. Last year saw Modesto’s Tony Gomes secure the Forni for the first time in his career. Gomes goes into Saturday’s 18th running sitting second in points, just 11-markers back of current leader Michael Faccinto from Hanford. 

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Tickets and Details:

Grandstand seating is general admission at the Mark Forni Classic presented by Red Hawk Casino on Saturday July 29th, except for the reserved seats marked for season ticket holders. Adult tickets cost $18, while seniors 62+, military and juniors 12-17 will be $16. Kids 6-11 cost $7 and those five and under are free.

Purchase tickets online at https://www.eventsprout.com/event/ppr-2023 or at the gate on race day. Pit passes can be purchased at the pit gate or on Pit Pay to take advantage of the expanded seating area on the hill. 

The pit gate will open at noon, with the front gate opening at 3pm. Happy Hour is offered when the gates open until 6pm in the grandstands featuring live music along with discounted Coors Light and Coors Original at the beer booth. The pit meeting will be held at 4:45pm with cars on track at 5:15. Hot laps, ADCO Driveline qualifying and racing will follow. 

For those who can’t make it to the track, CaliDirt.TV will provide live flag-to-flag coverage of every Placerville Speedway point race this season. The live streaming service also includes each event with the Sprint Car Challenge Tour in 2023. Fans can purchase through a monthly membership or on a per race basis via https://calidirt.tv/

The Placerville Speedway is located on the beautiful El Dorado County Fairgrounds in Placerville, California. Take Hwy US-50 to Forni Road/Placerville Drive exit. Then go north on Placerville Drive to the Fairgrounds. The physical address is 100 Placerville Dr., Placerville, CA 95667. For more information on the Placerville Speedway log onto http://www.placervillespeedway.com

Join over 16,800 followers of Placerville Speedway on Facebook, where you can keep abreast of updates for the 2023 season. You can also find Placerville Speedway on Twitter by following us https://twitter.com/pvillespeedway – In addition, Placerville Speedway is also on Instagram. Please follow us @PvilleSpeedway. 

Upcoming events at Placerville Speedway:

Saturday July 29: Winged 360 Sprint Cars, Pure Stocks, Mini Trucks and BCRA Lightning Sprints | 18th annual Mark Forni Classic presented by Red Hawk Casino

Saturday August 5: Winged 360 Sprint Cars, Ltd. Late Models, Pure Stocks and Nor-Cal Dwarf Cars | Carnett Clash

Saturday August 12: Winged 360 Sprint Cars, Ltd. Late Models, Pure Stocks and Mini Trucks | Big Trophy Night presented by Coors Light Images courtesy of D&P Photos 

Gary Thomas
Author: Gary Thomas