As Weather Warms So Does Jonathon AllardRick Faeth
PETALUMA, CA – June 20
By PJ Peterson & Rick Faeth
Saturday night at the Petaluma Speedway Chico, CA pilot, Jonathan Allard, became the first repeat winner with Civil War Series Presented by Flowmaster of the 2015 season in dominating fashion as he also earned the series’ final lock in position to the 55th Annual Johnny Key Classic. Sharing the front row with local product, Jake Haulot, Allard showed he was the man to beat early in the race as he ran away from the field in the opening three laps before the races first caution would fly. The lap three caution would start a string of four cautions and a red over the next five laps, though Allard could continue to lead the way but behind him things were getting interesting as Colby Copeland and Andy Forsberg were right on his tail. A restart on lap eight saw Allard lift his front wheels off the ground, as he did this Copeland was able to jump into the lead, only to the see the caution flag fly and negate his pass. The ensuing single file restart would see Allard again set sail on the field, as Copeland continued to run in the second spot as Andy Forsberg flanked him, while seventh row starters, Justin Sanders and Geoff Ensign worked their way inside the top-five. Just as the race reached the halfway point, another string of cautions would slow the race pace, and under a yellow on lap 14, it was apparent that second place running Colby Copeland had a rear tire going down, and he would ultimately pull to the work area. When the race went green for the final time on the 16th lap, Allard did as he did all night and got away from the field, but the battle inside the top-five was very entertaining. With Sanders pressuring Forsberg for the second spot, Herman Klein worked his way forward from his 17th starting spot, and challenged with Jason Toft for a top five position. As the laps clicked down, Sanders would clear Forsberg in very thick lapped traffic to take over the second spot, while Allard continued to lap cars up front at a frantic pace. With the checkered flag waiving in the air, Allard would grab his second Civil War Series presented by Flowmaster win of the season, while Sanders finished in the second spot, Forsberg was third. Ensign and Toft rounded out the top five. Sean Becker out-timed the 26 car field. Allard, Copeland, and Forsberg captured the three 10-lap heat races. Haulot won the dash and Toft netted the semi-main.
The Larsen Racing Products IMCA Modifieds saw defending track champion Quick Nick DeCarlo win the 8-lap heat and the non-stop 25-lap feature. Chris Compton looked stout for the first half dozen laps as Joel Myers stalked. Customarily DeCarlo utilized both the high and low grooves to negotiate traffic. A three wide pass saw contact with Michael Paul Jr. as DeCarlo got by both Paul and Myers for the lead on lap 15. Finishing second was Oreste Gonnella who dueled smartly with Myers the past three laps. Myers was third over Paul Jr. and Compton.
The Santa Rosa Auto Body 600 class saw a great field of 18 cars turn out. Steven Garris and Jim Beck copped the pair of preliminary heat races. The 20-lap feature saw Jared Morrison lead over Beck and Garris early only to drift out of the groove and hand the lead to Garris. On the move were Bruno Bianchi and Nate Schank who entered the top five mid-race. Lap 14 saw a Bianchi get upside down as a result of a tangle with Danny Potts. The last five laps was a three-way dynamic duel between Beck, after recovering from an early spin, Garris, and the resurgent Morrison. A last lap, last turn banzai attempt by Beck could not dispatch Morrison as he picked up his second win in a row over Beck, Garris, fast improving Jenna Perkins, and Rick Alonso.
Petaluma Speedway returns to action Sunday, June 28thth at 1 pm featuring the Sonoma-Marin Fair Demolition Derby. For more information please go to www.sonoma-marinfair.org.