Becker Grabs Hardware on Maselli Civil War NightRick Faeth
A beautiful sun-splashed afternoon and evening attracted a tremendous crowd for Petaluma Speedway’s third California State Civil War Series Event of the season on the 34th Annual M. Maselli & Sons Hardware Night. Mason Moore outgunned the 33 car field with a qualifying effort of 13.094. Action started with four ten-lap preliminary heat races on the smooth and hooked up 3/8th mile Adobe oval. Heat races were captured incident free by defending Pit Stop USA Track Champion Chase Johnson, Petaluma regular Billy Butler, and Civil War veteran campaigners Herman Klein and Matt Peterson. The 12-lap semi main saw Jake Haulot exert himself into the initial lead and seemingly cruising. Lap 6 saw second fast qualifier Brett Rollag grab an extra gear and forge the lead away from Haulot. Rookie Melissa Polizzi stalled on lap 7 necessitating a caution. On the restart it was Haulot continuing to tumble in the order as Calistoga’s Mike Benson took over the runner up slot. A pair of lap 11 restarts saw the final transfer positions get challenged with Koen Shaw ultimately getting ruffled and shuffled out. At the finish it was Rollag with the win over Benson, Steven Tiner, Haulot, Jason Toft, and Wayne Katen. The 30-lap feature saw Pleasanton high-schooler Nathan Washam on the pole next to Jamie Duff. Into turn one Washam gained the initial advantage as Sean Becker nestled into the runner up slot. Lap 2 saw Toft’s #27t lose a wheel. Returning to green saw Andy Forsberg with tremendous bite off of turn two to jump from 7th to 5th. On lap 7 Washam in close-quarters action pancaked the front straightaway wall as Stan Yockey’s #40 simultaneously stalled. Action gathered again with Becker leading on lap 8. Mason Moore on the move from his 8th starting spot entered the top 3 on lap 9. Lap 11 saw Civil War point leader Justin Sander’s bring out the caution for a flat tire. Restarting on lap 12 saw Moore displace Washam for 2nd and Sanders with yet another flat tire bringing an end to his night. At the half-way mark the running order was Becker, Moore, Washam, Forsberg, and Alissa Geving. Lap 16 saw Forsberg’s quick effort end as he made contact with the tire barrier near the turn 1 exit ramp causing him to pirouette several times and bounce on his side. A lap 18 flip for Yockey one again stalled competition. Geving seemed to master the restarts well as she out-maneuvered Washam for third on lap 20. The final caution for Tiner and Rollag was lap 24. From there on it was Becker masterfully hitting his marks in the familiar Dan Monhoff #35. Second was Moore, Geving rounded out the podium finishing third. Newly crowned Pit Stop USA Winged 360 Champion Bradley Terrell came home fourth and Washam holding on for an impressive fifth. With both Sanders and Forsberg, the top two points earners coming into the event, both suffering misfortune it was Becker capitalizing and emerging with the points lead going into next Saturday Night’s Civil War Finale at Placerville Speedway.
The Petaluma Speedway Dwarf Cars were the companion feature and saw cagey veteran Carrol Mendenhall net the heat race. The final point’s race of the year for the dwarfs saw a non-stop 25-lap entertaining feature. Defending track champion John Peters grabbed the initial lead with Mendenhall, newly crowned track champion Travis Dutra, and Scooter Gomes closely trailing. On lap 7, in traffic, Dutra adjusted his line up the banking and orchestrated a beautiful textbook pass on the cushion around Peters. Lap 12 saw Gomes pass Peters for the runner-up slot. Smooth spread out racing was the order of the next 11 laps. Suddenly Dutra’s mount stepped out as he lost a generous lead trying to re-gain control on lap 23. Gomes shot the gap on the front stretch within sight of the white flag. At the finish it was Gomes earning his second win of the year over Peters, Dutra, Chad Matthias with his best career effort, and Mendenhall.
Petaluma Speedway will be back in action this Saturday Night with Nor Cal Sand & Off-Road Championship Night featuring the Pit Stop USA Spec Sprints vs Joe Hunt Wingless Sprints, along with the Lumberjack Restaurant Super Stocks, Carr Racing Chassis Modifieds, and Mini Stock Divisions. For more information please go to www.petaluma-speedway.com.