Bernal, Schank, Gonnella, Matthias Have the “Know How” on NAPA NightRick Faeth
By Devin Mayo & Rick Faeth
The final push to get into Petaluma’s Adobe Cup brought drivers, teams, and fans from far and wide to compete for Pit Stop USA Shootout Round #4 Saturday night on Petaluma Auto Parts NAPA Night at the races. A total of 16 Pit Stop USA Sprint Cars saw Klint Simpson in the Kirk Edson #101 with a fast time of 12.486. A pair of heat races would see Auburn’s Andy Forsberg and Simpson pick up victories. Nick Ringo Jr.and Forsberg led the field to the green for 30 laps. Forsberg would jump out to the lead as Ringo, Seth Nunes, and Ryan Bernal would follow pursuit. A couple of early yellows in the first 15 laps would bunch of field and saw Bernal make moves from 4th to 2nd in an attempt to run down Forsberg. Making an anticipated move on a lapped car two laps from the white flag cost Forsberg to briefly let off the loud pedal and saw Bernal zoom past an into the top spot. At the twin checkers it was Bernal who would punch his ticket into the $5,000 to win Adobe Cup and pick up the victory with Forsberg in 2nd, Seth Nunes with a nice run in 3rd, Bradley Terrell and Simpson rounded out the top five.
The Pit Stop USA Spec Sprints saw 14 cars time in with Terry Schank Jr. the quickest qualifier at 14.538. Bradley Terrell and Shayna Silvia pick up the 2 heat race wins. Bruno Bianchi and Schank would lead the 14 carfield to the green with Schank pulling out early as Bianchi would end up taking a nasty ride in turn 3 on lap 1. After a red flag situation for the sun to go down, Schank would continue to lead with Simpson in tow. Tillman Schmid went out of the ballpark in turn 3 after climbing the right rear of Bob Davis. Both Bianchi and Schmid walked away. A return to green saw the track continue to pump moisture and Schank continue to outdistance the competition. At the end of 20 laps it was Schank holding off Simpson and Terrell who were both doing double duty. Shayna Sylvia was fourth, Nick DeCarlo fifth.
The McLea's Tire & Automotive IMCA Modifieds made their return to the Petaluma 3/8th’s with Michael Paul, Jr and Oreste Gonnella scoring heat race wins. Terry Kaiser and Paul Jr. would lead the field to green and Paul would begin to pull away. Gonnella would begin to reel in Paul Jr. and it would be another classic battle at Petaluma. Gonnella would make a late race pass with 5 to go and would collect the vinctory. Paul Jr. was 2nd, Chris Sieweke 3rd, Terry DeCarlo 4th, and Ron Palombino 5th.
The General Hydroponic Dwarf cars also returned to the Adobe clay with 14 cars with Travis Dutra and Chad Matthias winning their heat races. Miranda Chappa would take the early lead with Matthias picking off cars one by one. Matthias would make the pass for the lead on lap 7 and would pull away from the field to sew up his second feature win of the season. Rounding out the top five were: Matt Hagemann, Travis Dutra, Scoter Gomes, and Chappa.
The Jakes Performance Hobbies Mini Stocks saw young gun William Fatu zoom to the the heat race win and would look for the sweep. Austin Ohlinger led the field to green but Darien Balestrini and Fatu were not far behind. Fatu would end up taking the lead on lap 7 and smoothly hit his marks to also capture his second win of 2016. Balestrini was the runner-up with Snazzy Duckworth third. Justin Whisman had a career best 4th with Tom Curley finishing fifth.
Petaluma Speedway will be off this weekend (August 6th) but will return on April 13th with the 5th Annual Soares Classic 50 lap feature with the Joe Hunt Wingless Sprints vs Pit Stop USA Spec Sprints, All Star Modifieds, Dwarfs, and Hardtops. For more information, please visit our website http://www.petaluma-speedway.com.