Copeland, McIntosh, & Decarlo Harvest Victories on General Hydroponics NightRick Faeth
PETALUMA, CA – June 6
Warm temps greeted a full crowd on General Hydroponics Night which was also the first of four Pit Stop USA Shootouts for the sprint car classes Saturday Night. 15 winged 360’s tripped the timing lights with Colby Copeland emerging with the quickest lap of 12.335. The 8-lap qualifying heats saw visitor Bobby Butler and veteran Geoff Ensign victorious. The 25-lap feature lineup saw Billy Butler take the initial advantage via a fast top groove. Getting together exiting turn four were Bobby Butler and Bradley Terrell which saw the #43 car pit for quick repairs. The second attempt found Copeland blast past Billy Butler and Ensign maneuver to second on the fifth lap. Billy Butler stalled on lap 12 drawing a caution. On the subsequent restart Herman Klein got the better of Butler and Ensign to close on Copeland. A pair of Melissa Polizzi spins on lap 17 and 21 were all that stood between Copeland’s dominating performance as he charged to the Scott Erwin twin checkers and earned his second Petaluma victory of the season, pocketing $2,000. Klein was second, Ensign third, with Andy Forsberg and Bradley Terrell rounding out the top five.
A good field of 19 spec sprints timed in with defending track champion Terrey Schank Jr. fastest with a 14.283 effort. The three heat format found Adam Christian, Jason McIntosh, and Sparky Howard grabbing wins. The 25-lap main event rolled off flawlessly with Howard leading the way through the first four circuits. Contact between Klint Simpson and visiting Matt Streeter drew the first caution. Ryon Silveling jumped the cushion and landed hard on lap five to ause a yellow. Returning to action found McIntosh shadowing Howard as Gary Nelson Jr. and Schank entered the top four by lap 11. On the 17 stanza McIntosh went to the whip and roared under Howard. A hard flip by Shane Myhre caused a red on lap 21. The last four circuits found McIntosh smoothly hit his marks and earn a long overdue and popular win. Nelson Jr. was second followed by Schank, Howard, and Streeter.
13 Larsen Racing Products IMCA Modifieds contested with Tim Balding and Chris Compton heat race winners. The 25-lap finale saw the rapidly improving Balding lead the closely contested first 13 laps. A nice battle ensued behind him between Joel Myers, Michael Paul Jr. and DeCarlo. DeCarlo sized up Balding and made the winning pass on lap 14 to remain a perfect four-for-four on the season. Balding was second, Paul Jr. third, with Oreste Gonnella, and Myers rounding out the top five.
The Larsen Racing Products Dwarfs saw 15 cars compete with Kevin Miraglio and track champion Dave Mosier capturing the preliminary 8-lappers. The pleasant surprise of the 20-lap feature was third year chauffeur Chad Matthias as he led the first half of competition. Mosier bided his time patiently and made his winning move on the 12th trip around the fast adobe-clad oval. Holding on for second was Matthias over Miraglio, Carroll Mendenhall, and Tommy King.
Eden McCormack and sophomore driver Bullet Bob Davis copped heat race wins in the Jake’s Performance Hobbies Mini Stocks Division. The 10-car, 20-lap main event saw another second year driver Darien Balestrini hold off McCormack, Davis, rookie Sid Hess, and Snazzy Duckworth.
Petaluma Speedway returns to action Saturday Night, June 13thth featuring the Pit Stop USA Winged 360’s, Bay Cities Racing Association Midgets, Lumberjack Restaurant Super Stocks, and Jake’s Performance Hobbies Mini Stocks. For more information please go to www.petaluma-speedway.com.