Copeland, Myers, Mosier Thrill Full HouseRick Faeth
PETALUMA, CA – Sept 20
By Petersen Media & Rick Faeth
During the July stop at the Petaluma Speedway with the Civil War Series Presented by Flowmaster, Colby Copeland came up just short of picking up a victory after a valiant late race charge. Fast forward to Saturday night, and Copeland was the one fending off the last lap challenge as he won a thrilling race at the Petaluma Speedway in what was a home race for his VanLare Motorsports team.
Leading the field to green by way of his dominating dash win; Copeland would get the early jump, only to see the caution fly for fellow front row starter, Kurt Nelson, who came to a stop with a flat tire. With Copeland out in front, Peterson was able to take over the second position on the fourth lap, as he chased after Copeland, who had slowly worked his way to the tail end of the field, just as the caution flew on the seventh lap, giving the leaders open track. Mason Moore, and Chase Johnson began charging their way from the back of the pack, and into the Top-10 as the caution again flew on the 11th lap, as the leaders again were starting to get into traffic. On this restart, Matt Peterson was able to get the better of Copeland, as he took command of the race, before another quick yellow flew on the 12th circuit. With Peterson now in command of the race, he would set a nice pace, as Copeland, Golobic, Croft, Sean Becker, and Andy Forsberg all chased after him, as the race began to get into a solid flow. With Peterson working the bottom of the speedway aboard his Miller Lite/V&H Fresh No. p37 entry, which was choppy, Copeland stayed glued to the high-side of the speedway, and was able to blast his way back into the lead on the 15th lap, to the crowd’s approval. As he slowly got away, Willie Croft was able to take over the second spot on the 17th marker, as he began a charge after the leader aboard his Holy Smokes BBQ/Christian Stover Foundation No. 29 entry. Getting to Copeland’s back bumper, Croft continued to look for the opening he needed but couldn’t get a run to make a serious challenge for the top spot. With the white flag waiving, Croft was able to pull alongside Copeland as the duo exited turn two, and going into the final set of corners, the duo remained side by side, and as they had a drag race to the finish, and Copeland was able to cross first putting an exclamation point on the evening. With the top two making it exciting, it was equally as exciting behind them as Sean Becker made a huge move in his HAM Construction/A.R.T. backed No. 35m machine to get by Shane Golobic exiting turn four to take over the fourth spot, and just narrowly missed out on the third spot, as Matt Peterson was able to hold him off, and claim the final spot on the podium. “It means a lot to get a win here at Petaluma,” Copeland said in victory lane. “If you were a fan you had to have loved that race because I think we just put on a pretty exciting show. I can’t thank Jim and Annette Van Lare enough for this opportunity, and it’s cool to win at their home track.” Though he finished in the second spot, Croft was pleased with how the night went. “That was a pretty exciting race,” Croft said. “Colby did one heck of a job, and I gave him everything I had. The track came to us late in the feature, and we really got rolling. We are pleased with our run.” After leading some laps, Matt Peterson kept up his string of strong runs at the Petaluma with a third place finish.
Becker was 4th, over Golobic, Forsberg, Geving, Sanders, Chase Johnson 9th, from the 18th staring spot, and Mason Moore put on a great charge as he finished 10th from 21st.
In preliminary action, Shane Golobic kicked things off by setting a new 360ci track record at the Petaluma Speedway during time trials with a lap of 12.132 seconds.
Heat race wins went to Sean Becker, Kurt Nelson, and Alissa Geving, as Colby Copeland won the evening’s dash. It is also noteworthy that during the dash, Copeland set the all the 360ci track record at the speedway as he laid down a lightning fast lap of 12.066 seconds during the sixth lap contest.
Sixteen IMCA Modifieds signed in for the final Carr Racing Chassis Division points event. Veteran’s Brian Azevedo and Joel Myers captured the pair of preliminary heats. The 25-lap main saw Myer’s blast to the lead from his outside front row starting berth followed quickly by Azevedo. On the second circuit defending track champion Oreste Gonnella stalled drawing a caution and on the third lap Michael Paul Jr. spun. On the restart Michael Paul Jr. made a determined charge into third from his sixth starting spot. Lap 7 saw Azevedo spin in turn one and collect four cars. Point leader Nick DeCarlo suffered major body damage and had to pit for repairs. On lap 8 Paul Jr. displaced Terry DeCarlo for 2nd and set sights on the rear of Myers. Gonnella also found the measure of the groove as he was fourth by lap 12 and third by lap 16. A lap 17 caution saw Terry DeCarlo and Michael Paul Sr. play bumper tag for a lap before officials parked both cars. The final eight laps were all Myers as he cruised his family owned #46 to his first victory in over three seasons. Second was Paul Jr., over Gonnella, Ron Palombino, and Freddie Plourde. With an 11th place finish Nick DeCarlo was able to garner enough points to earn the 2014 division championship.
The Larsen Racing Products Dwarf Cars turned out in force with 22 buzz bombs competing in their final 2014 points event. Travis Dutra, Scooter Gomes, and Dave Mosier were victorious in the three heat races. The 20-lap finale saw veteran Adam Johnson lead lap one however it was Mosier that raised eyebrows in the grandstand when he blew past Gomes and Johnson for the lead exiting turn two on lap two. Carroll Mendenhall was similarly on the move as he was up to third on the sixth lap from his 10th starting position. Buddy Olshowka waged a torrid battle for second with Mendenhall as they swapped second. On the 18th lap Olshowka seemed to lose power and did a half spin in turn four collecting David Teves, Chad Matthias, Tom Pendleton, Johnson, and Gomes. With the championship in the balance Gomes pitted for repairs and joined the back of the pack. The final duo of laps was all Mosier as he earned his 6th win of the season and the track championship by a scant two points over Gomes. Chasing Mosier to the stripe were Teves, Mendenhall, Ed Sans III, and Tommy King.
Petaluma Speedway returns to action Saturday Night, September 27th featuring the Pit Stop USA Spec Sprints. The final point’s races for the Lumberjack Restaurant Super Stocks and the Jake’s Performance Hobbies Mini Stocks will be contested. Also added will be the Santa Rosa Auto Body 600 Micro Midgets. For more information please go to www.petaluma-speedway.com.