Ensign Captures Emotional Pit Stop USA Shootout #1petaluma
by Devin Mayo & Rick Faeth
An overcast, warm, windy, and sunny evening brought fans to the famed Petaluma Saturday night to find out who would be victorious in the first of four Pit Stop USA Shootout races. 17 winged warriors signed into the pits Saturday night with “The Human Highlight Reel” Geoff Ensign picking up quick time awards with a time of 14.384. The three heat races would see “The BT Express” Bradley Terrell, Zack Lynskey, and long-time Petaluma Speedway regular Norm Johns pick up heat race victories. Ensign and Cody Lamar would lead the field to green for 25 laps around the Adobe 3/8th’s. Ensign would take an early advantage with Lamar in tow. As Ensign hit lap traffic, the door for Lamar was open but the caution would fly. Terrell and “Mr. Excitement” Andy Forsberg would make the charge towards the front. With a late race yellow for a spinning Lamar, Ensign would have to hold off hard charging Terrell and Forsberg but Ensign would once again hit his marks on the restart, rim riding the high side, and lead all 25 laps claiming his first victory of the 2017. Ensign and his crew were choked with emotion after the recent passing of car owner Ivan Worden’s father Paul. Terrell would finish second and Forsberg rounded out the top 3.
The Pit Stop USA Spec Sprints also had their first Shootout race. Last year’s track champion Klint Simpson would set quick time with 16.235 effort. Shayna Silvia and Matthew Haulot would pick up heat races victories. Simpson would lead the field to green with Haulot taking over second in the early going. Fourth starting Shayna Sylvia would move into third as the top 3 would battle for the lead through lap traffic. Mid way through the race a yellow would fly, bunching the field back up for the upcoming restart. Sylvia, who took over second before the yellow flag, would get a run on Simpson but run over the right rear of Simpson and flip coming off of turn 2. Sylvia would climb out on her own power and walk away. Simpson would lead the field back to green with Haulot stalking his rear nerf. Simpson would hold him off and capture his 2nd victory of the season. Haulot finished 2nd and veteran Sparky Howard was third.
The McLea’s Tire & Automotive IMCA Modifieds made their return to the Petaluma 3/8th’s this past Saturday with Troy Foulger and Mitch Machado claiming heat race victories. Joel Myers and Anthony Slaney would lead the field to green with Slaney leading the field on the opening the first circuit. An early yellow bunched the field back up and Foulger would take command after a big crash on the backstretch. Foulger would lead the field back to green after the red flag with Myers in second. Myers and Oreste Gonnella would battle for 2nd, switching back and forth during the main event. Foulger was the man to beat as he would hold off Myers and Gonnella on a late race restart to claim the victory.
The General Hydroponic Dwarf Cars saw a great field of competitors come out to the Petaluma Speedway Saturday night. Front running Petaluma regulars, Travis Dutra and Scooter Gomes, claimed their heat races. Marcus Hardina would lead the field to the green flag but always fast Dave Mosier would take command in the early going. After an early yellow, David Teves would start making a charge to the front and would take the lead on lap 10. After a red flag involving Dutra, Hardina, and Zach Albers, Teves would lead the field back to green with Mosier hot on his tail. Mosier would throw a slide job on Teves but Teves would cross back under him to reclaim the lead and never looked back as he claimed the win over Mosier and Miranda Chappa.
The Jake’s Performance Mini Stocks made their third voyage to the Petaluma Speedway with Austin Ohlinger picking up the heat race victory. On the opening lap, Kelly Campanile would make a three wide pass for the lead coming off of turn 2 but Samone Chrisman would take over on the second lap. A yellow would come out, resetting the field, and Campanile would take the lead back. Ohlinger would make a charge to the front, battling Campanile for the lead, and would take command on lap 13. Chrisman in second would have a right rear go down, giving Campanile the second spot and moving Sean Hale up to third. Ohlinger would be untouched as he zoomed his Dodge to his third victory in a row.
Petaluma Speedway returns this Saturday, April 29th, with The Elk Grove Ford Sprint Car Challenge Tour presented by Abreu Vineyards. This will be the first of two visits by the traveling Winged 360 tour. For more information, please visit our website at http://www.petaluma-speedway.com or messaging our Facebook page.