Ensign Continues Roll, Laliberte and Rothweiler InvadeRick Faeth
~~PETALUMA, CA, May 17— The common thread this race season once again greeted Petaluma Speedway Patrons Saturday Night…sun, wind, and a Geoff Ensign victory. Action got underway with Roberto Kirby wheeling his sharp looking #10x to fast time honors in the Pit Stop USA Winged 360 class with a 13.173. Cotati veteran Ivan Worden copped the first heat and point leader Ensign nabbed the second 8-lapper. A special 6-lap dash for cash was netted by Kirby. The 25-lap feature saw the field drag race into the first turn with an immediate caution for the three-time track champion Alissa Geving and Herman Klein who collected each other. Geving pitted for repairs while the night was over for Klein. The complete restart saw Jake Haulot in the family owned #7 take the initial lead. Third starting Ensign wasted little effort with a bold low side pass of Haulot on the second lap and then stretch his advantage. Eyes shifted to a great battle between Geving who passed five cars in four laps. Over the course of a dozen laps Geving and Worden passed and re-passed each other multiple times in rut-defying fashion. After the complete restart the race was run in non-stop fashion with Ensign bringing home his fourth consecutive victory in a time of 6:08 over runner-up Haulot, Roberto Kirby having one of his best nights ever was third over, Nicolas Ringo, and Geving.
A full field of nineteen Pit Stop USA Spec Sprint entrants qualified LeMans-style with Napa’s Joe Stornetta tripping the timing lights with a swift 14.715 effort. Heat races were captured by: visiting Tommy Laliberte, Shane Myhre, and Terry Schank Jr. Laliberte also picked up the $100 dash for cash 6-lapper. The 25-lap feature saw Laliberte bolt to the lead from the pole. Uncharacteristically Stornetta looped his mount in turn one on lap 3. On the restart Sparky Howard picked up a hitch-hiker in the form of the restart cone and was penalized two spots. John Clark spun twice on lap 5 and 6, with several other single car spins keeping the field bunched. On each restart Zack Lynskey made passes vaulting from sixth starting spot to second. Others on the move were Pit Stop USA regular Rowdy McClenon and the “Heartbreak Kid” Jason McIntosh. As Laliberte was accepting the Scott Erwin twin-checkers Shayna Silvia was riding out a wall-grinding flip on the front straightaway. The tough-minded young charger was okay. Following Laliberte’s first win of the season was, Rim-Riding Lynskey, McClenon, McIntosh, and Jason Toft.
The Larsen Racing Products Dwarf Cars took on the visiting South Bay Dwarf Car Association in a co-sanctioned event. Twenty-five four cylinder buzz bombs filled the pits with: Terre Rothweiler, Buddy Olschowka, and Shawn Jones notching preliminary heat wins. The 20-lap feature saw at least a half-dozen single car spins that slowed the field. Jones capitalized from his outside front row starting spot and lead early. Rothweiler maneuvered to second by the fifth lap. On the move was local favorite Scooter Gomes from deep in the pack. Gomes entered the top five at the half way mark. Following him through the strung out field was veteran Mark Biscardi who started shotgun on the field. On the beginning of the 19th lap Rothweiler made the winning pass on race-long leader Jones. Following runner-up Jones in third was Travis Dutra, Biscardi, and Olschowka.
The Jake’s Performance Hobbies Mini Stock division saw the return of sophomore sensation Danny Narron. Pistol Pete Langley took top honors in the heat race and the feature. Narron was second for his best ever finish, third was Bob Davis over Jake Fernandes and Snazzy Duckworth.
Petaluma Speedway returns to action Saturday Night, May 31st with the Joe Hunt Wingless Sprints vs Pit Stop USA Spec Sprint Shootout, Nor-Cal Challenge IMCA Modified Tour, Lumberjack Restaurant Super Stocks, and the Larsen Racing Products Dwarf Car Division. For more information please go to www.petaluma-speedway.com.