Ensign, DeCarlo, Learn Take Center Stage on Circle Track Magazine NightRick Faeth
A September heat wave spread through Sonoma County and brought with it the 2013 Circle Track Magazine Tour of America sponsored by Amsoil. The high temps and moderate winds found the track sealing over hard early. With a record $6,200 up for grabs in the Pit Stop USA Spec Sprint Division it was Napa’s Joe Stornetta the first car out picking up fast time honors over an 18-car field with a rapid 14.381 effort. Veteran’s Geoff Ensign, Scott Hall, and Jason McIntosh copped the three 8-laps preliminary heats and it was Ensign copping the special four lap trophy dash. The 30-lap feature lined up with Stornetta and Sparky Howard pacing the field. After a couple of stalls it was Stornetta with a slight advantage over Ensign, Adam Christian, Eric Rossi, and Terry Schank Jr. subbing in the Jeff Lee #98. Several more single car spins delayed the action. However, on a lap 6 restart it was Ensign figuring out the fast line through turns 1 & 2 on the cushion and wrestling the lead from Stornetta. Charging into second on lap 9 was Rossi. Lap 12 saw Scott Dupont and Brett Barney collide for a caution. By the half-way mark it was Ensign, Rossi, Stornetta, McIntosh, and Schank. Lap 20 saw Nick Larson with an easy rollover in turn four with no injury. The final ten laps saw Ensign check out and the focus of the crowd on the nip-and-tuck battle for second between Rossi and Stornetta. At the finish it was Ensign, Rossi, Stornetta, McIntosh, and Schank. Post-race tech saw the #77 of Rossi disqualified due to a non-conforming motor, thus moving everyone up one spot so that Hall scored inside the top-five.
The Carr Racing Chassis IMCA Modifieds found the track surface to their liking as a dozen cars signed in. Joel Myers and Nick DeCarlo captured the early 8 lappers. The 25-lap feature saw Michael Paul Sr. and Dan Payne bring the field to green. Payne immediately spun handing the first lap lead to Paul Sr. After Chris Compton and Don Camilli spun on the second lap it was Myer’s blasting around the outside of Paul Sr. and into the lead. Laps clicked off in a hurry as DeCarlo and Michael Paul Jr. dueled for second. On the 7th lap DeCarlo and Paul Jr. touched with Paul Jr. spanking the front straightaway wall and tweaking his set-up. Lap 15 saw Myers continue to perform well up front. Chris Sieweke now started one of his patented late race charges moving into third as Paul Jr. continued to struggle losing positions. DeCarlo hounded Myers closely waiting for a mistake. Lap 21 saw a slight drift out of the groove off turn 4 by Myers and that was the opening that DeCarlo needed as the veteran held off the impressive Myers to garner his second Petaluma victory of the year. Third was Sieweke over point leader Oreste Gonnella and Brian Azevedo.
A 14-car Lumberjack Super Stock field saw the top two point men Mike Learn and Steve Studebaker win the 8-lap heats. Shawn McCoy and Brent Blackwood guided the grid into competition only to see McCoy loop in turn one and collect four additional cars. Several additional contacts and spins delayed the pace and saw Studebaker retire. Finally after a lap 4 restart it was Blackwood who took command over Learn, and Dave Byron. Lap 10 found Learn with a smooth set-up pass on the front straightaway to take the lead from Blackwood. Lap 15 saw Anthony Matthias enter the top three with one of his better efforts of the season. At the finish it was Learn, Blackwood, Matthias, David Spriggs, and Byron.
The Petaluma Speedway Dwarf Cars had a fine field of 19 cars. Shawn Jones, doing double duty in his spec sprint, and Travis Dutra earned heat race victories. The 20-lap feature was challenging to say the least for many competitors who seemed to struggle with the set-up of their cars with the uncharacteristic track surface. David Teves and Scooter Gomes set the early pace, however on lap 3 there was a five car pile-up that eliminated defending track champion John Peters. Returning to green through several cautions and restarts saw Ryan Winter get the better of Teves and take over the point. Lap 6 saw Teves spin and collect four other cars. On lap 7 it was Jones with an aggressive move by Winter to move into the lead. The second half of the event remained unchanged as Jones earned his first dwarf win of the season while campaigning only part time. Second was Winter over Carrol Mendenhall, Gomes, and Dutra.
Petaluma Speedway will return to action Saturday Night September 14th with the California Civil War Sprint Cars which will also be the final point’s events for the Pit Stop USA Winged 360 and Dwarf Car Divisions. For more information please go to www.petaluma-speedway.com.