Ensign Doubles Down Notching Both Pit Stop USA Sprint Car FeaturesRick Faeth
Petaluma, CA – On a beautiful, warm, spring evening Geoff Ensign made history on General Hydroponics Night at Petaluma Speedway by capturing both of the Pit Stop USA Sprint Car Division Features. Action started in the winged 360 class with Kirk Simpson topping the 15 car field in time trials with a 13.538 lap. Heat races were captured by: Ensign, point leader Bradley Terrell, and Kenny Drew. With the track smooth and wide the main event started with Ensign piloting the Van Lare #5v getting the initial jump on Jake Haulot in the Brett Lay #24b. Ensign from the point got into lapped traffic early on lap 6. With the field running three distinct different grooves, Terrell in his familiar family owned #43 powered by Haulot while drag-racing down the backstretch on lap 7 and set sail for Ensign. Caution for a stalled Zack Lynskey brought out the yellow on lap 11 and temporarily cleared the way for the top two to duel. On the restart it seemed Terrell could not be stopped as he battled a disabled top wing and damaged nose wing. In lapped traffic exiting turn two on lap 18 Ensign was bogged down low by lapped traffic and saw Terrell blast by for the lead up top. Simultaneously a second caution for a Lynskey spin reverted the scoring back a lap negating the Terrell pass. A final caution on lap 23 made for a two lap dash, but for the second time in an hour it was Sebastopol’s “Human Highlight Reel” capturing the twin checkers over Terrell, an impressive Haulot, veteran Art McCarthy, and Simpson.
The Pit Stop USA Spec Sprint Series signed in with 15 cars and saw Nitro Nick Larsen out-qualify the field with a 15.468 effort. The trio of eight lap heats was nabbed by: Ensign, Scotty Dupont, and Jason McIntosh. The main event saw McIntosh scamper away from the field at the drop of the green over Dupont, Bret Barney, Ensign, and Sparky Howard. Lap five saw an out of shape Dupont tag a tractor tire in the infield on the back straightaway ending his night. At this point with 20 to go 13th starting Terry Schank Jr. was still mired in 12th position. Returning to green flag action saw Ensign forge past Barney and on the 7th circuit get the better of McIntosh to take over the lead. With the scheduled 25 lap event half complete Schank Jr. was dueling wheel to wheel with defending champion Stornetta for fifth and sixth. With six laps remaining Larsen running a solid third pulled to the infield and Schank entered the top three. Using every bit of the racing surface Schank passed McIntosh with three to go towing Stornetta and rookie Shawn Jones along with him. On the 23rd lap Schank drew abreast of Ensign in an exciting banzai move but just couldn’t make it stick and thus for the second race in a row Ensign captured the victory for car owner Dave Johnson. Schank was second, with Howard third, Stornetta fourth, and Jones fifth.
The second Petaluma Speedway vs Bay Area Dwarf Co-sanctioned events saw a stellar field of 25 mounts enter heat race action with Mark Biscardi, Cameron Diatte, and defending track champion John Peters garnering victories. With 21 cars making the main event call it was Marty Weisler leading the way from the start. Plenty of single car spins slowed the action about every two to four laps. Lap five saw Cameron Diatte make an impressive hammer down pass and assume the lead over Weisler, Biscardi, Peters, and Eric Weisler. The next caution collected the very fast Biscardi with the sharp looking #66 having to rejoin the back of the filed. With ten to go Biscardi was in 15th position and desperately passing cars in bunches. With the white flag in the air Diatte seemed to have the race in the bag. Someone forgot to inform Marty Weisler though as he made a daring last lap, last turn pass to barely nip Diatte at the line. Racing back to third was Biscardi, over Peters and Carrol Mendenhall.
The rapidly expanding Mini Stock Division saw an 11 car field compete with rookie Pete Langley and sophomore pilot Eden McCormick netting heat race wins. The 20-lap feature saw young John Clark grab the lead over McCormick and Langley. Exciting side-by-side action was the recipe throughout as Langley and McCormick made contact and caused a lap 15 caution. Josh Williams now inherited the lead with the battle between him and Clark being much anticipated. Clark made a clean pass and on the white flag lap slowed dramatically as the caution was thrown for a disabled Snazzy Duckworth who was stopped prone right at the finish line. Scoring reverted back to the last complete lap with Clark the winner over Williams, McCormick, Langley, and Oscar Duckworth.
Petaluma Speedway is dark Memorial Day Weekend but will return to action on June 1st featuring the Joe Hunt Wingless Sprints Series vs Pit Stop USA Spec Sprints, Nor-Cal Challenge IMCA Tour, Lumberjack Restaurant Super Stocks, Dwarfs, and Mini Stock Divisions. For more information please go to www.petaluma-speedway.com.