Familiar Faces Feast on Lumberjack’s Restaurant NightRick Faeth
PETALUMA, CA – May 30
A chilling fog greeted the loyal Petaluma Speedway Saturday fans on Lumberjack Restaurant Night, while a hooked up track and a good cushion provided for excellent racing amongst the five divisions. Non-Wing 360 sprint cars were the headliner with the Civil War and Hunt Series’ both competing at Placerville Speedway. Geoff Ensign making a return to the cockpit of the Brett Lay #24b circled the 3/8ths oval with a lap of 13.854 to take fast time honors. The pair of 8-lap preliminary heats were nabbed by Chase Johnson and Trevor Schmid. The 25-lap feature saw veteran wingless champion Terry Schank Jr. leap from his outside front row position to lead the first lap. Johnson quickly followed Schank into second. Tommy Laliberte found great bite as he got by Johnson on lap four and displaced Schank for the top spot by the sixth stanza. Patiently, Ensign worked his way past Schmid and Shawn Arriaga from his fifth starting position by the 13th lap. Lap 16 saw Laliberte’s mount belch out a stream of oil smoke and emit a minor flame. It appeared that Laliberte would have to retire however, astonishingly, he kept the #27 Thomas Family mount gassed up and the problem cleared. This allowed Ensign to close on Laliberte and make the winning pass on the 17th lap. Holding on for second was Laliberte with an impressive effort over Johnson, Arriaga, and Schank. The feature went caution free in 6:21.
The Larsen Racing Products Modifieds saw former track champion and second generation racer Oreste Gonnella capture the IMCA sanctioned heat race. The 25-lap main event saw Mitch Machado with the early advantage with Joel Myers quickly to second. Nick DeCarlo aggressively went from 8th to 3rd by the 4th lap with Gonnella keeping pace. Myers displaced Machado for the lead on the 12th lap with a great dicing battle ensuing for 2nd– 4th between DeCarlo, Gonnella, and Machado. DeCarlo made an outside move stick and passed Myers on the 18th lap and captured his third win of 2015. Gonnella was second, over Myers, Machado, and rapidly improving Nick Viscusi.
A stout field of 18 Lumberjack Restaurant Super Stocks saw Matt While and Gary Adams the heat race victors. Shawn McCoy led the first lap of the 25-lap finale, with rookie Danny Narron assuming the point a lap later. Larry Drew was third by the 4th lap as Brent Blackwood and Steve Studebaker mounted charges from mid-pack. Ryan Cherezian’s powerplant expired on the sixth lap and the field was reset. A return to action found Blackwood leading by the 8th circuit with Trevor Brady closing. The 22nd lap saw the cagey Studebaker slip by Brady. Blackwood by this time had a comfortable 2.5 second lead as he also picked up his third win of the season. Studebaker was second over Brady, Woody Woodward, and While.
The Santa Rosa Auto Body 600’s provided a 16 car field that saw Bruno Bianchi, and Danny Potts nab the heat races. Bianchi stormed to the early lead in the scheduled 20-lap feature over Jim Beck. Jenna Perkins lost the steering on her mount and a slew of single car spins stalled the action. Nick Robfogel found traction as well as Potts as they both entered the top three by the eighth circuit. Flat tires and chain malfunctions eliminated Bianchi and Danny Rozendahl in the caution strewn event. New leader Potts lost a wheel and over-turned hard on the front straightaway which necessitated an end to the event. Credited with the win was Jared Morrison, over Will Martyn, George Neilson, Potts, and Beck.
Petaluma Speedway returns to action Saturday Night, June 6th featuring round #1 of the Pit Stop USA Shootout Series for the Winged 360’s and Spec Sprints, the Larsen Racing Products Modifieds and Dwarfs, and the Jake’s Performance Hobbies Mini Stocks. For more information please go to www.petaluma-speedway.com.