Fast Friday Fun for Forsberg, Christian, Gonnella, MichadoRick Faeth
PETALUMA, CA – July 3
By Rick Faeth
The first Friday Night race in seven years at Petaluma Speedway was supported by beautiful weather, a full grandstand, 80 cars in the pit area on Buffalo Wild Wings Night. Qualifying action saw Auburn’s Andy Forsberg guide the C&M Motorsports mount to fast time honors in the Pit Stop USA Winged 360 division with a rapid 12.239 lap over the field of 20. Jason Toft, Tommy Laliberte, and Ryan Bernal copped the trio of 8-lap heat races. At the start of the 25 lap feature it was sophomore winged ace Zack Lynskey with the early lead over veteran Roberto Kirby. Lap 2 saw a halt as Marissa Polizzi jumped the cushion and overturned up against the fence. A return to action saw Lynskey and Kirby collide eliminating both. This handed the lead to Bernal and lasted two circuits until he overturned in turn two as Jeremy Burt performed a similar feat in turn four. Lap six found Forsberg with the inherited lead blast off from the pack over Toft, Jake Haulot, and Joe Stornetta. As mid-race approached eyes shifted to Herman Klein and Bradley Terrell as they charged through the pack from their 7th row starting positions. Point leader Klein entered the top five on lap 13, then displaced Stornetta and Haulot by lap 20. Laps reeled off quickly as the final 20 were caution free. Picking up his second Petaluma win of the season was Forsberg by 8 seconds over Toft, Klein, Haulot, and Terrell.
The Pit Stop USA Spec Sprints saw newcomer Brently Maggi out-qualify the field of 14 with 14.334 effort. Winning the long-tow award was first heat victor Larry Peterson who came over from Hawaii to wheel the Shawn Thomas #56. Cagey veteran Sparky Howard nabbed the second heat. The main event saw edge of the seat action from the outset as Klint Simpson and Jimmy Christian battled for the lead supremacy. Back and forth the two delivered slide-job after slide job inches from one another. Several single car cautions stalled the action allowing Howard to move forward on each restart from deep in the field. Mid-race it became apparent that the top duo were going to have to deal with Shayna Sylvia as she held tough in rim-riding fashion. A pair of red flags set the stage for a green-white checker finish as time exceeded allowable limits. A banzai move by Simpson coming off turn four was very close to being the winning move as Christian barely held on for his first Petaluma victory. Point leader Simpson was second over Howard. Having the race of her young career was Sylvia in fourth, Adam Christian was fifth.
The Larsen Racing Products IMCA Modifieds featured a fine field of 16 cars. Multi-time track champion Michael Paul Jr. won the first heat with Norm Boeck netting the second. From the 25-lap feature start it looked like a throw-down between Joel Myers and Paul Jr. as they diced up front. Track champion Nick DeCarlo moved to challenge as he found grip lower on the track then the lead pair. Lap 7 saw DeCarlo make his move as lapped traffic snarled the leaders. Lap 9 saw DeCarlo’s engine expire ending an impressive five-in-a-row win streak. Patiently from the rear came Oreste Gonnella as Paul seemed to falter and Myers was affected by a bent suspension component. At the checkers it was a happy Gonnella with the hard fought win over Myers, Paul Jr., Chris Sieweke, and visiting Alex Wilson.
Twenty cars competed in the Lumberjack Restaurant Super Stocks division with Brent Blackwood, Trevor Brady, and Mitch Machado garnering the three heat races. The beginning of the feature found point leader Blackwood eliminated in a shunt with David Spriggs and Erick Veeninga. Machado led over Larry Drew, Brady, as Woody Woodward and Mike Learn were on the move. Caution after caution stalled the action on the rough and tacky 3/8’s oval as Machado picked up his second win in a row over Learn who battled mechanical gremlins, young gun Brady, Woodward, and Drew.
The Jake’s Performance Hobbies Mini Stocks saw Bullet Bob Davis with the heat race win and looking good while leading the feature. Getting together with another competitor netted him a flat but he soldiered on without stopping. Eden McCormick tallied the 20-lap contest over Snazzy Duckworth, Davis, Darien Balestrini, and Tom Curley.
Petaluma Speedway returns to action Sunday, July 11th featuring the Pit Stop USA Winged 360’s, Larsen Racing Products Modifieds, Lumberjack Restaurant Super Stocks, and Jake’s Performance Hobbies Mini Stocks. For more information please go to www.petaluma –speedway.com.