Former Track Champions Notch Wins on Second Point NightRick Faeth
By Devin Mayo
Petaluma, CA – April 2nd
A nice sunny day brought local drivers out to do battle for the second Petaluma Speedway Points series race Saturday Night. The Pit Stop USA Winged 360’s had a 11 car field with Trent Canales setting quick time with an impressive 12.184 followed by Bradley Terrell in 2nd and Scott Parker rounding out the top 3. This would set up a 2 heat race format with last years rookie of the year Riley Matson winning his first ever heat race and the always fast Terrell picking up the 2nd heat. David Lindt Jr. and Canales would lead the field to green for 25 laps around the 3/8th’s mile with Canales jumping out to the early lead. A couple of red flag situations would set up a great battle between Canales and Terrell battling lap after lap for the lead. In the end, Terrell would pick up his first victory of the year with Canales with a close 2nd, Shane Myre finishing 3rd in his first season behind a winged sprint car, Geoff Ensign in 4th and Lindt in the 5th spot.
The McLea’s Tire IMCA Modifieds made their season debut on the Petaluma Adobe with an 18 car field. The always dangerous Nick Decarlo would pick up another heat race to add to his resume and Josh Combes taking the other heat race. Kevin Pendergrass and Oreste Gonnella lead the field to green as Decarlo who started mid pack would start to make his way through the field. Gonnella, Pendergrass, and Michael Paul Jr. would battle for the lead, swapping positions almost every lap. As Paul Jr. would catch lap traffic, a caution on lap 13 came out for Decarlo who was charging through the field and soon would pull off of the track no the next restart. Gonnella and Paul Jr. would battle for the remaining 12 laps of the feature, throwing slide jobs back and forth for the lead. A late race caution would bunch up the field one last time and Paul Jr. would pick up the main event win with Gonnella in second, Combes, Mitch Machado, and Terry Decarlo the top 5.
The Lumberjack Restaurant Super Stocks made their 2nd appearance at Petaluma for the 2016 season, with Shawn McCoy and Mitch Machado picking up heat race victories. Last week's winner Matt While would take the early lead with Kenny Drew and Machado following suit. An early caution would stack up the field back up together and While would hold off Machado for the race lead. Machado would take the lead on the restart on lap 8 and would start to pull away. On lap 17, Machado’s engine would go away and Steve Studebaker would take the lead. Studebaker would go onto win with While picking up another top 5, Woody Woodward in 3rd, Kenny Drew would come back from the back to finish 4th, and Shawn McCoy rounds out the top five.
The General Hydroponic Dwarf cars made the haul down to Petaluma with another good size field of 18 cars. A three heat race format saw Matt Hagemann, Travis Dutra, and Dave Mosier pick up their first heat race victories of the season. Darien Balestrini and Mosier would start on the front row and Mosier would take the lead early and already catch lap traffic on lap 2 with Hagemann taking the second spot. Mosier would hold off the field on the restart on lap 7 as Hagemann and Dutra battle for second. Hagemann would hit a rut and flip on lap 14 of 20 bringing out the red. Mosier would hold the field off one last time and go on to win his first race of 2016.
The Jake’s Performance Hobbies Mini Stocks sported a ten car field with a pair of heat races. Darien Balestrini and Edin McCormick picked up the wins. Snazzy Duckworth led the field to green and soon catch traffic on lap 3. Austin Ohlinger and Snazzy would battle for the lead as Balestrini would start to make a charge to the front after pulling off the track to repair the right side of his car from getting plowed into the side of his race car earlier in the race. Sid Hess would take the lead as Snazzy would fall to 4th in lap traffic. Snazzy and Ohlinger would make contact down the front stretch and would set up a 4 lap shootout to the finish with Balestrini passing Hess on the final corner coming to white flag and picking up the win. William Fatu would end up 2nd, Ohlinger in third, Hess in 4th, and Tyler Naron in 5th.
Petaluma Speedway returns to action April 16 with the Winged 360, Spec Sprints, Super Stocks, Dwarfs, 600’s. For more information, visit www.petaluma-speedway.com.