Forsberg, DeCarlo, Machado Enjoy New Car Smell on Novato Chevrolet NightRick Faeth
PETALUMA, CA – July 11
By Rick Faeth
A cozy summer evening welcomed patrons of Petaluma Speedway on Novato Chevrolet Night Saturday. The smooth and hooked up Adobe oval saw Sebastopol’s Geoff Ensign capture fast time honors in the Pit Stop USA Winged 360 division with a swift 12.402 lap. The duo of eight lap heats was nabbed by Bradley Terrell and Jason Toft. The 25-lap feature lined up with Zack Lynskey and Terrell on the front row with Terrell pressing the issue to lead the first circuit. Ensign jumped from sixth starting to fourth but then experienced a suspension failure and made wall contact requiring his retirement. On the restart Terrell held fast over Lynskey, Toft, Andy Forsberg, and Herman Klein through ten laps. Eli Deshaies stalled on lap 11 and on the ensuing restart Forsberg seemed to reach for another gear. Rim-riding through turns 1 & 2 and utilizing the middle groove through 3 & 4 the former multi-time Civil War champion displaced Toft on lap 12 for third and shot by Lynskey on the 14th circuit. Terrell cruising with a 7 second lead did not want to see the lap 19 caution, which allowed Forsberg to gauge and set up the winning pass as he blasted around the outside of the potent family operated #43 of Terrell on the restart. Six laps later it was Forsberg picking up victory for the second week in a row followed by: Terrell, Lynskey, Toft, and Klein.
The Larsen Racing Products IMCA Modifieds which are in a hotly contested points battle saw Joel Myers win the 8-lap heat race in dominating fashion. In the 25-lap finale Myers continued where he left off leading easily the first five trips around the 3/8’s oval. Former track champion Michael Paul Jr. now exerted himself as he challenged Myers while fending off a side-by-side onslaught from defending track champ Nick DeCarlo from laps 8-12. DeCarlo cleared Paul and now Paul had to battle it out with Oreste Gonnella. Working the bottom groove DeCarlo expertly cleared Myers for the lead on lap 18 and held on for his sixth win of the season over Gonnella, Paul Jr., Myers, and Nick Viscusi.
The Lumberjack Restaurant Super Stocks saw championship contenders Brent Blackwood and Mitch Machado victorious in preliminary heat race action. Woody Woodward looked stout up front during the first five circuits of the 25-lap feature. Action was furious between Matt While, Steve Studebaker, and Machado as they looked to close on Woodward. An uncustomary loop by Studebaker slowed the action as the veteran joined the rear of the field. Machado on the restart went from third to first with a brilliant high then low move. Matching speed and differing lines was While as he bested Blackwood for second on lap 14. Exiting turn four on the 22nd– lap While pressed for the lead as the top two vied for the same piece of track Contact caused While to spin for the final caution. At the finish it was an emotional Machado mourning the death of his father and collecting his third win in a row over Blackwood, steady Trevor Brady, Studebaker, and Woodward.
The Jake’s Performance Hobbies Mini Stocks supported the division with a nice field of nine cars. Blueberry farming Snazzy Duckworth was the heat race winner and the early leader of the 20-lap main. Youngsters Darien Balestrini who borrowed Josh Williams’ car dueled with Zack Albers and Kelly Campanile as positions settled out. Bullet Bob Davis got the better of Duckworth mid-race as he cruised home with another win. Second was rookie Albers, Duckworth was third, with Campanile fourth, and Balestrini rounding out the top five.
Petaluma Speedway returns to action this Saturday Night, July 18th featuring the Joe Hunt Wingless Sprint Car Series vs Pit Stop USA Spec Sprints, also on tap are the BCRA & USAC Midgets, Midget Lites, Vintage Midgets, and the Santa Rosa Auto Body 600’s. For more information please go to www.petlauma-speedway.com.