Forsberg, Simas, & Rothweiler Have the Right Parts on O’Reilly NightRick Faeth
~~PETALUMA, CA, June 4— Pleasant summer weather and a smooth track greeted the packed pit area on Petaluma Speedway’s O’Reilly Auto Parts Night. Three-time track champion Alissa Geving bested the field of 16 Pit Stop USA Winged 360’s during time trials positing a 12.758 in the A1A Performance Muffler #3x. The top two points earners Geoff Ensign and Herman Klein garnered the 8-lap heat races. The 25-lap feature found the perfect set-up for the loyal patrons as Auburn’s Andy Forsberg lined-up on the front row with the pole-sitting Ensign. Ensign won the drag race through the first corner; however Forsberg was gauging the #24b for a pass. That pass happened on the end of the first circuit. Fifth starting Geving got by Jeremy Burt and Herman Klein and moved into third by the third lap. Also on the move was Colby Wiesz moving to fourth by the sixth stanza. Jake Haulot looped his mount on the seventh lap for a caution. Returning to green saw Zach Lynksey debuting his new #07n and Klein in the Bates #42 working the high side cushion and making up positions. Lynskey moved to fourth on lap nine and Wiesz to third by lap 12 as the pace settled as Ensign hounded Forsberg through lapped traffic. By the 23rd circuit and time running out Ensign forced the issue in an attempt to clear Ivan Worden, however the result was a busted front end and an end to his dominating win streak. The final two laps were all Forsberg as he strode into victory lane followed by: Wiesz, Geving, Lynskey, and Burt.
The Bay Cities Racing Association Midgets signed in with 16 open wheelers and saw Shannon McQueen time in fastest with a 14.477 effort. Preliminary heat races were captured by Nick Chivello and Taylor Simas. The 30-lap feature stalled a couple of times trying to get going however once the action got underway it was fast a furious as Chivello looked strong running low. Sean Dodenhoff decided he liked the cushion and the two traded the lead several times in the first dozen laps. Gathering momentum were Scott Pierovich and Matt Streeter as they gained on the top two. It was smooth sailing up to lap 20 when suddenly the plot changes dramatically. First McQueen experienced a mechanical failure, then on the restart Pierovich while attempting a pass for the lead had a drive line expire. Almost simultaneously Scott Kinney rode out a wicked flip entering turn one. Kinney was okay but Streeter was injured by debris from the Kinney incident. Enter Taylor Simas into the equation. On the 24 lap Simas cleared Dodenhoff first and then made a textbook pass for the lead from Chivello. Simas held on for a popular win in the potent Doug Bock #62 over Chivello, Dodenhoff, Barry Pries Jr., and Floyd Alvis.
The South Bay Dwarf Car Association along with the Larsen Racing Products Dwarfs hosted the Western States Dwarf Car Regional contest with 38 cars competing. Heat race victors were: Shawn Jones, Dave Mosier, Punky Pires, and Kevin Bender. Bender also captured the six lap dash to determine starting positions for the 30 lap finale. Buddy Olschowka nabbed the semi-main. Bender set the pace at the outset of the feature with Matt Sargent and Pires nipping at his rear bumper. Lionel Francis lost a wheel on lap 6 stalling the action. Jones made a bold move to take second on the 7th lap as Terre Rothweiler entered the top five on lap 11. Jones took the lead on the 18th circuit while Rothweiler overtook Bender for the runner-up position with two to go. Rothweiler then catapulted to the lead only to see the pass negated by a spin by Mosier. The final two laps were beyond description as Jones and Rothweiler played a game of bumper tag, much to the delight of the crowd. Coming off of turn four Jones drifted ever so slightly higher than previously allowing Rothweiler the “bite” he was looking for. The end result was a photo-finish with Rothweiler victorious over Jones by 0.007 seconds. Third was Bender, with David Teves fourth, and Danny Wagner fifth.
Petaluma Speedway returns to action Sunday Night, June 22nd during the annual Sonoma-Marin Fair featuring the: West Coast Enduro 150. For more information please go to www.petaluma-speedway.com.