Forsberg, Simpson, While, & Valerio Tuned Up on PJ’s Automotive NightRick Faeth
By Rick Faeth
A hot summer night welcomed the Petaluma Speedway faithful on PJ’s Automotive Night Saturday. Multi-time Civil War Champion Andy Forsberg started off the evening with quick time in the Pit Stop USA Winged 360’s class with a rapid 12.647 effort. Rising star Riley Matson copped the first heat race with veteran Geoff Ensign capturing the second. Ensign also piloted the potent Lay Motorsports #24b to the $50 dash for cash win which allowed him to start on the pole of the 25 lap feature. A smooth, fast, and sealed track was seemingly to Ensign’s liking as he beat Forsberg in a drag race to the first turn and by lap 10 had a four second lead. All was for naught as Ensign exited two laps later with a badly leaking valve cover. Simultaneously the red flag was displayed as Marissa Polizzi tipped over in turn two collecting point leader Bradley Terrell. Forsberg inherited the top spot and never looked back as he outdistanced Jake Haulot to the checkers. Third was Klint Simpson, with Matson fourth, John Clark netted fifth.
Klint Simpson outpaced the Pit Stop USA Spec Sprint field with a 14.361 effort. Shayna Sylvia and Quick Nick DeCarlo garnered the pair of 8-lap heat races, with Simpson notching the dash win. A thrilling 25-lap feature saw Bradley Terrell debuting the beautiful new Van Lare #15v and briefly duel with Simpson. Lap 12 saw Bruno Bianchi loop and collect Ryon Silverling ending his night. A return to green saw an epic high-low battle between Sylvia and Simpson to the end. With only Sylvia’s heat race win over Simpson denying him a clean sweep of the night. Sylvia expertly guided her family owned #9 to second. Rounding out the top five were: DeCarlo, Terrell, and Keith Calvino.
The Lumberjack Restaurant Super Stocks saw the top two points contenders punch and counter punch all evening as Steve Studebaker and Matt While each won preliminary heats. It was veteran Woody Woodward dialing in his #49 to win the 6-lap dash for cash. Matt While was able to fend off Studebaker in the swift 7:14 event for the win. Woodward held on for third, with Garrett Brady fourth and Paul Hanley fifth.
The Santa Rosa Auto Body 600’s saw a tremendous 19 car field sign in. Jared Morrison, David Engstrom, and Paul Alonso were the heat race winners. Morrison also parked his potent #154 on the front straightaway after the dash. The first four laps of the 20-lap feature were dubious in that it took over 14 minutes, and eliminated Morrison. Competitors were warned about time constraints and the next 14 laps were run smoothly with Anthony Valerio calmly walking his way through the field, passing George Neilson with a surprise bottom groove move on the 18th circuit. Valerio negotiated the final restart like a pro and two laps later won his first career Petaluma Speedway feature. Neilson was second, defending champion Jim Beck was third, with Kelvin Lewis fourth, and Cody Gray fifth.
Petaluma Speedway returns this Saturday with the fourth Pit Stop USA Shootout Event featuring the Winged 360’s and Spec Sprints, McLea’s Tire & Automotive IMCA Modifieds, General Hydroponics Dwarfs, and the Jake’s Performance Hobbies Mini Stocks. For more information, please visit http://www.petaluma-speedway.com.