A cool October Evening greeted the capacity crowd on McLea’s Tire & Automotive Night for the 2nd Annual Adobe Cup Season Finale at Petaluma Speedway Saturday Night. There were over 90 cars competing on the hooked up 3/8ths mile oval with a combined purse for the four classes in excess of $20,000 up for grabs. Multi-time Civil War Champion Andy Forsberg bested the 23 car Winged 360 field with a scorching 12.432 to nab quick time honors. The three ten lap heat races were garnered by visitors Dean Freitas, Mike Monohan, and local hot shoe Chase Johnson in caution free fashion. The 30-lap feature saw Jeremy Burt and Alissa Geving bring the field to the Scot Erwin green flag. Geving scampered to the early lead with Forsberg making the jump to the runner-up slot over Burt, Zack Lynskey, and Jake Haulot. Eric Humphries made several nice passes to enter the top five on lap 6. The leaders were into lapped traffic on the 8th circuit and Forsberg pounced on an opportunity to take the lead as his and Geving’s mount bumped on the back straightaway. Lap 12 saw Humphries’ night end with a wing crunching tumble but no injuries. Returning to green saw a customary charge by Geoff Ensign in the Brett Lay #24b materialize as he entered the top five. Lap 15 found Ensign displace both Lynskey and Burt for third. Meanwhile a phenomenal see-saw battle was ensuing between Forsberg and Geving. On lap 19 Justin Sanders passed Lynskey for fourth. Lap 24 saw Forsberg hitch a ride on the back of a lapped car down the front straightaway and then dislodge himself entering turn one. This allowed Geving to re-capture the lead. Lap 27 saw another opening for Forsberg as he re-passed Geving yet again exiting turn four. On lap 28 the two leaders drag raced even down the backstretch. Finally on the 29th circuit Ensign was able to auger by Geving. At the crowd-pleasing finish it was Forsberg holding on for his 12th Northern California Sprint Car Win of the season over Ensign, Geving, Sanders, and Chase Johnson.
The final Joe Hunt Wingless Sprint vs Pit Stop USA Spec Sprint Point Race saw defending Petaluma Track Champion Joe Stornetta Jr. throw down a new track record in qualifying with a swift 14.018 over the 21 car field. Heat races were won by: veteran Scott Dupont, Bill Macedo, and Angelique Bell. The 25-lap feature had several dramatic sub-plots. Terry Schank Jr. entered the night with a slim points lead over Scott Hall in the Hunt Series and Dupont in the Pit Stop Series. Engine woes hampered Schank in the heat race and saw him start the feature from the rear on seven cylinders. Stornetta cleared Macedo on the initial green. On the second lap it was Ensign pulling double-duty make a high side turn two pass for second. Lap 5 saw Ensign with another high side pass of Stornetta to take the lead over Macedo, Bob Newberry, and Rowdy McClenon. Close quarters racing got the better of Hall as he tipped over on lap 13. Hall, uninjured elected to refire after the safety crew righted his #56 mount. On lap 15 mechanical gremlins bit Ensign as he exited the track allowing Stornetta to re-assume the lead. Lap 18 saw Hall retire after much of his engine’s oil was lost in his earlier shunt. Almost simultaneously Schank made the had left turn into the infield The final ten laps were all Stornetta as he expertly held off Macedo, McClenon, Newberry, and Shane Mhyre. Schank was able to tally enough points to capture the Hunt Series Title however it was Scotty Dupont with a solid sixth place run earning his first Petaluma Speedway Championship in the Pit Stop USA Spec Sprint Division.
The Super Stock Open Show portion of the program saw 19 competitors sign in. The two 12-lap preliminary qualifier events saw local hot shoe Mitch Machado and track champion Mike Learn pick up the wins. The 40-lap main event saw Brent Blackwood and Gary Adams pace the field to the green. Blackwood stepped out to the early lead until Machado guided his familiar #22m to the front on lap 7. Third starting David Spriggs got by Blackwood the next circuit and set his sights on Machado. Lap 15 saw the beginning of a door-to-door battle between Spriggs and Learn as Machado continued to inch away. A couple of single car spin cautions didn’t diminish anything. Lap 28 saw the Spriggs/Learn joust end with both collecting each other exiting turn four. The final 12-laps saw clean and green action as Machado dashed to the win over Blackwood, Kevin Aguirre, Steve Studebaker, and Spriggs.
The Bay Area Dwarf Car Association took on the Petaluma Speedway Dwarf Cars and saw a whopping 26-car field line up for the twin segmented features after heat races were copped by: Eric Weisler, Shawn Jones, and rookie Chad Matthias. The first feature segment saw Jones in his finely-tuned #24b mount get away to a generous lead. After 10 laps it was still Jones over Weisler, newly-crowned Petaluma Champ Travis Dutra, Mark Biscardi, and Terre Rothweiler.
Lap 17 saw a vicious flip out the exit ramp by Tommy King that saw most of his body panels come off. King was shaken but exited under his own power. The resulting clean-up saw this end the first segment of the feature. The second half of the dwarf feature saw mechanical issues eliminate Jones. An epic battle for the runner up position ensued between Biscardi, Weisler, Ryan Winter, and Scooter Gomes. Suddenly, track conditions started to bite as Biscardi, Winter, and Gomes all exited within the span of three laps. At the checkered flag it was Bay Area Dwarf front-runner Terre Rothweiler with the win over Weisler, Dutra, Punky Pires, and Jeff Fitch.
Petaluma Speedway’s annual awards banquet will be at Herzog Hall at the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds on Saturday Night November 30. For more information please go to www.petaluma-speedway.com.