~~Smooth, ultra-fast, and hooked up would adequately describe the surface and warm and breezy the weather at Northern California’s fastest 3/8ths mile dirt oval Saturday Night. Driven Raceway Night embarked with Morgan Hill’s Tommy Laliberte outshining the 16-car Joe Hunt Wingless Series vs Pit Stop USA Spec Sprint field with a swift 14.275 effort. Stockton’s Trevor Schmid and Brentwood’s Colton Slack copped wins in the pair of 8-lap heat races. Slack validated his heat race with a win in the 6-lap dash that determines the starting spots for the first three rows of the feature. The 25-lap finale paired Slack and Laliberte up front with Slack wining the drag race into the first turn. On the move were Klint Simpson, Jason McIntosh, and Terry Schank Jr. from his 12th starting spot. Making a start in the Finkenbinder #3F was Geoff Ensign as he quickly was nipping on the heels of the top-five. On lap 5 with Slack leading contact between Bob Newberry and Ensign necessitated a caution with Newberry retiring. Ensign rose to fourth as he had a see-saw battle between Schank, Simpson, and McIntosh. On the 20th circuit Ensign rocked to a shaky stop in turn one with a broken cam. The final five laps saw Slack masterfully guide his sharp #17 into victory lane over Laliberte, Simpson, Schank, and Schmid.
For the second week in a row the top points pair Matt While and Steve Studebaker garnered heat race wins in the Lumberjack Restaurant Super Stocks Class. The 25-lap feature saw the much improved Gary Adams lead from the outset over Brent Blackwood, Studebaker, and While. Adams dealt with lapped traffic smoothly however on lap 18 Blackwood drew abreast and orchestrated a textbook low-side pass on the entry to turn three. This proved to be the winning pass as Blackwood held off Studebaker for his third win of the season. Adams was third over While and Shawn McCoy.
The Santa Rosa Auto Body 600 Micros had a great turnout of 17 cars for their final 2014 event. Jimmy Leal and Bruno Bianchi emerged with heat race wins early in the program putting the duo on the front row for the 25-lap feature. David Prickett winner of the first pair of Petaluma 600 events this season accepted a back-row challenge and started shot gun on the field. Wasting little time Pricket was up to 8th within 6 laps. Up front and battling were Leal, Jared Morrison, Terry Nichols, and Bianchi. Mid-race Pricket clipped Jason McIntosh with both cars retiring. On a charge from 14th starting was former Pit Stop USA Sprint Car Champion Chase Johnson. Johnson worked past Leal who had led the opening 22 circuits. Exiting turn two the duo touched wheels sending Leal into a quick pirouette and a red flag. Johnson capitalized over the final pair of laps to win over: Bianchi, Nichols, Morrison, and Danny Rozendahl.
A dozen dwarf cars signed in for the Larsen Racing Products Dwarf Car Division. Dave Mosier and Scooter Gomes nabbed the 8-lap preliminaries. The 20-lap main saw Mosier blast off from the pack and lead over last week’s winner David Teves, Gomes and Ed Sans III. At the half-way point Mosier, the dominant driver in the class this year opened up an almost half-lap lead. Great in-the-pack battles developed between Travis Dutra and Carroll Mendenhall, and Sans and Adam Johnson. Holding off Teves for his record fifth win of the season was Mosier. Third was defending track champion Dutra over Sans III and Mendenhall.
The Jake’s Performance Hobbies Mini Stocks heat race saw Eden McCormick turn Danny Narron coming to the checkered flag necessitating a black flag and giving the win to Big John Venninga. The 20-lap feature was a dynamic battle between Veeninga and Pete Langley. Langley made a desperate last lap maneuver that came up just short as Veeninga was able to hold him off. Third was Bob Davis over McCormick and Jake Fernandes.
Petaluma Speedway returns to action Saturday Night, September 6th featuring the Pit Stop USA Winged 360’s and Spec Sprints, Lumberjack Restaurant Super Stocks, and Jake’s Performance Hobbies Mini Stocks. For more information please go to www.petaluma-speedway.com.