Johnson, Simpson, Machado Nab Adobe Cup 5 Presented by McLea’s TiresRick Faeth
By Devin Mayo and Rick Faeth
An unseasonably warm October evening brought friends and family to the Petaluma Speedway’s 3/8th’s mile bullring for the final time in 2016. The fifth annual Adobe Cup presented by McLea’s Tire & Automotive. A fine field of 26 winged 360’s signed into the pits. Technical difficulties regarding the electronic scoring system necessitated a change in the program with the heat races being run according to the ASCS points format. Eli Deshaies, Klint Simpson, and Zack Lynskey captured the three preliminary events. Chase Johnson picked up the $500 dash victory and would start on the pole for the main event. 2016 track champion Bradley Terrell picked up the B-main victory. Johnson in his familiar family owned Johnny Franklin Muffler #24 would lead the field to green and take an early advantage. Andy Forsberg would make his way up to 2nd by lap ten and pose a threat to Johnson. Forsberg would get over the right rear of a lap car but would continue on with minimal damage and battle Johnson in deep lapped traffic. With 10 laps to go, Forsberg’s night would come to an end with the front wing came off and a broken left front shock tower. As Johnson led the field, Geoff Ensign, Willie Croft, and Ryan Bernal would battle it out for 2nd until Crofts night came to an end as he augered into the turn two crash wall. Ensign with terrific rear grip in Brett Lay’s #24b, wheelied several laps in a row down the front stretch in an effort to get under Johnson. Suddenly with two to go Bernal engaged his rocket boosters and bolted by Ensign. On the back stretch of the white flag lap Ensign returned the favor as Bernal drifted wide. Both would chase Chase to the Scott Erwin twin checkers. An ecstatic Johnson would win the healthy $5,000 to win event. Ensign was second over Bernal, Klint Simpson, and Dominic Scelzi.
The Pit Stop USA Spec Sprints had a great ending to the season with a nice 16-car field. Jonathan Henry and Cody Fendley would pick up the heat race victories. Fendley would dominate the dash and pick up $200 cash with the right to start on the pole for the 30-lap feature. Fendley would lead the field to green with an immediate great battle for 2nd between Simpson, Terry Schank Jr, Adam Christian, and DJ Johnson ensuing. At the half way mark, Simpson, who has dominated this season at Petaluma, would slip inside of Fendley and take the lead in traffic with DJ Johnson moving up to 2nd and Schank to third passed Fendley. Johnson would make the pass for the lead but Simpson would regain control, hold off Johnson and go on the win the main event with DJ Johnson in 2nd, Schank 3rd, Jonathon Henry was fourth and rounding out the top five was Adam Christian.
Twenty-two Super Stocks made their final visit to Petaluma for their Open show portion of the event. Steve Studebaker chased Mitch Machado for much of the event with those two drivers utilizing years of experience to thread their way through lapped traffic on a track that continued to widen out as the evening went on. Suddenly Machado got into the back of a lapper as Paul Hanley flipped his #22 into the front straight away catch fencing. The resulting clean-up effort necessitated the event to be scaled back to 30-laps instead of the scheduled 40. With noticeable front end damage it was Machado able to hold off Studebaker for the $800 win. Third was Silver Dollar Speedway’s Phil Marino, 2016 Petaluma Champion Matt While was fourth, followed by Marysville Raceway Park hot shoe Phillip Shelby.
The 2016 Petaluma Speedway season is completed. The awards banquet will be Saturday Night, November 19th at Legend’s Sports Grill at the Bennett Valley Golf Course.