Laliberte and Cass Surprise Winners on Five Corners Automotive NightRick Faeth
PETALUMA, CA, July 27 – Cool overcast weather led to a hooked up tacky surface on Five Corners Automotive Night at Petaluma Speedway on Saturday Evening. Action started with former Joe Hunt Wingless Series Champion Tommy Laliberte netting fast time over a 17-car Pit Stop USA Spec Sprint field with a 14.913 effort. The three preliminary heat races were captured by Chris Magoon, Scott Hall, and Sparky Howard. Hall and Laliberte made up the front row of the scheduled 25-lapper and on the initial start it was Laliberte gaining the advantage exiting turn two. The fast track led to some dramatic passing from moonlighting Winged 360 driver Bradley Terrell as he fearlessly challenged the heavy cushion at the top of the track. Fighting fuel issues all night and starting 14th it became apparent that Joe Stornetta’s crew had made the correct repairs as the hungry defending track champion made a dramatic run up through the pack. Lap 10 saw Terrell attempt a pass of Terry Schank Jr. only to find the two front-runners collect each other. Returning to green found Brett Barney, having his best night of the year, enter the top three. All eyes were on Stornetta to see how far up he would make it as he was the fastest car on the track. The final 15 circuits were uninterrupted as Laliberte claimed his first Petaluma and Pit Stop USA win over Hall, Barney, Stornetta, and Scotty Dupont.
Round number six of the inaugural Nor Cal Challenge IMCA Modified Tour saw a nice field of 21 cars sign in. Local pilots Norman Boeck and Don Camili captured the first two heats, while current tour point leader Ryan McDaniel garnered the third. The main event saw the first ten laps click off in rapid succession with local hot-shoe Chris Sieweke setting a swift pace. A caution on lap 11 restacked the field and saw a dynamic door-to-door battle between Sieweke and Livermore’s Brian Cass. Cass utilized the race’s fastest lap with a blistering 16.053 on the 13th circuit to finally clear Siewke. The last dozen laps were clicked off with a trio of Petaluma Carr Racing Chassis locals high-tailing it behind Cass. At the 25-lap checkers it was an excited Cass leaping from his car to the delight of the crowd over Oreste Gonnella, Michael Paul Jr., and Sieweke. Nor Cal Tour Point leader Ryan McDaniel came home fifth.
The Lumberjack Restaurant Super Stocks fielded 15 competitors which saw Brian Azevedo wheeling the familiar David Spriggs #5 to a first heat victory and veteran Dave Byron garnering the second 8-lapper. A ragged start by the front row saw Shawn McCoy and Gary Adams play door tag offering up the lead to Steve Studebaker. Lap five found point leader and defending track champion Mike Learn ease by Studebaker. Clean efforts by Brent Blackwood and Shane Brandon found them up to 3rd and 4th by lap 10. In heavy traffic on lap 13 Studebaker was unable to avoid a spinning car in front of him and the ensuing caution saw him have to restart at the rear. This moved Blackwood up to the front row for the double file restart and ultimately saw the first year driver grab the lead from Learn. Three laps later the caution was for Blackwood as his search for win number one ended with mechanical issues. A late lap 20 caution for a stalled McCoy set the stage for the final five lap shootout. Studebaker on a mission back to the front passed three cars in the final five laps but ultimately came up short as Learn earned his fourth win of the season. Studebaker came home runner-up over Anthony Matthias, Paul Hanley, and Brandon.
The Mini Stock Division saw defending champion Big John Veeninga earn the heat race win. The 20-lap feature saw Josh Williams streak to the early lead. Lap three found fast Pete Langley in his swift Pinto slip by for the lead. From then on the on-track battle was between Veeninga, Eden McCormick, and John Clark as they diced back and forth for the next half dozen laps. Clark finally shook off Veeninga and McCormick on lap ten and set out for Langley. However sadly, the young 13-year old lost his exhaust system on the 15th lap ending his night. Langley checked out and chalked his fourth win of the season over McCormick, Veeninga, Williams, and Danny Narron.
Petaluma Speedway is dark this Saturday Night August 3rd in light of the annual Petaluma Music Festival but will return to action next Saturday Night, August 10th for Open Wheel Madness Night Sponsored by NAPA Auto Parts featuring the Joe Hunt Wingless Series vs. Pit Stop USA Spec Sprints Shootout, BCRA Midgets and Midget Lites, Carr Racing Chassis Modifieds, and Dwarf Cars. For more information please go to www.petaluma-speedway.com.