Simpson Thrills in 6th Annual Soares Classic on Jake Performance Hobbies Nighpetaluma
By Devin Mayo and Rick Faeth
After taking a week off, Petaluma Speedway returned to action this past Saturday for the 6th Annual Soares Classic. The C&H Veteran Ent. presents Hunt Magnetos Wingless Tour made their final visit to the Petaluma 3/8th’s with some of the best Hunt Magneto drivers in Northern California. Jimmy Christian set fast time with a time of 14.417. A three heat race format saw Terry Schank Jr, Cody Spencer, and Klint Simpson take heat race victories. Simpson would go wire to wire in the dash to start on the pole of the 50 lapper. Simpson and point leader Austin Liggett would lead the field to green with Liggett taking the early advantage. Liggett would set sail out front with Simpson in tow as the field battled for position. The red would come out at lap 23 to allow teams to refuel their cars. The following restart would see Simpson take the lead from Liggett. Simpson and Liggett would exchange the lead multiple times throughout the second half of the main event, throwing sliders back and forth. Bradley Terrell would climb through the field to third as the yellow would come out with 5 laps to go. Simpson would get a great jump as Liggett and Terrell would battle for second. Simpson would lead at the white flag with a good advantage over Liggett. Liggett charged to the high side of turns 3 and 4, pulled alongside Simpson coming off of turn 4 and it would be a drag race to the start finish line with Simpson edging out Liggett for the victory. The margin at the start/finish line would be 0.024. Liggett ended up in the runner up spot and Terrell rounded out the podium.
The All Star Modified Tour also made their final appearance of the season at Petaluma Speedway. Troy Foulger, Nick DeCarlo, Ryan McDaniel, and Duane Cleveland picked up heat race victories. Petaluma regulars Oreste Gonnella and Michael Paul would lead the field to green. Paul would take the advantage out of turn 4 as DeCarlo would move up to second around Gonnella. DeCarlo would make a charge for the lead and battle Paul for the lead in the early going. Multiple yellows would bunch the field back up, which allowed DeCarlo to take the lead. Foulger, who started mid pack, would start to pick off cars and make his way to the front. Foulger would run down DeCarlo and take the lead mid-way through the race. Foulger would start to extend his lead as Alex Stanford would run down DeCarlo and make the pass for second. Foulger would pick up the main event victory over Stanford in 2nd, with DeCarlo 3rd.
The Lumberjack Restaurant Super Stocks returned to action Saturday night. The two heat races were won by Dan Smith and Steve Studebaker. Shawn McCoy and Woody Woodward led the field to green for 25 laps of main event action with Woodward taking the lead. Matt While would move up to second in the first few laps. An early yellow bunched the field back up as Woodward, While, and Studebaker would battle for the lead. Studebaker would make a pass for the lead as Woodward and While would make contact battling for the lead coming off of turn 2. While would spin midway through the main event but would recover and make a charge back to the front. McCoy would also spin close to the mid-point of the race and recover to finish 4th. Late race caution allowed Woodward and While to challenge Studebaker for the top spot. While would take the second spot away from Woodward late in the race but didn’t have enough for Studebaker as he picked up the main event victory with While finishing 2nd and Woodward finishing 3rd.
The Jakes Performance Mini Stocks returned to the Adobe 3/8thâ€™s with Austin Ohlinger and Ricky Coleman winning their heat races. Duane Croft and Dave Spindell would lead the field to green but Sean Hale would bring out the early yellow as he would spin in turn 3 on the opening lap running second. The following restart would see the leader Spindell spin betweens turns 3 and 4. Ohlinger would take the lead over Croft on the 3rd restart of the main event and begin to pull away. Spindell made an impressive charge from the back of the field to pass Ohlinger for the lead on lap 7. Spindell would not be able to pull away as Ohlinger was right behind him, waiting for his opportunity for the race lead if Spindell would make a mistake. Spindell was the man to beat as he would win the Mini Stock main event over Ohlinger and Coleman.
Petaluma Speedway will be dark this weekend but will return to action August 26th with Masellli Hardware Night featuring the KWS/NARC 410’s. Also on hand will be The Western Region Dwarf Nationals and the Santa Rosa Auto Body 600’s. For more information, please visit our website at http://www.petaluma-speedway.com