~~A beautifully warm summer evening and lightning fast race track greeted patrons and competitors on Jake’s Performance Hobbies Night at Petaluma Speedway Saturday Night. Penngrove’s Alissa Geving blistered a 12.332 (109 mph) effort as she outpaced a 16-car Pit Stop USA Winged 360 Division field. Bradley Terrell and Jeremy Burt collected wins in the pair of 8-lap heat races. At the outset of the 25-lap finale Terrell launched into the lead from his outside front row starting spot. Fifth starting Jonathon Allard wheeling the famous Clyde Lamar owned #3c got by Herman Klein and Geving for third by the second lap. Geving stalled with motor woes on the third circuit as Marissa Polizzi spun. On the restart Allard took over second and set his sights on Terrell. Seventh starting Brad Bumgarner was on the move as he entered the top five on lap seven then maneuvered around Jake Haulot for third on the tenth stanza. A crowd-pleasing battle developed between Chase Johnson, Matt Peterson, and Herman Klein for 4th-6th. Through the next ten laps Allard stalked Terrell as the top duo were in constant lapped traffic. Exiting turn four on the 17th circuit Terrell had to momentarily check up and that gave the stalking Allard the opportunity he was looking for as the three-time King of the West Series Champion took the lead. A pair of lap 23 cautions eliminated Sean McMahon and Troy DeGaton and set up the final sprint to the finish. Klein battled with Terrell and had a piece of second on the white flag lap. At the finish it was Allard with the fan-approving win over Terrell, Klein, Peterson, and Bumgarner.
The Carr Racing Chassis IMCA Modifieds set up to do battle with the locals looking to solve the riddle of trying to beat point leader Quick Nick DeCarlo. Defending track champion Oreste Gonnella and veteran Brian Azevedo copped the pair of heat races. Gonnella led from the outset of the 25-lap feature over Dan Payne, Michael Paul Jr., and Dean DeVolder. Payne looped his #32 mount on the fifth lap for what would prove to be the only caution period of the event. Liking the cushion was Gonnella as his leading #23 was shadowed by Paul Jr. Making his way from the back of the pack due to motor issues in his heat were DeCarlo as he was 4th by the six lap and dove past Azevedo for third on the ninth circuit. From there DeCarlo’s progress stalled as Gonnella expertly hit his marks. Laps continued to click of rapidly and as the top trio took the white flag DeCarlo made a bold inside move that saw him draw even with Gonnella. Gonnella stayed true to his cushion running line through turns 1 & 2 but then strategically moved to the bottom to ward off the suddenly rocket ship #17. Gonnella notched his second Petaluma win of the year over DeCarlo, Paul Jr, Azevedo, and DeVolder.
The Lumberjack Restaurant Super Stocks Class competed for their ninth time in 2014 and saw the top two points pair Matt While and Steve Studebaker notch heat race wins. The 25-lap finale saw While in his potent #3 lead at the start. Gary Adams tucked in behind While as Trevor Brady made a bold charge from 8th to 4th in the first six laps. Studebaker got the better of Adams as Brent Blackwood now seemed like the fastest car on track. A great battle ensued between Adams, Studebaker, and Blackwood as they traded positions amongst themselves over the next dozen laps. Shawn McCoy looped his mount on the 15th lap for the final caution. Bringing home the trophy for his fourth win of the season was While over Studebaker, Adams, McCoy and Brady.
Fourteen dwarf cars took to the 3/8ths-mile oval in the Larsen Racing Products Dwarf Car Division. Carroll Mendenhall and Dave Mosier captured the pair of eight lap heats. The 20-lap main saw David Teves looking stout as he guided the field from the green. Multi-time winner Mosier got tangled and eventually was eliminated by a fuel leak. The race saw several single car spins that didn’t result in cautions and the field spread out accordingly. Travis Dutra got a bit too much of the rear of Ed Sans III and both were lined up at the rear of the field after a lap nine caution. Having the race of his career was Chad Matthias as he moved from 4th starting to second place and held steady until Mendenhall wrestled second away on the 13th lap. Matthias’ Cinderella Night ended on lap 17 when he did a solo spin. The final run to the checkers found Scooter Gomes making up spots in rapid order. At the Scott Erwin twin-checkers it was Teves over Gomes, Mendenhall, Adam Johnson, and Sans III.
The Jake’s Performance Hobbies Mini Stocks heat race was won by rookie Bob Davis. Davis seemed content to pace himself in the 20-lap main event as action was stalled for Snazzy Duckworth and Claire Langley who ended up wedged together on the exit ramp. Returning to action found Big John Veeninga liking the cushion and getting the better of Eden McCormick on a pair of restarts. On lap 16 McCormick got tremendous bite off the bottom of turn four and recaptured the lead. Taking the white flag McCormick and Veeninga’s door handles seemed glued together and they lost momentum as they continued down the back stretch. On the outside with a brilliant move was Davis as he out-dragged Veeninga and McCormick to the line notching his first career victory. McCormick was second over Veeninga, Danny Narron, and Tom Curley.
Petaluma Speedway returns to action Saturday Night, August 23rd featuring the Joe Hunt Wingless Sprints vs Pit Stop USA Spec Sprints, Lumberjack Restaurant Super Stocks, Larsen Racing Products Dwarf Cars, Jake’s Performance Hobbies Mini Stocks, and the Santa Rosa Auto Body 600 Micros. For more information please go to www.petaluma-speedway.com.