Stornetta and Veeninga celebrate first-time feature wins
With the wet weather conditions that forced two rain cancellations becoming a distant memory, Petaluma Speedway roared to life for the second time this season under pleasantly mild and near perfect race conditions Saturday night, April 21, with plenty of topsy-turvy racing action that included victories by a pair of seasoned veterans, one repeat winner, and two first-time winners in the five division program.
In the Pit Stop USA Wingless Sprint Car Series, fast qualifier Joe Stornetta, of Napa, found the safest place to be was ahead of the pack. From his pole-position starting spot, Stornetta led every lap and managed to avoid the carnage of the numerous cars that flipped or rolled over during the wreck-shortened 16-lap event, to capture his first-ever feature race victory. Second place went to Trevor Schmid of Kentfield, who along with Bill Cornwell, captured earlier heat race wins. Scotty Dupont finished third, Gary Paulson was fourth, and Scott Hall finished fifth.
In the Late Models, two-time defending track champion Jeff Decker of Morgan Hill opened the night by setting fast time and winning his heat before starting on the pole and leading all 25 laps to claim his 22nd Petaluma Speedway victory. To secure the clean sweep Decker was forced to crank it up in the feature as 10th starting John Silva of Fremont made a serious bid to unseat the leader, but Decker outlasted the challenge by the former champion to secure the victory. Silva settled for second place ahead of Anthony Restad, Richard Papenhausen, and Rick Shafer.
In the Dirt Modifieds, double-duty driver Papenhausen, of Chico, a veteran who’s raced Modifieds and Late Models, and scored two Late Model victories last season, captured his first Modified victory in recent memory with a convincing victory over defending five-time track champion Michael Paul Jr., Oreste Gonella, Jeff Thomas, and Joel Myers. Heat winner Ron Palombino, Myers, and Paul took turns leading the event until Papenhausen, who also won his heat race, took charge for good on Lap 18 of the 25 lap race.
Mike Learn of Petaluma led the final 13 laps of the Lumberjacks Restaurants Super Stock feature to win his second straight. David Spriggs led the initial 12 laps before the eighth starting Learn took charge on Lap 13. The strong running Spriggs held on for second place over Steve Studebaker, Kevin Aguirre, and Michelle Byron. Heat race wins went to Studebaker and Nate Schleth.
In the BPT Carburator Mini Stock/Hornet Series, John Veeninga was in the right place at the right time when race leader and defending track champ Keith Benson suffered a flat tire on Lap 6, opening the door for Veeninga to get past and hold on for his first ever Mini Stock victory. Josh Williams was second, Kimberly Ramirez was third, Megan Schroeder, driving the only Hornet in the race was fourth, and John Clark fifth.
Results for April 21
WINGLESS SPRINT CARS
Fast time—Joe Stornetta 15.350.
Heat 1—Bill Cornwell; Scott Hall; Stornetta; Scotty Dupont; Jeff Lee; Dustin Baxter.
Heat 2—Trevor Schmid; Bret Barney; Gary Paulson; Kenny Drew; Donny Van Lare.
Main—Stornetta; Schmid; Dupont; Paulson; Hall; Van Lare; Cornwell; Lee; Barney; Drew.
Fast time—Jeff Decker 15.7.
Heat 1—Paul Guglielmoni; Randy Schafer; Rick Shafer; Dennis Souza; Steve Johnson.
Heat 2—Decker; Anthony Restad; Richard Papenhausen; John Silva; Dean DeVolder.
Main—Decker; Silva; Restad; Papenhausen; Rick Shafer; DeVolder; Johnson; Guglielmoni; Souza; Randy Shafer.
Heat 1—Ron Palombino; Paul Anderson; Brian Azevedo; Rick Rogers (Ltd. Mod); Freddie Plourde; Jeff Thomas.
Heat 2—Richard Papenhausen; Oreste Gonella; Joel Myers; Joe Carr; Michael Paul Jr.; David Lindt II.
Main—Papenhausen; Paul; Gonella; Thomas; Myers; Lindt; Anderson; Rogers (Ltd. Mod); Carr; Azevedo; Plourde.
Heat 1—Steve Studebaker; David Spriggs; Kevin Aguirre; Mike Learn; Larry Drew; Michelle Byron; Roger Miller; Paul Hanley.
Heat 2—Nathan Schleth; Michael Drew; Anthony Matthias; Shawn McCoy; DW Drew; Stan Devore; Trevor Brady; Gary Adams.
Main—Learn; Spriggs; Studebaker; Aguirre; Byron; Devore; L. Drew; DW Drew; M. Drew; Schleth; Miller; Matthias; McCoy; Brady’ Adams.
Heat 1—Keith Benson; John Veeninga; Josh Williams; Kimberly Ramirez; Snazzy Duckworth; Megan Schroeder (Hornet); John Clark.
Main—Veeninga; Williams; Ramirez; Schroeder (Hornet); Clark; Benson; Duckworth.