Petaluma, CA…April 13…In one of the wildest nights seen at Petaluma Speedway in a long time, reigning Lumberjacks Restaurant Super Stock champion Mitch Machado brought it home a double winner Saturday night. Machado won in the BMR Motorsports Super Stock entry earlier in the evening and then came back to win the 25 lap McLea’s Tires IMCA Modified feature. Machado didn’t even make an appearance in the Top 5 until during the second half of the Modified race, but he found himself in contention with a few laps to go.
Early on in the IMCA Modified feature, it was multi-time champion Michael Paul Jr and reigning champion Oreste Gonella battling fiercely for the lead. Gonella won last year’s title without winning a feature, and he finally wrestled the lead away from Paul on lap six. Gonella was doing well until his race came to an abrupt end for a lap 11 yellow flag. Paul resumed command ahead of Tim Yeager on the restart, but he encountered problems to end his bid for a win on lap 22. Suddenly, Anthony Slaney led Machado. Machado maneuvered past Slaney on the white flag lap and then held him off for the final lap to collect an unlikely victory. Tim Cecil finished third ahead of Terry Kaiser, Paul, Justin Yeager, Tim Yaeger, Gary Zwicker, Raymond Lindeman and Ray Trimble. Trimble and Paul were the eight lap heat race winners.
Machado’s Main Event luck started in The 25 lap Lumberjacks Restaurant Super Stock race, where he looked impressive in victory. He led the race from the start ahead of Tim O’Hara, but O’Hara surrendered second to last season’s point runner-up, Steve Studebaker, on lap four. Machado continued to lead Studebaker and O’Hara through a pair of yellow flags, but O’Hara had problems on lap 18 as the yellow flag waved. This was the final slow down of the race, and Machado continued to lead Studebaker on the restart. Machado brought it home to a satisfying victory ahead of Studebaker, Gary Adams, Manny Avila, Austin Ohlinger, Sean Cook, O’Hara, Snazzy Duckworth, Dave Spindell and Matt While. There were two eight lap heat races with O’Hara winning the first one ahead of Cook. Machado outran two-time champion While to win the other heat.
Bradley Terrell won the PitStopUSA.com Wingless Spec Sprint 25 lap Main Event. Terrell set the pace from the start with Sprint Car veteran Sparky Howard an early second. Howard got passed by Hawaii native Boy Moniz on lap 11, but Terrell already held a straightaway advantage by then. Dennis Furia Jr was holding down third until being passed by reigning champion Shayna Sylvia on lap 17. Sylvia got by Moniz, but the lead was pretty much insurmountable by then as Terrell was setting a very rapid pace. Terrell won by a half-lap ahead of Sylvia, Moniz, Furia, Howard, Cody Fendley, Angelique Bell, Chet Wilson, Marcus Smith and Travis DeGaton.
Sylvia bested the 18 car field in qualifying with a quick lap around the three-eighth mile adobe oval of 15.163. Terrell was second quick at 15.201. Terrell outran Moniz to win the first of three eight lap heat races. Sylvia finished ahead of Scott Chapeta in the second heat, while Furia outran Fendley to win the final heat.
Kyle Grissom won the 20 lap Santa Rosa Auto Body 600 Micro Main Event. Grissom was wheeling one of the two Arolo Company Pump & Well owned entries, the other being driven by teammate Justin Adiego. After gaining the lead on lap three, Nick Robfogel seemed to have things well in hand. Adiego settled into second, but he surrendered the position to Grissom on lap eight. Unfortunately for Robfogel, his run came to an end on lap 14. This also put Grissom into the lead. Grissom led the restart and held off a late surge by Brian Slubik for the victory. Adiego finished third, followed by Jamie Faulkner, Sam Borland, Rob Brown, Daniel Dickinson, Robfogel and Angel Cappas. Cappas won an eight lap heat race in front of Victor Guerra. Robfogel scored a win in his heat, followed by Carroll Mendenhall. Grissom won the final heat race ahead of Adiego.
Next Saturday night, racing continues with the PitStopUSA.com Winged 360 Sprint Cars and Wingless Spec Sprints along with the General Hydroponics Redwood Dwarf Cars and the Jake’s Performance Hobbies Mini Stocks. For further information, go to www.petaluma-speedway.com.