Paul Wins Top Dog Nationals At Petaluma Speedway


Petaluma, CA…August 10…Michael Paul Jr won the 40 lap Top Dog Nationals McLea’s Tire Service IMCA Modified Main Event Saturday night at Petaluma Speedway. This was the first win of the season for the multi time champion, and he collected a $1,500 paycheck.

Josh Combs led a lap and Yreka long the tow Jimmy Lipke led two laps before Paul went charging by for the lead. Paul had built about a straightaway advantage by lap 10 as Combs and Oreste Gonella both got by Lipke for second and third. Following a lap 15 yellow flag, reigning champion Gonella slipped past Combs for the second position. The race had a break at 20 laps to allow refueling and other adjustments, and Paul led Gonella and Anthony Slaney at that point.

Paul would lead Gonella throughout the second half of the race and through four yellow flag slow downs. Slaney saw his run in third come to a disappointing end for a lap 34 yellow flag. At that point, State champion Shane DeVolder took over third. Paul went on to score the impressive victory, and DeVolder made a last lap pass on Gonella to claim second. Terry Kaiser finished fourth, followed Jeffrey Faulkner, Trevor Brady, Jake Dewsbury, Justin Yeager, Freddie Plourde III and Slaney. Michael Paul Jr, Gonella and Slaney won their respective eight lap heat races.

Geoff Ensign scored a thrilling victory in the 25 lap Winged 360 Sprint Car Main Event. The 2017 track champion was coming off of a $3,500 win in the big Wingless Sprint Car show in Medford last weekend. Shawn Arriaga put the Lathrop Racing Sprinter into the early lead ahead of Brent Bjork. Ensign took third from Billy Aton on lap nine and gained second on lap 15. Ensign began to pressure Arriaga until making his winning move on lap 19. Ensign went on to victory ahead of Arriaga, Bjork, Brett Rollag, John Clark, Brett Barney, Joel Myers, Peter Paulson, Aton and Roberto Kirby. Ensign set the fast time of 13.304, and Aton and Barney were the eight lap heat race winners.

Point leader Mitch Machado won the 25 lap Lumberjacks Restaurant Super Stock Main Event. This was his eighth feature win of the season as he has won every race so far. Manny Avila led the first five laps before a yellow flag waved. The restart was Machado’s opportunity to gain the lead, and he wasted no time taking over. The race had three more yellow flags, and each time Machado maintained his advantage over Avila. Machado pulled away to about a half-straightaway advantage over Avila at the checkered flag. Steve Studebaker finished third, followed by Shawn McCrory, Gary Adams, Dave Spindell, Shane DeVolder, Tom Sargis, Danny Naron and Matt While. Heat race wins went to Machado and While.

Nick Robfogel won the 20 lap Santa Rosa Auto Body 600 Micro Main Event. This was his third win of the season as he ranks second in the championship chase. Robfogel raced into the lead at the start ahead of point leader Justin Adiego. After a lap four yellow flag, Adiego made the move around Robfogel to take the lead, but it was short lived. Robfogel raced back around Adiego for first on lap eight and led through one more yellow flag to score the victory. Adiego settled for second, followed by Carroll Mendenhall, Rob Brown, Brian Slubik, Jeromie Charon, Amber Fields, Kyle Grissom, Sam Borland and Trevor Mendenhall. Adiego and Robfogel picked up eight lap heat race wins.

Next Saturday night is the Eighth Annual Johnny Soares Classic, which pays tribute to the long time promoter. The Hunt Wingless Spec Sprint Tour will be running a 50 lap Main Event. Also competing will be the General Hydroponics Redwood Dwarf Cars, Santa Rosa Auto Body 600 Micros and Jake’s Performance Hobbies Mini Stocks.