PETALUMA, Calif. — Andy Forsberg won the Sprint Car Challenge Tour at Petaluma Speedway Saturday night with a healthy dose of luck after twice losing the lead over the 35 laps.
After starting on the pole, Forsberg led the first eight laps around the three-eighths mile oval while being hounded by Tony Gomes, before action was red-flagged for an upside-down car in turn three. But on the restart, third-place Ryan Robinson rocketed around the cushion like a heat seeking missile to pass Gomes and came out of turn two in a dead heat with Forsberg and then took the lead after a wheel-to- wheel duel for a lap and half.
Forsberg’s first lucky break came on lap 24, when Gomes dove under him to momentarily take over the second spot in turn four just as Isiah Vasquez was spinning off the front straightaway right in front of them to bring out the yellow flag, wiping out the pass.
His second stroke of luck came on lap 27, when Robinson, who had jumped out to a 10-car-length lead, slowed after losing a cylinder, allowing Forsberg to make the pass for the lead and the eventual win.
“I got lucky when Tony (Gomes) passed me,” Forsberg admitted in victory circle. “If that lap had gone another three or four seconds, he would have had the lead.”
He also gave Robinson credit for being able to rim-ride the cushion, acknowledging that he likely would not have caught the leader if his engine had stayed together. “’I didn’t want to go up there,” said Forsberg, a well-acknowledged master of Petaluma’s sticky adobe clay. “For him to be able to keep the rpm’s up on the cushion was impressive. But tonight, luck was on our side and I’ll take it.”
In the closing laps, as Robinson faded to seventh, hometown racer Chase Johnson moved steadily through traffic and pushed Gomes back to third to complete the podium. “I think we were faster than Andy, but we started eighth and it’s hard to get to the front pack of cars when you start behind the dash cars and it takes you so long to get to the front,” said Johnson.
Andy Forsberg, Chase Johnson, Tony Gomes, Landon Brooks, Tim Kaeding, Colby Johnson, Ryan Robinson, Chance Grastly, Bradley Terrell, Sean Becker, Dylan Bloomfield, Tyler Brown, Bret Barney, Isiah Vasquez, Jake Haulet, Michael Faccinto.
Keyword: Luck Fuels Forsberg At Petaluma