- By Gary Thomas
Justin Sanders and Chase Johnson pick up Sprint Car Challenge Tour wins over the weekend
Petaluma, CA – Aromas, California’s Justin Sanders and Penngrove’s Chase Johnson claimed victories with the Sprint Car Challenge Tour presented by Elk Grove Ford and Abreu Vineyards this past weekend respectively.
Friday night’s “Marcel Cassulo Classic” at the Placerville Speedway saw Sanders dominate much of the main event after pocketing the High Sierra Industries Dash to earn the pole in the 35-lapper. Piloting the Dale Miller Septic/ Thompson’s Auto No. 4sa machine Sanders ran the high-side to perfection and picked his spots wisely when lapped traffic came into play. It marked Sanders second career tour win, with his first coming in the very same event last season.
A late race caution did make things interesting as Lemoore’s Cole Macedo stayed close in an attempt to snag his first Sprint Car Challenge Tour victory. With the checkered flag in sight Macedo gave it one final shot down low but Sanders rolled the top down to the stripe for the $4,000 triumph. Adding up lap money and contingency prizes Sanders went home with over $5,000 alone from the SCCT portion of the event. He later went on to get the win in the King of the West-NARC portion of the night and earn the extra Double Down Bonus.
Macedo’s runner up in the Mike Phulps/ Metal Works No. 56 was a career best with the Sprint Car Challenge Tour, as the combo continues to gain speed together. Hollister’s Ryan Bernal had a strong run in the feature to carve his way from 14th to third and even had the top-two in his vision the last few laps. Hollister’s Tony Gualda and Penngrove’s Chase Johnson rounded out the top-five. Completing the top-10 were Foresthill’s Ryan Robinson, Clarksburg’s Justyn Cox, Fremont’s Shane Golobic, Roseville’s Sean Becker and San Jose’s Tim Kaeding. Placerville’s Shane Hopkins earned the Pit Stop USA Hard Charger Award with a run from 24th to 11th.
A-main finish Placerville Speedway: 1. 4sa Justin Sanders, 2. 56 Cole Macedo, 3. 22 Ryan Bernal, 4. 7c Tony Gualda, 5. 24 Chase Johnson, 6. 97 Ryan Robinson, 7. 31c Justyn Cox, 8. 17w Shane Golobic, 9. 88 Sean Becker, 10. 42x Tim Kaeding, 11. 21 Shane Hopkins, 12. 5c Colby Copeland, 13. 34 Jodie Robinson, 14. 2k Kyle Offill, 15. 12 Jarrett Soares, 16. 77 Mike Benson, 17. 94 Kyle Hirst, 18. 2 JJ Ringo, 19. 33t Jimmy Trulli, 20. 4 Hunter Stanley, 21. 3 Kaleb Montgomery, 22. 17 Kalib Henry, 23. 38 Colby Johnson, 24. X1 Andy Forsberg.
Saturday’s visit to the Petaluma Speedway saw an outstanding main event with high drama towards the end. Throughout much of the contest it was tremendous three-car race between Fresno’s Dominic Scelzi, Shane Golobic and Chase Johnson. As always lapped traffic when it came into play made things hectic and kept fans on the edge of their seats. When the white flag waved it was a dog fight between two of the very best that California has to offer. Scelzi had the lead but heading into turns one and two Golobic made a slider work to take the top-spot exiting the second corner.
The duo continued to battle hard heading into the final corners which ultimately saw Golobic finish upside down, bringing out the red flag. Scelzi was then put to the rear of the field for rough driving and exiting his car under the red. Chase Johnson inherited the lead and went on to take the checkered for his first career Sprint Car Challenge Tour presented by Elk Grove Ford and Abreu Vineyards victory. It was a solid moment for the Johnson Racing/ Pit Stop USA No. 24 team to accomplish the feat at their home track.
Justyn Cox earned a runner up finish for the Van Lare family while Tim Kaeding, Kyle Hirst and Colby Copeland completed the top-five. Filling out the remainder of the top-10 were Sean Becker, Kalib Henry, Pit Stop USA Hard Charger Award winner Geoff Ensign, Cole Macedo and Tony Gualda.
A-main finish Petaluma Speedway: 1. 24. Chase Johnson, 2. 5v Justyn Cox, 3. 42x Tim Kaeding, 4. 94 Kyle Hirst, 5. 5c Colby Copeland, 6. 88 Sean Becker, 7. 5j Kalib Henry, 8. 44 Geoff Ensign, 9. 56 Cole Macedo, 10. 7c Tony Gualda, 11. 2k Kyle Offill, 12. JJ Hickle, 13. 83 Dominic Scelzi, 14. 17w Shane Golobic, 15. 21 Shane Hopkins, 16. 5h Jesse Love, 17. 27 Brett Rollag, 18. 15c Trent Canales, 19. 3f Koen Shaw, 20. 1s Nathan Schank, 21. 22 Ryan Bernal, 22. 38 Colby Johnson
The Sprint Car Challenge Tour presented by Elk Grove Ford and Abreu Vineyards return to action at the Stockton Dirt Track this Saturday for the annual Salute to LeRoy Van Conett.
Images courtesy of Devin M Photography
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