Championship awards dinner
JANUARY 18, 2013
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Rollag Wins Civil War Opener at Petaluma Speedway
PETALUMA, CA (4-28-12) - With the laps winding down and the intensity rising in Saturday night's California Civil War Series main event at Petaluma Speedway all eyes were on race leader Brett Rollag of Rohnert Park and his closest challenger Kyle Hirst of Elk Grove. Rollag had been in command since the start but as race fans know when the leader gets into lapped traffic near the end of a race there's often more pressure on him than on the second place car.
With Hirst tracking him like a laser guided missile, Rollag avoided trouble by deftly maneuvering through traffic until the race ended abruptly because of a crash behind the frontrunners one lap short of its scheduled 30 laps to earn the "Rohnert Park Express" his first ever Civil War feature win.
"I'm worn out, that was a grueling effort," said Rollag, after outlasting Hirst and a stellar field of 22 of Northern California's best Sprint Car drivers. The victory topped a personal best of two previous second place finishes in Civil War competition for the 24-year-old Rohnert Parkdriver.
"He did a great job," said runner-up Hirst. "I was hoping he'd bobble. I was there to pounce if he did."
Thirty-four Sprint Cars answered the call for what turned out to be the first race of the season for the winged Hoosier Tire California Civil War 360 Sprint Car Series that competes at seven Northern California dirt tracks in 2012 and returns for race dates at Petaluma Speedway in July and September.
Fast-qualifier Herman Klein (13.080) of Sacramento, a fifth place finisher in his heat, had to fight his way back to the feature through the B-main, which he did in lightening fashion by leading the 17-car B-main field the entire 12-lap distance and clocking a sizzling 12.599-second lap around Petaluma's three-eighths-mile clay oval. Transferring to the feature race from the B-main along with Klein were Cole Wood, Sean Becker, Adam McCarthy, Trent Canales, and Koen Shaw.
Several crashes at the start of the A-main, proved disappointing for second-fast qualifier Billy Butler of Sacramento and Shawn Wright ofLodi, whose night ended just after the green flag dropped. When the race finally got rolling Rollag jumped ahead of Stephen Allard, pole-sitter Richard Bailey and Hirst. Hirst took third place on Lap 11 and grabbed the second spot on Lap 21 as Rollag set the pace.
Green flag racing was the order of the night as just two caution flags, on Laps 3 and 12, interrupted the flow until Lap 29 when defending Civil War Series champion Andy Forsberg, who started 10th and was running fourth when a steering mechanism broke sending his car into he wall and terminating the event.
Following in order behind Rollag and Hirst were third place finisher Bailey, followed by Klein, Justin Sanders, Allard, Chase Johnson, 13th starting Sean Becker, Colby Wiesz, and Greg DeCaires.
Following Saturday's opener, the Civil War Sprint Car Series will return to action on Saturday, May 26 at Marysville Raceway Park in Marysville. This will be the first of two Civil War events over the Memorial Day weekend. Sunday, May 27th the series treks further north to Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico for the third event of the tour.
For complete information about the Civil War Sprint Car Series visit www.civilwarsprints.com. You can also visit any of the track websites that participate in the Civil War Series and find the Civil War Sprint Car Series on Facebook as well.Special thanks to Harlan Osborne and Ron Lingron of Petaluma Speedway for the information supplied in this race recap.