PETALUMA, Calif. — Bradley Terrell showed off his championship form by dominating the season opening race for the Pitstop USA non-wing sprint car series at Petaluma Speedway Saturday night.
The three-time Petaluma Speedway champion in the track’s winged 360 sprint car series bolted into the lead on the first lap from his fourth starting spot and quickly opened a full straightaway gap on the field before closing in on back markers within five laps on the three-eighths mile oval.
Terrell kept that pace throughout the 25-lap event, repeatedly rocketing away from the field on restarts and dancing through lapped traffic in a high-speed ballet that seemed to court disaster in every corner before ultimately winning by 7.5 seconds over the Pitstop USA series’ defending champion Shayna Silvia.
Terrell credited his familiarity with Petaluma Speedway for finding a fast setup on a night when track conditions were difficult to predict after weeks of unseasonal heavy rain. “I’ve been racing here since I was 14 so I knew how the track was going to react,” said the 29-year-old Terrell.
Even so, Terrell’s biggest challenge was not from the cars chasing him from behind, but the heavy lapped traffic in the closing laps. “I had to be patient,” said Terrell, especially when he was boxed in by groups of three and for cars, battling for position. “I knew I had a good lead, but I didn’t know how close the second-place car was,” said Terrell.
In the end, it wasn’t close at all. “I never saw him the entire race,” said runner-up Silvia.