Chase Johnson Rules Petaluma Sprint

Chase Johnson in victory lane at Petaluma Speedway. (Donna Peter photo)
Chase Johnson in victory lane at Petaluma Speedway. (Donna Peter photo)

PETALUMA, Calif. — Chase Johnson passed Bill Aton with nine aps remaining to score Saturday’s fast-paced King of the West-NARC Fujitsu Sprint Car Series 30-lap headliner before a hometown crowd at Petaluma Speedway.

Johnson pocketed $3,000 for his second career series victory, both of which have come at Petaluma.

Johnson had the best seat in the house after starting fourth in the grid.  Fast qualifier and dash winner Ryan Bernal appeared to be the class of the field until he got caught up in lap traffic on the 15th circuit.  This brought out the caution for Bernal, Nathan Rolfe and Klint Simpson.

After getting around Willie Croft on the opening lap, Johnson was now cruising in second behind Aton on the restart. However, Aton wasn’t about to take any prisoners and held off his aggressive tailgater until the 22nd lap when Johnson made his winning move.

Johnson catapulted out of the second turn and won a high-stakes drag race with the leader down the back chute to take over the point entering the third corner. The rest is history.

“This feels really good,” admitted Johnson.  “We’ve had some bad luck this season and it’s really nice to get the win.”

Aton’s runner-up finish in his own Bill Aton Painting XXX sprinter was a series career best. Croft put together a strong workmanlike effort in his Amerikote-backed sprinter to fill out the podium.

Dominic Scelzi and Bud Kaeding battled throughout the contest, with Scelzi winning the war and scoring fourth in the Roth Motorsports KPC. Kaeding rounded out the top five in the Alviso Rock Maxim.

Despite finishing 10th, Bernal still maintains a slim one-point advantage over Netto.

The finish:

Chase Johnson, Bill Aton, Willie Croft, Dominic Scelzi, Bud Kaeding, D.J. Netto, Kyle Offill, Jonathan Allard, Geoff Ensign, Ryan Bernal, Sean Watts, Kenny Allen, Nathan Rolfe, Richard Brace Jr., Jenna Frazier, Klint Simpson, Tim Estenson.