PETALUMA, Calif. – Even a lack of brakes couldn’t slow down Justin Sanders as he muscled his way through heavy traffic to win the feature for winged 360 sprint cars at Petaluma Speedway Sunday night.
Starting on the inside of the fourth row on the grid, Sanders moved aggressively through the field from the drop of the green flag, as Ryan Robinson and Andy Forsberg raced for the lead. By lap seven, Sanders had picked off four cars by muscling past them on the inside groove of turn two, which put him on Forsberg’s bumper as the trio hit lapped traffic.
A lap later, Sanders passed Forsberg for second and chased after Robinson on a tacky and fast track.
By lap 17, the three leaders were nearly three-wide in turn four and hung up behind a traffic jam of lapped cars when Sanders squeezed between them and passed Robinson to take the lead he would keep to the checkered flag.
Forsberg, who had moved to second, had one shot at Sanders on a lap-22 restart that fell short as both cars ran laps at near qualifying speed to the checkers.
‘You’ve got to be a bit aggressive on a track like this that’s fast and hard to pass or you can’t go forward,” said Sanders, who noted that he was losing his brakes in the late stages of the race.
“They cooled off on a late yellow flag lap and I got a little bit of the pedal back to finish the race,” he added.
Forsberg acknowledged that being aggressive in traffic made the winning difference.
“He squirted out of that glob of cars in first and I came out in third,” Forsberg said.
“Even so, he added, “we needed lapped traffic at the end to spice things up and we just came up a bit short tonight.”
Caleb Montgomery, who started on the outside of the front row, completed the podium while Chase Johnson raced through the field from 13th to finish fourth.