PETALUMA, Calif. – Bradley Terrell took the high road, where no one else dared to go, and drove it to a win in the Soares Classic for the Hunt Magneto Wingless Sprint Car Series at Petaluma Speedway Saturday night.
On a lap-seven restart, Terrell jumped to the outside high groove on the three-eighths-mile oval and launched himself past four cars to claim the second spot, before passing leader Terry Schank a lap later and storming away from the field for the win.
On that restart, Terrell’s car jumped and bounced across the cushion, bucking like a rodeo ride. Terrell admitted he didn’t know for sure if he would stick the landing.
“It seemed like for the first seven laps everybody was running the same line down on the bottom groove, so I wanted to run just a car width above them to see what was there,” said Terrell. “The move buried the right front tire in the heavy clay above the cushion.
“It wasn’t the most comfortable thing I’ve ever done,” said Terrell. “But once it worked, I knew I had a winning car.”
As Terrell was running laps a half second faster than the rest of the field, Schank was attempting to hold off a furious challenge from Daniel Whitley as the pair diced through heavy lapped traffic.
Whitley pulled the trigger as the pair raced out of turn two on the last lap, diving to the high side as Schank was trapped behind a slower lapped car.
“I think I was faster than Terry but I couldn’t keep up my momentum because of all the slower lapped traffic,” said Whitley.
“I saw an opening on that last lap and drove it in deeper than I had all night, and it stuck,” he said about the move that gave him the second spot on the podium.
Schenk was philosophical about relinquishing the second spot so near to the checkered flag.
“We were struggling and my car was too tight to run the top,” he said. “Sometimes you get the breaks and sometimes you don’t.”