Saturday night at Petaluma Speedway, the stars aligned for Sebastopol, CA’s Joel Myers Jr. Coming close to victory over the last few seasons, the 16-year-old made his first one memorable as he scored his first ever win aboard a winged sprint car at his home track during the track’s marquee event of the season.
“Growing up and coming to Petaluma Speedway, I always dreamed of winning here,” Joel Myers Jr said. “To pull it off and it be my first ever win with some many family members and friends here is something I will never forget. I want to thank my family for all of their support, Willie Kahne for helping me get my program turned around over the summer, as well as Cody and Tanner for always being around to help me out.”
With 28-cars checked in for the $5000-to-win race that was under Sprint Car Challenge Tour Sanction for the first time ever, Myers Jr timed the All About Fire Protection/Hi-Plains Building Division/Dirt Dudes Excavating backed no. 46Jr in fourth fastest in his qualifying group.
Lining up in the second row of his heat race, a monster start saw the youngster jump into second as he chased after Luke Hayes. A late yellow put ‘Jr’ on the front row of the restart, and he took full advantage as he won the drag race into turn one. The win for Myers Jr was crucial as it also locked him into the High Sierra Industries Dash where he lined up on the front row.
Getting penalized on the initial start, Myers Jr didn’t let it hamper him as he jumped right into second on the Dash’s second attempted start. Chasing after Tim Kaeding, ‘Jr’ hung on to a second-place finish and put himself on the front row of the 35-lap Adobe Cup Feature Event.
As the feature went green, Myers Jr again nailed his start as he powered his way into the early lead and reached the back of the field in just three laps. Navigating through traffic, Myers Jr’s sizeable lead diminished as he quickly felt pressure from Kaeding and Ryan Robinson.
As Robinson was able to sneak around Jr on the seventh lap, it would be negated as Kaeding was collected with a lap car and the first red of the night was needed.
Having another good restart, Myers Jr would pull away from Ryan Robinson, though traffic would again allow Robinson to cut into the lead and erase the lead. As the duo continued their torrid battle in traffic, yellow flags would continually halt their progress and put them in clean air.
Un rattled by restarts, the youngster continued to hammer the throttle at the right time and gave himself breathing room as he worked around the lighting fast surface. Pulling away in the closing laps, ‘Jr’ powered his way to his first career win in front of a crowd full of supporters.
“I don’t have the opportunities to race at home very often, and this was one I wanted to win very badly,’ Myers Jr added. “This is home, and like I said, to do it at home is poetic justice. Now that we have one, the work continues as I hope to get a couple more before our season ends.”
Joel Myers Jr Racing would like to thank All About Fire Protection, Hi-Plains Building Division, DirtDudes Excavating, PitStopUSA, System 1 Ignition, Weld, Smith Ti, Y2K Gaming, Shark Racing Engines, Lucas Oil, Vaider, L Delo Designs, Walker Performance Filtration, ShopRico.Com, Tiner Hirst Enterprise, Kaeding Performance, Triple X Race Co., and Ogio, for their continued support.
BY THE NUMBERS: Starts- 50, Wins-1, Top-5’s- 13, Top-10’s-21
ON TAP: Myers Jr gets right back to work this Friday and Saturday in Chico, CA for the Fall Nationals.
STAY CONNECTED: Keep up with ‘Jr’ by following him on Twitter @Racing46Jr, Instagram @Racing46jr, or by ‘Liking’ him on facebook at www.facebook.com/JoelMyersJr.