Tuesday, April 23, 2002

Racing At Redwood Acres Raceway Off To Exciting Start

Racing At Redwood Acres Raceway Off To Exciting Start
By Matthew J. Sullivan

An exciting Saturday night at Redwood Acres saw some old faces in familiar places as defending mini stock champion, Phil Wood, defending real stock champion, Shawn Craig and Acres racing veteran, Al Acuna each claimed main event victories.

The mini stock cars had a turnout of 10 cars total. In the trophy dash, Wood took the victory over Jason Chand who passed Jason Rhodes on the final corner of the final lap of the race. The heat race saw the car of driver Chad Grammer lead the field into turn one, however at the end of the first lap, Jason Rhodes took command of the field. The next lap, Wood took the lead. On lap 5, the cow car driven by, Dan Brown spun. The rest of the race was clean as Wood took the victory over Rhodes, Grammer and Chand.

The 25 lap mini stock main event had the 13 car of, Brian Murrell on the pole. On the start Grammer and Murrell made contact. Rhodes, trying to avoid the incident ended up spinning but all were able to continue on. The restart had Brown and Wood pacing the field. Off the start, Wood took the lead. On lap 3, the 19 truck of, Mat Wolfe had radiator problems and pulled off of the track and the 09 of Joe McDonald pulled into the pits. On lap seventeen, the Grammer spun resulting in a caution. After the restart, Wood pulled out to a large lead and into victory. Second was Jason Chand, third was Jason Rhodes and fourth was Brown.

The pure stocks had a large turnout of 21 cars. Defending champion, Shawn Craig paced the field with a 20.248 lap around the 3/8 mile paved oval. In the trophy dash, Rick Fox held off a hard charging Craig for the victory. In the first of two heat races, the 45 of, Curt Vance sat on the pole next to the 8 of Keith Conn. After a restart, Conn took the lead going into turn one. By lap three however, Mike Peters took the lead going into turn three. That same lap saw a multi car wreck. After a restart and two green laps, the 73 of Hymie Yellon spun for a caution flag. The rest of the race was tight as Peters took the victory over Steve Kimberling, Brad Fite and Daren Gallagher.

The second pure stock heat was exciting and the first five laps were tight however the fifth lap was a little too tight as Gary Adams and Don Hyman made contact resulting in a flat tire for Adams and no more racing action for Hyman for the rest of the evening. The rest of the race was full of excitement as Fox made it two for two with the heat race victory. He was followed by Craig who passed Aaron Byers for second off of the last turn on the final lap.

The 87 of Jimmy Thornberry had the pole for the 25 lap main event. On lap 4 the Curt Vance slowed to a stop in turns one and two resulting in a caution. After a restart, the side-by-side was intense and at times too intense. On lap 11, Lisa Uselton made contact with another driver and the result was Uselton in the grass; there was no caution however. By lap 12, Craig who had started 14 had moved his way to second and began an assault on first place Brad Fite. Lap 15 the 7 car of, Carl Bowling and Gary Adams collided resulting in the 7 car out of the race. Adams continued on. After the restart, Craig took advantage of it and took the lead. He went unchallenged for the rest of the event and took the victory. Second was Fite, third was Rick Fox and fourth was the Aaron Byers.

The sportsman cars had a turnout of 8 cars, however there is an expectation of more cars for the upcoming season. In the trophy dash, sportsman rookie, Scotty Turner won followed by David Henderson, veteran Pat Walsh and Ronnie O’Neill. The heat race was fast paced as Al Acuna led the field to the green. Early in the heat, defending champion, Shawn Andrews and O’Neill made contact resulting in a dinged up fender for Andrews. On lap 8, Andrews and Walsh made contact resulting in a spin for Andrews, there was no caution as Andrews continued on. Acuna took the victory over 2000 champion Angelo Marcelli, Walsh and Henderson.

During tire warm ups, rookie Jim Norris spun and pushed the nose a bit on his car. This gave the pole to Marcelli with Acuna at his side. Marcelli jumped to the lead off the start. On lap 2, O’Neill pulled into the pits and was done for the night. It was close racing up front for most of the race with the cars nose to tail within inches of each other. On lap 10, Norris pitted and was done and a lap later Henderson visited the pits as well. On lap 14, Scotty Turner got a little loose and Andrews took advantage and moved by. Turner got loose again but couldn’t save it and spun. The car was not damaged and he was able to continue on. After the restart, Andrews tried to make the outside work on Acuna who was running second. Going into turn one, Andrews spun for another caution, he continued on. After the restart, Acuna took advantage of cool tires and made a charge on Marcelli going into turn 3. The two made contact and Marcelli spun into the infield as Acuna continued on with Walsh by his side. Acuna with the inside line took the lead back and held on for the victory over Walsh.