Thursday, September 12, 2002

Kneely takes real stock victory

Kneely takes real stock victory

By Matthew J. Sullivan

Racing is one of the most unpredictable sports there is. September 7 at Redwood Acres Raceway was no exception as Jeff Kneely, driving a car normally shoed by Travis Maytanes, took the victory. Kneely is no stranger to the 3/8 of a mile paved oval though, as he has raced the track many times before, but not in a while. Rookie, Joe McDonald displayed his ability in the sportsman division taking the unexpected main event win. The mini stock main event winner, however, was no stranger to victory lane as Phil Wood took home another main event trophy this season.

In the mini stock trophy dash, Phil Wood took the top honors over Jaison Chand, Jason Rhodes and Chad Grammer. Making his first ever start at the Acres, 21 took the victory in the first of the two heat races beating Matt Wolf, Joe McDonald Sr. and Tai Frye. In the second heat, Jason Shaha came in first but because his car wasn’t legal he didn’t officially take the win. Jason Rhodes took the trophy followed by Wood and Brian Murrell.

Murrell and Rhodes brought the mini stock main event to the green flag. On lap 2, Grammer and Judge John Morrison spun collecting McDonald. Morrison suffered damage to his right front wheel and pulled into the pits to call it a night while Grammer and McDonald were able to continue. Rhodes led the field to the restart and the green flag.

Within a few laps, Wood made his move, making a move on Rhodes on the outside then passing him on the inside. Shaha followed suit just a lap later. For the rest of the race, it was a two-horse battle between Wood and Shaha. With a few laps to go, Shaha made an inside move on Wood. The two collided but came apart with Shaha in the lead and Wood second, but only in position. When the checkered flag fell, Shaha led Wood but it was Wood who took home the win over Rhodes and Chand.

In the sportsman trophy dash, veteran, Al Acuna took the win over Ken Hallis, Roger Sanderson and Pat Walsh. Walsh made some moves to the front in the heat race, taking the win over Joe McDonald, David Henderson and Jim Norris. The main event was brought to green and Norris used his pole position to his advantage, taking the early lead. On lap 2, McDonald powered his way by Norris. Three laps later, Hallis slid between turns three and four. Behind him, Ed Peters hit the wall severely. Peters was all right as he drove his mount into the pits, unfortunately he would not return.

After the restart, on lap 9, Acuna spun off of turn four but there was not a caution. A few laps later, Walsh made contact with Sanderson and a caution flag was thrown. Under the yellow, Sanderson and Hallis collided sending Hallis hard into the turn three wall. Sanderson continued to race with some left front fender damage while Hallis had to call it a night. On the restart, McDonald got a jump and pulled away from second place Angelo Marcelli. With four laps to go in the 30 lap main event, Norris spun for the yellow flag. McDonald again got a good start on Marcelli and with that, he came across the finish line first followed by Marcelli, Walsh and Henderson.

The real stock class had one of it’s smaller car counts of the season; only 25 cars. In the “B” trophy dash, Cecil Arispe took the win over Bill Middleton. The “A” dash victory went to Jeff Kneely, followed by Don Hyman, Mike Peters and Jimmy Thornberry. Rick Fox, whom had motor problems on his qualification attempt, won the first of three heat races over Arispe and Steve Kimberling. Lissa Uselton took the second heat win with Aaron Byers, Hymie Yellon and Chad Trump breathing down her neck. In the third heat, Peters won followed by Ryan Thompson, Marty Walsh and Hyman. The “B” main transferred four cars into the “A” main. Filling those positions were Fox, Arispe, Gary Adams and Kimberling.

Uselton and Yellon led the field to the drop of the green flag in the real stock “A” main event. Uselton showed her strength, taking the lead away from Yellon. Early, Doug Way and Peters had a run in. On lap 7, Thompson spun resulting in the first caution flag in the race. After the restart, Ryan Walters lost control of his car and spun for another caution. When the field went back to green flag racing it was Uselton leading followed by Yellon, John Goinn and Byers.

On lap 11, Kneely began to make his presence known taking the third position. Two laps later a wreck involving Walsh, Thornberry and Donald Brown occurred between turns three and four. After the clean up crew did their job, Uselton again brought the field to the green flag. Kneely took advantage of the close field taking away second on lap 14. A lap later, Goinn spun without the result of a caution though. The same lap, Kneely made a strong move to the outside of Uselton and took the lead from her. Fox who had marched his way through the field followed Kneely to take second from Uselton. Lap 19, Hyman made an attempt to pass Uselton for third. The two dueled for several laps with Hyman taking the spot on lap 22. Kneely was just too strong this night though as he took home the win over Hyman, Fox, Uselton and Byers. The next race at Redwood Acres Raceway is a special night as it will be Fan Appreciation Night on September 21.