Monday, August 15, 2005

Brandon wins a thriller over Ferguson and Shewry

Brandon wins a thriller over Ferguson and Shewry

By Matthew J. Sullivan

It was an unseasonably cold July night at Redwood Acres Raceway but the weather didn’t seem to affect the drivers in the sportsman, real stock, limited street stock or mini stock divisions as there was great racing all around. Geoff Brandon fought off an ill-handling race car and challenges from Fergy Ferguson and Glen Shewry for another win in the sportsman division. In the real stock division, Bob Lima drove by his teammate Jim Redd and held off Doug Way to win the main event. Joe Bonomini was able to fend of the strength of Jaison Chand and Jerry Peterson to take mini stock main event honors. Unfortunately, impending fog prevented the limited street cars from having their main event race.

Jaison Belt set quick time with a 19.764 in the real stock division which had a seventeen car turnout. Defending division champion Cecil Arispe nabbed the ‘A’ trophy dash win over Belt, Lissa Usselton and Barrett Barnwell while Troy Wood won the ‘B’ dash over Doug Way, Gary Adams and Jim Redd. Jim Bailey won the first heat race over Redd, Barnwell and Uselton while Wood won the second over Belt, Trevor Miller and Way. The twenty-five lap real stock main event was led to the green by Marvin Savage and Redd. The start was short-lived however when Adams lost control of his car, spun on the front stretch and hit the wall. Fortunately no other drivers were involved and Adams was able to continue in the race.

On the restart, Redd grabbed the lead followed by his Rat Pack Racing teammate, Bob Lima. By lap five, it looked to be just a three horse race for the win on this night as it was Redd holding off the faster cars of Lima and Way while Wood and Miller dueled for the fourth position. On lap twelve, Bailey got by Miller for fifth and on the next lap Lima saw his opportunity to get the lead and took it. Redd and Lima raced side-by-side until lap fifteen when Lima took the lead for good. Redd then had to fend off Way’s advances for second while Wood and Bailey continued to fight for fourth position. Redd and Way would swap the second position on a couple of occasions, Way would take the position on lap sixteen, Redd back by on lap eighteen. On lap nineteen, Wood lost control of his car and spun off turn four handing fourth to Bailey. A lap later, Way got back by Redd for second. At the finish it was Lima, Way, Redd, Bailey and Belt.

Fast time in the limited street stock division was set by J.D. Frey with a 17.450. Ken Demello won the trophy dash followed by Frey, Duane Mayo and Kavin Conn. The heat race would be the last event of the night for the division because of the threat of moisture from fog. Frey was able to get by Demello and take the win over Demello, Mayo, Conn and Mike Bradbury who made a return after a long absence from racing.

Jaison Chand set the pace for the mini stock division with a time of 18.639, a tenth and a half faster than the second fastest driver, Joe Bonomini. Chad Grammer, sporting new colors won the trophy dash over Glen Barnald, Brian McIntosh and Scott Baker. Chand moved his way from the back to the front in the first heat race winning over McIntosh, Grammer and Craig Baker while Craig’s brother Scott held off Bonomini, Bernald and Craig Huffman for the second heat race win.

With the addition of late arrival and long-time mini stock veteran Mac Collado, twelve cars took the green in the twenty lap main event. The race’s start saw Grammer take the lead over pole sitter Scott Baker. By lap three, Bonomini had advanced himself into the second position and by lap five he took the lead from Baker with Chand, Grammer and Peterson all able to get by Baker. On lap seven, Chand tried to get by Bonomini on the outside but it didn’t work. Peterson got by Grammer on lap seven as Chand continued to try to get by Bonomini. On lap fifteen, McIntosh pulled his car to the infield with problems and on lap sixteen Craig Baker spun and the caution flag flew. Coming to take the yellow, Bonomini was able to narrowly hold off Chand from taking the lead which proved to be the race winning move.

On lap seventeen restart, Collado lost control of his car and spun on the front stretch resulting in a red flag for his precarious position on the track. He pulled his car off the track for the night. When the green flew again, Bonomini continued to hold off Chand’s advances. Try as he might, Chand could do nothing to get by Bonomini and when the checkered flag flew it was Bonomini, Chand, Peterson, Grammer and Scott Baker the top five finishers.

The sportsman division had an excellent sixteen car turnout for qualifying with Geoff Brandon setting a quick lap of 16.087. The trophy dash had a little more excitement than it probably should have as Fergy Ferguson and Glen Shewry made contact resulting in Shewry hitting the wall. Fortunately both cars were able to return to racing later on. Phil Wood held off Brandon for the win. Brandon Barnwell took the win in the first heat over Al Acuna, Marty Walsh, Brandon and Mark Williams while Aaron Byers ran away from the field in the second heat and won followed by Larry Pries, Donnie Brown, Wood and Rick Fox. Seventeen cars rolled out for the sportsman main event with Pat Walsh arriving late and Mike Peeples being scratched due to an apparent tire issue with track officials. During tire warmups, Fox was black-flagged and unable to take the initial green.

Angelo Marcelli and Frank Billy brought the field to the green flag. Off the start, Billy took the lead while Marty Walsh grabbed second. Marcelli apparently had handling issued and fell back quickly. On lap five the order was Billy, Walsh, Ferguson, Brandon and Wood. On lap six, Brandon took a look on the outside and tried to get past Ferguson. The two dueled for several laps before Brandon took the spot on lap ten. The next lap Brandon powered by Walsh for second. On lap fourteen, Brandon got by Billy on the outside for the lead. Two laps later, Brandon got loose off of turn four and Billy regained the lead from him. Brandon then got by Billy on lap nineteen followed by Ferguson. By lap twenty the top five was composed of Brandon, Ferguson, Billy, Shewry and Wood.

Shewry got by Billy on lap twenty-one and tried to get by Ferguson and Brandon. It was apparent that Brandon’s car wasn’t handling very good and Ferguson filled his mirror, ready to take advantage of any mistake that Brandon would make. On lap twenty-seven, Wood got by Billy for fourth while Pries took advantage and passed Billy for fifth. On lap thirty-one, Pries got by Wood for fourth but it would be too little and too late for his chance to win. When the checkered flag came down it was Geoff Brandon winning a clean and green race over Ferguson, Shewry, Pries and Wood.

The next race is Fan Appreciation night this coming weekend Saturday August 6th at Redwood Acres Raceway. It should be another exciting night of racing in all four divisions.

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