Peeples two in a row, Bradbury holds off Browne
By Matthew J. Sullivan
For the first time in the 2006 season it a somewhat warm night at Redwood Acres Raceway. Even though a few showers fell during the event, it wasn’t enough to severely slow down another exciting night as the thunder roadsters made their third appearance of the season at the Acres, along with the regular four classes of cars. Orion Mosher pulled away from the field in the limited street stock main to win while Craig Baker continued to show his strength in the mini stock division, winning the main event handily. Resuming their battle from the previous race, Bill Bradbury held off Dan Browne to win the real stock main. After some struggles at the start of the season, Larry Pries was able to make his way though the field in the sportsman division and claim victory. After an incident between Troy Combs and Randy Olson, Paul Peeples, Jr. inherited the lead in the roadster main event and was able to fend off David Henderson to win his second main event in a row at the Acres.
The limited street division was able to pick up one more car this weekend as Mark Burris showed up. Kenny Demello won the trophy dash over Orion Mosher, Adrien Betournay and Terry Vallee. Demello and Mosher put on an exciting heat race with Demello holding off Mosher’s challenges to win followed by Betournay, Vallee and Burris. The eight lap main was brought to the green flag by Mosher and Demello. Mosher used his inside front row starting spot to grab the lead from Demello. Though Demello briefly challenged Mosher for the lead, Mosher was eventually able to pull away and take the win with Demello second, Betournay third, Burris fourth and Vallee fifth.
Chad Grammer took home the trophy in the mini stock dash over Scott Baker, Brian Murrell and Stacy Minnick. The heat race had a bit too much excitement in it as a Brian McIntosh spin caught out Glen Bernald and Scott Baker. Craig Baker took the heat win over Grammer, Murrell, Byron McIntosh and Denzel Barrett. 11 cars started the 20 lap main event with the front row comprised of Nick Karanopoulos and Bernald. By the end of the first lap however, Brian McIntosh was able to get by both to nab the top spot. McIntosh’s lead would not last long however, as Murrell moved by for the lead on lap three. That same lap, Scott Baker pulled his car into the pits, calling it a night.
On lap four, Grammer made his way by Murrell bringing Craig Baker with him moving Murrell back to third. For several laps, Baker looked for a way by Grammer. Baker then made his way to the outside of Grammer and the two dueled side by side for the lead. On lap 10, coming off the fourth turn Grammer got loose allowing Baker to completely get by and pull away. Meanwhile, Minnick moved her way past Brian McIntosh four the fifth position. By lap 15, the field had spread out with Baker leading Grammer, Murrell, Minnick and McIntosh. On lap 16, Grammer pulled his car into the pits moving everyone behind up a spot, including long-time mini stock racer Mac Collado to fifth. When the checkered flag fell, the top five was the same, Baker, Murrell, Minnick, Bryan McIntosh and Collado.
The real stock division had perhaps their best field of the season. Dan Browne and Bill Bradbury resumed their battle from the previous race for a bit in the dash with Browne winning followed by Bradbury, Jim Bailey and Barry Barnwell. Ray Robinson won the first heat over Browne, Jim Redd, Troy Wood and Bailey. The second heat was won by Bradbury over Bob Lima, Barnwell, Ray DeMello and Marvin Savage. 17 cars took the green flag in the 25 lap main event with DeMello and Redd sharing the front row. DeMello grabbed the lead from Redd off the start while Doug Way pulled his car into the pits for the night. On lap two, Ryan Robinson moved by Redd for the second spot, then he moved outside of DeMello to challenge for the first position. By lap three, Browne had made his way to the third spot before a yellow flag flew for debris on the track.
The green flag came out again and Browne decided to use the closeness of the front to cars to his advantage. He made his way by Robinson for second by lap four, then he moved his way outside of DeMello to grab the lead on lap five. In the meantime, Bradbury began picking his way through the field. On lap eight, he moved past Bailey for fifth then by Redd for fourth. However any thoughts of taking the lead were fantasy as Browne had pulled out to a large lead over DeMello. On the tenth lap, Robinson spun but no yellow flag flew. The top five at this time was Browne, DeMello, Bradbury, Redd and Lima.
On lap 13, Bradbury moved to DeMello’s bumper and tried to take the second spot while a four car duel between Redd, Lima, Barnwell and Bailey four the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh positions. Brad Bergquist making his first start of the season blew his engine in the high line on lap 14 but again no yellow flag flew as the fluid was well out of the racing groove. Bradbury made his way by DeMello lap 15. That same lap, Lima made contact with the lapped car of Dana DeVane necessitating a yellow flag and bunching up the field, much to Bradbury’s pleasure and Browne’s dismay. When the green came again, Browne and Bradbury pulled away from DeMello and the rest of the field. On lap 18, Bradbury moved inside of Browne for the lead, taking the position. At the same time, DeMello got too high and lost several spots. Bradbury and Browne continued to duel for the lead as the laps ticked off but when the checkered fell Browne didn’t have enough as Bradbury won followed by Browne, Barnwell, Redd and Lima. Unfortunately in post race inspection, Browne’s car was deemed illegal.
12 cars showed up to race in the sportsman division. Rick Fox held off Marty Walsh, Brandon Barnwell and Larry Pries to win the trophy dash. Angelo Marcelli won the first heat race over Fox, Walsh, Donnie Brown and Al Acuna while Barnwell won the second heat over Ken Hallis, Aaron Byers, Pries and Jerry Peterson. The 35 lap main event was lead to the green flag by Frank Billy and Brown. Brown was able to get a good jump on the start and take the front spot. On lap two, Billy got into the side of Barnwell spinning him and causing the field to scatter. Fortunately, there wasn’t any serious damage done to any of the cars.
The green came out again with Brown leading while Fox tried to get by Billy for second. On lap four, Fox got the spot and set his sights on Brown. The next lap, several cars were able to move past Billy including Pries, Byers and Walsh. The gap between the front five cars began to close as all five raced bumper to bumper cleanly. On lap 11, Byers got his car sideways off the fourth turn but managed to reel in his car and not lose position. On lap 13, Billy spun off the second turn bringing out the caution. The restart was to Pries’ advantage as he moved by Fox for second on lap 14, then he moved inside Browne on lap 16, taking the lead the next lap. Barnwell spun on lap 19 and the yellow flag came once again.
Pries got a good start when the green came back out while Brown tried to hold off Fox. Pries held a two car length advantage while second through fourth were nip and tuck for position. On lap 30, Walsh made his way by Byers for fourth. On lap 32 the final yellow flag came. Under caution Barnwell cut a tire forcing him into the pits for the final few laps. For Larry Pries, the last three laps were merely a formality as he claimed the win followed by Brown, Fox, Walsh and Byers. Regretfully, Brown’s car was found to be illegal in post race inspection.
The thunder roadsters made their third start at the Acres with another beautiful field of cars. Paul Peeples, Jr. won the dash over Randy Olson, David Henderson and Ron Rosenthal. Mike Ward won the first heat followed by Jay Bahner, Waymond Hans, Donn Cole and Byron Nelson. Chris Sarvinski took the second heat followed by Troy Combs, Henderson, Randy Olson and Peeples. Leroy Marsh returned to the Acres after a few years hiatus to win the third heat with Rusty Olson using a car barrowed from Bill O’Neill finishing second followed by, Ray Elliott, Chris Banfill and Ron Turner filling out the top five. With the high car count, a B-main event was necessitated and Ward was able to win while Dave McMurray took the second and final transfer spot.
18 cars started the 30 lap roadster main with Marsh and Bruce Ziermar leading the field to the green. Marsh got the jump bringing Rusty Olson with him while Ziermar had major issues falling to the end of the field. On the fifth lap, Sarvinski spun, however the yellow flag was withheld as he got going again. By the tenth lap the field was still spreading out as Marsh lead Olson, Elliott, Combs and Henderson. Elliott and Combs began to reel in Olson for second allowing Marsh to pull his lead out a bit more. On lap 12, Combs pulled to the outside of Elliott while Randy Olson moved to the high side of Henderson. Combs made his way by Elliott on lap 13 just as Bill O’Neill spun off the second turn bringing out the yellow flag.
On the restart, Combs got a jump to the outside of Rusty Olson and Marsh taking the lead. Randy Olson followed suit moving to third, then taking second from Marsh on lap 15. On lap 18, Henderson moved to the inside of Rusty Olson for fourth but Olson held him off. Meanwhile, Randy Olson began to close the gap on Combs for the lead. The yellow flag came out on lap 19 as Elliott, Ward and McMurray were all collected in an incident in the second turn. On the restart, Peeples got a jump and moved to the third position while Henderson got by Rusty Olson for fifth and Marsh for fourth.
On lap 22 while racing for the lead off the fourth turn, Randy Olson turned Combs into the infield bringing out the final yellow flag. Under yellow, Combs showed his frustration with Olson hitting him in the third and fourth turn. Olson was sent to the rear but decided to pull his car to the pits. With the field shuffled, the top five was now Peeples, Henderson, Marsh, Banfill and Rusty Olson. The green came again and Peeples was able to put a gap on Henderson who put a gap on Marsh. On lap 25, Olson pulled his borrowed car into the pits for the night. The last laps went without any major challenges in the top five. When the checkered flag came down it was Paul Peeples making it two in a row followed by Henderson, Marsh, Banfill and Mark Arroyo.
The next race at the Acres is June 10 with the regular field of limited street stocks, mini stocks, real stocks and sportsman cars. It should be another exciting night of racing.