Sunday, August 6, 2006

Shewry returns to victory lane, two in a row for Olson

Shewry returns to victory lane, two in a row for Olson

By Matthew J. Sullivan

A throng of fans filled the grandstands at the Redwood Acres Raceway for the annual Fan Appreciation Night. Old and new fans alike were not disappointed with the racing on the track as all five classes of local cars delighted and thrilled the crowd. After a brief hiatus from the winner’s circle, Orion Mosher claimed the win in the limited street stock division. Craig Baker maneuvered his car from the back of the pack to win the mini stock main event. Ryan Walters ran away from the real stock field to notch the victory. After a little over a month away from the Acres, the thunder roadsters returned with Randy Olson going four for four for the evening, finishing off the night with the main event win. In the sportsman division, former champ Glen Shewry returned to racing for the first time this season and matched Olson’s feat, also going four for four and winning the main event.

Before the race, drivers from all the divisions pulled their cars out onto the front stretch to meet and greet the fans. Drivers brought gifts and goodies, chatted with fans and signed autographs. All fans were able to attend Fan Appreciation Night free thanks to Bear River Casino. Trevor Miller edged Orion Mosher for fast time in the limited street stock division by six-hundreths of a second. Miller’s time was a 17.351. Miller won the dash by inches over Andrien Betournay with Mosher and Duane Mayo rounding out the four starters. Mosher took the win in the heat race over Miller, Betournay, Mayo and Kavin Conn who was driving Kenny Demello’s car for the evening.

With the seven car count, the limited streets were able to run a 15 lap main event. Mayo took the early lead as the field settled out. Mosher wanted to take care of business early. On the first lap, he moved outside and past Miller for second, then on lap two he moved by Mayo for the lead bringing Miller with him. Halfway through the race, Betournay’s right side door panel fell off his car and was dragging on the track. He was given the black flag and pulled off the race track. With the laps ticking off, Mosher maintained a one to two car length gap over Miller. For several laps, Miller tried his best to stick with Mosher, but unfortunately for his case, on lap 11 he got loose and spun in the fourth turn. Miller’s misfortune left Mosher all alone and he was able to take the win with Mayo second, Conn third, Stan Young fourth and Miller fifth.

Stacy Minnick beat the mini stock field in qualifying setting a 19.025 lap. Scott Baker won the dash over Glen Bernald, points leader Brian Murrell and Minnick. Bryan McIntosh won the heat followed by Baker, Byron McIntosh, Murrell and Minnick. 10 cars started the 20 lap main event, as Bryan McIntosh and newcomer Max Cap took the field to the green flag. McIntosh was able to take the lead over brother Byron, Bernald and Minnick. Murrell moved to the inside of Minnick on lap two, but Minnick held him off. On lap four, Minnick moved by Bernald for third. A lap later, Minnick move to Byron McIntosh’s for second.

Meanwhile, Baker began to make his presence felt as he got by Bernald on lap five for the fourth spot. Minnick cleared Byron on lap six and set her sights on Bryan. On the same lap, going into the third corner, Minnick missed her mark and coming off the fourth turn she got sideways. Fortunately she was able to save her car, but unfortunately she lost several positions falling back to fifth. Minnick’s misfortune allowed Baker to move into the second position. On lap nine, Baker powered by Bryan McIntosh to take the lead, while Minnick moved into fourth getting by Chad Grammer. As Baker pulled away, the rest of the field battled for position. With five laps to go, Minnick tried the outside line on Byron McIntosh, but to no avail. Two laps later, Grammar moved by Minnick for fourth. But all of that was well in Scott Baker’s mirror as he was able to take home the victory with Bryan McIntosh, Byron McIntosh, Grammer and Minnick rounding out the top five.

19.317 was the quick mark set by Ryan Walters in the real stock class. The trophy dash was won by Cecil Arispe over Walters, Dan Browne and Bill Bradbury. Walters won the first heat over Steve Kimberling, Ryan Robinson, Bradbury and Barry Barnwell. Browne took the second followed by Bob Lima, Arispe, Doug Way and Troy Wood. A strong 18 car field was lead to the green of the 25 lap main event by Mark Mullin and Robinson. Unfortunately the initial start of the race featured a Lima spin in turn two caused from fluid leading from Mullin’s car. Coming to take the yellow, Arispe spun and was hit on the right side door by Jim Redd. The red flag flew and the ambulance came out to visit Arispe. Thankfully, Arispe was none the worse for the wear and was able to get back out and continue on in the main event.

With Mullin having to pull into the pits, Wood inherited the pole and took the lead on the restart. It would be short lived though as Way and Dana DeVane spun in the second turn bringing out another yellow. The green flew again with Wood leading Lima, Walters, Robinson and Kimberling. On lap four, Bradbury got by Kimberling. The caution flag flew again on lap five when something broke on Mike Peeples’ car while DeVane spun in turn two. When the restart came, Walters decided to make his move. He got to Lima’s outside, then moved by on lap six. Bradbury moved outside Robinson for fourth. On lap seven, Robinson got loose and spun in the infield but was able get going.

On lap 8, Walters moved to the outside of Wood for the lead. The two made some contact coming off turn two getting Wood loose of the second turn and giving Walters the lead. Lima followed through to take second while Bradbury moved outside and by Wood on lap nine. On lap 10, Browne moved by Wood for fourth. Two laps later, Barnwell got by Wood for fifth. Meanwhile, the front two cars of Walters and Lima were enjoying a 10 car length gap over the third place car of Bradbury. On lap 12, DeVane spun in the first turn in front of several cars including Browne who was forced to stop his car to keep from running into DeVane. The spin cost Browne several positions and he was never able to make it to the front again.

On the restart, Way moved outside of Wood for fifth taking the position on lap 14. Walters began to walk away from the field before Arispe broke in the second turn and hit the wall bringing out the yellow flag. Due to the number of yellow flags in the race along with the other races and time concerns, the race was cut down to 20 laps, making the restart very important, however nobody in the top five was able to muster enough strength for anyone else. When the checkered flag flew it was Walters first followed by Lima, Bradbury, Barnwell and Way.

The thunder roadsters returned to racing at the Acres after a month’s break from the raceway. Randy Olson set the quick time notching a 16.912 lap. Olson followed up quick time with the dash win over David Henderson, Chris Banfill and Paul Peeples, Jr. LeRoy Marsh, Jr. Won the first heat race over Donn Cole, Rob Nelson, Jay Bahner and Waylon Henze. Olson took the second followed by Troy Combs, Ray Elliott, Mark Arroyo and Banfill. 21 cars took the start of the 30 lap main event with Fred Hanks and Dave McMurray leading the field to the green flag. Hanks was able to lead lap one, but McMurray fought hard on the outside trying to regain the lead on the third lap. McMurray’s move was to no avail though as Elliott moved to his inside for second. Meanwhile, the faster cars of Combs, Olson, Henderson and Peeples were dicing their way through the field. Olson moved his way into fifth on lap five getting by Bill O’Neill. Just ahead, Combs got inside of Arroyo for third bringing Olson with him.

On lap 7, Combs, Olson and O’Neill were able to get by Elliott for the second, third and fourth positions. Olson moved to the outside of Combs on lap nine. The two made slight contact in the third turn. Olson fell back into position while Combs tried to challenge Hanks for the lead. On lap 11, Olson moved inside of Combs going into the first turn, taking the spot on lap 12. On lap 13, Olson moved outside of Hanks, taking the lead. Peeples moved outside of O’Neill for the fourth position on lap 15 but fell back. Peeples moved to O’Neill’s outside again on lap 16. The two made contact coming off the second turn and going into the third turn they collided sending Peeples into the wall and O’Neill in a spin. Peeples was finished for the night while O’Neill pulled his car into the pits.

Olson lead Hanks, Henderson, Combs and Banfill to the restart. On lap 16, Henderson moved to the inside of Hanks. Combs was able to follow through. Henderson closed to within three car lengths of Olson while Banfill worked the bumper of Hanks’ car before Nelson spun in turn four bringing out the yellow flag on lap 22. The restart allowed Combs to move by Henderson coming to the green while Olson lead. Henderson moved by Combs on lap 25 while Banfill tried to get by Hanks for fourth. Henderson closed the gap to within two car lengths on Olson once again, but time ran out for him to mount a challenge as Olson took the win followed by Henderson, Combs, Hanks and Banfill.

After nearly a year away from racing, Fortuna driver Glen Shewry returned to racing in the sportsman division showing no signs of rust, setting the quick lap of 16.285. Shewry won the dash, which saw a bit too much excitement when Marty Walsh and Brandon Barnwell made contact sending Barnwell’s car into the wall. Larry Pries finished second with Walsh third. The first heat saw another incident, this time between Pries and Donnie Brown. Of the second turn, the two made contact sending Pries into the wall. Brown was forced to the pits for the rest of the race, while Pries was finished for the evening. Shewry was able to take the win over Marcelli, Joe Bonomini and Lissa Uselton. Marty Walsh won the second heat followed by Al Acuna, Barnwell, Jerry Peterson and Rick Fox.

Peterson and Brown lead the 11 car field to the green flag of the 30 lap main event. Coming off turn 2, Peterson got loose, and did a 360 in front of the field. Fortunately, nobody wrecked and everyone was able to continue. Peterson’s spin sent him to the rear and gave Fox the pole position and he took advantage of it. When the green flew, Fox took the lead while Brown fell into second and Barnwell and Walsh raced side by side for third. On lap two, Shewry went to the high side of Walsh and Barnwell making it three-wide. The three made one lap in that fashion before Shewry moved into third. On lap four, Walsh got by Barnwell for fourth. The next lap, Marcelli began to challenge Barnwell for fith. On lap six, Marcelli got to Barnwell’s inside and took the position.

Shewry began to challenge Brown for second on lap seven, giving Fox room to breathe in the lead. The yellow flag came out on lap nine when Frank Billy, Uselton and Peterson spun simultaneously in turn two, apparently from fluid leaking from Acuna’s car. Brown used the restart to his advantage, moving to the inside of Fox and taking the top spot on lap 10. A lap later, Shewry was able to take second. Fox continued to slide back losing third to Walsh on lap 12, and fighting Marcelli for fourth on lap 13. At the same time, Shewry moved inside Brown for the lead. On lap 14 while running inside of Fox, Marcelli got loose and spun bringing out the yellow flag.

The restart came and Shewry began to really stretch out a lead while Brown and Walsh fought for second. On lap 21, Walsh got by Brown, but by that point Shewry was in his own world. The field stretched out, with the major battle being between Fox, Bonomini, Peterson and Barnwell. On the last lap coming off turn four, Peterson and Barnwell made contact, but that was all in the mirror of Shewry as he handily won over Walsh, Brown, Fox and Bonomini.

All five classes of cars return to the Acres August 26 for Back to School Night. It should be another exciting night of racing.

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