Monday, April 2, 2007

Expect 2007 to be another exciting season at the Acres

Expect 2007 to be another exciting season at the Acres

By Matthew J. Sullivan

If the 2007 season at Redwood Acres Raceway in Eureka, CA is anything like the 2006 season was, race fans should be in for a real treat. The 2006 season proved to be one of the most memorable in the track’s 50 year history. Along with the regular schedule of sportsmans, mini stocks, real stocks and limited street stocks was the addition of the thunder roadsters. Throughout the season, all five divisions provided some great side-by-side racing, narrow finishes and unfortunately many incidents.

Although the limited street stock division struggled with its car count throughout 2006, there should be more drivers racing in 2007. The 2006 champion was young rookie Adrien Betournay, however Betournay won’t be back to defend his title. The two drivers who will be the ones to beat are division veteran Orion Mosher and youngster Trevor Miller. Both drivers raced against each other several times in 2006 with neither having a real clear speed advantage over the other.

The real stock class was the most wide open division at the Acres in 2006 and 2007 should be no different. On any given night, ten drivers could easily find themself leading the field to the checkered flag. Bill Bradbury was able to win the championship, but it will not be of any advantage to him in the coming season with the competition he has to face. The closest points battle at the Acres in 2006 occurred in the mini stock division between Chad Grammer and Brian Murrell. Grammer was able to take the title by a mere eight points over Murrell, but with Grammer moving on the 2007 championship is completely up for grabs.

The car count for the thunder roadster division at Redwood Acres Raceway is the highest in the nation. Throughout 2006, the division averaged 20 cars per race and 2007 shouldn’t be any different. David Henderson won the track championship over a number of great drivers by maintaining a top five consistency. The roadsters feature what is the most diverse lineup of drivers ranging from young to old, completely inexperienced to many years of experience.

Marty Walsh was the 2006 champion in the sportsman division, but will not be back to defend the title in 2007. That leaves the door open for a number of drivers such as veterans Larry Pries, Angelo Marcelli, and less experienced drivers like Brandon Barnwell and Rick Fox. It is definitely hard to say who will be the favorite in 2007.

Along with the regular schedule of cars, the North State Challenge Series and the BCRA Midgets will be visiting the 3/8-mile paved oval. The BCRA Midgets will make their annual stop at the Acres on May 19, while the North State Challenge Series late model tour cars will be making their stops April 28, June 23 and September 28. Among the special events this season are the Best Appearing Car Contest on opening night April 21, the Redwood Acres Fair Classic June 22 and 23, Fan Appreciation Night August 4, Back-To-School Night August 25 and the Fall Spectacular September 28 and 29. There will also be two Powderpuff races June 9 and August 25.

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