Sunday, August 26, 2007

Wrecks impair racing at the Acres

Wrecks impair racing at the Acres

By Matthew J. Sullivan

After a two week hiatus, racing returned to Redwood Acres Raceway for Back-To-School Night. Though several multi-car pileups slowed down the pace of the on track action, fans were able to witness a full slate of action in just over a three hour period. Scott Lyons took his second main event victory of the season in the limited street stock division. In the mini stocks, Craig Baker notched win number four for 2007. Ryan Robinson held off Doug Way in the real stock division taking his first win of the season. Perhaps the most familiar rivalry at the Acres in 2007 has been between Paul Peeples, Jr. and David Henderson. The two battled for the win once again with Henderson claiming the victory for the third time this season. It was the fifth time that the two drivers finished either first or second amongst themselves. Brandon Barnwell ran away with the sportsman main event for win number five.

Joining the five local classes was a special powder puff race. Female drivers drove borrowed real stock cars in the 10 lap main event. The race was originally scheduled for 10 laps but was cut to six when Mary DeMello spun in turn three collecting Whitney Burgess and Deborah Danielson. Danielson’s car went under Burgess’ car with Burgess rear end on Danielson’s hood. Debbie Huffman was the leader at the red flag but could not get her car to start when the yellow came out which gave the victory to Michelle Krupa. Others who were involved in the race were Kathryn Devries and Sequoya Warren.

Scott Lyons set quick time for the limited street stock cars with a 17.298 lap. Stan Young won the trophy dash over Duane Mayo, Lyons and Robert Miller. Kavin Conn won the heat driving Kenny Demello’s car. Mayo, Young, Miller and Lyons filled out the top five. Mayo and Miller brought the field to the green in the 15 lap main event. Mayo got the jump on Miller from the start while Lyons slotted himself into the second position. On lap four, Lyons moved well inside of Mayo going into turn three. The two made contact with Mayo spinning into the infield. Mayo lost a lap while trying to restart and the caution came out. On the restart, Lyons held the lead over Miller. Lyons pulled out to a eight car gap, but as the laps wound down Miller closed the gap to within a car length. That was as close as it would get though as Lyons crossed the start/finish line first over Miller, Young, Conn and Romeo Venza.

Fast time for the mini stock division was set by Byron McIntosh with an 18.791 time. Craig Baker won the dash over Denzil Barrett, McIntosh and Brian Murrell. The heat race saw a wreck between Murrell and Nick Karanopoulos severely damaging both cars. Max Capps took the win over By. McIntosh, Brian McIntosh, Barrett and Baker. Capps and By. McIntosh led the field to the green for the 15 lap mini stock main. Capps snookered By. McIntosh on the start, taking the lead while the two McIntosh brothers dueled side-by-side for the second spot. On lap two Brian had the advantage, but on lap three Byron took the position back. On lap five, Byron spun off the fourth turn into the infield. He got his car going however and racing was able to continue.

On lap eight, Baker moved outside of Capps for the lead, taking the position on lap nine. On lap 10, Br. McIntosh began to suffer engine woes and was passed by Murrell who was driving Barrett’s vehicle with his number on the side to score points for himself. From there on out the race was to see how long Br. McIntosh could stay on the track and if he would finish in the top five. On lap 11, Byron got by Brian for fourth. On the very last lap, Karanopoulos took fifth away from Brian. Meanwhile, Baker had smooth sailing in the lead taking the win handily over Capps, Murrell, By. McIntosh and Karanopoulos.

Steve Kimberling set the fast time for the real stock cars with a 19.511 lap time. The trophy dash victory went to Bill Middleton over Kimberling, Ryan Walters and Ryan Peeples. Peeples won the first heat followed by Kimberling, Barry Barnwell, Ray Robinson and Mark Mullan. Ryan Robinson won the second heat over Walters, Doug Way, Jim Redd and Marvin Savage. The 25 lap feature was brought to the green flag by Savage and Ray DeMello. DeMello took the lead off the start while Barnwell took second. A wild race for third place ensued between Savage and a host of other cars. By lap two though, Savage regained second from Barnwell. On lap three Ry. Robinson made a daring three wide pass to get by Barnwell and Savage to move into second, just before the yellow came out for debris on the track.

Ry. Robinson got a great start when the green came out again, taking the lead away from DeMello. Way got a similar start moving by Savage for third. On lap six, Way moved by DeMello to take second. Nick Green moved into fifth on lap seven, taking the position away from Barnwell. Two laps later, Green made a superb three wide pass to get by DeMello and Savage for third. Just behind him, Middleton went for a spin off of turn two, but was able to get going again. On lap 10, Troy Wood who was scoring points for himself using Chuck Essex’s car, spun in turn four collecting Mullan. Robinson’s substantial over Way was erased. On the restart, Way immediately tried to get by Robinson for the lead. On lap 15, Walters moved by Savage for fourth bringing Peeples in tow. On lap 21, Walters moved by Green for third. At the front, Robinson was able to hold off Way’s challenges to take the win. Walters took third while Peeples took fourth away from Green on the last lap.

Paul Peeples, Jr. set fast time once again for the thunder roadsters with a 17.057 clock-in. David Henderson took home the trophy for the dash ahead of Peeples, Chris Banfill and Mike Ward. Bill Bradbury beat Bruce Ziemer to the line in the first heat with Donn Cole, Chris Lawrence and Jay Bahner rounding out the front five. The second heat featured an incident between Ray Elliott and Henderson which knocked off the right front wheel and suspension from Henderson’s car. Peeples took the win though, followed by Chris Sarvinski, Leroy Marsh, Jr., Banfill and Ward.

Lawrence and Mark Arroyo who was borrowing a car for this race lead the 17 car field to the green in the 30 lap main event. Arroyo held took the lead from the drop of the green. On lap three, Elliott moved by Lawrence into second. The moved allowed Sarvinski, Marsh and Henderson all to get by Lawrence. Henderson moved inside of Marsh on lap eight to take the fourth position. On lap 10 Henderson moved by Sarvinski for third while Elliott moved by Arroyo for the lead. Henderson, Sarvinski, Marsh and Peeples all followed Elliott to take their places in the top five.

Peeples began to really make his presence known. On lap 13 he moved by Marsh for fourth. Four laps later, Peeples moved by Sarvinski for the third position. On lap 19, Henderson moved inside of Elliott, but Elliott held him off. The front three of Elliott, Henderson and Peeples began to distance themselves from the rest of the field. On lap 25, Henderson made his move to the inside of Elliott for the lead. The two raced side-by-side until lap 27 when Henderson gained the advantage. Peeples followed Henderson and completed the pass a lap later. Peeples would not be able to mount a serious threat to Henderson in the final two laps though. Henderson crossed the line first two car lengths ahead of Peeples. Elliott finished third, Sarvinski fourth and Banfill fifth.

Veteran Larry Pries was the fastest of the sportsman drivers with a 16.496 time. Pries won the dash over Brandon Barnwell, Rick Fox and Angelo Marcelli. The heat was marred by two crashes, the first taking place just after the cars got on track. Romeo Venza spun in turn four collecting Aaron Byers. As Venza’s car rolled down the track, he collected Jerry Peterson. The race itself saw an even more unfortunate incident. Barnwell and Lissa Usselton made contact while racing for second and the two spun in front of the rest of the field, collecting Pries and Venza, knocking both of their cars out for the rest of the night. Fox won the heat followed by Barnwell, Marcelli, Byers and Peterson.

With only six cars making the start, the main event was cut down to 25 laps. Pries was able to make the start thanks to Byers who gave his car to him to score points. Uselton and Marcelli took the field to the green. Uselton got severely loose off the start allowing Marcelli to easily take the lead ahead of Barnwell. On lap three, Fox took third away from Uselton. On lap six, Barnwell looked inside of Marcelli for the lead, but found no room. Fox looked inside of Barnwell on lap 10, but Barnwell fended him off. On lap 15, Barnwell found a hole inside of Marcelli and took it and the lead, bringing Fox with him to second. While trying to follow into third, Uselton and Marcelli made contact going into turn one. Uselton miraculously saved her car but lost a lot of track position and was not able to make a challenge on Marcelli again. The rest of the race ran smoothly with Barnwell comfortably winning over Fox, Marcelli, Uselton and Peterson.

Mercifully for the sportsman class, racing at the Acres takes a break Labor Day weekend allowing drivers and teams to get their cars back together. Racing resumes September 8th with all five classes returning to action once more in 2007.

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