Walsh, Peeples, Miller big winners at the Acres
By Matthew J. Sullivan
Though mother nature provided a rather cold and dreary night, racing at Redwood Acres Raceway as not dampened whatsoever. It was a night of excitement, good racing and when the checkered flag fell on the night’s last race, there wasn’t one case of a wrecker having to be used during the race events or a track official using oil dry on the racing surface. Trevor Miller ran away from the pack in the real stock division to take his second win of the season and go four for four on the night with fast time, dash win, heat win and main win. Paul Peeples, Jr. continued his dominance of victory lane in the thunder roadster class with yet another win in the same fashion as Miller. Marty Walsh won his second main event of the season in the sportsman division rather handily.
Unfortunately for the limited street stocks and the mini stocks, both fields only had five cars turnout for the night. Both divisions ran trophy dashes and 10 lap main events. Scott Lyons was the fastest of the limited streets in qualifying with a 17.474 lap time. Lyons won the dash over Kenny Demello, Duayne Mayo and Craig Huffman. The 10 lap main featured a late race pass by Huffman over Mayo for the lead. At the line Huffman won over Mayo, Lyons, Fergy Ferguson and Demello.
Craig Baker turned in the quickest lap for the mini stock cars with a 19.127 time. Brian Murrell won the trophy dash literally by inches over Craig Baker, Scott Baker and Brian McIntosh. After a lap three pass for the lead on Murrell, Craig Baker was able to cruise to the win in the main. Murrell held onto second, Scott Baker third, Denzel Barrett fourth and McIntosh fifth after having gone into the pits with issues early in the race.
Qualifying in the real stock division was tight as Trevor Miller’s 18.813 qualifying lap was a mere three hundredth’s quicker than Shawn Craig’s 18.816. Miller won the dash over Ryan Peeples, Pat Conway and Craig. Unfortunately, both Conway and Craig had problems in the dash and were not able to make it back out for the heats or the main. Miller drove through the field in the heat race for the win over Casey Mitchell, Peeples, Donnie Hyman and Jim Redd.
Mitchell and Redd lead the nine car field to the green flag of the 25 lap main event. Redd got the jump off the start while Miller quickly made his way to the front. On lap three, Miller passed Peeples for fourth then moved into third just as quickly with Peeples following. On lap six, Miller moved outside of Mitchell for second. Three laps later the yellow flag dropped for debris on the race track.
Miller wasted no time on the restart immediately attacking Redd for the top position. On lap 13, Miller found the inside line and moved under Redd for the lead. On lap 15, Peeples who had been running third pulled into the pits. A few laps later, Nick Green spun off the second turn collecting Hyman and Ryan Robinson and bringing out the yellow flag. Fortunately everyone continued on in the race. The restart and the final few laps proved to be a formality for Miller as he was able to pull away from Redd to a comfortable lead and the checkered flag by the end of lap 25. Redd finished second with Dustin Walters third, Mitchell fourth and Green fifth.
Paul Peeples, Jr.’s 16.999 lap time was the only one under the 17 second bracket thus making it the quickest. Jay Bahner won the trophy dash over Peeples, Mark Arroyo and Troy Combs. Leroy Marsh, Jr. claimed the win in the first heat over Rick Crawley, Dave McMurray, Bruce Ziemer and Rob Nelson. Peeples won the second heat over Combs, Mike Ward, Arroyo and Robert Miller.
Nelson and Crawley comprised the front row for the 30 lap main event. Nelson took the early lead before Marsh took the lead away. Five laps into the race, Combs made his way into the second spot and tried to run down Marsh for the lead. Just as Combs moved inside and by Marsh for the lead, the yellow flag flew when Nelson spun off turn four and was facing the fourth turn nose first. All of the drivers had to take evasive action to avoid running into Nelson and though it was tight, everybody avoided what could have been a serious incident.
With the field reverting to their position on the previous lap, Marsh was able to retake the lead over Combs, McMurray, Peeples and Crawley. Peeples quickly moved by McMurray on the restart. On lap 11, Combs moved inside of Marsh for the lead bringing Peeples with him. On lap 15, Peeples looked to have the inside line on Combs but didn’t have the momentum to get by. Gerhy Foster’s spin on lap 19 brought out the yellow flag allowing Combs and Peeples to cool their tires and get set for another close battle.
When the green dropped, Combs and Peeples pulled away while Marsh settled into third comfortably. Meanwhile, McMurray and Bahner were dueling for fourth racing side-by-side for several laps. Up front Peeples was working hard to pass Combs. On lap 22, Peeples got another run and the two raced wheel-to-wheel. Both cars were like this until lap 24 when Combs pulled out the advantage once again.
On lap 26, Combs got loose between turns three and four. Peeples moved inside to try to get by, but Combs collected him while trying to save his car. While the two got their cars straight, Marsh moved by both to go from third to first in a matter of moments. Unfortunately for Marsh, he just didn’t have the handling on this night to hold off Peeples as he was able to move by on lap 28 for the lead. On the last lap, Combs moved inside of Marsh to take second, but it was too late for him to try something on Peeples as he crossed the line first. Marsh finished third with McMurray fourth and Bahner fifth.
Brandon Barnwell’s 16.547 qualifying time proved to be the fastest in the sportsman division. The trophy dash was won by Dennis Delbiaggio over Larry Pries, Barnwell and Marty Walsh. Delbiaggio won the second heat ahead of Jerry Peterson, Ken Hallis, Romeo Venza and Keith Dias. Pries won the second heat with Walsh, Al Acuna, Angelo Marcelli and Lissa Uselton completing the top five.
11 cars started the 30 lap feature event. Uselton got the jump on Venza to take the early lead. On lap seven, Marcelli was able to move under Uselton for the top spot after several laps of battling her for the lead. Marcelli’s move for the lead allowed Acuna to follow into the second position. On lap 9, Barnwell and Hallis made contact in the fourth turn sending both drivers into the infield. Both drivers got going again and the yellow flag was not thrown.
By lap 10, the top five was Marcelli, Acuna, Fox, Uselton and Pries with the top three cars nose to tail. On lap 14, Walsh made a move on Acuna. After a lap, Walsh was able to move by for second while Pries and Delbiaggio got by Uselton at the same time for fourth and fifth. It only took Walsh two more laps before he moved under and by Marcelli for the lead going into the third turn bringing Acuna into second. As the laps wound down, Walsh pulled away while Acuna held onto the second spot.
On lap 24, Pries moved into third getting by Marcelli. With two laps to go, Barnwell moved into fifth position getting by Delbiaggio. At the finish line it was Walsh, Acuna, Pries, Marcelli and Barnwell the top five. Delbiaggio, Uselton, Peterson, Hallis, Venza and Dias rounded out the finishing order.
Racing at the Acres takes a two week break before returning the Saturday of Father’s Day Weekend on June 14th.